Buried Alive

Weapons of Mass Merriment by pisaquaririse
December 29, 2007, 7:20 am
Filed under: anek-doting, Uncategorized

There is nothing more indicative of Uncle Pat than a bunch of oppositional nuclear family units getting together to swap judgment over each others’ income bracket (gifts) and make underhanded remarks about the other’s age, failing (patriarchally constructed) looks, and weight (meet my family!) for Christmas. 

On Christmas Day this year I was called an asshole.  I was called an asshole by a really really big asshole (creepy perverted uncle to ice that cake) so I am still waiting to be insulted but, nevertheless, it is the reason for being called an asshole that I am interested in addressing. 

Somehow, and I don’t recall how because I don’t go advertising my opinions during BullshitTehHappiness Holidays, the topic of children and Christmas was brought up.  I was asked at what age I would tell my children Santa is not real.

If and when I decide to have/adopt children there will be no lies about a white Capitalist Dewd who runs a sizeist servant factory for lead-laden child-killer-toys.

I said it like this: “I don’t want my children ever thinking Santa is real.”

Family Chorus: WHAT?

“I don’t believe in Christmas,” I say “and I’ve never been a follower of Christ, so why would I?”  I add: “You people don’t follow Christianity by any stretch of the imagination either” for extra bite.

“No Christmas? No presents?  That’s cruel to kids!” says my aunt.  “How mean.” My aunt is a rather flamboyant yankee who loves shitstuffandshit.

“What about their imaginations and fantasy—you’re gonna take that away too?” asks my mom. 

Immediately I am reminded of the way the pornstitution works: construct a lie, indulge the lie in fantasy form, market it as porn—then feel so entitled to it that the lie becomes a “right” should any evil feminist question it.

“Yeah!” Chimes Auntie.  “Kids need to use their imaginations.”

Assuming children need lies to exalt their creative capacities is an insult to the mind.  Fantasy by way of lies is escapism.  Fantasy by way of truths is invention and advancement.   

I try not to be peeved.

I really hope, I tell them, my children’s imaginations are not considered compromised for never having drummed up all the ways a fictional creature delivers them materials.  More so,  I should think they’d feel quite flattered mom credited them with enough selflessness and brains to know this roving pink-cheeked (high blood pressure to be sure!) madman with bags of crap doesn’t exist! 

 I don’t want them thinking, I say, that giving is simply the reciprocal of receiving.

To this my mom waves me off like a puff in her face.  My aunt is still chewing on the word “reciprocal” when my Uncle blurts:

“You’re an asshole!  Don’t have kids!”

(Perspective time!  My Uncle came over to the United States some 20 odd years ago leaving growing children and an ex wife in Europe to be with my aunt.  As he tells it, he was an amazing parent having given his children all the tools they’d need to survive in the world thanks to his “discipline” techniques: a 2×4 and a fist…I should add his only daughter won’t speak to him and his son tried to swing dead from a noose last year…)

But, nevertheless, the Family Chorus agrees.  “[Pisaquari] is an asshole!”/rahrahrahrah 

Minutes later my younger sis walks in and immediately they are on her with their lassos, ready to reel in another for the Good Side*.

“[Pisaquari’s sister],” they ask, “are you gonna tell your kids there is a Santa?”

No,” says (radfemmy) little sister.  “That’s stupid.”


Now matter how much I try explaining, to the point of going blue/teary-eyed in the face, I am shut down, shut out, called names, black-listed, accused of needing meds, or a variety of other defense tactics spewed from very closed, very scared minds.  But, you know, this is not for affect, not for attention–the things I say, the often radical philosophies I hold dearly to are BIG COMPLIMENTS to the capacities of people. 

Sometimes I am hopeful enough to think others will catch on. 


10 Comments so far
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Poor you, sounds horrific. If it is any consolation I am constantly being told that I should never ever have children whenever I say anything about how I woud raise children were I to parent. ie. my daughter would have a shaved head and non-genderspecific name and would be raised in a lesbian separatist community. Well, you can imagine the typical response I get to that! They tell me that that is child abuse.

I work with children and what I consider the worst child abuse is a conventional upbringing.

For what it is worth, there would be no consumerist, capitalist, patriarchally religious holidays celebrated in my imaginary childed future either. My children would know all the horrific details of how animals are slaughtered, kids are forced to work in slave labour conditions, how energy usage spikes and therefore carbon production soars as everyone turns on their fricking Christmas lights. Yes, that’s right, I am a cruel kiddie torturer too. Never fear, pisaquari, you are not alone.

Comment by allecto

Were it not for the blogosphere I would feel like a fish in a desert.
So nice to have you here evil-child-dream-slayer you allecto!
The education you describe giving your daughter, in my eyes, is privileged education–not in the expensive private school/college way but the holyshitpeopleneedtoknowthat way. Very cool indeed.
“the worst child abuse is a conventional upbringing”–spot on. One of my cousins was spoiled rotten and my family ended up resenting the *child* for it–not taking into account the terrible disservice that had been done to it already.

Comment by pisaquaririse

This idea that lying to children year after year teaches them anything beyond the simple observable fact that their family is a pack of liars is a mystery to me.

Comment by thebewilderness

Nice to be here. We evil-child-dream-slayers have got to stick together!

Ditto on the fish in a desert. Sometimes I feel that way even with the blogosphere. sigh.

Comment by allecto

“family is a pack of liars is a mystery to me.” Me too. I also wonder how if there aren’t more parents, secretly, wishing they didn’t go that route. I sat my dad down in 3rd grade and demanded to know the truth about Santa. He gave it to me, with a look of disappointment, almost shame. So odd.

And I know what you mean allecto. More like fish in the desert of Mars, right? But there are enough great words floating around to cushion the times of immense frustration (at least, for me–sincerely hope you don’t feel too alone!).

Comment by pisaquari

Ooh, this is my favourite Christmas post, Pisaquari.

Why adults want to lie to children is beyond me but it’s obviously very important to a lot of them. I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was about 4 because my mum got me to write a letter to him on Christmas Eve to say what presents I wanted and of course none of them materialised the next day. I don’t think she’d really got the hang of it.

I probably won’t have kids but if I did the idea of lying to them seems really strange. Glad to hear your sister has resisted the brainwashing too.

Comment by delphyne

“of course none of them materialised the next day.”
And just think of the hurtful class implications in that scenario. What is a kid supposed to think when not even Santa can give them their due presents for year long good behavior. Moreover when their friends with the richer mommies and/or daddies DO get the gifts what message does that send? Santa only likes the more financially well off kids? And then there is the immense pressure it places on parents whose kids are watching the same TV as the rest of the kids, being marketed the same expensive toys as the rest–these parents are being asked to fulfill the same wishlist as every other parent, with varying levels of financial ability.
It’s just so wtfwtfwtf. (nice to have you here delphyne!)

Comment by pisaquaririse

The idea of santa claus is riduculous! why? because it’s uncanny. here is some “jolly old fellow” in a mall, but he’s really some sick pedophile who gets his kicks from having children sit on his lap. furthermore, he is supposed to be safe and familiar, yet at the same time he invades your home and privacy while you sleep and consumes your cookies and milk (glutton he eats everybodies cookies). it’s defenitely not good that kids are fed ridulous fantasy which only hinder them in life, replacing reality with fantasy. personally im crushed inside when i see santa at the mall. i realize i sat on some strangers lap so my parents could take a ridiculous picture which im crying my eyes out in anyway. not cool

Comment by WACC

There’s a difference between encouraging original thinking which makes life better and more fun, and believing in fantasies which are partnered with harmful and destructive concepts. Amazingly enough, atheists can encourage imagination and and give their kids gifts for special occasions without forcing the kid to accept any underlying harmful ideas, so it’s not like the kid is going to miss out on anything good.

Really, these people are just mad that their lack of critical thinking skills and blind acceptance of prevailing idealogy was pointed out. And instead of simply admitting that you have a point and they are infalliably human prone to making errors in judgement, they retreat into defensiveness.

I’ve found that sometimes simply pointing out that it is human nature to not examine every idea carefully, and that it is reasonable to expect humans to make mistakes, helps a lot. The only “wrong” thing is to continue down a harmful path after the better alternative has been pointed out.

Hope that doesn’t sound bossy. My two cents.

Comment by m Andrea

I hadn’t even thought of the home invasion part WACC–good point–it also makes me think of the way kids are taught Santa is entitled to their affections. My parents get the biggest laughs over watching old Christmas videos wherein I tell Santa I’ve had enough! and the film just keeps rolling (UGH…and *welcome*).

That didn’t sound bossy m Andrea and I think it is good measure to make it known you (general) acknowledge human imperfection. The only problem I’ve encountered with this is people finding it further insulting that I say THEY are the ones lacking in critical analysis.
(PS–not so sure my family actually got *defensive*. With their power in numbers and shoutings over each other to be heard, it seemed they just took an opportunity, as they like to do, to indulge in taking someone down. Could be wrong but…)

Comment by pisaquaririse

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