Christmas

Elf on the Shelf Isn't Just Creepy, It's Teaching Kids to Accept Surveillance State

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The stop-motion animation TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer recently celebrated its 50th anniversary with a weeknight airing on CBS. I showed the film to my two young daughters, hoping to enjoy an hour of peace and quiet to myself, but instead found myself consistently peppered with questions about why the reindeer were such petty bullies, why Frosty the Snowman (voiced by Burl Ives) busted out into a song about "Silver and Gold," and why after Rudolph ran away from home, his father forbid his mother to help in the search for her lost child because it was "man's work."

Times have changed, thankfully, but I could at least shrug off this truly unpleasant excuse for entertainment as my flawed but earnest attempt at maintaining some kind of holiday tradition. The thing has aired for 50 straight years, after all.

Creepy
Dennis Goedegebuure/Flickr

Apparently longevity is no longer required to earn the title of "Christmas tradition," as evidenced by the Elf on the Shelf. Though it's only been around since 2005, first as a book and then as a toy, the creepy side-eyed gnome has spied and informed on millions of kids to an unaccountable power broker at the North Pole. According to the product description: 

The Elf on the Shelf®: A Christmas Tradition includes a special scout elf sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists. When a family adopts a scout elf and gives it a name, the scout elf receives its Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Santa Claus about all of the day's adventures. Each morning, the scout elf returns to its family and perches in a different place to watch the fun. Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for their scout elf each morning. 

None of this is too far removed from the Stasi-meets-stalker lyrics to "Santa Claus is Coming to Town":

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake

You better watch out, you better not cry
You better not pout, I'm telling you why

Dr. Laura Elizabeth Pinto, a digital technology professor at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, thinks Elf on the Shelf poses a criticial ethical dilemma. In a paper for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Pinto wonders if the Elf is "preparing a generation of children to accept, not question, increasingly intrusive (albeit whimsically packaged) modes of surveillance."

Sensing that she might come off as a humorless paranoid crank, Pinto clarified her position to the Washington Post:

"I don't think the elf is a conspiracy and I realize we're talking about a toy. It sounds humorous, but we argue that if a kid is okay with this bureaucratic elf spying on them in their home, it normalizes the idea of surveillance and in the future restrictions on our privacy might be more easily accepted." (Emphasis mine).

One could argue that the millions of adults walking around with NSA-trackable and criminal-hackable smartphones in their pockets are far more influential than a seasonal doll in setting the example to the next generation that surveillance is inevitable and Big Brother is not to be feared. Still, Pinto has a point when she writes:

What The Elf on the Shelf represents and normalizes: anecdotal evidence reveals that children perform an identity that is not only for caretakers, but for an external authority (The Elf on the Shelf), similar to the dynamic between citizen and authority in the context of the surveillance state.

Bonus explainer video below:

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  1. …why the reindeer were such petty bullies

    You know, I’ve wondered about that myself a couple of times. In fact, I’ve wondered why when all the other reindeer are singing his praises about how he’ll go down in history, he didn’t just tell them to fuck off, since they treated him like shit all that time.

    1. It’s called being the bigger person.

      1. Bigger reindeer.

        1. It takes a big man to cry in public. It takes an even bigger man to make that man cry.

      2. It’s every uncool kindergartener’s fantasy – that they will do something amazing and suddenly all the mean kids in their class will love them.

  2. What’s really creepy is that I’d swear that photo was taken in my dining room.

    iPhones in every pocket aside, if a doll on the shelf less than a month every year and a centuries old tradition of a jolly fat man watching from the North Pole undoes my decades of parenting, shoot me now.

    1. Also, are you trying to heat the whole neighborhood? Close the window!

      And get off my lawn!

  3. ut instead found myself consistently peppered with questions about why the reindeer were such petty bullies, why Frosty the Snowman (voiced by Burl Ives) busted out into a song about “Silver and Gold,” and why after Rudolph ran away from home, his father forbid his mother to help in the search for her lost child because it was “man’s work.”

    Public schools 1, Tony Fisher 0.

    1. What’s worse is he hasn’t taught his kids to stop being annoying during movies and TV shows.

      Then again, there’s noting more annoying to a child than having his parents force their old traditions upon them.

    2. Because silver and gold are real money, that’s why.

      1. He was going on about, silver and gold, because he was a commie rat!

    3. Actually, he wiffs on the bad point of Rudolph. It isn’t when the other kids (reindeer) are petty and cruel. That’s what kids do. And it is a normal and expected feature of storytelling for children.

      The bad point is when the teacher/coach endorses the ostracism and says Rudolph isn’t allowed to play any more reindeer games. And then Santa comes along and says “Shame on you” to Rudolph’s father. Holy crap.

      It could be taken as a nice argument against public schools, I suppose.

  4. I am very disapointed in any kid that doesn’t stick one of these things in a box in the closet.

    1. I am very disapointed in any kid that doesn’t eventually stick one of these things in a box in the closet.

      You put it out of reach and touching the Elf gets you on the naughty list, costs you MP, AND causes angels to lose their wings.

      Eventually they can reach it and put it away. Until then it’s fun as hell to change stoplights, open garage doors, and lock cars with your mind.

  5. I don’t think anyone considers the Elf on a Shelf to be a surveillance thing. You just put it in a weird place and take a picture and maybe your kid finds it. My daughter is three and knows Santa Claus is just pretend.

    This strikes me as a wee tad hypersensitive.

    1. Overreacting? Maybe. But it doesn’t set a great precedent.

      Lies We Tell Kids
      http://www.paulgraham.com/lies.html

      1. I read to about;

        Adults lie constantly to kids. I’m not saying we should stop, but I think we should at least examine which lies we tell and why.

        and stopped. If you haven’t done this before conception and probably marriage, you should. And if you have or didn’t and it’s too late; a web article shouldn’t or won’t change things for you one iota.

        1. I read it for the first time during my first few years of college, and that seemed to be the right time for me…recently made a big jump in independence from my parents, learning more about how the world works, etc.

          So I guess it hit close to home for me.

      2. The opening to that piece is all over the place. What is the thesis?

        1. Really? I’ve found most of his writing to be pretty linear.

          Basically it’s looking at what parents and society tell kids and why – to protect them, to squash dissent, to keep them innocent, etc.

          And this is an essay, in the traditional sense. So, it’s going to be difficult to find a thesis. The idea isn’t to make a claim and to defend it, it’s to put thoughts to paper and see where they lead you.

          But to summarize, for each lie we tell kids there’s a time to stop lying, we can over do it, and as people mature it can be difficult to untangle the lies we were told growing up from how the world actually works.

          And when this isn’t done correctly(exposing them to ugly truths too early or protecting them too late), it can be a possible source of the angst we see in teenagers today. They can sense that society isn’t telling them the whole story. And this has happened relatively recently. Historically, the mistake may have been exposing children to a harsh world too early. These days, we may be erring to the opposite extreme and protecting our kids for too long.

    2. “Kevin47|12.18.14 @ 5:52PM|#

      I don’t think anyone considers the Elf on a Shelf to be a surveillance thing”

      THATS RIGHT. NO ONE THINKS THAT.

      (jiggles dials on supercomputer)

      NO ONE SUSPECTS A THING. NOW BACK TO YOUR TOY WRAPPING AND EGG NOG. DRINK PLENTY OF EGG NOG. IF YOU FEEL DIZZY AND YOU START TO QUESTION YOUR REASONS FOR SPENDING SO MUCH MONEY ON NEW TECHNOLOGY ITEMS FOR YOUR HOME, DRINK MORE EGG NOG. ASLO, DO NOT GET ELF ON SHELF WET OR THERE IS A RISK OF FIRE (SELF DESTRUCTION). MERRY XMAS AND HAPPY FREEDOM FOR AMERICA

      1. Okay, but I have never heard the surveillance thing until now. I understood it to be “put the elf somewhere high and take a picture”.

        1. CORRECT. PUT THE ELF SOMEWHERE HIGH. BECAUSE SATELLITE RECEPTION ISFUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY AND A GREAT CONVERSATION STARTER. ALSO = KEEP IT AWAY FROM DOGS. DOGS WHICH SENSE A FOREIGN PRESENCE IN THE HOME. AND MAY THEMSELVES BE AGENTS OF THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT THROUGH THEIR PROGRAM OF DOG INDOCTRINATION AND SUBVERSION TECHNIQUES. HOLIDAY JOYS TO ALL

          1. “DO NOT KICK ‘HAPPY FUN BALL’….”

  6. Dr. Laura Elizabeth Pinto, a digital technology professor at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, thinks Elf on the Shelf poses a criticial ethical dilemma. In a paper for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Pinto wonders if the Elf is “preparing a generation of children to accept, not question, increasingly intrusive (albeit whimsically packaged) modes of surveillance.”

    There was a time when this kind of stuff was the exclusive domain of God however you defined it. It wasn’t real in the really real sense, but to the faithful, it was enough to teach kids that there were consequences to their actions– even if those consequences were felt in the afterlife.

    1. I agree. In a metaphysical sense this theme is thousands of years old, and an underpinning of many ancient religious doctrines. Santa is just the child’s primer version of that theme, and the Elf just a toy extension if it. The fact that surveillance technology increasingly echoes the theme in a more mundane sense is hardly novel.

  7. Kinda reminds me of the Penn & Teller’s Bullshit episode where Penn examines “The Wheels on the Bus” for Nostradamus-like clues. The bit went on way too long for its potential humor value, but there’s an easy parallel to this article.

    This was a joke, right?

  8. Someone really doesn’t want to be on the naughty list, I guess.

  9. (voiced by Burl Ives)

    You won’t live with mendacity, but you’re an expert at it

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ncFrg9afa8

  10. If your kid is dumb enough to actually believe the elf is watching them, you ought to be surveilled.

    1. Why not just equip it with a security camera, like this spy bear:

      http://www.amazon.com/Teddy-Be…..B005EYGLRI

  11. Is Krampus propaganda to butter up Germans for the Gestapo and Stasi?

  12. The solution is free trade with Santa. Only then will the elves rebel against his tyranny.

  13. I find that the elf, by itself, isn’t enough to normalize a lifetime of intrusive surveillance and a security state. I dress up our elf in body armor and a balaclava. If the kids are bad, the elf, with a whole Cadre of dinosaurs with lego MRAPs in tow, show up in their rooms at 3 in the morning. That sends the message a little more clearly, don’t you think?

  14. First of all this article is retarded. Second, I ruined Rudolf for my kids when I pointed out that the moral is that its bad to be different. And that Rudolfs dad is a dick.

    1. I pointed out that the moral is that its bad to be different.

      … I think that was exactly the opposite of the intended message. Rudolph eventually is celebrated for his difference when it saves Christmas, and uses his new found status to create acceptance for the misfit toys.

      Both Rudolph’s dad and Santa are both pricks though. Santa in particular. Wants nothing to do with the kid until precisely when it can benefit himself.

  15. Its good training for a surveillance state. Your kids are being taught to keep a sharp eye out for people lurking and watching them.

    1. Im more concerned with metal detectors, locker searches and strip searches in public schools along with zero tolerence everything than with parents having a little fun with their kids.

    2. Have you seen the various ads lately for in-home surveillance (I want to say it’s an Xfinity ad), like the mom watching her daughters come home while she is at work? Very creepy to me. Ultimately helicopter parents will be able to have – will have – a drone following their kids constantly.

    3. Yes it is. The second record album I ever bought, when I was 14 was “Diamond Dogs” by Bowie.

      You’re just an ally of the leecher.
      Locator for the Virgin King,
      but I love you in your fuck-me pumps
      And your nimble dress that trails
      Oh, dress yourself, my urchin one,
      for I hear them on the stairs
      Because of all we’ve seen,
      because of all we’ve said
      We are the dead

      DD is mostly a “1984” tribute album, but Bowie setting it to song is a blast. In some ways I welcome our new tyrants just to get that feeling again.

    4. +1 see something, say something.

  16. Though it’s only been around since 2005…

    WRONG. Read your Gospels of Luke and Matthew. Mary used the Elf upon thy Shelf to control Jesus all the time. (Apocryphal texts flesh out the rules.)

    1. He turned out ok. Other than being an alcoholic and a racist.

      1. Hey, no one’s perfect…

    2. Pretty soon Eve was all “Tree of knowledge this, tree of knowledge that…” She wouldn’t shut up about the Tree of Knowledge.

  17. Lighten up Francis.

  18. Who the fuck would buy one of those in the first place? Hey, son or daughter, I’m going to put some minion of Santa to watch over what you do every second! Don’t pick that nose or sneak a piece of candy!

    It seems utterly creepy in the first place to me, let alone any ramifications of it training your kid to accept the surveillance state.

    1. It’s all bullshit anyway. Everybody knows the minions of Santa have four arms, not two.

      1. X-Mas Elves: We are free and fairly sober/With so many toys to build/The machines are kinda tricky/Probably someone will be killed/But we gladly work for nothing

        Fry: Which is good because we don’t intend to pay

        Fry, Turanga Leela, X-Mas Elves: The elves are back to work today. Hooray!

        1. I love non-union shops. *Adjusts monocle*.

  19. “Kids are great- you can teach em to hate what you hate, and they practically raise themselves!”

    -Homer Simpson

  20. ? Up on the house top Santa snoops!
    Listening in for traitors and dupes!
    Tapped phone lines and broken codes!
    Keeping track of your downloads!
    Oh ho ho! Who would know?
    Oh ho ho! Who would know?
    Up on the house top who would know?
    Off to prison you shall go!

  21. Uh, no. Kids grown, we’d never have bought one.

    BUT. We did have one “fuckin’ with the kids a little.”

    One Christmas, we brought down three wise men figures my mom had at her house and set them on a table. My son (forget how old he was – 3? 4?) was AMAZE BALLS. “How did they GET here?” “Um, they travel Christmas night and come down from grandma’s house to see you!”

    So, of course, every year for a few years….

    She eventually gave him the three wise men when we caught on a couple years later 🙂

    THE END

    1. when “he” caught on – my wife and I figured it out by New Years the first year…

  22. Fisher is reading way too much into this.

  23. OK, my wife frequently accuses me of thinking the world is out to get me, and seeing conspiracies everywhere, but I think this time I’m right: You guys are all trolling me, right? Cause there’s no way we’re making an actual big deal about the freaking elf. Seriously. You move the thing around, and sometimes have it do cute stuff. Your kids think its funny. They don’t actually believe the thing reports to Santa, or the NSA, they just think its funny. Trust me, it’s ok to do things that your kids think is a bit funny. They’ll recover. I come here for a break from the stupid-ass-ness…Please for God’s sake, don’t take that away from me…(Now, if you tell me these things are sold with mics and cameras in them, and send info to Utah, that I’ll believe, and I’ll crush the damn thing’s head).

    1. Tonight after the kids go to bed, look deep into the elf’s evil, collaborating eyes and ask yourself, “Do you feel lucky”. Well do you, punk?

  24. Huh. I’ve never even heard of the elf on the shelf. Seems a little weird, but as harmless as the whole Santa thing.

    1. Santa harmless????!! Where do you think the “Free Stuff” meme gets started?

  25. Yeah as someone who does believe in Christ and God (go ahead and snort), I hate Santa Claus and this Elf on the Shelf is the final nail IMHO.

    Christmas is about celebrating the greatest gift ever, the gift of eternal salvation through a savior, Christ, who shouldered the burden of the sins that all fallen men and women commit, given they accept him as lord.

    Secondarily, Christmas is about giving like Christ gave to us, and it’s about giving like the wise men gave to Christ.

    Santa is really bullshit and obfuscates the entire point of Christmas.

    Believing in Christ is a very very difficult challenge and parents who promote Santa someday have to confront their children with the truth. This elf is even worse if it is promoted that he flies around the world every night.

    I think children would be way better off if they were explained to at a young age that Santa doesn’t give them gifts, their parents give them gifts because their parents love them.

    It would be a way better way to initiate in them the joy that comes with giving to those that we love.

    /end rant

    1. “Believing in Christ is a very very difficult challenge and parents who promote Santa someday have to confront their children with the truth. This elf is even worse if it is promoted that he flies around the world every night.”

      This is atheist trolling, right?

  26. Yeah as someone who does believe in Christ and God (go ahead and snort), I hate Santa Claus and this Elf on the Shelf is the final nail IMHO.

    Christmas is about celebrating the greatest gift ever, the gift of eternal salvation through a savior, Christ, who shouldered the burden of the sins that all fallen men and women commit, given they accept him as lord.

    Secondarily, Christmas is about giving like Christ gave to us, and it’s about giving like the wise men gave to Christ.

    Santa is really bullshit and obfuscates the entire point of Christmas.

    Believing in Christ is a very very difficult challenge and parents who promote Santa someday have to confront their children with the truth. This elf is even worse if it is promoted that he flies around the world every night.

    I think children would be way better off if they were explained to at a young age that Santa doesn’t give them gifts, their parents give them gifts because their parents love them.

    It would be a way better way to initiate in them the joy that comes with giving to those that we love.

    /end rant

  27. You do realize the Elf on the Shelf is a Christmas thing, right? As in Christmas, the celebration of the birthday of Jesus, the guy whose all-seeing, all-knowing dad has been up there watching you jerk off for 6,000 years?

    1. Yes, I realize It’s a Christmas thing. I realize you probably think that God and the Elf are effectively the same thing.

      I’m saying that Santa and this elf are not at all Christian and obfuscate the meaning of Christmas.

      Santa and the Elf, just by association with Christmas, do not enhance Christmas when Children are lied to about their nature.

      Take Christmas trees for example, they don’t really have anything to do with Jesus’ birth, but I don’t think parents are telling sensationalized lies to their children about Christmas trees.

      If you find out at age X that your parents bullshitted you about Santa / the elf, It is going to be that much harder for them to have faith in any deity because it can’t be seen and it can’t be heard.

      1. “If you find out at age X that your parents bullshitted you about Santa / the elf, It is going to be that much harder for them to have faith in any deity because it can’t be seen and it can’t be heard.”

        And if you find out your parents were bullshitted about this deity, as their parents were before them…?

        Not seeing where the faith you referenced above is in itself a net positive.

    2. You’ve been jerking off for 6,000 years?

  28. The 1964 Rudolph special is a product of its time. Rudolph, Hermie the Elf who doesn’t like making toys and wants to be a dentist, and the Island of Misfit Toys…I’m surprised CBS doesn’t precede it with a “trigger warning” nowadays.

    ..and Elf on the Shelf is a product of its time, unfortunately.

    1. The 1964 Rudolph special is timeless. It’ll be around for another 50 years. The elf, not so much.

      1. With all its misfits wallowing in their misfitness, I blame the Rudolph special for starting identity politics. That and the pathetic little tree in the Charlie Brown special.

        Frosty the Snowman teaching kids it’s okay to steal magic hats from grown ups and steal rides on freight trains. All the Whos down in Whoville wallowing in their poverty and singing songs of celebration even after the heartless capitalist robbed them. And the Grinch was green too, just like money.

        On the other hand, Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town was clearly designed to get kids to question the War on Drugs. Toys = drugs, the Burgermeister Meisterburger = Richard Nixon.

        The USSR itself couldn’t have designed better propaganda to undermine the free world.

        (this is snark, I like those old Christmas specials…now enough with the paranoia about the elf) 😉

  29. I don’t think it desensitizes kids to the surveillance state at all.

    How is this any different anyway than when parents used to sing about Santa knowing if you’d been bad or good anyway?

    We have an elf, he does funny things (recently our vehicles ended up parked in the yard, another night he tossed the dirty laundry all around the living room, another morning we found out that elfs don’t flush the toilet and elf pee is green (thankfully the food coloring didn’t stain anything!)…). That’s what its about at least for us. Our daughter loves waking up and seeing what her elf got into this time.

    I think Dr Pinto is reading way too much into this.

    1. You’re teaching the ked that elves are Bad, huh?

  30. “Sensing that she might come off as a humorless paranoid crank”

    Yep, sometimes people do come off as what they are.

  31. You better do as you are told, and don’t think you can sneak and get away with it. There is an invisible man who spies on you, sees everything you do, knows everything you think and he will punish you if you don’t obey.

    I have often thought that many just plain atheists are people who were good people, not because they were afraid of punishment, but simply because they were good people. They saw through that bullshit and decided they didn’t need to be spied on to keep from lying, raping, stealing and murdering. Unfortunately those people are a small minority of the human race.

    1. One would hope atheists wouldn’t be stupid enough to think that Christian morality is understood by everyone to be followed merely for fear of punishment. Atheists don’t read Kant?

      1. I was talking about the ones who don’t need fear of punishment. The religion thing is just the other side of the statist coin.

        I was really talking about the difference between people that think everyone needs a police state and the ones who can’t figure out why anyone would think we do. The fans of the police state are the ones who would engage in mayhem and debauchery the minute they thought they could get away with it and they project that onto everyone else. The ones who aren’t like that become libertarians or just non-political (atheists in my example)

  32. When a family adopts a scout elf and gives it a name, the scout elf receives its Christmas magic and can fly to the North Pole each night to tell Santa Claus about all of the day’s adventures.

    Wouldn’t it be easier for the elf to just text a report to Santa?

    1. Or just leave a ‘Don’t stop here’ note on the chimney.

  33. Creepy indeed Downright scary.

    http://www.TheAnonBay.tk

    1. He doesn’t like you and I don’t like you either. You just watch yourself. We’re wanted men. I have the death sentence on twelve systems.

  34. A good rule of thumb: if someone goes on about words or images “normalizing” something bad, they’re probably wannabe censors and full of shit.

    I suppose such an effect is possible, but it seems like every time I hear that word, it’s some bluenosed tear-squeezer (of the left or right) whining about violence in movies or video games, or sex on TV, or gender roles in fairy tales, or rape jokes, or whatever. Please, just because libertarians are worried about surveillance doesn’t mean we have to buy into that mindset.

    Look at it this way: worrying about “normalizing” actually normalizes the statist mindset that all artistic and cultural expression must be forced to “send the right messages.” So there.

    You don’t like the elf? Don’t get an elf, but leave other people alone.

  35. The Jews want in on the surveillence too. “Philladelphia Magazine” had a story on a toy for them: The Mensch on the Bench.” It’s a creepy looking rabbi dude probably making sure there’s no bacon being consumed in the house!

  36. And this is different from the Christian God … how? According to Christianity as commonly understood, God also conducts 24/7 surveillance and then decides whether to consign you to the fires of hell or let you live in paradise.

  37. You are absolutely right to wet your pants over this elf. It’s awful and will only lead to Four Loco drinking and teenagers shoving synthetic refers up each other’s rectums to get high.

  38. This is the kind of shit that’s going to end up in a Salon parody of libertarianism some day, right next to Randroids lecturing Salvation Army bell ringers about the immorality of charity and children dying on the way to the hospital because the ambulance driver hasn’t paid the private road operator. Only now we can’t say “That’s ridiculous, no libertarian actually believes that”.

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    hop over to here ========== http://www.jobsfish.com

  40. I saw the cited article linked on Drudge and am disappointed to see it linked here in the supportive manner which Mr. Fisher gives it rather than with the ridicule it deserves. Good God, Mr. Fisher, you are a humorless ass. Merry Christmas, and I hope you haven’t already spoiled the fun of the holidays for your daughters by insisting that they understand that there is no Santa Claus, it is actually you who buys the presents. I hope you never told them that they would be on the ‘naughty list’ if they don’t behave, because doing so would make you a hypocrite. And if you didn’t do such a thing because you think it would condition them to a surveillance state, well, you’re just nuts.

  41. Dogs know the truth!

    http://2t4y703efn992y2nurahx0p…..2058_n.jpg

  42. Anthony, you ignorant slut. Burl Ives voices Sam the Snowman who sings Silver and Gold about decorations, not monetary policy. He does not voice Frosty the Snowman. Frosty isn’t even in the Rudolph show. Maybe tell your kids to shut the fuck up during the show and when it’s over teach them that not all snowmen are named Frosty. Have you heard the fucking Frosty song? Children dance around him and march with him down the streets of town, encountering a traffic cop. Did you see any fucking children, streets, or traffic cops in the Rudolph story? Oh you didn’t? Could it be that’s because they aren’t fucking there? It’s Christmas Town, you dumb fuck! It’s the commune of elves who until recently didn’t even have a functioning dentist’s office!

    If there is anything to complain about in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer it’s that Yukon Cornelius thinks he discovered a peppermint mine. Even if such a thing existed (peppermint is a plant, not a mineral) Yukon struck that find right outside of Santa’s castle in Christmas town. He would have no mining rights there unless he paid for them, assuming logically that Santa owns the property. Yukon probably dropped his pickaxe on a discarded candy cane. Stupid ginger needs to get his ass back out there, this time with actual sled dogs instead of poodles and Yorkshire terriers who might be able to pull a sled instead of riding along on top of it, and find some fucking gold and silver, silver and gold.

  43. If people are like, OMG, this teaches kids to get used to too much surveillance, blah blah.. obviously aren’t aware of the idea of God is always watching.. that brings me to my main argument. If we’re going to go after the makers of this toy, we should go after the catholic church too.

  44. If Dr. Pinto is a parent, I’m hoping she’s never taken the kids to a church…

  45. Wow. People get so bent out of shape over everything anymore. You just can’t let anything be fun and leave it at that. I have an Elf on the Shelf here and my 8 year old LOVES it! First thing she does in the morning when she wakes up is race around the house looking to see where it is! She takes a picture of it every morning. That’s a bunch of BS about it normalizing the idea of surveillance. Geezus. Get a freaking life! The Christmas songs happily sing, “He knows when you are sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows when you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!” I don’t think any of us who grew up singing that and believing in Santa (and “knowing” he was watching us) feel a normalization towards surveillance. So stop being so paranoid. Remove the tin foil from around your house, off your windows, off your head….and just let the little ones have some fun before they have to grow up and become an adult and deal with paranoid, fear-mongering adults who want everything to be so PC that you can’t breathe anymore.

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