Tis the Season, Part 2

Christmas, like the Super Bowl, is that special time of the year, when we are bombarded by commercial after commercial for this or that must have, that play on our desperate needs and desires, and in doing so reflects back upon us the nature of our national character.

One assumes.

I, myself, am doubtful, but evidently there are those who think this of us, and are mirthfully exploiting that.

A stunning example is this year’s Mercedes Benz ode to the joy of receiving and never compromising, which differs fundamentally from previous Mercedes commercials played out in recent years. In the previous one, Santa visits his collection of classic Mercedes and heads out in the newest version of the sports car, red naturally, following a train of silver sedans, as reindeer and sleighs have become passe. He is the master of his domain.

The new one, titled “The Negotiation”, involves the time honored trope of Santa being found out by an adoring tike as he lays the presents under the tree. In past years this was a cutesy kind of encounter where the child plays nice and we all get that warm Christmasy vibe that makes us want to hug our children.

This one not so much.

In it, Timmy sneaks up and take Santa’s picture on his phone. Santa, not wanting his picture on social media, tries negotiating with Timmy, hence the title. Timmy then extorts Santa’s Mercedes.

Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas.

I’m certain whoever came up with this thought they were being clever and cute, and maybe they were, but let’s take a more jaundiced look, shall we. First, what happened to Santa? He surely isn’t the guy from the previous commercial gloating over his fine collection of cars. That Santa ain’t giving up his wheels to some punk! Ironically, this new Santa caves because he doesn’t want the world to see an unflattering picture of his big butt. Yes, this is what we’ve come to, body shaming Santa. And the kid sees no problem in this particular endeavor-forget that naughty or nice business-he wants that car! And, because extortion is perfectly legitimate-see Ukraine-why not extort the guy? The punchline, at the end with dad saying to mom as they watch the kid enjoying the spoils, is: “He was pretty good this year.” Which elicits more questions than answers.

Am I being a humbug here?

Probably.

Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas.

©2019 David William Pearce

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