When Robert L. May wrote the verse “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” in 1939 for a Montgomery Ward promotional children’s book, he created something of a phenomenon, particularly when his brother-in-law Johnny Marks turned it into a song in 1949, recorded by Gene Autry. Since then, Rudolph, has become one of the many plagues of Christmas, spawning everything from toys to TV specials to inane debates.
Many say that the point of the Rudolph story is that flaws can be turned into assets; however, in one of many holiday shopping moments spent being brutalized by musical Christmas glee, the following lyrics struck me:
Then one foggy Christmas Eve,
Santa came to say,
“Rudolph with your nose so bright,
Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”
Then how the reindeer loved him
The point of the song, therefore, seems to be “people who are different will be ridiculed until someone popular says they’re OK.” Or, perhaps, “you are nothing until you prove useful to the elite.”