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Why does the lightbulb make that sound?

Syd wrote a blog post about Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer and his issues with the way the song and the television special deal with difference. You can read it here, but his main point is that because Rudolph is different he has to be extraordinarily useful in order to be accepted.

Now, I share some of Syd’s opinions. I don’t like the way Rudolph’s parents push for conformity and I am deeply disappointed in Santa for not loving Rudolph unconditionally—what is Santa for, if not that? But I interpret the end of the story much differently than Syd does.

It is not Rudolph who is redeemed (or any of the other “misfits”) in the story. He’s not accepted on the basis of extreme usefulness. The community feels his absence when he runs away. He’s welcomed back. It is after Rudolph comes back and the community has grown that his difference shines, so to speak. The community finds redemption and then Rudolph, simply by being who he is, ends up excelling.

I think the message is: be who you are and let the world change.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
jan_can_too
Dec. 16th, 2010 06:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
shadowsmark
Dec. 16th, 2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
It must be so exciting to read one's kid's thoughtful and provocative essays. What a gift to get such insight into their head. (My 10-year-old, though an exceptional reader, is still working on those writing skills--"I don't *have* an interesting conclusion!!" :)

I am also inclined to observe that I note a distinct familial continuity of style in Syd's prose!
jan_can_too
Dec. 16th, 2010 06:19 pm (UTC)
I am lucky to have Syd, truly. He rarely leaves anyone in any doubt about how he feels! I am complimented that you think I write like he does!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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