Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Down with the fat red capatalist!!??

Is the next Spanish-American War brewing?

Will Remember the Santa! now replace Remember the Maine?

Spain's Holiday Cry: Down With Santa!

What's the beef with Santa? In Spain, where manger scenes are still the Christmas holidays' major decoration, few feel the need to "put the Christ back in Christmas." But while Jesus's place remains secure, the three kings — the wise men who followed the Star of Bethlehem to his manger — may need some help. In Spain it is these three, who, upholding the tradition they began when delivering gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus's bedside, bring presents to children on the Epiphany, January 6.

The fat guy in the red suit who visits on Christmas Eve (Papa Noel as he is called here) is a foreign import, promoted by Hollywood and international companies eager to expand the gift season. And for many Spaniards, Santa — and the cultural imperialism he represents — must be stopped.

La Despensa, a local boutique marketing firm, appears to be leading the charge. The company's small band of Santa-detractors has blanketed the city with posters bearing slogans like "Down with the Fat Red Capitalist." They have issued a blunt manifesto (example: "Reindeers don't fly. Camels do walk. Enough already with the fraud.") and urged Kings' defenders to sign it. They have also filmed a rap video that features Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, in full bling, dropping lines like "Santa — you think you're on the crest of the ola [wave], but you're just product placement for Coca Cola" — which Spaniards can buy as a ringtone for their cell phones.