Belfast Telegraph

I’m with Korea on this one ... peace off Santa and Christmas

By Robert McNeil

I don’t do Christmas any more, since it was taken over by Satan and other leading financiers. You don’t need a degree in woodwork to work out that ‘Santa’ is a perversion of ‘Satan’, itself a corruption of Stan, known as Stan the Merciless, the evil deity worshipped in Mesopotamia and parts of Warwickshire.

Decent people everywhere are calling for Christmas to be banned, and I’m happy to support their protests. Admittedly, it’s not something I’ve thought through but when you consider that (a) I’ve never thought anything through before and (b) I’d ban most things, I think I’m on pretty safe ground logically.

Now, I think it’s fair to say that most children nowadays — particularly boys — are evil. This year, they’ll be demanding their usual haul of toy guns and violent computer games. Any decent parent would say to such nedlets: “I have intercepted your letter to Santa, and have disappointing news for you: you are going to prison for six months.” But decent, iron-willed parents are difficult to find nowadays

If we must have Christmas then, like everything else, it should be controlled by the State, with a ceiling set for the value of gifts, and severe punishment — perhaps the withdrawal of audio equipment — for those breaching the guidelines. You may find some of this harsh and be tempted to shout intemperately: “Why don’t you go and live in North Korea? You might like it better there.”

That is a good point, well made. However, there are several aspects of North Korean life that I’d dislike. For a start, I like to eat occasionally. And I disapprove of cycling, which is the dominant mode of transport there.

The other problem with Korea, N., is that it rarely follows through on its promises. Under News in Brief, you often read stories headlined: “Korea, N., threatens to destroy world.” And you think: “This should be interesting. I’ll keep an eye on this story.”

But it peters out miserably, and it turns out they were just joking.

However, the North Koreans weren’t laughing this week when their southern capitalist neighbours started erecting a 100ft metal Christmas tree on the border. Citizens in that part of the world tend to err on the gaudy side and, at the time of going to press, the plan is to switch on 100,000 lights, with the threat of blinding all life within a 10-mile radius.

Of course, the message of this gesture isn’t so much ‘Peace on earth’, as ‘Peace off’. Reportedly, the North is concerned the lights will be regarded as a sign of the South’s affluence: “They can afford light bulbs.” In a measured response, Korea, N, has threatened to blow up the world.

My own views is as follows. It would be a terrific shame if the world were to end on account of Christmas. Originally a pagan celebration of nature, Xmas was a low-key affair with some mixed nuts and a few human sacrifices. Today it’s completely out of hand.

Reports suggest one in three citizens of England and the Other Bits will take on debt to pay for gifts. Derek Clegg, or whatever the Prime Minister is called, must step in, banning the festival next year on a trial basis. He’d be pleasantly surprised at how much his popularity would soar.

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