(Warning: Language) Is Elf on the Shelf a secret plot to brainwash children into accepting a surveillance state?
Some people just can’t resist attempting to ruin Christmas by spreading FUD. To those people I dedicate the song “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” Since when has the magic of Christmas and all things wondrous and imaginary connected with it become something to be concerned about? I just read three articles — I’m sure there are more — that raise questions and concerns about “The Elf on the Shelf” toy that has become wildly popular since 2005. For instance:
When parents and teachers bring The Elf on the Shelf into homes and classrooms, are they preparing a generation of children to accept, not question, increasingly intrusive (albeit whimsically packaged) modes of surveillance? – From: “The Elf on the Shelf” and the normalization of surveillance – See more at: https://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/commentary/whos-boss#sthash.2FNUR8qB.dpuf
And this from The Creepy Surveillance of Elf on the Shelf:
The space of childhood is also the haven of things unseen, magic, enchantment, and endless possibility. Monsters could exist under your bed. Santa can deliver gifts to all children in only one night. And now, magical elves can report your naughtiness, so you better be nice. Surveillance is a dominant force in our world, so why wouldn’t Santa be implicated? Santa and his helpers seem to make the erosion of privacy comfortable and normal. In the name of family tradition and good behavior, what does The Elf on the Shelf ™ teach our children? Someone’s always watching, so act accordingly.
And this from Santa Claus and the Surveillance State:
It’s not just the Elf on the Shelf; children have been taught for centuries that dangerous authorities are watching and judging them. [Including Santa Claus and let’s not forget God and the other mythical gods of past civilizations. – Ed.]
He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake.
And that’s the whole point of the Elf on the Shelf, the bright-eyed, Kewpie-esque doll that millions of parents display around their homes in December as a reminder to children to behave. The elf, the story goes, is an agent reporting back to Santa Claus, and he’s tasked with documenting any seasonal misdeeds for his jolly boss.
You know what really scares me, what I find so creepy? It’s that people would actually buy into this bullshit. I didn’t turn into a happy slave to the surveillance state by being taught about — and one time believing in — Santa Claus and whatever else these misguided, paranoid people are concerned about. And I bet you didn’t either. If anyone can show me an example of one person they know who, having had a normal childhood steeped in Western tradition, now accepts and condones the surveillance actions of our criminal government “security” agencies (excepting, of course, the very idiots who are employed by said agencies), then I *might* be mildly interested in giving the issue an iota of concern.
I hope Santa has you on his “nice” list