Thursday, November 15, 2007

I always knew there was a hidden
agenda to all that holiday cheer

Given that I know kids who spent a good portion of their childhood being taunted on the playground with nicknames like “Sir Fats-a-Lot” and “Chubba the Hutt" (um ... not me, other people), I like to always be sensitive to situations that might make a kid feel ostracized. But I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that most children, even those of the non-Santa-believing variety, can get through a production of “Miracle on 34th Street” with an acceptably low number of emotional scars.

As you’ve may have heard, a Massachusetts middle school principal canceled a field trip to the show after a parent complained, saying that the play’s “basic theme is objectionable” to some members of the school community. At first I wasn't so sure which theme they were referring to: kindness, generosity, tolerance, the effectiveness of the U.S. Postal Service? Throw me a bone here.

Well, of course the offensive theme was Santa Claus, even though we can presume that kids of most backgrounds have probably heard of him by this point. And even non-Christians could probably walk away from the show with a more universal message than “Christianity, good; everything else, bad.” Just like people from all walks of life can still appreciate “Fiddler on the Roof” or “Buddha: The Musical.” (I just made that last one up, but it sounds like a good idea.)

But that’s apparently no longer the world we live in, so I decided I should probably dig out mylist of other offensive plays to avoid, for easy reference by other concerned middle school principals:
  • "Annie," offensive to orphans.
  • "Oliver," also orphans.
  • "Cats," to cats.
  • "My Fair Lady," Liverpudlians.
  • "Oklahoma," men named "Curly."
  • "The Sound of Music," Nazis. Also nuns.
  • "Grease," anyone with taste.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm, as a current resident of England I felt it necessary to google Liverpudlian to make sure that is a word. Indeed it is. Good going.

I Heard Tell said...

This post really made me laugh! I can't wait for Buddha: The Musical. It's going to be Zen-tastic.