For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Tuesday, 18 November 2003

WILL WIPO RESCUE SANTA CLAUS?

Ananova reports that Disney studio bosses are concerned about a new movie which shows Father Christmas drinking, stealing and chasing girls. "Bad Santa", starring Billy Bob Thornton, has been made by Disney subsidiary Miramax, the studio that also made Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill". In one scene, Santa says to a barmaid: "I'm an eating, drinking, f***ing Santa Claus!" "Prove it," she replies. The next scene shows Santa and the barmaid having sex in his car. In another scene, a child asks: "You are really Santa, right?" Santa responds: "No, I'm an accountant. I wear this as a f***ing fashion statement!" The Drudge Report says the film has caused "complete outrage" among senior Disney executives. "Nothing appears sacred, anymore, this is just not in the spirit of Walt Disney", a source close to Chief Executive Michael Eisner is quoted as saying.

The IPKat is not surprised that Santa Claus should be considered sacred by money-making Disney executives, even though he is pretty well devoid of significance in genuinely religious circles. A search of the Vatican website, for example, scored zero hits for "Santa Claus". Further, Google searches for "Santa Claus" + money yield around 155,000 hits, "Santa Claus" + sex give around 64,100 and "Santa Claus" + religion scores only around 48,700. More seriously, the IPKat notes that we are dealing here with the tarnishment of a fact-based fictional character who has brought untold happiness to millions of children. Perhaps WIPO's plans for the protection of traditional knowledge and folkore should be extended to cover cultural icons such as Santa Claus, whose value may be irretrievably damaged by such acts of cultural vandalism.

Santa Claus' history, current activities and death
Pagan Christmas Cult here; Santa Claus bank robbery here
Santa Claus jokes here and here
Twenty ways to confuse Santa Claus here


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