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Nightmare before Christmas as metaphor

posted in: ethics, fusion, musings | 2

Once upon a time there was a character named Jack Skellington.

Jack was very very good at Halloween. Everyone looked to him for leadership because he was so good at it.

As time went on, Jack became bored of Halloween. He kinda felt like everything that could be done had been done, and he really wanted to try something new to spice things up.

He stumbled upon a town which celebrated something called Christmas. “What’s this?!” he exclaimed joyfully. It was something really different, and it looked fun and interesting. On the spot he decided to give that a try.

He took Christmas back to his friends, none of whom knew anything about Christmas. Jack himself really didn’t know much except what he thought it should maybe look like a bit (from his brief visit to the town), and some general ideas about the traditions. Armed with this spare information, they set to work on their version of Christmas.

They took it on with gusto! They trusted Jack’s instincts, and despite reservations and confusion, they plowed ahead with their attempts at something new. They did random experiments to try and see what it all meant, mixing and matching this and that to try and see what it would result in. They were scratching their heads, but kept pushing forward with innocent curiosity. “Making Christmas; time to give them something fun they’ll talk about for years to come!” It was all done from a place of genuine enthusiasm and desire to do something spectacular.

They poured everything they had into it. Jack even had a friend make him a version of a “Sandy Claus” costume for him to wear. Now that was authentic Christmas right there!

When all was said and done, things were kind of sort of vaguely something like Christmas, but really it was just this strange kludging together of Halloween and Christmas that didn’t quite work. In some ways it was completely horrifying how things were misinterpreted and misunderstood! But having done this from such a place of ignorance, they had no idea how wrong they were. And off Jack went in his sleigh to excitedly share his interpretation of Christmas with all the families of the Christmas world!

And it was a disaster. People were confused, terrified, and offended. And Jack and his minions couldn’t figure out why! They had read some books, made some costumes and toys, and decorated to a T (with rats and bats, even! Who doesn’t love rats and bats?!)! What could they have done wrong with all those bases covered…?

Perhaps it was just the lack of a basic understanding of the material?

Hrm…sounds so familiar…Can’t quite put my finger on it…

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Shay Moore is the director and primary instructor at Deep Roots Dance in Seattle, WA. She loves writing, movies, costuming, knitting, cooking, and bellydance to the moon and back again; and loves her amazing husband and doggies even more than that.

2 Responses

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    Great post. ­čÖé

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    Indeed it does!

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