SantaCon Is the Devil. We Apparently Created It. We Are So Sorry.


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One of the things we here at Mother Jones totally deserve group collective criticism for is being inadvertently responsible for New York City’s worst event of the year: SantaCon.

Atlas Obscura explains:

The original inspiration for SantaCon actually came from a 1977 article in Mother Jones about a four-day event organized by Solvognen, a socio-politically charged anarchist theater group in Denmark. Solvognen, literally “Chariot of the Sun,” took their name from Norse mythology and the name of a highly prized national artifact that represents a horse pulling the sun across the sky.

I hate SantaCon. I hate their vomit. I hate their attitudes. I hate their irascibility. I hate their piss-soaked costumes. I hate their souls. I hate them on a profound level. If I were the type of person who believed in letting people drown, these are the type of people I would let drown. I wish they would just go back to whatever hell they came from (Long Island? Staten Island? Murray Hill?). Their very existence in New York makes me wish we had never fleeced this land from the Native Americans.

SantaCon is just an excuse for people with severe emotional problems to get together and act extra out of control because they’re in a mob. It’s like if The Ox-Bow Incident were set at Christmas and filled with vomit. Or if the Stanford Prison Experiment were set at Christmas and, well, filled with vomit.

Being in public means being in public, and when you are in public dressed like Santa—drunk, covered in piss, shouting about some nonsense—you are ruining the experience of other people who happen to be in public. You are a selfish jerk.

I know what you’re going to say: “Oh, the fun police are here! Policing our fun!” I am not a member of the fun police. I am a member of the social contract, which dictates there are ways to act in public police. If you want to drink half a bottle of Jäger and piss yourself while shouting about some imaginary injustice you suffered playing Madden ’98 on Sega Dreamcast, go right ahead. But do it in your own home. Don’t do it in public. Being in public means being in public, and when you are in public dressed like Santa—drunk, covered in piss, shouting about some nonsense—you are ruining the experience of other people who happen to be in public. You are a selfish jerk.

What about Halloween or Saint Patrick’s Day, you say? Well, those days are awful too. They’re all just excuses for stupid people who lack the conviction to do what they want to do—be drunk and piss themselves—on a normal day. They need society to arbitrarily say it’s okay to be a stupid drunk with your stupid drunk friends this one day a year. If you were at least an honest asshole you’d let your sociopathic flag fly and be a stupid drunk with your stupid friends just because it’s a Tuesday! Or a Monday! Or Easter! On any given day you can win or you can lose, but if you do it because of an email blast saying other people are going to make it nominally socially acceptable, then you’re a coward. SantaCon is not legally binding. It’s not like The Purge but for bros to act out. You do you, bros. But just know that the fact that you’re doing your thing on the day when normal society has tried to cordon you off means you’re a sheep.

Society hates you.

I hate you, SantaCon. I hate you the way Eddie Murphy hated Alan Arkin when Arkin surprisingly won an Oscar for Little Miss Sunshine and Murphy lost for Dreamgirls. I hate you the way I hate people with poor posture, which many of you stupid Santas have, by the way. The religious say, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” I hate you the way the religious hate the sin.

Why are you the way you are? We could lay you on the couch and play the game psychology—Daddy wasn’t around! Mommy loved your sister more! You come from a long line of alcoholics with no shame and are just playing the part!—but we don’t have to. Ours is not to wonder why, ours is but to watch in horror as you stumble around drunk, secreting fluids on yourself.

I hope you all make it home alive this Saturday and don’t stumble into the street and drown in your own vomit, but Darwin suggests many of you should probably in fact stumble into the street and drown in your own vomit. I’ve been to the Galapagos. It has a lot of things. It does not have SantaCon.

There’s a line in Richard II where he’s about to be tossed from the throne by Bolingbroke and he says, “[Let’s] make dust our paper and with rainy eyes write sorrow on the bosom of the world.” Saturday, thousands of drunken bros will make snow their paper and with bleeding kidneys write sorrow on the bosom of our streets.

So anyway, have a great Saturday! (Have a great life!) Stay safe. And for our part in the creation of SantaCon, we’re eternally sorry.


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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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