December is nearly here and one question hangs heavy over the heads of knowledgeable Christmas celebrants from Bolinas to Bulongo – where will Santarchy strike next?
For those unfamiliar with this international cabal of white-bearded, alcohol-challenged revelers, Santarchy can mean the difference between “Season’s greetings!” and “Whoa! Lookout! Aieeeee!”
Never venture to ask what Santarchy really stands for. Depending on who you talk to or which Website you visit, you may be told in no uncertain terms that Santarchy is an international movement to protest the ever-increasing commercialization of Christmas.
Or you may be told there’s no such movement because real anarchists don’t have organized movements for, against or about anything.
Some will tell you that it’s all about how many reindeer can dance on the head of a pin and others will tell you it has something to do with how many reindeer you can herd down the aisle of your corner convenience market.
Last year, Santarchy paid a particularly splashy visit to Auckland, New Zealand, and left many stunned New Zealots ringing their hands and asking “Why? Why?” following a drunken Santa rampage.
(Please note, children, there is only one real Santa Claus, so 99.9 percent of these other guys had to be impostors.)
According to an Associated Press report from Dec. 16 last year, “A group of 40 people dressed in Santa Claus costumes, many of them drunk, rampaged through New Zealand’s largest city, robbing stores and assaulting security guards.
“The red-suited troublemakers reportedly threw beer bottles at passing cars, urinated off overpasses, overturned trash containers and raided a convenience market, shouting “Merry Christmas!” as they made their Santarchistic way back into the once peaceful night with beery booty.
Ho, Ho, Ho! Indeed…I know what some of you are thinking – “Hey, that’s New Zealand. The place is full of Tasmanian devils and, like, vampire sheep. What were you expecting – tea and crumpets at high noon?”
Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you’ve got a wrinkled red suit and a case of beer), the Santarchy phenomena is by no means limited to the fun-loving country of New Zealand.
Not at all, amigos.
If you do a little research, you’ll discover that chaotic celebrations purportedly linked to the Santarchy nonmovement have been observed in such far-flung locations as St. Louis, Bangkok, San Francisco (OK, OK, that was a given), and Ypsilanti.
There have been reports of dancing Santarchists, drunken Santarchists and even zombie Santarchists.
Singing Santarchists in St. Louis reportedly even tried a little caroling one year by attempting to perform the ever-popular “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” but only managed to alarm the citizenry by repeatedly bellowing “You better watch out! You better watch out! You better watch out! You better watch out!”
That, however, was then and this is now. Is Santarchy coming to your town this December?
You better watch out!
Originally published November 26, 2006