Friday, December 31, 2010

Candy Cane'sLain

I have my alarmist pants hitched up high, and boy, I am going to need them for this post because I am geared up to overreact.
The papers have been loosely following a story that evolved over Christmas where a woman deposited a shrunken head toy and a ghastly skeleton wearing Santa clothes into the mailboxes of some Candy cane lane residents, Candy Cane lane being a neighborhood in Edmonton that is known for its fanciful Christmas decorations.

There are no reports of the woman's age, who apparently turned herself in later, but she is consistently referred to as a woman, so it seems reasonable to assume she is the age of majority, which is extra confusing because usually people get these kinds of stunts out of their system when they are young and ridiculous, and have no concept of consequences. To me, that is the most worrying aspect of this incident.

A rational person has a vague notion of what kind of consequence their actions will merit. Some are even reasonable enough to realize that it does not matter how much you beg, plead, argue, coerce or convince, people are going to do whatever they want to do, and there is no way some rambling two page letter about the "Santa lie" is going to convince them to change the habits they have obviously spent a lot of time and  money on. Therefore what exactly this woman was attempting to achieve is unclear. But whatever idea she had persisted through the planning, preparing, and execution of this stunt, even continuing on afterward, since she took a few days to turn herself in.

One of two things must hold; one she has such an incredible disconnect with the world that she formed some grandiose notion of the aftereffects of these actions that convinced her to expend the effort, or two she simply did not consider what would happen, and decided to enact the theory anyway. Both of these concepts, personally, indicate to me, a need for psychiatric intervention.

Are you serious? People do stupid things all the time!
That is entirely true, Dear Reader, or else twilight would not be successful. The problem, however, is in the nature of this incursion into people's personal spheres. She took it upon herself to "educate" these people. One thing education requires is that a person consider themselves superior to the student. She has no idea who these people are, knows nothing about them except that they decorate their homes for Christmas, but she considers herself above them. That is a pretty creepy notion.

She has not been charged with anything because the police insist she was breaking no laws but if they did not even expend some modest effort to charge her with something, it is mostly because they do not care that much  about the whole situation, which is fine. I think the police have better things to deal with than chase down people who think rubber fingers in mailboxes are a statement of something other than "I am a loony". However, I do think that this woman should be required to see a psychologist. At the very least so they can glean some good data out of her.

The final thought I would like to leave you with is one that I am shamelessly stealing from some errant commenter on the CBC website; what if this woman had been a Muslim? Her religion, which I assume she is atheist, has certainly not been a factor in this story at all, despite her attack on a christian holiday, but if she had identified as a prominent religion, how would the situation have been alternately perceived? Or if the homes had been a different religion celebrating a different holiday? Food for thought.


Anonymous said...

You're looking too far into this. She was probably trying to pull off something from the movie "the nightmare before Christmas"

She doesn't need to see anyone. And the Muslim thing,that's just cheap

Miss Ernst said...

A grown woman trying to emulate a claymation Halloween movie and you think she's all right in the head?

If imagining alternate situations caused you to think some bad things, well, that reveals something about your own prejudices, not mine.