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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:05 pm 
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Andrew brings this week's case against his wife Alex. The birth of their first child last year made real a long-running dispute which had been hypothetical up until that point: should parents foster a belief in Santa Claus? Andrew says no -- he believes perpetuating the Santa myth damages parents' credibility, and he doesn't appreciate a fictional character getting the glory for bringing the best gifts. Alex says yes -- she claims Andrew is unable to appreciate the joy Santa brings to children because he grew up without the belief himself. Who is right? Judge John Hodgman decides.

Thanks again to The Cave in Long Island City, New York for generously allowing us to use their recording facilities this week and to engineer Marcus Parks. The Cave hosts several comedy podcasts, and you can find them at CaveComedyRadio.com.

Judge John Hodgman Ep. 88: Probable Claus


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:01 am 
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I recently discovered Krampusnacht and I think it really needs to be a bigger deal in the US.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:03 am 
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this passage by Chuck Palahniuk kept running through my mind during the episode, for whatever it is worth:
==
“By first believing in Santa Claus, then the Easter Bunny, then the Tooth Fairy, Rant Casey was recognizing that those myths are more than pretty stories and traditions to delight children. Or to modify behavior. Each of those three traditions asks a child to believe in the impossible in exchange for a reward. These are stepped-up tests to build a child's faith and imagination. The first test is to believe in a magical person, with toys as the reward. The second test is to trust in a magical animal, with candy as the reward. The last test is the most difficult, with the most abstract reward: To believe, trust in a flying fairy that will leave money.

From a man to an animal to a fairy.

From toys to candy to money. Thus, interestingly enough, transferring the magic of faith and trust from sparkling fairy-dom to clumsy, tarnished coins. From gossamer wings to nickels... dimes... and quarters.

In this way, a child is stepped up to greater feats of imagination and faith as he or she matures. Beginning with Santa in infancy, and ending with the Tooth Fairy as the child acquires adult teeth. Or, plainly put, beginning with all the possibility of childhood, and ending with an absolute trust in the national currency. ”


― Chuck Palahniuk, Rant


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:46 pm 
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Judge Hodgman's Justice Squad
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Kudos to the judge for a responsible ruling on an emotionally charged case. I have to admit that I almost didn't want to listen to this one because of my fiercely pro-Santa stance. However, the Judge's well-thought-out final statement and reasonable approach to compromise between the two sides made me rethink my feelings on this one. Years hence, I hope this case will help us decide how to approach the Santa question.

I was told that Santa wasn't real, like so many others, on the bus, and ran home crying to my mom. I was very young at the time, and she could see that the idea of Santa not existing was very troubling to me. She made what I think was a good decision in reassuring me, a la the New York Sun, that he was indeed real. She said that those big kids on the bus were only telling me that to be mean (which was not a lie), and told me to tell them that they were full of it. So I continued believing for several more years, until I discovered the truth on my own through Calvin & Hobbes comics (which I had read many times before) where the mom and dad made veiled references to the reality of Santa. By the time I was old enough to get those subtle jokes, I was old enough to handle the nonexistence of Santa, so it wasn't a big deal. So, on the basis of this anecdotal evidence, I disagree that it is necessary to tell your child the truth when he or she asks outright. I think that eventually, there comes a time when one can handle the truth about Santa without it being a traumatic event.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:47 am 
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jessekillerkay wrote:
this passage by Chuck Palahniuk kept running through my mind during the episode, for whatever it is worth:
==
“By first believing in Santa Claus, then the Easter Bunny, then the Tooth Fairy, Rant Casey was recognizing that those myths are more than pretty stories and traditions to delight children. Or to modify behavior. Each of those three traditions asks a child to believe in the impossible in exchange for a reward. These are stepped-up tests to build a child's faith and imagination. The first test is to believe in a magical person, with toys as the reward. The second test is to trust in a magical animal, with candy as the reward. The last test is the most difficult, with the most abstract reward: To believe, trust in a flying fairy that will leave money.

From a man to an animal to a fairy.

From toys to candy to money. Thus, interestingly enough, transferring the magic of faith and trust from sparkling fairy-dom to clumsy, tarnished coins. From gossamer wings to nickels... dimes... and quarters.

In this way, a child is stepped up to greater feats of imagination and faith as he or she matures. Beginning with Santa in infancy, and ending with the Tooth Fairy as the child acquires adult teeth. Or, plainly put, beginning with all the possibility of childhood, and ending with an absolute trust in the national currency. ”


― Chuck Palahniuk, Rant


The Tooth Fairy as a man?!? In my childhood she was always a woman.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:37 pm 
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I discovered the horrible truth around 5 from older kids at Sunday School. Ruined my enjoyment of both Santa and church.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:56 pm 
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This was the worst episode ever. What the hell is wrong with you people? 8 years of fun and happiness for the child and family is not worth the 1 hour that a kid is going to be upset when they find out? Its not about lying to your kid. Kids arent thinking this whole thing through like you are when youre trying to sound all smart. They just want to have fun. Now you are burdening them with not telling other kids what they know - which they wont - and they will ruin it for kids and families who want to enjoy the traditions and fun. I have usually found a way to agree with the rulings but this is retarded.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:56 pm 
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Always the first post people, isn't it?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:47 am 
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Jesse wrote:
Always the first post people, isn't it?

Yea. I started to respond, but when I noticed that it was his first post, I just let it drop.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:19 am 
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I'm very sad that the Hogfather was never mentioned, but I also think that a proper soft answer to the question of Santa's existence needs to be ready for when the time comes. I personally did my own detective work as a child and recognized my mother's hand-writing on the tags from Santa. When I confronted her about it, she explained that she was his assistant elf and now that I had made the discovery, it was my turn to play Santa for someone else. We chose one of the old ladies from my grandmother's Christmas card list and made up a stocking of goodies for her. The USPS office insisted that we put a return address on it, so we did get the surprised response back from her that she mistaken in thinking she was too old to get a visit from Santa. This was a valuable lesson for me that gifting isn't always about receiving, but finding delight in sharing.

Thank you to Judge Hodgman and the Maxfun staff for sharing yourselves for our delight.


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