If you have ever wondered if there was someone who was so woke he would foreclose on Santa’s workshop the week before Christmas or shame Mrs. Claus on social media for putting on a few extra pounds over the holidays, we’ve found him: Columbia University professor Brian Kahn, who believes the annual tradition of lighting the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Plaza in New York is just too much of a nod to capitalism that it needs to be cancelled. Immediately.
Calling it emblematic of a “toxic relationship” with nature and unfettered capitalism, Kahn wants this year’s lighting to be the end of a tradition that started in 1933. “This year’s tree is also perfectly poised to reflect something more than our national mood: It reflects the absolutely toxic relationship we have with the natural world and the need to rapidly reverse course. If this year’s tree sees any justice, it’s that it should be the last.”
Kahn covers climate change for Gizmodo, and that’s where his comments appeared. He knew that his comments were going to draw a little controversy, and while you have to give him credit for standing behind his comments and owning them, did he have to pick this year for his over-the-top woke-up call? If there’s anything this country needs right now – besides a COVID-19 vaccine – it’s a little bit of tradition people can cling to that makes 2020 just a little bit recognizable.
The inventor of Christmas tree “Kahn-cel culture” seemed to know he would take some heat for the essay, saying, “I know I’ll likely receive many a furious email cussing me out for being a tree-hugger perpetrating the war on Christmas and a total killjoy. But my point isn’t that we should end joy and piss on Santa,” he wrote.
In case you read this, Kahn, NBC will air its annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree-lighting special on Wednesday, Dec. 2, from 8 to 10 p.m. EST. The Goo Goo Dolls, Earth Wind & Fire and Dolly Parton are all scheduled to perform.