Animal Inventory Blog

Keeping track of animals in popular culture.

Maxim Murders Childhood Icon

Posted by lisagbrown on November 23, 2007

As if you needed another reason not to read Maxim Magazine, the December 2007 holiday gift guide encourages readers to take aim at childhood icon and hero Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The “How to Hunt Rudolph” step-by-step guide points out gleefully that if the shock of a bullet wound in the reindeer’s lungs doesn’t kill him, “he’ll drown in his own blood.”

At the very least, I applaud the writer’s ability to connect real living animals with a culturally manufactured persona. The connection between real beings and fictional beings is a sophisticated leap that many people seem incapable of making (a perfect example of this is the lack of chagrin over the cartoon imagery of cows and pigs who sell their own meat on food packaging and in TV commercials.) However, I hesitate to give any credit to a writer (or magazine) that takes such joy in the suffering of a living creature. Note the writer’s careful use of tone: the piece is written with enough useful information to be helpful to a hunter, yet with just the right amount of irony and bravado to claim that it’s a joke, if animal rights activists protest the magazine.

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