Mistletoe is not consent!

A brief examination of holiday ravish culture by Doctor Sir Thomas William “Silent Tom” Hackney III, PhD., M.D., O.B.E., Cabin Boy, Time Ship Simultaneous, Aether Brigade

The holidays are here and even as we celebrate, perhaps now is the time to reflect on some of our European traditions. We must, therefore, consider the matter of consent. There are many people who believe that we live in a ravish culture, that is to say, a culture in which it is acceptable and even encouraged to ravish and be ravished. This culture is all around us, in various media: in literature, in daguerreotypes, in theater, in woodcuts, etc. There are many mechanisms by which this way of thinking is propagated, including in our holiday traditions. We must overcome the vestiges of Medieval thought and examine how the light of consent may be our savior as times grow less dark.

Mistletoe – Everyone knows that a sprig of a particular poisonous parasitic plant may be used to decorate the home in the holiday season. Tradition dictates that one must kiss an individual caught standing beneath it; conversely, if caught underneath this blight of oak trees everywhere, one must submit to being kissed. This is a clear example of ravish culture insidiously infesting our traditions: mistletoe is not consent! While perhaps it may provide an appropriate pretext to broach the matter of kissing, it is far from a given that one must participate. The next time you see a handsomely dressed fellow or a winsome lassie ’neath the mistletoe, ask first, confirm second, and kiss last, only if confirmation has been given!

Krampusnacht – Where Father Christmas is known to bring gifts to the good children, Krampus kidnaps the naughty brats. Krampus may then flog, bugger, and even devour or perform other extreme forms of ravishment and worse on said juveniles. This tradition is all in the good, old-fashioned spirit of punishing the wicked; however, once more, consent becomes an issue. If you feel that your dependents are deserving of being hauled off and whipped by a pagan spirit of retribution, then remember that you must have the appropriate papers of transference of guardianship ready to sign when the Krampus’ forked tongue comes to ask for your children (and, Krampus: ensure that the expression of consent is clear and legally binding). Perhaps, if Krampus wishes to perform more than the mere act of absconding with those poorly behaved kids, he should also have them formally tried in a juvenile court and obtain a waiver from the judge stating that Krampus’ methods may be applied in place of the standard punitive measures.

What other holiday traditions should be re-examined? Send the Aether Brigade a missive with your thoughts: captain@aetherbrigade.com