Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Santa logic

I was impressed to read some impressively logical thinking about movies featuring Santa Claus / Father Christmas the other day. You know the kind of film I mean. Those like Elf and The Santa Clause, where cynical adults who don't believe in the jolly rotund fellow get their come-uppance. There's a distinct logical flaw in these movies.

Before I disclose the gaping hole, I need to address an obvious objection to my endeavour. Surely to worry about logic in a merry seasonal fantasy misses the point? However, I've always argued that, while fantasy can clearly change whatever rules it likes, once the nature of the fantasy world is established, it should be logically consistent. This is why I don't have trouble with vampires and werwolves and slayers and magic in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, because that is the part of the rules of the world. But I do have a bit of an issue when a hobbyist manages to come up with a robot that is all but indistinguishable from a human being - because the technology in Buffy is the technology of our world, and that just isn't possible.

So back to the Santa flaws. (It's just one flaw really, but 'Santa flaws' sounds much better.) The article I was reading (sadly I've lost the link) pointed out that, in these films, Santa Claus is real and goes around the world delivering (at least one) present(s) to good children on Christmas Eve. That's fine. That's part of the premise of the movie. But bearing in mind these presents magically turn up in everyone's house each Christmas morning, why would anyone not believe in Santa? That just doesn't make sense. And without logic, the magic falls apart.

Ho, ho, no.

2 comments:

  1. Really? I thought you were a scientist. Santa, Father Christmas, St Nicholas....what have you... has been a part of the Christmas tradition or myth (take your pick) for centuries. Are there not more important scientific issues facing humanity?

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    1. No, I’m not a scientist, I am a writer. But I can assure you that even scientists have fun and don’t spend all their time thinking about ‘important scientific issues facing humanity.’ Anyway, if you read the words, this isn’t a piece about Father Christmas really, it’s about the use of logic in writing.

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