Thursday, December 20, 2007

Frosty the Golem

Nothing says "supernatural vengeance" like a mass of unliving natural materials animated and set on a path of justice by those who have suffered at the hands of others. Frosty the Snowman, the sanitized Rankin-Bass television special aside, is a Golem in the traditional sense.

The famous seasonal song immortalized by Gene Autry holds much clear evidence as to Frosty's origins and ultimate purpose. The lyrics of the tune are easy enough to interpret correctly. Frosty is in actuality a creature of Old Testament-style power created by Kabala-worshiping children to correct the inequities they suffered at the hands of the citizens and from the horrible pogroms of the anti-semitic town in which they reside. Lacking tools or anything that could be used as a weapon the desperate and faithful children build a Golem of legend out of the only material they could easily manipulate and gather: Snow.

By placing a hat (very likely a yarmulke) imbued with powerful magic upon a humanoid form fashioned of inanimate matter, a Golem is brought to a semblance of life by a vengeful God in answer to the children's anguished prayers. Dubbed "Frosty"by the innocent and non-ironic children, the creature is sent from its birthing place in the forest armed with a "broomstick" (rather, a huge club of some sort) into the village on a mission of vengeance. Song scribes Steven "Jack" Rollins and Steve Nelson do not even attempt to hide the terrible descriptions of the Snow-Golem's murderous spree of righteous retribution to be found in the lyrics of the song.

The phrase "Thumpety thump thump" is repeated several times during the song, succinctly describing not the martial tune of an impromptu parade of happy children following an imaginary character into innocent play, but rather the continuous blows of icy fists made hard as granite by the bitter cold against the flesh of those who would oppress the innocent. Frosty's first target of retribution upon entering the village is a "police officer" who is actually the symbol of racist, intolerant government and authority. Just as in the classic legend of the Golem, once the ice creature completes it's mission it departs and returns to its previous state of lifeless, inanimate matter, promising to "be back again some day" if needed to mete out swift punishment against evil-doers.

While it is true that the Golem is merely a weapon that acts as the instrument of God's will sometimes not all of the missions end in large scale destruction and death. On occasion God is merciful and Frosty the Golem is set on a path not of destruction but enlightenment. In the following story adapted from ancient legends for the 1954 issue of Dell Comics "Frosty the Snowman" the Golem is summoned by a victim of intolerance and battles racism by the simple act of patrolling a village. Frosty the Golem appears harmless and even helpful in the all-ages version of the tale, but doubtlessly the very presence of the creature forced the terrified citizenry to re-think their intolerant ways and accept the cultures and people that do not act, think, worship or dress as they do.

Look past the cartoon figures and funny animals and you can sense the seething anger and pain that must have sent the frozen creature on it's mission. Brrrrr!

Frosty the Golem says:
Take heed, heathens!

5 comments:

  1. I gotta stop reading your blog in the pre-dawn hours, as the loud, braying laughter it induces undoubtedly wakes the neighbors.

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  2. I'm a cow, and even I was laughing my head off at the chocolate milk bit.

    And the final bit? Pure brilliance.

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  3. I'm suddenly a Frosty fan. Now every time I hear "Happy Birthday" I know that Frosty has ensured that some miscreant will never have another one.

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