This storm? It's actually the calm before the storm of drunken, fratstar revelry taking place tomorrow.
If you're excited for Santacon, then why are you reading this post, read this community-sourced Buzzfeed hype piece instead. And for those who are blissfully ignorant, the event, whose political origins I'll go into in a moment, has become a glorified cosplay pub crawl during which Santa or holiday clad marchers pervert their childhood notions and cause headaches for bars, many of which have explicitly banned "Santas" in past years. In fact, in 2012 Eater was kind enough to create these "Go Back To The North Pole" business signs.
Sadly, you better watch out, because the weather looks to be clearing just in time for the festive flock to crawl down your proverbial chimney, invading your sanity and vomiting under your tree. Okay, yes, getting worked up about Santacon draws natural grinch comparisons. And Santacon's one Santapro is that some folks donate toys, this year to the SFFD toy drive. But, just as Santas will let no one stop them, so too should ranters and railers against the yearly nightmare stop at nothing until the "fun" is spoiled.
Santacon, which reportedly started in 1994 right here in the innovation capitol of the world, has spread like gangrene across the globe. In 2013, 300 cities saw St. Nick events organized. According to a Wikipedia article with "multiple issues" whose " tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia," it was the Cacophony Society, "a randomly gathered network of free spirits united in the pursuit of experiences beyond the pale of mainstream society," "culture jammers" with Burning Man ties who cooked up Santacon. In fact, it's another shame that the events' subversive leanings have all but disappeared. Reports the Daily Beast:
The idea was to mess with the concept of Christmas,” recalled John Law, an original Cacophony member. “I was nine when I realized what a bunch of bullshit the whole thing was. They were just lying to you! For me, personally, it was a way to claim the holiday, to take it back from Jesus Christ and from Macy’s and it a party that we all could enjoy.”
So they crashed a debutante ball at the Fairmount Hotel, flooded downtown department stores chanting “Charge it! Charge it,” hung a Santa in effigy from a streetlight, and sang their own NSFW version of Christmas carols. To be fair, the Cacophoners weren’t just feeling the holiday spirit; there were actual spirits involved too. Still, whenever they ran across a kid, Law says, they tried to keep it together, acting in the ho-ho-ho manner of the kind of mall Santas they were familiar with.
These days, most notably in New York, the event has become the divisive bacchanalia of the season. Gothamist called for an end to the madness back in 2011, and that might finally arrive as this year in NYC the event, which has retained a noted civil rights lawyer this year to defend recent college graduates rights to urinate in public while wearing red and white, will scale down graciously in the face of a march for an actual cause, the Millions March NYC.
Anyway, I'd argue that things are just as bad here, with these representative tweets from the Santacon SF Twitter account:
Union square Santas - we are getting feedback about too many broken bottles - dispose of trash properly— SF SantaCon (@sfsanta) December 14, 2013
Drinking elf piss in the mission— SF SantaCon (@sfsanta) December 15, 2012
Ho, Ho Homg plz don't! But if you're about to Santacon anyway, as I see several of my Facebook friends are signed up to do, here's some information about how and when to do it.
At least you can count on Stanley Roberts to document some of the people behaving naughtily.