On Fear, Racism, and Ice-Is

By Frank Lesser


After reading that a Saudi cleric claimed snowmen were forbidden by Islam, I feel I must speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, because they have rows of raisins for mouths: snowmen.

Sadly, most humans—or, to use the preferred neutral term, manmen—are unfamiliar with snowmen outside of outdated and offensive media portrayals, which depict curvaceous figures with coal for eyes and elongated orange noses. In reality, these frigid fellows have long suffered from discrimination: In many places between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, they aren’t welcome at all.

Some apprehension is understandable. Yes, snowmen rarely stray far from their native Arctic lands where they live in their domed igloos, or “snow mosques.” Yes, theirs is sometimes a sexist, patriarchal society; rarely do we hear of “snow-women.” And yes, there is a real problem of radicalized snowmen taking up arms (usually a jauntily-propped-up shovel) against the forward march of the sun, as evidenced by the thousands of snowmen who snowmartyr themselves whenever it warms up a bit. And yes, every once in a while a snowman comes to life and tries to push a radical religious view, often by impersonating a parson—but this does not mean that we must outlaw magical top hats for all snowmen.

You see, this Saudi imam is basing his prejudiced view of these gentle ice giants not on reality, but on the actions of a relatively few extremists who believe they’ll be rewarded in the afterlife with 72 snow angels. To him and his ilk I say that for every White Witch of Narnia, there’s a Frosty the Snowman. And no matter what evils are perpetrated by those who claim to speak for Frosty, we must always remember: He was a jolly, happy soul.

We must not listen to the alarmists who’ll tell you that every glass of water is a sleeper cell of snowmen who disguised themselves as liquids in order to infiltrate your bladder.

Unfortunately, we’ve been experiencing dangerous temperature drops across much of the Western world. This will only prop up the voices of intolerance, by which I mean those jerks who always say, “Cold enough for ya?” Within a few short months—by April at the latest—I fear that all snowmen across our hemisphere will have disappeared.

Now, there are some who say we have only ourselves to blame, as we humans have historically oppressed snowmen, thoughtlessly running them over in sleds or destroying them while practicing dropkicks. But that, too, is an oversimplification of the incredibly complex issue that is a couple of snowballs stacked on top of each other.

For there truly is a virulent strain of snowman belief that is intolerant of criticism or dissent, funded by an anti-democratic kingdom that arguably aims to turn the entire region into a vast, icebound hellscape. I’m talking, of course, about that insufferable princess from Frozen.

Do I have a solution? Unfortunately, snow. But I hope that someday we will all come together in harmony and understanding and realize that, like the concept of “snowmanness” itself, snowmen are merely a construct.

If we don’t, we’re going to be stuck repeating this endless cycle every year.

Frank Lesser is a former writer for The Colbert Report and the author of the humor book Sad Monsters. Read more on humor, hate, and the Charlie Hebdo shootings in our Beyond Satire package.

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