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From: <southpole@blackops.gov>

Subject: blowback warning

Date: 1 December 20xx

To: <santa_claus@northpole.com>

 

Agent Claus:

We’re onto you.

We see how you’ve infiltrated mainstream American culture to implant a subtle form of mind control and manipulation.

It’s not obvious to most, but be aware, Agent Claus, that we have discovered you and are watching you closely.

In fact, we are using some of your own carefully crafted techniques on you: We see you when you’re sleeping. We know when you’re awake. How do we do this? Let’s just say: We have our methods.

We see how you’ve been working with other secret government agencies to control the flow of information (disinformation?) through the perfectly timed release of “holiday music,” Christmas TV specials, and movies.

The public suspects nothing.

They sit blissfully in front of their TVs or tuned out on the subway listening to Mariah Carey on their Airpods, completely ignorant of how they are being surreptitiously conditioned through carefully cultivated “holiday” hysteria. Responding subconsciously to the stimulus, they dutifully add more and more to their holiday “To Do” lists, all the while eagerly looking forward to Christmas morning.

They have no idea they have ceded the last of any independent thought to your agenda. They have no idea, frankly, that you even have an agenda. Our citizens obediently do everything as you’ve taught: hang their stockings by the chimney with care, roast chestnuts on an open fire, fervently wish for snow. They conveniently forget the inconvenience and pain incurred from shoveling; look over their shoulders continuously to avoid being caught in bad behavior and winding up on your “naughty” list; and most depressingly of all, tirelessly work to maintain the illusion of “Christmas Magic,” including racing endlessly to purchase the “perfect gift,” plan the perfect meals, and have everything perfectly timed and exactly ready for the overhyped standards of perfection you’ve set for Christmas morning.

This cultural dumpster fire is not maintainable, and will implode if allowed to continue unabated.

We have adopted the mission of monitoring public sentiment and stress levels, and plan to blow your cover when the time is exactly right.

Be aware that you are being watched and followed. Your days as a squeaky clean cultural icon are numbered, Agent Claus. The public deserves intellectual freedom, and when they see the kind of mental slavery they’ve been subject to, will not let you escape quietly.

We suggest you begin deconditioning the public now, per your own free will, to make things easier for you in the long run when the lid finally blows off this case. Keep in mind that in this epoch of global travel, no place is safe to hide. Not even the North Pole.

Consider yourself warned, Agent Claus.

 

Cordially,

[redacted]

 

 

This message will self-destruct 300 seconds after opening.

Heather Shaff

Heather is a book designer based in Boston who, when she’s not writing or taking care of the fam, can be found racing her bike, enjoying nature, or just daydreaming.

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