Just when you thought the Elf on a Shelf “toy” couldn’t get any creepier, along comes “StatieTheElf”:
— Dustin Fitch (@DustinGFitch) December 9, 2016
Statie is the creation of Massachusetts State Trooper Dustin Fitch, and he wears a little Massachusetts State Police uniform. Twitter and Facebook accounts feature Statie out and about in his neighborhood, doing things like making snow angels, hanging out with a K9, and writing reports.
For the most part, the comments on Statie’s social media accounts are from raving fans, with a clever outlier here and there:
Yaaaaaay for proving 1984 was not just a story..
Elf on shelf is so creepy
Glad you guys aren’t busy lol
I’m glad you guys are having a blast with the elf knowing there’s a hundred and thousands of crimes to be solved
— Lloyd Ziel (@LloydZiel) December 15, 2016
A few commenters pointed out that Statie getting an actual driver’s license is taking things a bit too far…
Nice of the State Police to waste our hardworking tax dollars on elf ID! What a joke
Getting little out of control. Not even funny anymore. Tax dollars being wasted
Statie is getting thousands of “likes” on Facebook, and most of the comments on his photos are from boot-licking fans showering him with praise. People are talking about how much their kids love Statie (?!), and are asking if they can purchase a Statie for their family, or at least a little
thug cop uniform like his.
All of this is just a tad bit unnerving.
It makes you wonder how many people have actually stopped to think about what the Elf represents – especially when he’s playing cop.
What an Orwellian police state double-whammy.
In the article Who’s the Boss? “The Elf on the Shelf” and the Normalization of Surveillance, technology professors Laura Pinto and Selena Nemorin say:
What is troubling is what The Elf on the Shelf represents and normalizes: anecdotal evidence reveals that children perform an identity that is not only for caretakers, but for an external authority (The Elf on the Shelf), similar to the dynamic between citizen and authority in the context of the surveillance state. Further to this, The Elf on the Shelf website offers teacher resources, integrating into both home and school not only the brand but also tacit acceptance of being monitored and always being on one’s best behaviour–without question.
By inviting The Elf on the Shelf simultaneously into their play-world and real lives, children are taught to accept or even seek out external observation of their actions outside of their caregivers and familial structures. Broadly speaking, The Elf on the Shelf serves functions that are aligned to the official functions of the panopticon. In doing so, it contributes to the shaping of children as governable subjects.
In the conclusion of their piece, the professors ask:
When parents and teachers bring The Elf on the Shelf into homes and classrooms, are they preparing a generation of children to accept, not question, increasingly intrusive (albeit whimsically packaged) modes of surveillance?
Adults might think the Elf is an amusing, fun, useful tool to control their children’s behavior, but a lot of kids find it terrifying, as evidenced by many YouTube videos that parents actually decided to share with the public for some unknown reason.
Here are a few examples.
Seeing kids who are absolutely terrified has never been humorous to me, but what do I know?
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Contributed by Lily Dane of The Daily Sheeple.
Lily Dane is a staff writer for The Daily Sheeple. Her goal is to help people to “Wake the Flock Up!”