Like hapless characters in a weekly sitcom vainly trying to improve their situation, city authorities have attempted over and over again to stop the citizens' ritual goat-pyre. They set up goat-watching shifts staffed by volunteers and even soldiers from a local infantry division: the goat burned down anyway. They doused the goat in flame-retardant chemicals: someone still managed to set fire to it, possibly with the aid of a Christmas miracle. When burning wasn't possible, residents have resorted to knocking the goat over with a car, kicking it apart, and trying to steal it with a helicopter.
After that, the perpetrators planned to simply blend in among all the other helicopters carrying goats.
But the ultimate goat-destroying honor was awarded in 2005, when a man dressed in a Santa Claus suit set fire to the Yule goat by shooting a burning arrow at it. I think we can all agree that this event needs to be made into a movie. The first scenes can be a flashback that shows us the man's motivations for burning the goat, like maybe his son was trampled by a goat that belonged to Gavle's mayor. Then there's a training montage and a suit-making scene. The climax has the audience watching the burning arrow in slow motion as it moves in an agonizingly slow arc toward the sculpture ... will it burn the goat? It will!
And now imagine the Rocky theme playing.
Although it's technically illegal, the Swedish goat-burning tradition builds a real sense of innovation among the populace, as well as providing entertainment for those who want to witness this epic battle between good, evil, and goats. By now, the Gavle Goat has its own 24-hour webcam and a personal Twitter account, which includes a sad "goodbye and Merry Christmas" message whenever the poor thing burns down.