Ebenezer Scrooge could have used a better PR agent; the poor, dear misunderstood gentleman.
Scrooge’s problem was bad publicity, the cynical media. However, I admire the poor sap, and not just because he is so darn cute.
You’ve heard all the stories. Scrooge was the guy who (allegedly) messed with good old Bob Cratchit’s Christmas. And don’t even start on Tiny Tim.
Bah, humbug. People need to hear the good news about Scrooge.
Contrary to popular belief, Scrooge loved Christmas. Check out the classic Scrooge as portrayed by Alistair Sims in the 1950s “A Christmas Carol.” Scrooge is transformed into the most fanatical pro-Christmas spirit ever.
By the end of the movie —- which some of us recall was based on a Charles Dickens story —- Scrooge becomes the most effusive advocate Christmas this side of the indomitable Mr. Hanky on “South Park.”
Understandably, the nasty way Scrooge travels from Christmas-loather to Yuletide lover tends to besmirch his reputation. But be good for goodness sake: Consider his awful lot in life, his struggle. Walk in his shoes through a messy relationship break-up, the death of a dear, dear sister, then the death of his business partner and only friend.
Consider, too, the horror of having Jacob Marley return from the dead and drag him through space and time like a tickle-me-Elmo doll.
How would you like having a dead buddy return from the grave and show you all the
stuff that happened way back when —- you know, those “youthful indiscretions” our president-elect committed, but I digress —- followed by stuff you don’t realize is happening now and stuff that is going to happen?
So give Scrooge a break, already. He overcame adversity. He learned from his mistakes. He loves Christmas more than all of us together. Cratchit got his day off and Tiny Time got his holiday bliss. Joy to the world. Good will to all.
In this Christmas season in an era of sharply divided political opinion, I bring you two ghosts of my Christmas past which show how people of vastly different views can work together for good —- let’s call it bipartisan cooperation. These images come courtesy of some of the kind people of Bogalusa, La., and The City, otherwise known as San Francisco.
Are there two more different places on earth than those places, in both of which I worked at one time or another? Bogalusa is a grimy paper-mill town north of New Orleans, with a fundamentalist bent. San Francisco? I think you know what The City is like.
In Bogalusa, people drove around with bumper stickers and an attitude: “Put Christ back into Christmas.” They fervently believed all that buy-buy-buyism was crass commercialism, not in the spirit of Christmas.
And in San Francisco, the smart set, the sophisticates, watched along Market Street as “peace-and-justice” advocates chained themselves to a department store entrance to protest crass corporate capitalism and the use of Christmas to promote evil “New World Order” commercialism.
So, you see, there is still cause to hope for bipartisanship this Christmas season. We can all get along for the common good. Scrooge wouldn’t want it any other way.