Merry Christmas From The Crawdad Hole!


Two movies I always watch at Christmas time are A Christmas Carol starring Alistair Sim (1951) and It’s a Wonderful Life (1946).

Wikipedia:

A Christmas Carol is a novella by Charles Dickens. It was first published in London by Chapman & Hall on 19 December 1843.[1][2] The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. Carol tells the story of a bitter old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation into a gentler, kindlier man after visitations by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come.
The book was written at a time when the British were examining and exploring Christmas traditions from the past as well as new customs such as Christmas cards and Christmas trees. Carol singing took a new lease on life during this time.[3] Dickens’ sources for the tale appear to be many and varied, but are, principally, the humiliating experiences of his childhood, his sympathy for the poor, and various Christmas stories and fairy tales.[4][5][6]
Dickens’ Carol was one of the greatest influences in rejuvenating the old Christmas traditions of England, but, while it brings to the reader images of light, joy, warmth and life, it also brings strong and unforgettable images of darkness, despair, coldness, sadness, and death.[3] Scrooge himself is the embodiment of winter, and, just as winter is followed by spring and the renewal of life, so too is Scrooge’s cold, pinched heart restored to the innocent goodwill he had known in his childhood and youth.[7][8]A Christmas Carol remains popular—having never been out of print[6]—and has been adapted many times to film, stage, opera, and other media.

[…]

Dickens was not the first author to celebrate the Christmas season in literature,[4] but it was he who superimposed his humanitarian vision of the holiday upon the public, an idea that has been termed as Dickens’ “Carol Philosophy”.[9] Dickens believed the best way to reach the broadest segment of the population regarding his concerns about poverty and social injustice was to write a deeply-felt Christmas story rather than polemical pamphlets and essays.[10][11] Dickens’ career as a bestselling author was on the wane, and the writer felt he needed to produce a tale that would prove both profitable and popular. Dickens’ visit to the work-worn industrial city of Manchester was the “spark” that fired the author to produce a story about the poor, a repentant miser, and redemption that would become A Christmas Carol.[12]
The forces that inspired Dickens to create a powerful, impressive and enduring tale were the profoundly humiliating experiences of his childhood, the plight of the poor and their children during the boom decades of the 1830s and 1840s, Washington Irving’s essays on Christmas published in his Sketch Book (1820) describing the traditional old English Christmas,[13] fairy tales and nursery stories, as well as satirical essays and religious tracts.[4][5][6]

[…]

While Dickens’ humiliating childhood experiences are not directly described in A Christmas Carol, his conflicting feelings for his father as a result of those experiences are principally responsible for the dual personality of the tale’s protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge. In 1824, Dickens’ father, John, was imprisoned in the Marshalsea whilst 12-year-old Charles was forced to take lodgings nearby, pawn his collection of books, leave school and accept employment in a blacking factory.[citation needed]
The boy had a deep sense of class and intellectual superiority and was entirely uncomfortable in the presence of factory workers who referred to him as “the young gentleman”; as a result of this, he developed nervous fits. When his father was released at the end of a three-month stint, young Dickens was forced to continue working in the factory, which only grieved and humiliated him further. He despaired of ever recovering his former happy life.[citation needed]
The devastating impact of the period wounded him psychologically, coloured his work, and haunted his entire life with disturbing memories. Dickens both loved and demonized his father, and it was this psychological conflict that was responsible for the two radically different Scrooges in the tale—one Scrooge, a cold, stingy and greedy semi-recluse, and the other Scrooge, a benevolent, sociable man, whose generosity and goodwill toward all men earn for him a near-saintly reputation.[14] It was during this terrible period in Dickens’ childhood that he observed the lives of the men, women, and children in the most impoverished areas of London and witnessed the social injustices they suffered.[4][15]


Charles Dickens was one of the original Social Justice Warriors. Like most SJW’s he sees the world in black and white, which may be why the 1951 version of his story is so powerful. It’s filmed in such a primitive style compared to modern films that it’s almost like watching a low-budget live-action play.

The first Scrooge is bad, but rich. Then he repents and becomes the good Scrooge who throws money around like crazy. But would he have become rich if he had been good all along? Is there a third way, where thrift and hard work are balanced by family and charity?

For years I assumed that Frank Capra must have been a New Deal Liberal. NDL’s are old school, blue collar liberals, and have little i common with today’s version. Or at least so I always thought.

George Bailey is the good guy protagonist in It’s a Wonderful Life. The bad guy is Mr. Potter, played by Lionel Barrymore. Potter is a rich, greedy, evil capitalist. Potter is the modern caricature of a Republican, so therefore George must be a Democrat, right?

Wikipedia:

Frank Russell Capra (May 18, 1897 – September 3, 1991) was an Italian-born American film director, producer and writer who became the creative force behind some of the major award-winning films of the 1930s and 1940s. His rags-to-riches story has led film historians such as Ian Freer to consider him the “American dream personified.”[1]

Capra became one of America’s most influential directors during the 1930s, winning three Oscars as Best Director. Among his leading films was It Happened One Night (1934), which became the first film to win all five top Oscars, including Best Picture. Other leading films in his prime included You Can’t Take It With You (1938) and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939). During World War II, Capra served in the US Army Signal Corps and produced propaganda films, such as the Why We Fight series.
After World War II, however, Capra’s career declined as his later films like It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) were critically derided as being “simplistic” or “overly idealistic”.[citation needed] However, his films have since been favorably reassessed in succeeding decades.
Outside directing, Capra was active within the film industry, engaging in various political and social issues. He served as President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, worked alongside the Screenwriters Guild, and was head of the Directors Guild of America.

[…]

Capra’s political beliefs coalesced in his films, which promoted and celebrated the spirit of American individualism. A conservative Republican, he had railed against Franklin Delano Roosevelt during his tenure as governor of New York State, and opposed his presidency during the years of the Depression. Capra stood against government intervention and assistance during the national economic crisis. A man that had come up the hard way, overcoming the disadvantages of an immigrant background, Capra saw no reason why others could not accomplish success through hard work and perseverance.[49]


Wait . . . what? A conservative Republican? I’m shocked.

Seriously – I just learned that tidbit last night. I double-checked to make sure. Then there is this:

Capra, however, blames his early retirement from films on the rising power of stars, which forced him to continually compromise his artistic vision. He also claims that increasing budgetary and scheduling demands were constraining his creative abilities.[17] Film historian Michael Medved agrees with and understands Capra’s impressions, noting that he walked away from the movie business because “he refused to adjust to the cynicism of the new order.”[32] In his autobiography written in 1971, Capra expressed his feelings about the shifting film industry:[33]

The winds of change blew through the dream factories of make-believe, tore at its crinoline tatters…. The hedonists, the homosexuals, the hemophiliac bleeding hearts, the God-haters, the quick-buck artists who substituted shock for talent, all cried: “Shake ’em! Rattle ’em! God is dead. Long live pleasure! Nudity? Yea! Wife-swapping? Yea! Liberate the world from prudery. Emancipate our films from morality!”…. Kill for thrill – shock! Shock! To hell with the good in man, Dredge up his evil – shock! Shock![32]

Capra added that in his opinion, “practically all the Hollywood film-making of today is stooping to cheap salacious pornography in a crazy bastardization of a great art to compete for the ‘patronage’ of deviates and masturbators.”[34][N 1]


Now that sounds like a Republican.



About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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77 Responses to Merry Christmas From The Crawdad Hole!

  1. The Klown says:

    I used to say that It’s a Wonderful Life was one of the reasons I became a liberal.

    • votermom says:

      “hemophiliac bleeding hearts” – I must remember and use that. 😀

    • 1539days says:

      My uncle considered the movie boiler-plate humanism. I can see that, since George Bailey had all the tools to his salvation at his own hands. The story is one where one man is responsible for saving the whole town, which is more like an Ayn Rand character. It’s almost libertarian in some ways.

      I never watched the movie until I was an adult. That means I saw a lot of holiday plots about what would happen if a character had never been born without understanding its origin.

  2. The Klown says:

  3. The Klown says:

  4. The Klown says:

    I am afraid to go look and see what anti-Christian screed RD has posted today.

  5. votermom says:

    Happy Birthday to Jesus and to my baby girl, who is suddenly 18 today! How the heck did that happen?

  6. piper says:

    Found this over on WZ – powerful poem
    “T’WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
    HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
    IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE
    MADE OF PLASTER AND STONE.

    I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY
    WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
    AND TO SEE JUST WHO
    IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.

    LOOKED ALL ABOUT,
    A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
    NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,
    NOT EVEN A TREE.
    NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,
    JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
    ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES
    OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.

    WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,
    AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
    A SOBER THOUGHT
    CAME THROUGH MY MIND.
    FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,
    IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
    I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
    ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.

    THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,
    SILENT, ALONE,
    CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR
    IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.

    Entire link at”
    http://weaselzippers.us/209021-twas-the-night-before-christmas/

  7. piper says:

    Forgot – Merry Christmas to All!!!!

  8. piper says:

    Food for thought
    “I doubt those journalists who blamed Palin for the Giffords shooting believed it at the time they wrote it, but they wrote it hoping others would. They didn’t correct or retract those posts because they didn’t want to, they simply threw a grenade and moved on.

    That’s what progressives do – throw grenades. They usually fizzle, as with the Occupy Wall Street crowd, but in the execution of Ramos and Liu, that grenade went off. Now they’re busy attempting to distance themselves from what they caused, pretending it was simply a “fringe” and not an obvious possibility they’d preached warnings of just a few years ago.”
    More at:
    http://townhall.com/columnists/derekhunter/2014/12/25/progressivism-kills-n1935573/page/full

  9. 1539days says:

    I wrote about Dickens a few years ago on my blog. He was an early SJW as an abolitionist. He was a social justice warrior for actual social justice. One of the amusing things I read about him was that he avoided paying taxes in America by essentially leaving the country. These days, that would make him a typical Obama administration Democrat.

    https://daysofchange.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/day-985-dickensian-economics/

  10. foxyladi14 says:

    Wishing A very, Merry Christmas and a happy prosperous New year to CDH and all that gather here every day for news and comradery. ❤

  11. WMCB says:

    Re: Dickens, Capra, etc, here’s the deal: There is nothing wrong with addressing actual gross, widespread injustice. Society DOES need to do that from time to time. I’m not opposed to that, any more than I’m opposed to washing one’s hands.

    Today’s SJW’s, however, have the ideological version of severe OCD. They are scrubbing and scrubbing society’s bleeding hands, shrieking “Not clean yet! Not clean yet!”

    • 1539days says:

      That’s a good point. The concept of “microagression” and “trigger warnings” are like the water spots on dishes. Sometimes annoying, but the dish is actually clean.

      • The Klown says:

        Rosa Parks was arrested because she wouldn’t give up her bus seat to a white man. Today’s SJW’s want men arrested for taking up too much room on a subway. They don’t see a difference.

      • The Klown says:

        One of my pet peeves is people who claim that black people always get followed around stores by security. First of all, most stores don’t use floor security, they use CCTV because you can see the whole store from one place. Secondly, nobody trains security guards to focus on minorities – you focus on high value merchandise because that is what gets stolen, and you watch for certain mannerisms that are common to thieves.

        Maybe that person you keep seeing around the store is just another customer. Maybe you’re just paranoid and think you are being followed. But let’s say you’re right and that is a security guard and he is following you.

        Maybe he picked you at random. Are you the only person in the store? Are you the only black person in the store? If you’re the only customer in the store then maybe that’s why he’s following you. If all the other customers are black, what makes you think he’s following you because you’re black?

        In any event, whether you are being followed or not (or watched by CCTV) you don’t have anything to worry about if you don’t steal anything. When I used to work late at night I sometimes got followed by cops who were looking for drunk drivers. Since I hadn’t been drinking and wasn’t speeding (at the moment) I didn’t worry about it.

        There was a time when black people weren’t even allowed in some stores. THAT was injustice.

        • 49erDweet says:

          When I had a store I used to particularly watch everybody who kept looking around to see who was watching THEM. {{facepalm}}

          • The Klown says:

            One of the dead giveaways is someone who does the double head-fake looking up both ends of the aisle to see if anyone is watching. Another is when they are holding the merchandise like they are looking at it but they are looking somewhere else, like towards the cashier.

            There are lots of tells crooks have. But the pros don’t have tells – if you don’t happen to be looking at them you won’t see it. That’s why CCTV is best.

        • swanspirit says:

          My son worked for Marshalls in loss prevention /control for over a year. He mostly followed Russians around because that who was doing the stealing at the time . The Russians , and the employees . They used the security cams more than anything. Sometimes he would have to sneak in to a back room to watch the cams before the employees came in to work , so they didn’t know he was there .

    • lyn says:

      Great point. And they will continue to shriek until they get what they want, because everyone wants them to shut up. They are still in the terrible-twos stage.

    • The Klown says:

      Back in the 80’s when I was still doing pest control Meryl Streep testified before Congress during the Alar scare. She said she always washed her fruits and vegetables in detergent to remove pesticide residues. My boss at the time said “How does she get rid of detergent residues? They’re even worse.”

      The point being that just because something is present in small amounts (ppm and ppb) that doesn’t mean it is dangerous.

      The SJW’s are witch hunters, convinced a problem still exists and determined to root it out, no matter how many innocent people are harmed in the process.

  12. Merry Christmas everyone. And thank you for this wonderful place to come all year long. I know it’s a lot of work, and to everyone here who contributes, and to Klown in particular, again I say thank you. 😉

  13. Anthony says:

    Merry Christmas, TCHers!

    Thanks for the great sanctuary! This place has kept me sane(ish) for the most part, and I can’t thank you all enough for provocative posts, equally provocative comments, and the spirit of camaraderie we are STILL all able to keep alive on this page.

    Wishing all of you the best of love, joy and abundance throughout the coming year.

    Love,

    Anthony

  14. The Klown says:

    I posted this and went to sleep. I got up and fed the kitties around 6 am. Then I slept until nearly 9 (non eastern). The kitties must have missed me, because they trashed the kitchen, knocking stuff off counters and off the table. When I got up they acting all innocent but I know it was them.

  15. The Klown says:

  16. DeniseVB says:

    Merry Christmas TCHers ! I saw this today and just swooned, from 1977 and a very yummy David Bowie with Bing Crosby. ❤

  17. WMCB says:

    Whole family now playing Cards Against Humanity.

  18. The Klown says:

  19. Kathy says:

    Just got back from ‘The Imitation Game’ –loved it

  20. DandyTIger says:

    Merry Christmas!!

  21. swanspirit says:

    Also , i thought i just invented Cranberry Juice eggnog punch, but when I checked the net it was already there . But it is yummy !! Merry Christmas everyone !
    This post was wonderful .

  22. Underwhelmed says:

    Because it’s too funny not to share!

  23. mothy6767 says:

    Merry Christmas everyone.

  24. The Klown says:

    Best Christmas gift this year (besides Lily) was Gone Girl in softcover.

  25. The Klown says:

    Now I’m home and I can start drinking the Bulleit Bourbon my mom got me.

  26. angienc says:

    Merry Christmas to all the crazy lugs on here. I love each & every one of you!

  27. elliesmom says:

    I highly recommend a Chinese takeout Christmas dinner. It took 20 minutes from the time I placed the order until it was on the table. Tons of food left over, and the bill was less than it would have cost me to make dinner for everyone. We did soup to fortune cookies. The only cooking I did was to make the traditional chocolate mousse trifle. The kids loved it. We took a vote, and Mr. Yen gets to cater next year, too. I have one dishwasher load, and cleanup is done. I hope everyone had a great day. Elliesdad had a glorious day. 🙂

  28. The Klown says:

    Or maybe we just ain’t buying what you’re selling.

  29. The Klown says:

    This looks interesting:

  30. I don’t know how to post video, but this is SOOOOOO CUTE!

  31. Ahem…well lookie there!

    Sounds like everyone had a nice Christmas!

    😉

  32. DandyTIger says:

    Thank you Buzz Lightyear

  33. Somebody says:

    Merry Christmas to everyone here at TCH! I hope you all had a wonderful day!

  34. Jadzia says:

    Klown, you’re more sentimental than I am. My go-to Christmas movies are The Lion in Winter and The Ref. That probably tells you all you need to know about my family.

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