Friday, December 10, 2004

HO HO HORSESHIT. "'I hate Christmas.' Every year the chorus seems to grow louder, leaving a trail of sour feelings and ACLU lawsuits for ordinary folks to trip over on their way to celebrate a holiday born of love," writes one of the less talented OpinionJournal staffers in an attack on people who don't like Christmas, which demographic the author imagines to consist of spoiled children, celebrity offspring, and, of course, liberals.

This short-straw-drawing scrivener should get a load of "In Defense of Scrooge," written by Michael Levin of the Ludwig van Mises Institute:
So let's look without preconceptions at Scrooge's allegedly underpaid clerk, Bob Cratchit. The fact is, if Cratchit's skills were worth more to anyone than the fifteen shillings Scrooge pays him weekly, there would be someone glad to offer it to him. Since no one has, and since Cratchit's profit-maximizing boss is hardly a man to pay for nothing, Cratchit must be worth exactly his present wages.
I dusted the article for irony and it seems to be an authentic, market-driven tesimonial to Scrooge. (The Free Republic smell test was inconclusive, devolving mainly into fights between Protestants and Catholics, though I enjoyed this comment by nopardons: "Charles Dickens was a sentimentalist and the very worst kind of bleeding heart LIBERAL, and ALL of his books contain and promote what we would call socially LIBERAL monographs." But let us not tarry, that way madness lies.)

I happen to dislike the bad things about Christmas (like the insane consumerist expectations, which always put me in mind of Ben Gazzara in Convicts 4, sitting in his slum apartment on Christmas Eve, trying frantically to re-insert the stuffing of a broken rag doll that will serve as his daughter's only present; when the doll ruptures irrevocably, he buries his head in his heads, then runs out and kills a store clerk), and to like the good things, like time off from work. I guess that makes me a moderate! Now maybe Michael Totten will buy me a latte.

(Convicts 4 is always worth a look, by the way, especially for Sammy Davis Jr. as "Wino," who explains to Gazzara that the prison bedbugs won't bite him "because they find something repulsive in my sweat," and Ray Walston as "Iggy," who keeps asking the art teacher to tell him about focal points "because it sounds sexy.")

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