Friday, December 26, 2008

THE Infamous Christmas Post FINALLY


OK. Nothing amusing, nasty or even mildly Mencken-esque (he's spinning in his grave over what the barking spiders and oozing starfish on Wall Street have done to newspapers and book publishing). Nope it's this, from Charles Dickens. Something to think about for the next 11 months, and perhaps reflect upon as we look at 2008. Some say Great Expectations or Martin Chuzzlewit are Dickens' best work. For Literature professors, perhaps. Unh- unh, not for the real world. I say it's A Christmas Carol. Look at this pivotal passage. It will apply to so many things. And it's nimble: applies to each of us, and, in turn— each of can project it as a dodge or denial. Hope you had a Merry Christmas. Best for the New Year.Nat…

The Ghost calls, "Look here." From the folds of its robe, Spirit reveals two children; wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable. They knelt down at its feet, and clung upon the outside of its garment. They were a boy and a girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing.

Scrooge recoils in horror. “Spirit…who are these children?”

"They are Man's," says the Ghost, looking down upon them. “This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. Deny it." The Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city, cries, "Slander those who tell it ye. Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse. And abide the end."


"Have they no refuge or resource?" cries Scrooge. "Are there no prisons?" the Spirit mocks in Scrooge's own words. "Are there no workhouses?"

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

SoCal 82Tiger Says:

Professor – Never have the effects of Ignorance and Want been so evident as in Wall Street's 2008 meltdown. The want and greed of those on Wall Street knew no bounds in pursuit of the almighty dollar and it feed OUR ignorance to believe the slick hucksters who sold us the story that we could get something for nothing with our investment dollars.

My point – Just to back one year and ask anyone if earning a 5.5% return on a Federally insured investment dollar was good enough – We were universally told to say NO IT WAS NOT! Rational intelligent decisions were not happening as long as people everywhere were being bombarded with the message that they were missing the boat on more sexy investments earning 10/15 or 20% returns all with “little or no risk” to their money.

I do not want to sound like an admirer of Goebbels, BUT he was right – You tell people big lies (about anyone or anything) often & long enough, and soon enough people will believe that you are telling the truth…

The words of Dickens offer us a timely reminder that often Fools easily part with their money. When WE get over this (and we will) will WE do what's necessary so as not to get fooled again? Alas, the cynic in me says NO - How say you?

Chris – I wish you and yours all the best for the Holidays and hope you keep on as a provocateur in 2009. TI get together in March?

Lisa said...

That's SoCal's take. Mine is closer to the spirit to which it was offered by the Ghost of Christmas Present

Anonymous said...

"Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish"

Isn't that YOU?

Ha! Merry Christmas!!

carl said...

I'm still weighing this. Deceptively deep, or you phoned this in and went back to the egg nogg...

Anonymous said...

SoCal 82 Tiger Says:

Re: Lisa – Please forgive my Holiday Season downer. My take on the Professor's post was simply to offer a critique of the current mess WE have allowed ourselves to fall in to...
Alas my jaundiced eye comes from too many years in financial services watching people racing towards this crash!

As for family, friends, and I - Pay no mind to my cynicism. Despite the gloom and doom of the moment, WE annually strive to keep the spirit of Christmas Present alive and well among us!!!

Have A Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Great New Year!

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