[ExI] christmas songs 2
pjmanney at gmail.com
Tue Dec 11 16:25:30 UTC 2007
I have found this whole exchange on Dickens's "A Christmas Carol"
fascinating. Because you all seem to have missed the point of the
story as I see it. It's not about welfare or charity or buying whisky
The story is all about the capacity to love. Can you love? Can you
love yourself? If you can't love yourself, can you love others?
As we all know, many people cannot do either. Scrooge certainly couldn't.
Scrooge had lost the only people he loved -- his sister died and the
woman he loved and hoped to marry was denied him, so believing he was
unworthy of love, he spent the rest of his life thinking money could
replace love, because he thought his lack of money is what lost him
love in the first place. To Scrooge, no one deserves money=love more
By having the crap scared out of him and the turning points of his
life made clear, Scrooge learns that love is all that matters. Money
simply confers freedom. And to people who are not free, freedom is
the ultimate gift. So he transfers that money=love in the form of
generosity to both the people who know him (relatives, Crachits) and
those who don't (charity workers).
Christmas is a symbol of a time of love, not just of one's self,
family, friends, but of all humanity. It's the one time of the year a
certain segment of the population pay at least lip service to the
value of universal love. This is what Dickens is referencing. You
can reject Christianity, but you can't claim the story is irrelevant
just because you don't dig the religious references or the handouts.
It's all about context.
Dickens knew better than anyone living in the most powerful empire on
Earth at the time what deep societal unhappiness economic selfishness
and a lack of brotherly love had wrought. Just read any of his other
novels to see the devastation that abounds in the early years of the
industrial revolution in Britain. They are not exaggerations. (Only
his wonderful names are exaggerations!) They are documentary, much of
it based on his own childhood living in workhouses and debtors'
prison. It is not a coincidence that reform movements in 19th C.
Britain came right on the heels of his works. His writings did more
to expose his culture's injustices and crimes and ameliorate man's
inhumanity to man than all the
H+ers/Extropians/Transhumanists/Futurists put together.
Think about that. And Happy Holidays. ;-)
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