Every year, I watch a Scrooge film.
My favourite is A Muppet Christmas Carol (mainly because it's alive with wit and the jazziest coloured foam ever), closely followed by the recent Jim Carrey offering. If next year ushers in yet another version featuring Justin Bieber and a pony then no doubt I’ll add that to the roster of Scrooge films that bring a warm glow to my heart every Christmas. Better still, if the leccy goes tits up, there’s always the original book
Why do I like this story?
Because it says great things about humankind. Even if puppets are involved. Whenever we’re truly creative and generous, we’re capable of some pretty fantastic stuff. We stop being cunts to one another and demonstrate a profound capacity for positive change.
I like this story because it’s about the future. It bowls us a chance to recreate the seemingly immutable — and to do so for the best of reasons. I’m heartened that we have had the wit to begin abandoning the harsh world Dickens inhabited. Such a place was never an inevitability, some odd quirk of unquashable nature. We made it up, and we took it apart.
I shall therefore be sparing a thought tomorrow for the thousands of families whose Christmas dinners will be made up largely from odd tins and packs of meat garnered from food banks. An alarming change has taken place here in the UK in recent years. Not only have we become sufficiently mean spirited to permit the acceleration of this retrograde Dickensian lurch but all sense of shame about our newfound absence of moral compass appears to have gone out of the window. Indeed, if we are to believe Work and Pensions Secretary & High Priestess of Drudge, Iain Duncan-Smith, joining up the dots between the biggest ever cuts to social security and the rising numbers of people in need of food banks is “scaremongering”.
I don’t know about you, but I’m more than happy to be scared in this way right now.
Maybe this is the year to drop all the Scrooge stuff and go with a horror film. Making the break from A Muppet Christmas Carol isn’t going to be easy so I figure maybe I’ll run with Frankenstein. The monster is no stranger to a little all-body lime green tint, and in his own sweet way he’s still kind of a puppet. Sure, he rips off a few people’s heads in a way that even Miss Piggy never did, but the guy has a heart underneath it all, and those flashes of lightning over Dr Frankenstein’s castle could look quite festive if juxtaposed with the waft of an apple and cinnamon candle.
Or would Psycho be more apt? Ripping a few heads off is no big deal after all. What makes Psycho truly scary is the villain’s lack of apology or remorse.