Thursday, December 15, 2005

CPI, and A Rousing Defense of Myself

The Consumer Price Index today registered its largest drop since before the Korean War.  That seems to most people to be indicative of lack of inflationary pressure.  Not to bond traders, of course, who responded by selling.

The economy officially makes zero sense.

Regarding my post yesterday about Scrooge, I got this response from my father, who happens to be playing Fezziwig in Utah’s #1 performance of A Christmas Carol, at the Hale Centre Theater in Salt Lake:

Gordon Jones wrote:
BTW, Scrooge's nephew is Fred, not George.
Richard[Wilkins, who plays Scrooge and has for 2o years] read your piece last night.  He says you need to read his notes in the program, but he thought you made some good points.
The change of heart for his Scrooge doesn't produce (only) trivial gifts to individuals but support for education to eliminate Ignorance which will attack Want more broadly.

And here is my response:

I do not recall the support for education in any of the movies I have seen, and since this is a piece about movies, and not Christmas stories in general - I dislike most of those so much that I don't think I could do a piece on them - I don't feel any necessity of dealing with that part of Scrooge's transformation.  If it comes to that, I don't recall any such transformation in the story, either, which I confess I read only once.And really, so what if his change generates support for education?  What is it that he will use for the means of that support?  His time?  Not likely.  And if he did, it would be to the ruination of his other ventures, without doubt.  This is the standard liberal tripe where we'd all be better off if we lived in the mountains contemplating our navels.  What nonsense.  Scrooge will support education, if he chooses, with big chunks of money, ala Leland Stanford.  Great idea.  Fully in support of it.  Can't do it myself.  Which is, of course, the point of the essay.  Scrooge et al are role models without substantial value to the current population, or to any population, as far as I can determine.In fact, and this is the darker side of the issue, I am surrounded by people that have the idea that what they should do is neglect their families so that they can make them comfortable monetarily.  They'll use the money to go on church missions, they say, or to give to the missionary funds, or to donate generously to charitable causes.  In the meantime their actions make it increasingly likely that someone will have to engage in missionary work to their own children, because the example they see has absolutely nothing to do with a testimony of God, and everything to do with the management of the creature.  This attitude makes me angry.  I consider it to be perhaps the most insidious and destructive of all Lucifer’s lies.  And I do believe that movies like this perpetuate those lies.  At first blush, it would seem that A Christmas Carol teaches precisely the opposite lesson, that one should, in fact, spend one's time being concerned about mankind rather than focusing on money.  But does it really?  If we want to emulate Scrooge, how can we, unless we do what Scrooge did?  And then, because time is not fungible, that moment I steal for the office is one I won't get to give my Charlotte.  The office will be there tomorrow.  Charlotte, though, tomorrow's Charlotte, will be married and living in Lima.  She needs Dad now, not once Dad reaches the revenue goal for the 3rd quarter, and she needs not Dad's wallet, but Dad himself.  I will therefore never be Scrooge, for good or for ill.So along comes A Christmas Carol to teach us - perhaps without quite meaning to - that it's okay to spend 50 years as a nasty curmudgeon, because there will always be time to use one's accumulated wealth then for the Advancement of Education, or the Support of the Less Fortunate, or the Serving of God.  But there will not always be time.Cj