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Advert Sunday - Crossing the Central Reservation of My Imagination [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Craig L

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Advert Sunday [30th Nov. 2008|19:08]
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Last Wednesday I received my first Christmas card of the year from a business, which I suppose marks the end of the beginning of the pre-Christmas season, even though Ordinary Time doesn't officially end until today. Yet another reminder of how the holiday has changed since Dickens first conceived of it in 1840. The traditional Christmas of work houses, ghosts, humbug, little children on crutches, etc. seems far removed from the grotesque spectacle it has become.

Those of you who have watched the original Gremlins will no doubt recall the scene in which Phoebe Cates, having suffered a massive psychotic break on camera, ad-libbed for ten straight minutes in a trace-like monotone a fantastical tale of her drunken father having broken his neck whilst attempting to enter the house via the chimney wearing a Santa outfit, before herself collapsing and being rushed to hospital. It being the final day of shooting, Spielberg had no choice but to include the scene, heavily edited with an actress double filling in continuity shots, in place of the intended sap-filled confession of undying true love that almost assuredly would have sunk the entire film. Instead, it captured the true meaning of Christmas in a way yet unsurpassed, and of course, the film itself was a box office smash.
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[User Picture]From: cz_unit
2008-12-01 01:09 (UTC)

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Actually before Dickens, Christmas used to be a massive drunken orgy. So bad that the city of NYC was thinking about banning the whole thing since December was turning into a classic baccanal.

The whole Dickens thing was designed to replace "wild partying" (Think Detroit) with family, friends, pie, and all that stuff.

So in a way we're just getting back to our roots. :-)

CZ
[User Picture]From: blipvert
2008-12-01 04:55 (UTC)

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That's very interesting. Although, I was brought up Catholic, so I think we did have the orgies. Otherwise, you might be right. In which case, I would say that the world has gotten Mr Dickens' message but not his point. A Christmas Carol is fundamentally the story of what happens to the human psyche when subjected to the extraordinary levels of angst and stress that the Christmas season typically brings. That it truly ends happily is left intentionally vague: Scrooge's overnight personality change would be regarded with concern by any competent medical professional then or now.
From: vorvolaka
2008-12-01 08:55 (UTC)

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[User Picture]From: blipvert
2008-12-01 16:35 (UTC)

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That's the spirit!