HE on Christmas

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

Moderator: Moderator

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: HE on Christmas

Postby FrankChurch » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:49 am

Rented, from the library, George C. Scott playing Scrooge in a Christmas Carol. I'd say that is the best version. The Tiny Tim is almost perfect. Sweet, pitiful, you want to help him.

The ultimate irony of that story is how close it comes to how conservatives look at the voters--they being Scrooge.

User avatar
Steve Evil
Posts: 3519
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:22 pm
Location: Some Cave in Kanata
Contact:

Re: HE on Christmas

Postby Steve Evil » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:59 pm

Funny how so many still fail to get the message. . .

Mark Tiedemann
Posts: 2575
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: HE on Christmas

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:56 am

My dad used to go on an annual rant about A Christmas Carol, bitching about how it was all just bullshit, that fer cripes sake, Cratchit has a house and just what the hell is Scrooge supposed to do about Tiny Tim anyway, if the kid's that sick money won't fix it, etc etc etc...

It was tiring.

A few years back, I did a little research, in anticipation of the next rant.

Scrooge paid Cratchit 15 shillings a week, which comes out to about $115.00 in recent money. On that, he has to house, clothe, and feed seven. While it never says in the text, Cratchit likely did not own his house, but rented it. No doubt, they had no money left for "luxuries" and probably ate poorly two or three days a week.

As to Tiny Tim's illness, if we assume---which people do---that Dickens was a keen observer of his world, then his assertion that Scrooge could do something about the kid's condition must be taken at face value. So what was he suffering from?

Rickets was common back then, but with rare exceptions rickets is not fatal. Spinal tuberculosis is also a candidate, and that would have been untreatable, but...

Renal tubular acidosis. A not uncommon condition suffered by a lot of kids then and actually, in some places around the world, today. It's an imbalance involving the kidneys in which certain acids are not properly dealt with in the system and leach into the bones, destroying them. It only occurs in prepubescents, and if they survive it, the changes during puberty "fix" it. But untreated it is often lethal. It's symptoms are as Dickens described.

Treatment? Basically, an alkili-based patent medicine (essentially, an antacid) which was also common in London then. They didn't know what it was but they had a "cure"---at roughly two to five shillings a bottle, which lasted a week. Money Cratchit didn't have.

But which Scrooge did.

Thus prepared to tell my dad to stuff it, he hasn't indulged his rant since and I haven't been able to use any of this.

User avatar
Moderator
Site Admin
Posts: 10607
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:17 pm
Contact:

Re: HE on Christmas

Postby Moderator » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:11 am

Patience, Mark. You have 19 more days in which he might go off.

But only 15 until the Apocalypse.


(Speaking of which, I have seen more than a few new items about people "putting their houses in order" or storing up supplies. Um, why? If you truly believe the world is going to be destroyed, neither is really necessary since you won't be around to make use, nor will anyone else benefit because you were organized. We all daid like them people what went to live on the comet.)

(Just sayin'.)
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

User avatar
Lori Koonce
Posts: 3538
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:10 pm
Location: San Francisco California
Contact:

Re: HE on Christmas

Postby Lori Koonce » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:58 pm

Barber wrote:Patience, Mark. You have 19 more days in which he might go off.

But only 15 until the Apocalypse.


(Speaking of which, I have seen more than a few new items about people "putting their houses in order" or storing up supplies. Um, why? If you truly believe the world is going to be destroyed, neither is really necessary since you won't be around to make use, nor will anyone else benefit because you were organized. We all daid like them people what went to live on the comet.)

(Just sayin'.)


It's not just news items hon.

I swear it will put a shiver down your spine, but the Nat Geo Channel has a show called Doomsday Prepers. It's truly scary.

It's not just the end of the world they are concerned about. Some of them believe that our government is getting ready to turn on us, and that they need to be ready to defend ourselves against that.

Mark Tiedemann
Posts: 2575
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: HE on Christmas

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:13 am

Lori Koonce wrote:
It's not just news items hon.

I swear it will put a shiver down your spine, but the Nat Geo Channel has a show called Doomsday Prepers. It's truly scary.

It's not just the end of the world they are concerned about. Some of them believe that our government is getting ready to turn on us, and that they need to be ready to defend ourselves against that.


Nothing new about them, I've been seeing news items about these cooks since the early 70s. Amazing to me how they can accumulate all that stuff to be "self sufficient" and not realize what kind of a world it takes to make it all in the first place.

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: HE on Christmas

Postby FrankChurch » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:26 pm

Canned goods alone will not help you against the beast.

Clean water would just go so far.

diane bartels
Posts: 1255
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:29 pm
Location: CHICAGO IL

Re: HE on Christmas

Postby diane bartels » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:12 pm

unless it's holy water, Frank.

Seriously, I would not want to stay alive in a world that didn't have you guys and Harlan and Neil and Amanda and my extra-cyber friends, especially Monica whom I have to call and my family. And so on. Take the beauty of our world and its people and animals away and what is there to keep living for? So no I am not worried about the apocolypse at all. And I can't spell it.

User avatar
Chuck Messer
Posts: 2089
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 9:15 pm
Location: Lakewood, Colorado

Re: HE on Christmas

Postby Chuck Messer » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:14 am

Don't worry about the spelling, Diane. You were only one letter off from spelling apocalypse. I don't think Kali is going to dance the Apocalypso any time soon.

Then again, there's a bullet out there with our name on it. If it's not too big, and we spot it in time, we can do something about that.

It's amazing that so many people, fundamentalist Christians in particular, who look forward to the end of the world. Really? Do they view it like some kind of epic movie? An anticipation of vindication? Just wait until the end, then you'll see, you heathen you.

Oh, and merry Xmas.

Ho. Ho. Ho.

Chuck
Some people are wedded to their ideology the way nuns are wed to God.

User avatar
Steve Evil
Posts: 3519
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:22 pm
Location: Some Cave in Kanata
Contact:

Re: HE on Christmas

Postby Steve Evil » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:56 pm

For some folks, "End of the World" actually means "End of Civilization". They, of course, would be left to pick up the pieces, and if they were lucky, could even live high off the detritus for several years (ala Wyndham's "cozy catastrophes"). . .

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: HE on Christmas

Postby FrankChurch » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:00 am

I get it now--the Mayans are helping Santa Clause.

User avatar
Chuck Messer
Posts: 2089
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 9:15 pm
Location: Lakewood, Colorado

Re: HE on Christmas

Postby Chuck Messer » Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:07 pm

Hey, you can no fool-a me. I know there ain't-a no Sanity Clause!
Some people are wedded to their ideology the way nuns are wed to God.


Return to “General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests