A couple of funny things happened on the way to today’s post! The first thing is that — apparently due to having unknown Time Posting powers (or perhaps there was a passing Christmas Time Warp) — the post posted today tunneled back in time two days!
And while I’m pleased with this new-found power (I am a bit puzzled on how to wield it in the Name of Goodness), the point of posting a “Night Before Christmas” parody on the night before Christmas is — in fact — that you are posting it on the night before Christmas. (Naturally, my ruling star of Irony would insure that, with great power comes great befuddlement.)
But combined with the other thing that happened today, I choose to take this as a sign to write a new Christmas Eve post. You see, today I was Freshly Pressed!
The folks at WordPress selected my Santa: Man or Woman? post, and that’s a heck of a Christmas Eve gift for one thing, I’ll tell you that! Until now, I’ve been quietly laboring in a largely unexplored section of the blogsphere. Suddenly I’m in the spotlight on the Freshly Pressed roller coaster! Being a bit of a data geek, I’ll be tracking my numbers (heart rate, blood pressure,…).
To My New Readers:
There’s beer in the fridge and pizza and crunchy things over on the table there (the edible crunchies are in the bowls). Sit anywhere you can (I vacuumed, so it should be safe to sit on the floor; you might avoid any spot where bits of the carpet appear to be moving).
If you’d like to explore the place, naturally you’ll read the About page. If you’d like a bit more detail, see the Who (am I) and Why (am I doing this) pages. You might also be interested in the Disclaimer (we’re not responsible for articles placed in lockers, lost children or alien encounters).
And if you get interested, there’s a Reading List that will help introduce you to the place’s content. (And, of course, there’s the usual WordPress ways of navigating around: tags, categories, previous months, etc.)
As I say, it’s quite a Christmas gift!
And in my family, Christmas Eve was the time of gift opening (I know that for some it’s Christmas morning). I really appreciate that batteries are not required; I just hope it’ll be easy to house train. And I’m not entirely sure what to feed it; I hope it likes pizza.
So todays’ been fun. Both the Patrick Stewart and George C. Scott versions of A Christmas Carol were on today. So was the recent Disney animated one with Jim Carrey voicing Scrooge, but I missed it (conflicted with the Stewart version).
It’s funny how deeply that story affects me even after seeing it over and over. I still get big tears at the end when Scrooge is redeemed. Every time. Part of it’s just being a sucker for a happy ending — that’s part of the value of stories (at least those that do have a happy ending).
More than being just a happy ending, it’s about the idea that good can prevail, that it’s never too late to discover (or re-discover) joy. And even more than that, it’s about how anyone can be redeemed, how anyone can change for the better, even late in life.
The story also shows how good people can take a wrong path, can have the wrong priorities. It shows how a life can turn sour through loss or pain or greed. Evil can grow slowly, like a mold, and it can be impossible to see the tipping point where a good person loses that goodness, where a good person turns their back on values they once cherished.
But most importantly it shows that it’s never too late.
The idea of people changing ties into something else for me.
I’ve been noticing a lot of blog posts expressing wishes for a better world. (Which very clearly is sorely needed.) Many of these posts, when you distill out the style, art and perspective of the author, boil down to this: “The world would be a much better place if people stopped acting like people and started acting like decent human beings!”
Which is hard to argue with. And I wouldn’t.
Given the difficulty of implementing three-ghost experiences for everyone, how do we get people to stop acting like people (and start acting like decent human beings)?
For a long time, one of my answers to the “What super power do you crave most?” question was the power to visit upon someone one of those Twilight Zone-type experiences where they are forcibly confronted with the full flower of their particular mode of asshatness. Given the evidence of the Dickens tale and all those Twilight Zone episodes, it would seem a very effective means of Social Misbehavior Adjustment.
But the nagging question remains. How to effect change? How to change the most bloody mindedly difficult thing to change: human nature? I try to do what I can with my little patch of reality. And I try to encourage others to do what they can with their patches.
Doesn’t seem like much.
Doesn’t seem like enough.
Well, a new year is coming; let’s see what we can do with it. Let’s all try to work on our little patch.
Let’s at least try to find Joy. (She’s got the bottle opener.)