Good old YouTube... I watched the first part of the Alistair Sim "Scrooge" last night. 1951 black and white film.
My dad loved this movie and he and I watched it whenever we could find it on TV. These years I watch it with his ghost by my side.
I always found this film ominous - lots of fierce music, for one thing. And how miserable Scrooge was. It really is a ghost story.
Here is Scrooge in his counting house, refusing to contribute to the funds requested by soliciting fellow businessmen. His lines have always disturbed me, and this year they really hit me.
"Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude," returned the gentleman, "a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?"
"Nothing!" Scrooge replied.
"You wish to be anonymous?"
"I wish to be left alone," said Scrooge. "Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don't make merry myself at Christmas, and I can't afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned—they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there."
"Many can't go there; and many would rather die."
"If they would rather die," said Scrooge, "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. "
All I could think of was the number of deaths from COVID, especially among those who are poor.
Scrooge gets visited by the ghost of Jacob Marley and three other ghosts.
"Mankind was my business!" Marley's ghost tells Scrooge.
It's the final ghost, the ghost of Christmas yet to come, clinches it for the terrified Scrooge.
The ghost story becomes a conversion story.
This Christmas, I look on COVID 19 as a ghostly visitation in many ways. How we all respond to its demands - especially the wealthy, and those in political and economic power, will determine our future.