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Bah! Humbug! Dickens, Scrooge, and the Occupy Movement

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Scrooge (Peter Moore) and Bob Cratchit (Andy Paterson) det. by Samuel W. Flint

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol has never gone out of print since it was published in 1843, and quickly became a hallmark of the holiday season.

From Arab Spring to Zuccotti Park, the story has particular relevance in 2011.


Scrooge with The Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come (det.) by Samuel W. Flint

Dickens' himself experienced both ends of the financial spectrum in his lifetime. His family fell into hard times when he was 12, and he abruptly went from leisurely days of reading and attending a private school, to an experience of cruel child labor that he never forgot, nor seemed to fully recover from.   While not a long lasting situation, it inspired his stories for the rest of his life. And later in life when Dickens was a financial success, he generously funded services for the poor.

The wiki notes:

"Inspired by the February 1843 parliamentary report exposing the effects of the Industrial Revolution upon poor children, called Second Report of the Children's Employment Commission , Dickens planned in May 1843 to publish an inexpensive political pamphlet tentatively titled, "An Appeal to the People of England, on behalf of the Poor Man's Child,' but changed his mind, deferring the pamphlet's production until the end of the year."

"In a fund-raising speech on 5 October 1843 " Dickens urged workers and employers to join together to combat ignorance with educational reform. (He) realized in the days following that the most effective way to reach the broadest segment of the population with his social concerns about poverty and injustice was to write a deeply-felt Christmas narrative, rather than polemical pamphlets and essays."

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Once inspired, Dickens finished the narrative in 6 weeks. His originally planned political pamphlet -- which likely would have been quickly forgotten -- had evolved into the unforgettable classic, A Christmas Carol.


Carolers performed Victorian carols, accompanied by antique instruments. by Samuel W. Flint

Norfolk, VA actor D.D. Delaney, creator of the one-man show, "The Concise Christmas Carol," notes that the story "argues for a unique brand of socialism in which individual conscience, rather than government, mandates a fair distribution of wealth throughout society, adequately meeting the needs of all."

He calls this a "paradigm shift" toward the kind of "voluntary socialism" espoused in the Sermon on the Mount.

 
D.D. Delaney as Scrooge by D.D. DelaneyDSCROG

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And Delaney should know, he's been acting in "The Christmas Carol" since 1959, when he played the role of nephew Fred. He's also played the roles of Scrooge and Marley in a variety of venues. With the development of his Concise Christmas Carol in 2006, he now portrays 22 characters during his spellbinding one-hour adaptation of the famous tale.

As someone who has portrayed Scrooge, Delaney notes that Ebenezer was not simply a candy-coated curmudgeon, as he is often portrayed in more lighthearted versions of the story. Delaney characterizes the real Scrooge as a deeply troubled and vicious, Cheney-esque man who would happily squeeze the life-blood out of any poor soul within reach, if it might enrich him in the slightest.


D.D. Delaney as Mrs. Dilber by Jala Magik

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http://www.merylannbutler.com

Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing for over 25 years. She studied art with Harold Ransom Stevenson in Sea Cliff NY for seven years before opening her own art school. Stevenson had (more...)
 

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Thanks, Meryl Ann for bringing Dickens' wonderful ... by Lise Stoessel on Saturday, Dec 24, 2011 at 11:22:42 AM
when I re-read the story with the occupy movement ... by Meryl Ann Butler on Saturday, Dec 24, 2011 at 12:14:02 PM
To add, "It's a Wonderful Life" is another very re... by BFalcon on Saturday, Dec 24, 2011 at 8:45:36 PM
... to "It's a Wonderful Life" - another classic w... by Meryl Ann Butler on Saturday, Dec 24, 2011 at 9:52:56 PM
"A Christmas Carol" and "Its a Wonderful Life" hav... by hkatzman on Sunday, Dec 25, 2011 at 3:03:59 AM
To define buying "a prize turkey' and some coal to... by BFalcon on Sunday, Dec 25, 2011 at 4:00:44 AM
and thanks for the private spell check email! I fi... by Meryl Ann Butler on Saturday, Dec 24, 2011 at 12:17:18 PM
Absolutely relevant! Here's my theatre review of t... by R A Bows on Saturday, Dec 24, 2011 at 1:03:23 PM
I am on my way to your review right now!... by Meryl Ann Butler on Saturday, Dec 24, 2011 at 3:39:26 PM
wow i want to see those costumes - if I was in CO,... by Meryl Ann Butler on Saturday, Dec 24, 2011 at 9:37:42 PM
I saw A Christmas Carol last night (the newer one ... by billy Jackson on Saturday, Dec 24, 2011 at 3:01:39 PM
I have my fingers crossed for all of the 1% to get... by Meryl Ann Butler on Saturday, Dec 24, 2011 at 3:41:19 PM
Dicken's lost his fear of loss and regained his so... by Patrick McGean on Saturday, Dec 24, 2011 at 7:10:19 PM
that what it all boils down to is that the Golden ... by Meryl Ann Butler on Saturday, Dec 24, 2011 at 9:39:43 PM
Thank you Meryl Ann.  Very appropriate... by tim mcghie on Saturday, Dec 24, 2011 at 8:21:45 PM
Thanks for your comment, glad you liked it! I thin... by Meryl Ann Butler on Saturday, Dec 24, 2011 at 9:42:54 PM
that's why I think we need an independent to run f... by tim mcghie on Sunday, Dec 25, 2011 at 4:24:00 PM
Statistics show that the spirit of giving is ... by Carol Davidek-Waller on Saturday, Dec 24, 2011 at 10:41:06 PM
the current manifestation of "the corporate struct... by Meryl Ann Butler on Sunday, Dec 25, 2011 at 7:28:59 AM
Dear Meryl, How ironic that you would wax sta... by don curry on Saturday, Dec 24, 2011 at 10:59:33 PM
... but I would LOVE to participate in "a u... by Meryl Ann Butler on Sunday, Dec 25, 2011 at 7:20:05 AM