Posted by: clholoman | December 17, 2012

There’s more of gravy than of grave about you

One of my friends and colleagues dropped by today to ask if I had given up on blogging. A reasonable query, given recent history. I am pretty pleased with earlier entries, and sad that I haven’t been more diligent, so will try to do better. There are some interesting things in higher ed, but quite honestly, I don’t really think anybody knows what’s going on in any meaningful way, and it really is inside baseball, so I have not felt compelled to weigh in.

But then, something came to my attention that deserves some serious discussion. Our local paper and AMC both (perhaps not coincidentally) rate the George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol with only two stars. This is a travesty of the first order. This is clearly, to the literate among us, the definitive version of this great work. Which other one would you propose? (Suggestions welcomed in comments.) Let us dispense immediately with the pretender to the throne, the Alastair Sim version. He’s much too silly. If you like this one, why not just skip to Mr. Magoo? The recent Disney version with Jim Carrey in whatever that animation system is called has its moments, but in the end, too much superfluous material (Scrooge hopping a ride behind a cab?)  and visual crap for the in-theater (3-D?) crowd. The Scott version is very faithful to the source material (although no one has done justice to the best scene in the book–the feast at Fezziwig’s) and Scrooge has the right amount of menace prior to his conversion.(The Patrick Stewart version has some redeeming features, but in the end, who is the better Scrooge, Capt. Picard or Gen. Patton?)

And if we’re not going to stick to the book, the best version is the Muppets. “One More Sleep til Christmas” would become a standard if it had another verse or two.

I’ll blog about credit hours and such soon. Stay tuned!


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