The Grinch and Cynics


How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a Christmas classic. Nuff said. The plot is simple; evil bad man doesn’t like Christmas nor anyone who celebrates it and seeks to destroy it. In the end, his heart is changed and he comes to love the holiday.

The reasoning that the Grinch uses to justify his meanness is that the Whoviller’s are only into the whole Christmas thing for the gifts. It’s pure materialism so says the Grinch. But worst yet they refuse to admit it. So in order to prove this point, the Grinch quite literally steals Christmas. But here’s the twist. The Whoviller’s while initially shocked and sad at the loss of their gifts decide to cure their broken hearts by singing hymns and being together.

The Grinch is shocked and befuddled. The behavior expected was not exhibited. And this causes a radical reshaping in how he views the world. He changes and atones for the sin of his theft by returning the goods stolen.

So what was the point of this story? Well, this author thinks that it shows a bitter truth about cynicism. That once the cynic embraces his philosophy that there is nothing left in the end. After Machiavelli wrote his famous/infamous book of advice (The Prince) the common response by people like Frederick the Great was that this sort of thinking and ideology propagated by Machiavelli would produce nothing but social rot. This is for the simple reason that if everything is based around maintaining power, then there is no room for anything else.

Marx would a few centuries later make a similar point as Machiavelli in regards to capitalism and man. The chains of competition and economy degraded men. The family was nothing but an economic model. Relationships too. Religion was an opiate. Marxism’s goal is to produce the new ‘social man’ unconstrained and free.

However, before we march through Red Square with our freak flags flying we should stop and ask, is there more than meets the eye? In the story of the Grinch as previously mentioned the Grinch is proven wrong. There is more to the Whoviller’s than meets the eye. Being a cynic in and of itself carries a poison to it. Yes, it may be correct in some instances. We should all be cynical enough to know that politicians lie whenever convenient and the media too. Not all that glitters is gold. But if your entire personality and outlook on life is cynicism, then what is left for you? When all the kings have no clothes and all the gold has been revealed to be fools, then what?

Cynicism to this author’s mind should be used to take the gilding off of corrupt institutions and bad behavior. But one must have their basis in something stronger. Something lasting. When you lose all your presents, you may shed a few bitter tears, but then one should be able to stand up and sing a hymn of thanks.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year.


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