He’s so much a part of our holiday that we forget that the Grinch is a relatively modern addition to Christmas – barely fifty years old. He was crafted by two geniuses – Dr. Seuss, and Boris Karloff, who supplied the voice. Is it because tart makes the sweet sweeter that characters like the Grinch and his much older colleague, Scrooge stand unabashedly among the much jollier Santa, Rudolf, Frosty, and Clarence the angel.
There must be something more to it.
I think we can pretty much forget the Jim Carey version.
Most children under 10 have never heard of it. The Grinch was meant to be in rough animation with the voice of Frankenstein’s monster giving it life.
The Grinch sells a lot of Tequila, as the story is the subject of a very popular drinking game. Odd – that thievery and drunkenness would be forgiven as the Grinch is celebrated in these politically correct times.
Of course It’s a Wonderful Life is similarly celebrated, and nobody mentions Jimmy Stewart’s brawling or the verbal abuse of his wife, his kids, Bert the cop, and a school teacher.
But the Grinch was also an abuser of animals. Something that was accepted and considered funny in cartoons of the 60s, surely can’t be tolerated in an age of PETA.
Where do these Christmas icons get their teflon? Do we forgive the Grinch because adorable Cindy Lou Who does? Maybe it’s because he did kindly heroic things at the end.
But what did he do? He stopped a sled of stolen loot (and the pet he had abused constantly,) from falling off a cliff. That’s certainly a feat of strength, but any unrepentant thief would wish to do the same. He blew a trumpet as he rushed into Whoville, returning most of what he had taken, (remember, items fell off his sled.) But he still had all that he had at the beginning of the tale, and he and his minion got a great meal out of the deal. What was so kindly or heroic about that?
So – we have a crafty, avaricious, spiteful man. He steals everything he can from his neighbors. He then gives some of it back, but his victimization cycle leaves him in the black. Not only does he gain materially, but he’s haled as a hero and a great guy. He gets to sit at the head of the table and decide (through carving,) exactly how much roast beast goes to each citizen of Whoville.
Oh – I get it!
We revere the Grinch because he is the patron saint of politicians.
Here's more from Carlin on politics - Warning, Carlin was not exactly delicate in his presentation