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Musings on Magoo

I know I said yesterday that I would plan a better blog post for today, but nobody really got their hopes up, did they? I hope a Midweek Middle-aged Musing will suffice.

The other day Steven and I watched one of our all time favorite Christmas specials: Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol. Like many children in the ’60s (no, not in THEIR 60s, in the years following 1960. Sheesh!), it was our first introduction to the Charles Dickens classic.

The old Mr. Magoo cartoons have fallen into bad repute these days. Some people say they do not find it amusing to make fun of someone’s disability, in this case nearsightedness. This is, of course, a worthy sentiment. If I recall the original cartoons, the joke was that Mr. Magoo was completely oblivious to the fact that he could not see and to all the trouble it got him into. Everything always worked out for him in the end.

That doesn’t make it right to make fun of him, the argument continues. Perhaps not, but consider this: Many vision problems are easily correctable with a pair of glasses, and many people are too cheap, vain or stubborn to provide themselves with glasses. I think cheapness, vanity and stubbornness are OK to make fun of.

Ebenezer Scrooge falls into the cheap category.

“Could I need spectacles?” he asks himself. Then, realizing spectacles cost money: “Must be this gruel. Sour, sour!”

Later the Ghost of Christmas Present: “So you’re the man who’s too tight with a penny to buy himself a pair of spectacles!”

So you see.

If you don’t buy my rationalization, just remind yourself: Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol was made in 1962. We know better now. Use it as a teachable moment and enjoy the show. We did.

And don’t be too cheap to buy yourself a pair of glasses if you need them.

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