I try to read “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” to the kids every year, but I do think Dr. Seuss was unfair in making him the bad guy. If ever there was a victim of unfair treatment and the worst kind of manipulation, it’s the Grinch.
So he hates Christmas. I wonder why. The smug, self-righteous Whos all live down in this cozy little town, making noise, decorating, feasting, singing, exchanging gifts, being all full of their own awesome happy, like the worst kind of exhibitionist clique — while the poor Grinch lives in a dirty cave. Alone. (Except for his loyal dog, of course, who really ought to get more credit.) Is there any evidence that the Whos ever invited the Grinch to join them? No! They don’t seem to care at all what might be hurting inside his mind, what sadness or trauma might be driving his grumpy; they don’t make any effort to really understand him. They blame his shoes (too tight?), his head (not screwed on right?), his heart (two sizes too small?). Maybe they could have some compassion for the poor lonely guy instead of judging him and making fun of him.
After 53 years of that shit, no wonder he decides to steal all the Whos’ toys and decorations and food. If I had to survive 53 years of watching the Whos celebrate Christmas without including me, all the while mocking my attire and my body, I’d look forward to hearing those awful creatures boo-boo too.
I always love the part where the Grinch lies to Cindy Lou, that sweet little smug thing. Sure he lies to her, just like all of us who allow Santa into the house on Christmas Eve lie to our kids. What’s the difference? And am I supposed to feel sorry for her, in all her innocence? If she’s so unobservant that she can’t tell the Grinch from the real Santa, then maybe she’s the one with the head screwed on wrong.
Anyway, the Grinch proves he isn’t all bad by getting Little Cindy Lou a drink as he sends her back to bad. I think that’s quite thoughtful.
The worst part of the whole story is when the Whos start singing on Christmas morning, It’s the ultimate act of manipulation. The Grinch took everything from them. Instead of investigating, calling the police, getting even a little frustrated, or otherwise acting like NORMAL people, they go stand outside in a big circle and SING. What a bunch of horse shit. They’re obviously faking it because they know the Grinch finally got back at them, but they aren’t going to let him win. No sir. They fight back by entrenching themselves with the same smug singing they pounded the poor Grinch with for FIFTY THREE YEARS already.
It’s so disappointing that the Grinch caves in and takes all their toys and food back, so that they finally let him join in their Christmas games. It’s extortion: you bring us back all our shit, and we’ll let you feel like you’re one of us (at least this once – no telling what happens 365 days later). If I was the Grinch, I would have held out for more. I would have made the Whos come to me and celebrate their Christmas in my cave. With my dog.
Screw the Whos. I’m with the Grinch.