Saturday, April 01, 2006

A Movie "Review" and Random Thoughts

It's funny how reflection on one subject can prime the well of thought. I could actually make three or more posts on what I have to say as they are different subjects, but preferring economy as I do, just be patient and wade with me. My thoughts for this post are more of a "shoot from the hip" without reflecting on theology - a gut level reaction if you will.

I watched a very funny movie this afternoon from 1935. It's called "Remember Last Night?" The stars include Robert Young (Marcus Welby for the television generation) and Edward Arnold in a rare role as "good guy." The plot involves a bunch of high society types who enjoy a night of debauchery and then some. A house-to-house drinking party that ends in a murder. Unfortunately, the next morning finds the revelers unable to remember anything that happened because they're all hung over. The dialogue is witty, sardonic and subtle. No swear words, no sex scenes. Not even really any blood. However, this film could not be made today in the same way partially because of political correctness and partially because the present generation doesn't find dialogue funny unless it would make The Happy Hooker blush. The clever repartee between the cast would also probably go over a lot of heads because few in the audience would get the jokes. It also contains a scene where the revelers put on blackface masks. I was surprised when I saw it, of course. Such a scene would be guaranteed to cause offense today, no matter what the context. And that is what sparked my initial reflection.

I went to the Internet Movie Database afterward to see if they had any reviews of this film, and they did. While some enjoyed it, many others found little to praise in it. The dialogue was vapid..the actors boring...not edgy enough. But most of all, the blackface scene was shocking..shocking. If these people had actually paid attention and thought about it a little, they might have come away with a different conclusion. It is clear by the end of the film that these high-class revelers were actually very revolting people. The disdain of actor Arthur Treacher, the butler that set the standard for British butling, was spot on and made for a great finis (No, that's not a typo). Amid the comedy, the murders, the art deco etc..the very point of the film was that these people deserved disdain. But that is lost on audiences today because we have a very vocal group of what I call the Professionally Offended.

I am not excusing racism for a moment. Yet, racism is just one of many sins and is not restricted to Caucasians. The far left among ethnic minorities will hotly dispute that of course. They feel that only ethnic minorities can experience racism. No one else has the right to the term. Patently ridiculous, of course. Blacks hating whites because they are white is just as evil as whites hating blacks because they are black. However, their sole frame of reference is racism against blacks in America..never mind the other countries around the world where there's enough ethnic hatred to go around for everyone. These people would entirely miss the point that the person or people they are savaging are more likely than not on their side.

Now, everyone bends over backwards to the extreme for fear of causing the slightest offense. Recently, someone in government caused a national firestorm when they dared use the term "niggardly" in talking about an economic issue. The term has absolutely nothing to do with race and means roughly the same as miserly. The person who used the term didn't even have race - much less a slur - on his mind yet he got pilloried in the press and was forced to apologize. I can't remember if it led to his resignation or not. But what a shame, how utterly stupid, and what a shining example of what I am talking of. The Professionally Offended saw a chance to get their mugs on the T.V. cameras, yell loudly and even generate more dollars for their "cause." If racism ended overnight, these people would be devastated because their power and livelihoods would vaporize immediately. Count on them to gin things up with a vengeance if they sense the klieg lights are being turned off and the cause they are supposedly fighting for looks as if it's headed toward resolution.

In a different but related note, the hypocrisy of the far left on issues such as this is breathtaking. They applaud and celebrate the "edgy" as they put it. Make a film about two male sheepherders getting it on in a tent and they're in ecstasy. They're striking a blow for "tolerance." Make a film that portrays Bible-believing Christians as nut cases, closet queers, wild-eyed zealots or money-grubbing hypocrites, and they'll give the filmmaker an honorary knighthood or at least an Oscar. However, let someone criticize Sharon Stone for flashing her nether regions on the silver screen, and they'll squeal like stuck pigs about their freedom of expression while sounding dire warnings of a coming fascist regime bent on censorship. Let someone make a film, write a play, or publish a novel portraying their selected people or issues in a negative light (even in jest or satire) - hoo boy! Prepare to be sent to the Hague for a hate or thought crime. The far left is far more Orwellian and dictatorial than the people they enjoy despising so much.

I've said enough now to have certain quarters frothing at the mouth like canines with hydrophobia, yet I have one more comment..this one on the subject of illegal immigration.

Nope. On second thought, that had best be in a separate post after all. I'm tired now. More later.


JasonSpalding said...

How ironic is it that those in government make the argument that illegal immigrants are just willing to do the jobs Americans don't want to do when the one job the government seems to be trying hard to avoid doing is dealing with illegal immigration.

Cindy said...

At least the Sharon Stone movie is bombing abysmally at the box office. You'd think they'd get the hint that that's NOT what most audiences want.

I like old movies too. At least they were forced to come up with interesting plots and good dialogue...they couldn't fall back on the cusswords and nudity.

Even the first "Godfather" movie didn't contain the F-word (although admittedly it contained a lot of other horrible stuff.) But a mob movie without the F word? Amazing!

SolaMeanie said...

I think it's funny how years ago we all talked about the slippery slope. Anyone who uses a slippery slope argument usually gets derided. Unfortunately, the slippery slope is exactly what happens.

Remember how links were made about sexual issues and the ongoing effort to desensitize children on the issue? We warned that this was a slippery slope to normalize sexual relations between adults and children. Well, there's a new film in Canada that is exploring a 13-year-old boy's "crush" on a gay teacher. Of course, the teacher in the film refuses the advances (he'd HAVE to at the present time). However...give it time. That was only the opening salvo. Do you think the female teacher/boy student stuff is all by accident or coincidence? I don't.

crownring said...

Hmmm, remember Oliver Stone blaming the flop of his film "Alexander" on Gulf War 2? Never mind that the movie was simply poorly cast and badly filmed, it was Bush's fault Alexander was a flop! Or Ang being ticked because Brokeback Mountain didn't win this year's Oscar for best picture, claiming Hollywood is homophobic. I'm sick and tired of these whiners.