Thursday, January 19, 2017
The House I Live In - 1945
Have a look at the short The House I Live In (1945). We start a new year of blogging today, and a new era tomorrow. We're going to accentuate the positive this year, look for hope in the darkness, and maybe finding it in each other.
I'm with Frank, I don't like Nazi creeps, either, especially ones that call themselves Americans. But there is yet an overwhelming tenor of decency and fairness and compassion in this country that even the worst monsters among us can't defeat. I like the way he grins, looks the mob of kids in the eye ("you have to be carefully taught") and calls them Nazis, hoping they'll challenge him.
"Religion makes no difference, except maybe to a Nazi or somebody as stupid." Great line. Lump the Nazis with stupid people. Call a spade a spade. Trample all over their self-superiority. There were plenty of people in this country who would have seen this short in the theaters in 1945 and thought that Hollywood was overstepping its bounds, preaching a liberal message.
To borrow another classic movie reference, the bad guys are coming into town at high noon tomorrow. Let's meet them at the train. Don't forget to grin when you challenge them by calling them Nazis or somebody as stupid, and hit them with unwavering, unrelenting truth. They hate that. They have no defense against truth, except more lies, and we've heard them all by now. If they cannot feel shame for their words or their deeds, then make them feel aggravation that respect, let alone cooperation, will be denied them. Let them know the apologists and excuse-makers among them will be held equally accountable as the instigators. Force them to look into the mirror of their depravity.
And don't forget to grin.
This year we'll be covering a lot of movies with plucky heroes - in classic films they come in the form of the average joe, the little guy - and they come to us in comedies as well as dramas. We'll be spending a good part of the summer with musicals - an art form as unabashedly exuberant as any known to man. We're going to examine this house we live in, and clean it up a little.
See you next Thursday, when we'll discuss a plucky Pat O'Brien who helps to stop a run on Walter Huston's bank in the coincidentally named American Madness (1932).