Friday, February 3, 2012

Pondering Me & Gar The Texan's Historical Ignorance About Riverboats & Charlie Chaplin

Earlier today I read a blogging written by Gar the Texan in which he claimed I had apparently commented on his lack of historical knowledge.

I do not recollect making such a comment, but I can see where such a comment may have been made, due to the fact I remember when it came as a surprise  to Gar the Texan, when he stood at the location, in the now defunct Heritage Park, of Camp Worth, later named Fort Worth, where he marveled at the idea that Fort Worth had once actually been a fort.

Another time, Gar the Texan made it apparent he did not realize when he was in Shreveport, in casinos, that those casinos were riverboats floating on the Red River. Gar the Texan did not know that Shreveport was a port. Let alone the fact that the town had a famous river running through it.

The worst case of Gar the Texan's historical ignorance came when he went to a Beatles tribute concert type thing at the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth. Gar the Texan opined, on his blog, as if the Beatles were a revelation, about which he previously was not aware.

I was appalled. Methinks the vast majority of Americans are aware of the effect the Beatles had on American and World pop culture. The effects of which continue to this day. Things like Coldplay and Maroon Five come to mind.

Now, let us leave Gar the Texan's ignorance and focus on mine.

A decade or two ago, when I was in college, I took a class in Cinema History. During that class we had to watch several Charlie Chaplin movies from the silent era.

Like Gold Rush.

At that point in time I did not get why anyone found Charlie Chaplin amusing. Or a genius.

And now, decades later, I found myself watching Chaplin's City Lights, with the final scene thought by many to be the finest acting ever recorded on film.

And the last silent film ever made. Chaplin's 1936 film, Modern Times.

I now totally get the fact that Charlie Chaplin was an absolute genius. And incredibly funny.

Modern Times, while supposedly silent, well after talkies began, actually is not silent. It is such a good movie, if it did not already exist, if someone filmed the same exact movie today, it would be up for an Academy Award, I have no doubt.

Which brings me to the Great Dictator. Charlie Chaplin's 1940 movie that took on the absurdity that was Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany.

Watch the YouTube clip below of the final scene from the Great Dictator and you will experience the brilliance of Charlie Chaplin and you may make note of the fact that what he says is totally applicable to 2012....


Steve A said...

In a sad postscript, Chaplin was later banned from the US. Which makes that speech even more poignant.

Durango said...

Banned and kicked out of the country by an anti-American by the name of J. Edgar Hoover, a man who probably should have done hard time on Alcatraz for his un-American activities.