Censor Me Happy

I’m a big fan of classic film, mostly pre-1970s flicks, before the shift to super-realist violence and pedestrian/obvious sex.

Most of the movies from the Twenties through the early 1960s, oddly enough thanks to the censoring limits of the Hayes Code, are also pretty good fare for family filmfests at our house.

The ‘ick factor’ at least is pretty low. No ‘F’ or even ‘S words.’ No semen jokes. No gory, blood-splattered gunplay. Consider the likes of Abbot & Costello’s Rio Rita, with it slapstick scenarios and wacky wordplay. Then there’s the all-time great adventure movie The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland: great raucous fun, with more than a dash of chivalry and on-screen chemistry. Or the iconic musical, Singing in the Rain, which is funnier than one might think.

The only ‘ick’ factor for these films and others, according to my son is: “Why does there have to be romance?

But I’ll take a soft kiss and embrace from our pop culture any day.

Good’s Blessings

I’ve noticed lately that the salutation at check out lines is no longer: Have a nice day!

Such words of good will—that is, if we say anything at all—have morphed into a sort of vague and noncommittal phrase that could cover lots of things, or nothing:

Have a good one . . . 

Have a good what? A good morning. A good day. A good year. A good beer. A good time. A good marriage. A good drive home. A good life.

I guess it is the ubersecular version of God Bless, though a very different sense of the concept of One. 

The Whole Quote and Nothing . . .

The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed, so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again because it is life. Since man is mortal, the only immortality possible for him is to leave something behind him that is immortal since it will always move. This is the artist’s way of scribbling ‘Kilroy was here’ on the wall of the final and irrevocable oblivion through which he must someday pass.

— William Faulkner

Nest Worth

We are working on getting our house refinanced (possibly) and recently got ready for an appraiser to stop by: Wiping all those grubby kid smudges off the painted walls. Polishing up the cabinetry.

The kids were cleaning their rooms–or at least sweeping things into piles, when my son asked:

“When is the criticizer coming over?”

I started to explain what a house appraiser does, then stopped. I think our son understands just fine.

Do We Really Want To Know?

So, I was doing a Google search the other day that started with the word: Is

And I saw that the top Google-suggested search phrase that began with just that one word was:

“Is Santa real?”

The second: “Is ‘Amish Mafia’ real?”

Couldn’t get much further apart, I think, on the good-vs.-evil spectrum of our cultural mythologies.