Posted by: Jim E | November 7, 2010

Wall-E…Oh, I’ve Forgotten That…And I Need To Remember…Oh, Bother…

I was thinking the other day about forgetting…or should I say not able to remember…or fail to remember…or better yet, to leave behind…I left it behind, I think that’s it…Oh, we may really forget…but more than not, we leave it behind…and, well…replace it with other things…it’s a disease of our time, and past times too…but when there was no printing press, no books,  no newspaper, no telegraph, no radio, no TV, no computer, no internet…well, it was much easier to know most everything there was to know right around you…and remember the past, your oral history…you know, storytelling…

But today, we are covered with information and we tend to forget things that we say, “I will never forget.”…and low and behold…when asked, we forgot…well we didn’t really forget…it was just left behind, among the piles of memories we just knew we would never forget…but did…how about those teen idols that we may have had…singers, movie stars…how about stars, personalities…most of them are in that “pile” too…just left behind…well, how about Michael Jackson…did you know there is at least one or two younger generations who don’t know what the “big deal” about him is…(and many older generations who never saw it either)…I’m not picking on Michael Jackson…you can put any name you want out there and the same response would be there…we just left that person behind in our memory and replaced that memory with so many others…and new generations are born and never heard of that person…I think you get my drift here…

The other night I saw “Wall-E” for the first time…now, before I saw the movie, I had heard that scenes from the 1969 movie “Hello Dolly” were played throughout “Wall-E”…my first thought was, “How many of the targeted audience for “Wall-E” will know or even wonder, “Were is that scene from?”…frankly, most of the audience would feel the same way…(no doubt most in 2008 would not know about “Hello Dolly”)…they certainly would not know much about a movie musical made some  39 years before…It made me wonder if they would even care or if the only thing on their mind would be Wall-E and the rest of the story (and miss why it was chosen for the movie)…and how much they miss if they don’t go back and see the old musical…maybe nothing…but I hope not…there is so much in history and if you read about the making of “Wall-E” and the process of coming up with the “Hello Dolly” scenes, it is enlightening to us all…

And how about “It’s a Wonderful Life”…made in 1946 but came in second to “The Best Years of Our Lives”, a picture about the lives of returning WWII veterans…a great movie in and of itself…but the Frank Capra movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” is the one all of us remember best…why?…well it’s a great story…Capra, throughout his career, was known for his popular movies that yanked at the heart…and though this one was “one of those”…it was considered a box office flop due to high production costs and stiff competition when released (not only “The Best Years of Our Lives”, but “The Yearling”, and “The Harvey Girls”, and others) …though it made money…it was largely forgotten for 25-30 years…but now is considered a Christmas staple…it was nominated for 5 Oscars but won none…but today it is considered one of the top 100 films ever made…and the number one inspirational American film…Capra thought of it not as a Christmas film but as an “individuals belief in himself”…and he made it to “combat a modern trend toward atheism”…

It wasn’t until I saw it on TV in the 1970’s and VHS players were around…that I picked it up for our family to watch…at the time the film was considered to be in the  “public domain”…which means that no one owned it’s rights and so anyone could show it…so it was on TV over and over…many stations showed it and it became “known” again…and with it the reputation it has today…and although the “rights” to it have come under copyright laws, it is still shown on TV twice at Christmas on NBC…and it has been released on DVD, etc…so, we forgot…or left it behind…only to “find” it again…like “Wall-E” found “Hello Dolly” after 39 years…isn’t it great when someone “finds” something good we “left behind”…and awaken our interest in something other than what is around us today…and then tells the story…oh I love that…

Around Christmas time I will “find” something else…and share it with you…did I find it???…no, but someone else with interests and talents finds something that all of us need to remember…and the truth is, we need to remember…it’s not as Winni the Pooh said, “Oh, Bother.”…it is worth all the time we can muster to remember things so important, for us in this generation, to remember and think about…(Oh, for a little reference…Sterling Holloway was the voice of Winni the Pooh for 25 years…he also was the voice for the stork in “Dumbo”…isn’t it great to remember and it gives reference to our lives)…

It seems as we leave things behind…or forget them…we lose so much…we lose “reference” when other things happen…and we have no reference to the past to let us see the relevance of what just happened to us…and maybe the reason why…when I read in the newspaper, a story written by someone so short on history that they can give no reference to what they are writing about, it gives me pause…and ask myself what kind of an education they have or is it only what happened to “them” that is important and not what effect it has on “all of us”…that is why reference is so important…to remember…like the skinny Cornelius Hackl from “Hello Dolly”…he danced and sang his way through “Put On Your Sunday Clothes” and “It Happened in a Moment”…and 39 years later he is in a Disney film “Wall-E”…in the meantime Michael Crawford has the title role in “The Phantom of the Opera”…sings “The Music of the Night”…and so many other wonderful things…you mean that skinny guy was Michael Crawford???…and so many don’t even know who he is…”Oh, Bother”, you may say…but how much more all that means if we know and can think about it…

And so the quote I have used so often…by Willa Cather: “Life began for me when I ceased to admire and began to remember.”…the truth is our past has not stifled who we are but instead allows us to see our true character…so remember, because others do it all the time, they reference their past…they write books, make movies, write plays, write stories, past on oral histories…all that and more…

It’s really not a bother…sorry, Winni…


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Responses

  1. Hi Jim, Hope all is well thanks for another great blog. no its really not a bother…. Have a great Thanksgiving Here’s to memories


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