22 November 2013

Audrey Hepburn, JFK, and Benny Goodman

Thanksgiving Break has officially begun. And it couldn't have started at a better time.

I've been sick most of this week (if not the whole month). Since my last blog post, I've gotten sick three times. It's been terrible. I have such a weak immune system, always have. And everything I've had to do as regards to school, activities, religious life, home life, etc. has been taking a toll on my health.

So today I sit before you (well, not really, my words do) and I will say a few words about things on my mind.

First: It's November 22nd, 2013. Fifty years ago, on that afternoon in Dallas...but of course you know the story. It's been referenced everywhere: the media, movies such as Parkland and JFK, countless documentaries, and history and English classes. Obviously I wasn't alive on November 22nd, 1963, so I can't really give an opinion on how extremely devastating it might have been (being, that is, the psychological implications of JFK's assassination) but I knowe ynogh that it was extremely tragic and shattered the idyll of America forever.

As you likely know, I'm obsessed with the period in American history around 1940 to 1965. It was a golden age in American history- the Second World War had just ended, Wall Street and the economy were back in business, everyone was happy and relieved, rock and roll reached its height, and fedoras. I love most everything from that era - the clothing, the music, the slang...

Of course there were some not-so-great things, such as the USSR and the Cold War. The devastation in Europe, Japan and elsewhere after the War was horrifying. As stated above, America's innocence and idyll was shattered. Camelot will never come again. There was still racism, sexism, and chauvinism (those last two are superfluous) in America at that time.

But not every age is perfect. Today's society is better than most ages in history, but it's not perfect either. We are besieged by an barrage of horror stories: crises in the Mid East, genocide in the Sudan, the unrelenting recession that's been going on for the better part of a decade, the terrible music (I'm so facetious here)...

But the 40's through the early 60's (after which hippies, drug culture, and platform shoes came on the scene, ruining everything) were a very awesome time. It started by dancing to the tune of jazz numbers by some of the greats (Count Basie, Benny Goodman, and Glenn Miller, to name a few) and ended with The Twist, Elvis Presley, and Buddy Holly. (I owe quite a bit to Buddy Holly - my glasses, hair, etc are a homage to him.)

And then movies! Movies weren't silent any more, hadn't been for a decade or so. But now some really amazing movies came out, the "Golden Age of Hollywood". Casablanca, Rebecca, Cyrano de Bergerac, pretty much any Marilyn Monroe movie (I kid, I kid...or am I?)...and of course, a true classic: Audrey Hepburn's Breakfast at Tiffany's.

I'm a fan of Truman Capote: In Cold Blood is one of my favorite novels and the movie that came out some years ago was very good. But Breakfast at Tiffany's is just amazing. It is one of the most unequivocal ironies of my life that I have not once read the original novella that Truman Capote wrote. But he did write the screenplay of the movie, and that was amazing. I can just picture myself being "Fred". :) it is a must see movie.

“I’ll never get used to anything. Anybody that does, they might as well be dead.”


1 comment:

  1. I don't mind the Cold War. We got some good James Bonds out of it.

    I'm definitely going to check out Breakfast at Tiffany's, though.