Warning: Illegal string offset 'sidebar_change' in /home2/melindas/public_html/wp-content/themes/ms7/includes/tt_meta.php on line 4

Warning: Illegal string offset 'sb_primary' in /home2/melindas/public_html/wp-content/themes/ms7/includes/tt_meta.php on line 5

Warning: Illegal string offset 'sb_secondary' in /home2/melindas/public_html/wp-content/themes/ms7/includes/tt_meta.php on line 6

Warning: Illegal string offset 'sidebar_swap' in /home2/melindas/public_html/wp-content/themes/ms7/includes/tt_meta.php on line 7

Warning: Illegal string offset 'sl_pos' in /home2/melindas/public_html/wp-content/themes/ms7/includes/tt_meta.php on line 9

Warning: Illegal string offset 'primary_width' in /home2/melindas/public_html/wp-content/themes/ms7/includes/tt_meta.php on line 10

Warning: Illegal string offset 'secondary_width' in /home2/melindas/public_html/wp-content/themes/ms7/includes/tt_meta.php on line 11

Warning: Illegal string offset 'special_width' in /home2/melindas/public_html/wp-content/themes/ms7/includes/tt_meta.php on line 12

Warning: Illegal string offset 'back_change' in /home2/melindas/public_html/wp-content/themes/ms7/includes/tt_meta.php on line 15

Warning: Illegal string offset 'background_color' in /home2/melindas/public_html/wp-content/themes/ms7/includes/tt_meta.php on line 16

Warning: Illegal string offset 'background_url' in /home2/melindas/public_html/wp-content/themes/ms7/includes/tt_meta.php on line 17

Warning: Illegal string offset 'background_repeat' in /home2/melindas/public_html/wp-content/themes/ms7/includes/tt_meta.php on line 18

Warning: Illegal string offset 'header_change' in /home2/melindas/public_html/wp-content/themes/ms7/includes/tt_meta.php on line 19

Warning: Illegal string offset 'header2_change' in /home2/melindas/public_html/wp-content/themes/ms7/includes/tt_meta.php on line 20

Warning: Illegal string offset 'header_url' in /home2/melindas/public_html/wp-content/themes/ms7/includes/tt_meta.php on line 21

Warning: Illegal string offset 'header_position' in /home2/melindas/public_html/wp-content/themes/ms7/includes/tt_meta.php on line 22

Warning: Illegal string offset 'header_position2' in /home2/melindas/public_html/wp-content/themes/ms7/includes/tt_meta.php on line 23

Warning: Illegal string offset 'header_url2' in /home2/melindas/public_html/wp-content/themes/ms7/includes/tt_meta.php on line 24

A Different World

I’m just about to pack it in and head off to bed, but I just watched two MGM musicals back to back staring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, and it was such a window into another time.  Not so much Strike Up The Band (1940) which did present the growing sense that the country was about to go to war, but Babes in Arms which had as its center piece this bizarre minstrel show.

It made me so uncomfortable watching this cast of white actors in black face aping every stereotype about African-Americans.  But I forced myself to watch.  To try and understand the mind set of the people who would have been in the audience in 1939.  My father was probably among them.  He was born in 1904, he had been a jazz musician with a Dixie land band, and even though he had become a staid businessman by the time of my birth music was in his soul.  And he was living in Hollywood and on the edges of the film industry.  He would have gone.  How would it have struck him?  Would he have just accepted it?  I’m not sure.  He was the man who ignored the twitterings of the neighbors when the first black family moved into our suburban neighborhood.  He walked across the street and welcomed them to the neighborhood and invited them over for cocktails, and he was despised for it.

God help me I’m old enough to vaguely remember the “Whites Only” signs when we would go to Oklahoma to visit my maternal grandmother.  I remember the scenes from Selma with the dogs and the fire hoses, and this scene made my skin crawl.  I at last have some context for it.  But  what would a teenager in 2010 make of this film?  How would this thoughtless and casual racism appear to them?  Would it seem as foreign and alien to them as The King’s Touch as a way to cure disease?

I’m oddly melancholy tonight.  Perhaps because all of this music and bands and people dancing brought back memories of my dad.  I was 27 when he died.  But I miss him still.  I wish I could sit down and talk about my life, my hopes and my fears with him.

Strange how a simple, formulaic musical could bring up all these random thoughts.  Guess I better go to sleep.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Appearances
Social Media
Friend me on FacebookFollow me on Twitter