Friday, January 07, 2011

Our Crumbling Education System...

There's a good argument for the Republicans to use! Look at The Blot from 1921. The school system was crumbling then, and it's crumbling now. Therefore, why bother funding it at all? Why, we might as well pay schoolchildren to build sand castles on the beach! Q.E.D. Seriously, though, the philosophy of The Blot is a little suspect, even though they do spend a good deal of time dwelling on the meager existence of the college professor and his family. But, as Dostoyevsky apparently once said, beauty will save the world. (SPOILER ALERT) And fortunately for the Professor, he's got a hot daughter that all the guys have a thing for. But the field must be narrowed, and it's narrowed down to two: will it be the nice young priest, or will it be the rich, snobby kid? The answer may surprise you!
It's all part of this damn 7-part documentary on Turner Classic Movies called Moguls and Movie Stars. WILKMAN!!!!!!!!!! If memory serves... and, in this modern age of even shorter attention spans, does it really serve anybody anymore? ... director Lois Weber was one of the directors profiled, although The Blot wasn't her alpha film, and I don't think it was mentioned. But it's the kind of thing that audiences don't want to see: an uncompromising look at the way things are. Well, maybe a little compromising. Check the World Socialist Web Site for the full scoop, but get this. Movie morality and The Hays Code would tell us that the girl should fall for the nice priest, right? But the rich snob changes his ways! In addition to dwelling on the shabbiness of the Professor's existence (holes in his shoes, holes in old furniture, what have you), we get a little taste of the good life. Wild parties! Cars! Mushrooms under glass, for Gawd's sake! However, the snobby rich kid, played wonderfully by Louis Calhern... lucky bastid... grows weary of his circle of friends and, longing for something more, latches his affections on to the Professor's daughter. Oh, it gets worse. No longer will he pick on the Professor in class, or draw unflattering portraitures of him. And that goes for his buddies, too! And furthermore, they're gonna chip in and help out the Professor! The snobby rich kid's father's on the Board of Trustees... isn't it time the Professor got a pay raise? A decent pension? A 401-K for his many long years of indentured professitude? Yes, it's the rich people who save the day... at least, for those who seem to deserve it. Horatio Alger must be spinning in his grave.
Why, I didn't even get to the best part about the middle-class shoemaker who lives next door, and the comedy-drama around a pilfered chicken. There's also a cute cat who eats out of the shoemaker's garbage. What a tangled web. Is there no relief?

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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