Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Legend of 1900 Revisited

The Astros game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field was postponed due to “inclement weather”; imagine that, precipitation and 24 degrees holding up a baseball game. I had a rough day pain wise and was going to tough it out in bed anyway. Lucy began flipping channels and I heard some familiar music as I recognized the movie, The Legend of 1900.

The first time I saw it several years ago was flipping channels and I caught it already in progress. A young trumpet player on his first trans-Atlantic trip was being treated to a sea sickness remedy courtesy of 1900. The tuxedoed piano player had the trumpet player release the brakes of the grand piano in the empty ballroom during the middle of a lightning storm. The rolling of the ship created a dance of sorts as the piano, its two passengers along for the ride, made circles on the floor and eventually crashed through a stained glass partition, down a corridor and smashed into the captain’s quarters. “Care for a ride?”, oblivious to the circumstance as he smiled toward the captain. The two of them spent some time shoveling coal as part of their penance in the bowels of the ship. That was my introduction to this particular movie, a movie that probably is on the “do not watch” list due to some vulgar language; language which I shouldn’t have laughed at but did anyway.

There’s a line in the movie, “He had America stamped on his eyes”, a reference to the observed fact that one passenger on each of the crossings could be counted on to be the first to see America, to alert the other passengers of their arrival in the promised land, the land of opportunity, the pot of gold at the other side of the rainbow. I have to wonder, in a cynical sort of way, has that stamp of American been removed, if it ever was there, from some of our own citizens? Are they so caught up pointing out the flaws in the system as to over look the beauty offered in America’s basic structure?

Maybe it’s time to watch another show, South Pacific. They say the human race is falling on its face and hasn’t very far to go…but every whippoorwill is selling me a bill and telling me it just ain’t so… They call me a cock eyed optimist immature and incredibly green… No, I looked in the mirror a few minutes ago and I’ve still got it stamped there; America! America!

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