Wednesday, October 22, 2008
It Happened Tomorrow.
One of the great Rene Clair's least remembered movies was titled "It Happened Tomorrow." It was made in 1944 and starred Dick Powell (forever charming and hapless) and the ever-lovely Linda Darnell.
Here's the plot summary as provided by imdb:
"An ambitious newspaper reporter (Dick Powell), eager to scoop the competition, wishes he could know the news before it happens. A mysterious old man (John Philliber) grants the reporter that power, even as he cautions against using it. Now able to predict the news 24 hours in advance, the reporter goes about scooping all the other papers, picking sure-fire winners at the race track, and enjoying life... until he learns -- in advance, of course -- of his own death. Our hero's problem: How can he keep the future from happening?"
I was thinking about this movie because of the current miasmae (or is it miasmum?) in the world.
*We are running out of fuel.
*We are facing a global ecological crisis.
*The stock market is in the toilet.
*There are dozens of wars tearing at all four corners of the globe.
*It's TEOTWAWKI--the end of the world as we know it. And it can't possibly get any worse. It's never been worse. And so it goes.
Listen, I'm sick of this shit. I'm sick of candidates using the phrase "Never Again" to talk about our economic crisis. That phrase sprung from the systematic genocide of half of an entire population. Not a stock market loss.
I'm sick of people saying, "This is the most important election in American history."
Have you ever heard of Abraham Lincoln, what if he lost his election? What if FDR lost to Hoover in 1932? Would there then even be an America?
I'm sick, and here's the point, of the hyperbole. It is not the end of the world. A comet is not hurtling our way about to render us as obsolete as the pterodactyl. I'm sick of the norm being confused with the apocalypse.
Here's what's going to happen tomorrow. "The first one now shall later be last."
Everything that rises will recede. We will, as Faulkner said, not only endure, we will prevail.
Calm down. Go about your business. Work hard. Eat right. Button up your overcoat. Live within your means. Love your neighbor. And, most important, shut the fuck up and deal.
Posted by george tannenbaum at 6:06 PM