posted on July 04, 2012 00:00
It feels good to be back on the Wednesday shift, and this week I lucked out by landing on a holiday. Not just any holiday, but the annual celebration of our now 236-year-old country! Feeling patriotic, I decided to break my own rules and review a film that is more than a few years old.
1776 is a Broadway Musical turned into film. It tells the story of the struggle that went on in the Continental Congress to finally make the decision to declare independence from England. Naturally there are several musical numbers, complete with choreographed bad dancing by old white men. The run time closes in on 3 hours, and honestly I felt like I was in Social Studies class the whole way through.
For those of you old enough to remember the show Knight Rider (the original, not the horrid remake), you will be delighted as the voice of “Kit” plays the lead role of John Adams. For those of you not quite that old, he also played “Mr. Feeney” on Boy Meets World. Other than him, I can’t say that I recognized anyone else of note.
As I was saying before, the film did seem like something I would’ve seen as a “reward” in elementary Social Studies class. There are a few clever references to sex, so maybe viewing this in a high school American History class would be much more appropriate. In any case, it is a boring watch. It is however somewhat thought provoking, especially considering that this is an election year, and so much is being made of the Supreme Court decision about national health care.
I’m sure you all remember that this country was founded as the result of a rebellion against restrictions of freedom placed by the mother country. The majority of the film is the banter back and forth between the members of the Continental Congress. Mostly this is John Adams and Ben Franklin vs. the rest. Aside from the lyrical versions, the debate presented is done very well. I found myself slightly captivated by the oratory skills of the chosen delegates, and each viewpoint was clearly represented.
These men were put into a situation where they had to represent what they believed to be the best interest of their states’ citizens. Sounds pretty close to what our current representatives are supposed to do, doesn’t it? The small difference is that this decision, the decision to declare independence, was going to be considered treason to the crown, and would be punishable by death. Not many of the decisions rendered by the House and Senate have such a consequence today.
My favorite line of the film comes in the very early minutes. Adams returns to the floor and starts in on everyone as he bursts through the door.
“It has become apparent to me that one worthless man is a disgrace. Two worthless men is a law firm, and three or more is a Congress!”
I couldn’t agree more. I’m no political pundit. In fact, I find that even trying to keep up with the political struggles in our own country has become so cumbersome, that it’s not worth the effort. I don’t feel like my opinion matters, and I can’t tell you who my congressmen are at the state or federal level. The simple reason for my disinterest is that I feel that they are disinterested in me. This scares me more than any decision about healthcare, the economy, or foreign policy.
I hope the wave of change is coming. I don’t think we need a revolution per se, but it sure would be nice to have a Congress that gave a shit about their constituents, and less about their own personal bottom line. Passion used to be a requirement to get elected to office. A passion for the people that is, not for a mistress. Call me nostalgic, but I wish that could be restored to this great nation. That would be the first step of many to make the Fourth of July more than just another day off work.
Middle 70%, but now I’m feeling in the bottom 15.