Wednesday, February 20, 2008

1971? They had movies back then?

OK, so the other day I wrote about Shoot 'Em Up, and how it evoked memories of Billy Jack, at least in terms of the "Don't be violent...smack!" mentality. Well, somehow the subject of the aforementioned halfbreed, Green Beret, kung fu fighting peacenik came up in one of my classes, and I was absolutely aghast to realize that almost no one in the room had ever even HEARD of Billy Jack!!!

This brings to mind three truths that I have learned:

(1) I am old.

(2) I really get cheesed by folks who don't have at least a fair knowledge of pop culture. You know the types; you ask them what they thought about last night's episode of Heroes, and in a Margaret Dumont accent, they say "Oh, so sorry. I don't own a television machine." Or you tell them you had a great time at the White Stripes concert the night before, and they tell you they couldn't make it because they were at a wine and cheese tasting party to celebrate Jean-Pierre Le Snoot's new composition, "L'âne Pour Un Chapeau." Even worse are the folks who don't even have the excuse of being an elitist snob; they just aren't able to remember anything that happens if it doesn't get reported on Nancy Grace or Entertainment Tonight. I just don't understand how you live in the same world as the rest of us, and don't really ABSORB something.

(3) I get even more cheesed by people who think the world began at exactly the moment they were born, and aren't concerned with anything that happened before then (because, well, NOTHING happened before then). I ran a blog entry sometime back about my students and their lack of knowledge about things like the Beatles, for instance, and the fact that a huge group of 'em basically said "Hell, I don't know, it was before my time." Well, y'know, almost EVERYTHING that has ever happened was before your time! Yeesh!

Billy Jack hit the theaters in 1971 (and did HUGE box office), which means it came out about fifteen years before my average student was born. To put that in perspective, it would like if I were completely and totally ignorant of the films of 1949, such as Sgt. York, The Third Man, The Fountainhead, Mighty Joe Young, etc. I know some of you folks are saying, "yeah, so?" To me, though, that's just a crazy notion.

I LOVE learning and knowing about stuff from the past. Hell, given my dissatisfaction with a lot of current culture, it's sometimes the most entertaining and enlightening stuff available. But when I ask the kids in my class what their ALL-TIME favorite film is, and most of the girls respond with "Legally Blond 2" and most of the guys say "300," it just makes me want to...go...well, like Billy Jack here:


NuclearToast said...

Hey, cheeseman! It occurs to me that pop culture is all about the moment, generally speaking. So expecting it to stretch back to prehistoric times like 1971 might seem to some as a bit presumptious.

Also, there was a "Legally Blond 2"?! Excuse me, I gotta update my Netflix queue!

Snorii said...

I wasn't going to watch Legally Blond 2, but since Troy recommends, I have to see it.

Snorii said...

I ended up watching Picnic at Hanging Rock last night instead of LB2, but thankfully it was made in 1975. Whew, close call. :P

David said...

Be proud, Troy. Just saw Our Hospitality starring Buster Keaton from 1923. :D

Troy Hickman said...

Dave, if I asked most of the kids in my classes who Buster Keaton is, they'd say he played Batman...