In yesterday’s blog I wrote about writer’s block. It was upsetting to realize that some people I consider friends think that topics I find exciting, like the US party conventions, are both boring and irrelevant. Does that mean that I am also boring and irrelevant? To what extent are we defined and judged by our interests and conversation? And does that really matter if we want to be authentic and true to ourselves? Lots to think about.
But that was yesterday. To-day is the tomorrow I finished my blog with yesterday. (If you read it twice, it makes sense.) To-day is yesterday’s tomorrow and tomorrow’s yesterday!
I could take that topic in many directions. I have recently reread and watched again Gone with the Wind, from which I quoted Scarlett’s famous line. Have you looked at it recently? Racist, sexist, chauvinistic, melodramatic, hero and heroine both thoroughly contemptible, in 1937 it was a sensation! It is suspenseful and gory, with a family tragedy and a sexy illicit love affair! As young teens, we were forbidden to read it…love and lust and a birth scene and war and swear words… but we did, surreptitiously, all one thousand pages! Looking back, I suspect that our mothers knew we were reading their dog-eared copies. Are there any such forbidden books these days?
“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!” Rhett’s final rejection of Scarlett, and the last line of the film, was voted the number one movie line of all time by the American Film Institute in 2005.
Or I could talk about Macbeth’s tragic soliloquy,
She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing. — Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28)
This takes me back to teaching days in Grade Twelve English. The soliloquy was always memory work and often an essay topic. Read it out loud… awesome! Try to imagine Orson Welles declaiming it in his “voodoo Macbeth”. Or watch this excerpt from Roman Polanski’s 1979 version. The soliloquy is at the end.
For something completely different, I could also talk about the musical Annie and this lovely song, Tomorrow… taught to the little orphan girl, as a beacon of hope in her lonely young life.
I will talk about orphans more tomorrow. But for now, let’s watch one of Carol Burnett’s best comic turns from the same musical. I have also seen the show twice on stage, and no matter who plays the drunken, harried and ultimately unforgettable Miss Hannigan, Little Girls brings the house down.