I guess I'm just a Luddite, trapped in a world-gone-by, but I prefer old movies to most of the ones coming out now. While there are some really good movies - the Harry Potter series comes to mind - most of the new stuff is just too trashy for me. There's too much cussin', too much sex, and way too much irreverence being shown to the things I care about. But those old movies are different. There's something comforting about watching a movie that celebrates goodness and honesty and doesn't glorify evil. That might seem so old fashioned, but take a look at our current society and tell me: Are we better off now? I don't think so.
For the past few nights, I've been watching the Thin Man series - movies from the '30s and '40s starring William Powell. These are great films, but definitely from a world gone by. Powell plays a suave detective who can't pass up a martini. His wife - played by Myrna Loy - is a co-conspirator who could have been dreamed up by Fitzgerald. Together, they dodge bullets and smirk at life while they solve crimes. OK, I'll admit the boozing isn't a great role model, and they are the worst parents I've seen, but let's examine the bigger picture. In these movies, crime doesn't pay. The good guys win; the bad guys lose. And no one pussyfoots around either. If you break the law, there aren't 20 lawyers waiting around to say how rotten a childhood you had, you poor boy. No. You break the law; you go to jail. What a novel idea! And morals mattered. If you were catting around on your spouse, you weren't celebrated; you were branded. Heck, I even saw a space movie where the aliens talked about God, and another one where they prayed before dinner. Prayer on Mars? Probably not a bad idea since it's a dying art here on Earth.
So, I end up watching a lot of old movies. And I listen to old radio shows like The Jack Benny Program and The Great Gildersleeve. You haven't heard anything until you've heard those masters. I guess that makes me out of touch with the modern world. I sure hope it does. I've touched the modern world a few too many times, and it glows hot as a stove, giving you a little sizzle before the flesh begins to sear.
David McCoy, a self-proclaimed Southern-Gentleman and Raconteur-in-Training lives in Covington with his family. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org