November 12, 2010

The Bogart Manifesto

When you watch a Humphrey Bogart movie you know what to expect from him. Calm, cool, collected and supremely confident that he'll solve any problems the world throws at him. He doesn't even care if he gets the girl - but he gets her anyway. He's got a certain contempt in his voice because even when he's behind it turns out the rest of the world was still catching up to him. He embodied the America of his time. Confident, brash, tough, hard-working and rude to women. He was the right star for the right era.

Nowadays we like our hero's flawed. We pick Spider-Man over Superman. People flock to the theaters to see vampires trying to overcome teen angst. Vampires used to be the bad guys. Now somehow we've morphed our former demons into sympathetic characters. The world isn't so black and white to us anymore and while that isn't a bad thing it is something that our collective psyche has yet to adjust for. America has fallen into some sort of depression - and not the economic kind. Here is a list of the signs of depression from a website at the top of Google's list:

1) you can’t sleep or you sleep too much
  • With 400 channels running 24 hours a day and the internet always on it's obvious a lot of people (myself included) aren't getting enough sleep.
 2) you can’t concentrate or find that previously easy tasks are now difficult

  • We've lost all focus and concentration. With overwhelming majorities we vote for one agenda and then two years later we vote for it to be dismantled before we've found out if it's even working.
3) you feel hopeless and helpless
  • We're broke. How can we ever pay down our mounting debts? We can't find jobs and we've got our soldiers in two countries getting killed without any end in sight.
4) you can’t control your negative thoughts, no matter how much you try
  • You all saw the non-stop attack ads before the election, right?
5) you have lost your appetite or you can’t stop eating
  • Fattest country in the world.
6) you are much more irritable and short-tempered than usual
  • Have you seen how out of control and angry some of these tea-party people are? They're not the only angry ones, either.
7) you have thoughts that life is not worth living (Seek help immediately if this is the case)
  • An ABC news poll recently said that 43% of Americans believe the fabled American Dream is dead. We really do need to seek help, don't we?
Where does that leave us? How do we dig ourselves out of this depression? Was there ever an American Dream or were the jewels just dangled in front of us by evil corporations so we'd keep working hard and not ask any questions? Will we rebel? Will we fight out of our depression and take charge again? Will we wake up one day and realize it's us against them and devour each other like wolves? Will we feel better once we get a few wins under our belt? When will that be?

When will the inner-Bogart in all of us return?

9 comments:

  1. I think the problem is that everyone thinks that there life is worse than the next person's. Everything is just so damn over dramatic. We like to watch movies where people ; be it vampires, or superheros are overcoming what the world had thrown at them, because everyone in this generation, thinks the world is out to get them so they relate with these characters, in a "let's team up an show the world it can't fuck with us" kind of way.

    My aunt and uncle actually have a giant Bogart statue in their house and there is no better inspiration to chance the face of the world,

    Peace and Love,
    D

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  2. The inner Bogart, huh? Having been to a couple of other countries, I have to say the American dream is so very much alive . . . people just take it so much for granted that they can't see it anymore. I think that's sad. But boy are you ever right about the anger thing. Watch yourself on the road!

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  3. this is rather thought provoking.
    i hope the inner Bogart is in there somewhere.
    or i am afraid.

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  4. The last vampire movie I saw was Lost Boys with Keifer Sutherland. It was about teenagers and the vampires were still the baddies:

    As it should be.

    Come visit Britain and after your trip you will agree with Janet 'the American dream is so very much alive'.

    The grass is always greener, - living in Britain is like living in Mediaeval times. Britain is an anachronism and regressing ... Once this stops I'll be living in cave, kindling twigs for fire and hunting rabbits. Progress; I just can't see it.

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  5. I think I should have been born a couple generations ago. I love Bogart. I love his dominant nature and his masculinity. He's a man that women will feel safe with. The metrosexual men of today would probably make a woman go downstairs to investigate if they heard a thud in the night.

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  6. margg: I'm pretty sure you've got in there somewhere just waiting to get out.

    Janet: Well I guess that's reassuring, even if we've become a bit disillusioned with it here.

    Sharon: I'm not saying I'd like to move, I'm just not even sure how achievable the American dream ever was for the average American. I would love to visit though!

    Robyn: I get that should have been born earlier quite a bit myself. He really is so damn cool.

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  7. you pulled me out of my zombie like state. thank you.

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  8. As much as I love zombies, I'm still glad to help.

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