Today’s news is yesterday’s news and will be tomorrow’s as headlines will forever-more be dealing with grief and very little of it has been, or will be, good.
“Good Grief,” was the phrase often directed toward Schulz’s “lovable loser” Charlie Brown by his comic strip “Peanuts” friends because the forever gullible Chuck believed Lucy would keep her promise not to pull away the football. But that never happened. Charlie always flies through the air and lands on his back, every time.
Like Lucy, the movie industry – in light of the gun carnage across the country – promised to pull their industry executives aside for a power lunch to ostensibly soul-search blood-soaked blockbusters.
Within six days of the massacre in Newtown, headlines promised changes in plans at movie and TV studies of the entertainment capital. “Executives reviewed scripts,” and perused problematic portions of pending productions to reach what poignant conclusion? What does “reacting with compassion” by an industry that “capitalizes on violent and crude entertainment” – not to mention gore – actually mean?
Any more than it did for Lucy who compassionately visited Charlie Brown in the hospital promising that next time would be different.
‘Good Grief’ according to one definition found in “The Urban Dictionary” refers to that which is “unbelievable, shocking, something that is hard to imagine (and yet) seems to happen on a recurring basis”.
Good grief, that describes the movie industry which sensitively removed the word ‘massacre’ from “Texas Chainsaw 3-D”, a fright-flick taking top spot at the box office this past weekend.
Even as Newtown crews have begun to remove memorials, restore sidewalks and traffic beings to flow, so the overflowing grief and outrage across the nation appear now to have subsided in recent days what with long lines overflowing the ticket booth beyond which booth blood and horror and flesh and bone and guts and carnage splatter, as if that were possible from the silver screen itself, upon movie goers – gore-seekers – giddy and gladly paying to be entertained by masked killer Leatherface who’s on the loose again in this horror sequel, picking up his chainsaw from where he left it in the 1974 version when “massacre” was still part of the promotion.
Second in sales, not far behind “Chainsaw,” is “Django Unchained,” a “bloody period tale of an ex-slave in the Deep South”, another bucket-of-blood spilling out across the country.
So what was Hollywood’s horror-stricken response to events in Connecticut and Colorado as it agonized over its responsibility to the public?
Besides shortening the “Chainsaw” title, compassion-driven (read ‘cash-flow directed’) Hollywood execs scaled back its red carpet spectacle for “Unchained” producer Quentin Tarantino.
From America’s blood-stained hallways to the red carpet of Hollywood, the soul-searching – even agonized soul-searching – purportedly and painfully taking place is only as good as there is a soul to search.
For all this spilling of our guts it’s more than apparent we don’t have any.
As long as the “gloomy-as-hell craft of movie making” is as gloomy as hell but can turn a handsome profit – good grief they’re not in it for peanuts; and we, the paying public keep going back for more, soul-searching promises of ‘never-again’ will be as empty as that of Lucy who left Charlie, painfully, on his back once more.