Sunday, October 25, 2015

Another History Lesson

When #2 son bought the house in Pittsburg, we knew it needed much work. While structurally sound, it needed help and the dog needed a fence. After the huge fence job, painting half the house inside, DH began to replace all the hallway doors which had rough and battered paint job. This week he has repaired a wall of the garage before winter as it was never built right and needed repair. Next will be a gutter job, gutting a kitchen in midwinter, and re-siding the house in the spring if all goes well.

DH was staying there for a few days, and I drove over to help him take a break. We saw a movie on Saturday afternoon and had a late sandwich lunch. The local movie theater was smaller but nicer than our own, and it was cheaper! We saw Bridge of Spies done by Stephen Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks, a super combination.

The story is about the exchange of spies in about 1962 when the United States gave up a Russian spy for the return of pilot Gary Powers and an American student caught in East Berlin when the wall dividing that city went up. I have a faint memory of this historical moment as I was about eleven or twelve. My grade school had done a great job of making me fearful of Russians in the Cold War so I remember feeling anxious without fully understanding the situation. Bay of Pigs was in this time frame as well so I feared the end of the world.

The world survived, but the movie made me see again that fighting and lying and sneaking and being cruel, and making war are not new. If you read history, it is hard to believe that there will ever be a truly peaceful world. Growing up I believed that goodness would prevail, and we humans could make the world the wonderful place it was meant to be. It is hard for a Pollyanna to take off her colored glasses!

But despite what was going on in 1962-or now-Spielberg hammers it home that along the rocky paths and among the crooked men, one can find straight-arrow fellow humans that do the right thing for no other reason than it IS the right thing to do. The Tom Hanks portrayal of a good man is beyond wonderful, and one leaves the theater with a renewal of the belief in goodness in humans.

We left the theater feeling it was a great movie worth seeing and discussing among many people. Yet the lines buying tickets were longer for chainsaw, horror, and ugly movies. Sex and gross stupidity also sold well. We watched the crowd and thought: this is the public, the thinking public? This is the voting public who will decide our fate in a few months. Then we walked down the mall and heard two men, one a mall employee, discussing the power of guns, the need for guns. Alas, the world has not changed much for the better it seems, and I had to wonder if I wasn’t better off practicing my crawl under the school desk. It was a time of actually believing that a piece of board would protect me from evil!

Yet, I am going to continue to look for that Spielberg angle, if only in the movies!


Elephant's Child said...

Oh yes. There is ugliness and cruelty and violence and despair. All loud emotions which we hear all to often. The flipside is also there. Working away quietly.
I can change very little of the ugliness, but I CAN decide not to join in. And I do.

Sioux said...

It looks like a good movie (from the trailers I've seen) and now I've got your recommendation to further nudge me. Thanks. I'll have to mosey over to the movie theater.

Susan said...

Oh Bookie. We must never lose hope. For all the "schmucks" in the world, there are many, MANY good people. So that is who we must align ourselves with. Susan

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

We've seen the trailers, and it looked like a great movie. After reading your post, I'd like to go see it. It is hard to beat the Hanks/Spielberg combo.

Linda O'Connell said...

I "hear" you and echo your sentiments about the general viewing public. Frightens me in so many ways. May you have a relaxed day.