Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Face In The Crowd

Note: This is just an Editorial rant. It's something I wanted to get off of my chest. I'm working on a new Shockedelic Radio Show and that will be posted probably in the next week or two. Sorry for the delay on that. I'm still auditioning perfect songs for the show!!! Also, I'd like to apologize to anyone who has made comments on my posts in the past. I wasn't ignoring you. The fact is, I had everything set to Moderator Approval and I didn't know it! I literally found out about these replies to my posts, dating back some two years ago, just ten minutes ago. So, thank you to all of you who have enjoyed my shows thus far (and said so!) and I truly apologize for not responding to your replies. I will do better in the future, I promise! Now, on to my rant:

So, there's something I've been noticing lately on the Interwebz. It's something that isn't recent, but it seems to be something that has worsened as of late (or maybe it's just something my curmudgeonly ass has been taking note of lately).

There's a sickness wherein people on the Internet can't not know something. Usually what will happen is, an event will take place (normally in pop culture), someone will write something trivial relating to it and, before you know it, EVERYONE and their proverbial Mother will claim to have known about said trivia for YEARS.

The latest example I've noticed has happened with the passing of Andy Griffith this past Monday (July 3rd). He was a great cultural Icon of the 20th Century, no doubt. As Andy Taylor, Sherrif of Mayberry RFD, he cemented his place in the Pop Culture lexicon and he did it long before anyone spoke of "Pop Culture lexicon"s. In their Elegies, Internet Bloggers and well wishers (onto the next great plane of existence) wrote of their love for Andy in his famous role as the Sherrif of Mayberry. It was lovely and, for the most part, elegant. Then came the oneupmanship.

It went to Matlock, Griffith's popular legal show of the 1980's. That was fine, too, since it was very popular, although mostly with the geriatric set who are either passed on now or not Internet users. Then came the Inevitable referencing of Simpsons and Family Guy references. Things became a bit sillier with mentions of "Salvage I", a high profile (at the time) but incredible flop of a TV show that Pop Culturists love to name drop even though few have ever seen more than the opening credit sequence. But then things immediately got weird. I began seeing posts about Andy Griffith's "dark and edgy" early role in Elia Kazan's "A Face In The Crowd". Before long, the Interblog stratosphere was thick with YouTube clips of "A Face In The Crowd" and how great the movie was. "Oooooh! This was goody-good Andy Griffith's DARK role! You have to see how EVIL Andy was in this!" One even wrote about Griffith being a "Movie Monster" with this role. It became tiring quickly, but unfortunately, it didn't stop there. Like clockwork, the Facebook posts started turning up. "RIP Andy. You were a great one. Here's a clip from one of his greatest roles in "A Face In The Crowd"!

This is where my breaking point began. I'm positive, had I asked anyone on July 2nd if they had ever seen "A Face In The Crowd", I'd have gotten blank looks. I would expect responses to approximate: "No. Never saw it." "Was that a Tom Cruise movie?" "When did that come out?" "That's a French movie, right?" "Oh, that's old/in Black and White." Now, it would appear that more people have seen this movie than "The Wizard Of Oz" and "Star Wars" combined. Possibly more people than D.W. Griffith's "Birth Of A Nation"!!!

The point of this rant? I want to tell all of you that it's okay not to know things. It really is. Take comfort in that fact. You needn't make claims that you've seen every movie, heard every album or  read every book. If you knew everything, there would be no room for discovery... and discovery is where it's at.

Tonight on Turner Classic Movies, that is Thursday night (July 5th) / Friday morning (July 6th) at 1:45am, "A Face In The Crowd" is going to be aired. I don't believe it's being aired because of Andy Griffith's death. I think it's just a karmic coincidence. Instead of posting clips of this movie all over your blogs and Facebook accounts, take time and actually watch this movie. You have the opportunity. It won't take but a couple of hours of your life and, God forbid, you'll know what you're talking about. If I'm up and in the mood, I'll be watching. I haven't seen it yet.

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