Post 514: Labor Day 2014

Typical. It’s one of those ironic holidays like Memorial Day, where people go to the beach, barbecue, and basically get a summer thing on: Labor Day, a day celebrated by not working! I’m retired, of course, so maybe I should observe it by working.  Or not.

I chose “or not”, of course, and watched a silent movie (“The Big Parade”, a WWI melodrama) on TCM channel. It was painfully dated, technically. Of course. It was made in 1925. The story was lame (“lamish”): a spoiled rich boy goes to war, leaving his girl behind to fall in love with his brother while he, in France, meets a local girl and falls in love with her. You know it will end one of two ways.

Well, this one ends with him surviving the war, losing a leg below the knee. (Special effects or for real? That was pretty convincing…) Oh yeah, and he loses his best buddies, KIA, who in civilian life were a bartender and an iron worker who chewed (and spit throughout the film) tobacco. The latter’s nickname was “Slim”. We had to wait till WWII before at least one of the Hollywood film buddies was Polish and another Jewish. Yeah, the story was a bit lame! The blue-collar workers die in battle, and the rich guy survives to get the girl. Just like real life!

In the end, Johnny One-Leg hobbles over the hill with his crutch, his French girl friend (who was walking behind a plow, moping) sees him, abandons plowing instantly because she senses she’s about to become a rich American society wife, runs up the hill toward Johnny, and the two embrace. Smoochery takes place. XOXOX

Geez! I tried not to, but I confess a tear or two slipped out of my eyes, and I watched this whole movie wanting not to be jerked around by what I saw. I guess they get married, but the movie mercifully fades to “THE END”.

When did I get so cynical?Jaded? Unsentimental? Why, during my days of travail at the hose factory! I knew there must be a Labor Day connection somewhere here! What about other people who work for a living? The attached BuzzFeed video takes a happy look at WallMartlandia and the happy denizens there.

Now get back behind that plow! There is no happy ending here!

11 thoughts on “Post 514: Labor Day 2014

  1. The movie sounds like a wonderful tear-jerkers of the era. As they didn’t have much in the way of special effects, they probably really did chop his leg off. “Hey! How much do you want that Oscar?”
    I have now hit my saturation point with Walmart…anythings. One of my favorite shows is Dirty Jobs. Walmart should show an episode as a motivational video. “Yes your paid crap and it’s a lousy job, but your clean!”

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    • Yeah! It hurt like hell (the saw blade was dull), but it was worth that gold idol, the Oscar, and the money that followed afterwards! I know how they do it now, but I don’t think they knew how to do it then. As far as I know, though, John Gilbert, the guy who played the legless rich guy, had all his parts. They showed him from several perspectives. The straight on one, he could have have had his leg tied up. The side and back shots, though, that old trick wouldn’t fool anyone. 🙂

      The motivational video sounds like a winner! They could use computer-generated smiles for their employees and show the employee parking lot full of new model high end SUVs and sports cars. I bet there’d be a Tesla or two in the WalMart crowd! It’s a sensible car at $60,000 (or whatever it is).

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