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!