Under the Black Flag

Beyond the Idiot Box

Call me old fashioned, and I will thank you for the compliment.  Call me a fool for rosy nostalgia, and more thanks will be in order.  Yes, Fred and Ginger are my favorite movie couple, and last year while recuperating from a broken leg, I watched four of their movies back to back, shown on Turner Classic Movies.  I haven’t stepped into a movie theater in years, and only watch TCM and a few sports on the idiot box.  The latter has become even more idiotic following the Trump victory.  Watching know-nothing talking heads repeat ad nauseam how Americans turned out to be racists and homophobes, or reports on the fury unleashed by “traumatized” students, is sickening enough.  Add to that the utter idiocy of most programs and the terminally adolescent and moronic late-night talk shows, and a black-and-white Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie is like an ice-cold beer at the end of a two-hour walk in the Sahara.

Fred and Ginger flicks transcended the boundaries of identity because today’s marketeers, who are interested in identifying groups they can target, did not exist.  Everyone was white, good looking, had wonderful and impeccable manners, and dressed more elegantly than the Duke of Windsor, of necktie-knot fame.  Mind you, there were black porters on the train and serving on the liners that took Fred and Ginger down South America way, but that was about it. ...

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