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A Happy New Year for Humanity?


DesDownunder

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This video is rousing and needs to be taken as intended; a message, a cry for humanity to be free and fight for that freedom wherever necessary.

Some may find it offensive, but I think that might be the point.

A reworking for modern times, of a famous speech.

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/CsgaFKwUA6g" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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The description posted on YouTube says the beginning and voiceover speech are from a movie, The Great Dictator, written and acted in by Charlie Chaplin, the same comedian/actor famous for The Little Tramp among others. Now I'm curious to see his movie.

The video has a mix of images, some showing the best, some the worst, of what this primate species can do.

What strikes me often lately is how the last several years are so much like the 60's and 70's Vietnam War and Civil Rights era when I was born and grew up, and when Vietnamese refugees began showing up here. (I went to school with many. The Texas coast has some broad similarities in climate, and this is a port city.) There is still that ideological struggle going on. (I've become more liberal lately, and more outspoken.)

Right wing, left wing, hawk, or dove, a bird requires both wings to fly truly.

Despite all the differing ideas of all the seven billion people (and growing) on this little oasis in the middle of a deep empty star-desert, we must find a way to get along and solve problems. Or we will have been less successful than the dinosaurs. Or the cockroach. Or fungi. Humbling, isn't it?

Offensive? Not to me, at least. A wake up call? Yes. I can see satire as well as a desperate need for change in there, a look at what can be and what shouldn't ever be.

I'm curious about Mr. Chaplin's movie. As I recall, he wasn't a rabid anything, but a man who wanted to make people happy and make them think, as well as feel.

Thanks, Des. (Yes, I'll always tend to be a dreamer.)

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Chaplin's first talking picture, The Great Dictator (1940), was an act of defiance against Nazism.

George Bernard Shaw called Chaplin "the only genius to come out of the movie industry."

Controversial

During the era of McCarthyism, Chaplin was accused of "un-American activities" as a suspected communist and J. Edgar Hoover, who had instructed the FBI to keep extensive secret files on him, tried to end his United States residency. FBI pressure on Chaplin grew after his 1942 campaign for a second European front in the war and reached a critical level in the late 1940s, when Congressional figures threatened to call him as a witness in hearings. This was never done, probably from fear of Chaplin's ability to lampoon the investigators.

Chaplin received three Academy Awards in his lifetime: one for Best Original Score, and two Honorary Awards. However, during his active years as a filmmaker, Chaplin expressed disdain for the Academy Awards; his son Charles Jr wrote that Chaplin invoked the ire of the Academy in the 1930s by jokingly using his 1929 Oscar as a doorstop.[79] This may help explain why City Lights and Modern Times, considered by several polls to be two of the greatest of all motion pictures,[80][81] were not nominated for a single Academy Award.

More details on Charlie Chaplin at Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Chaplin

Google his name for other sites.

I have had the pleasure of screening some of his movies and his genius is self-evident, although alongside the unsubtle offerings from current movie-makers, his talents may be less obvious to today's audiences.

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A stirring speech...timeless. Chaplin would have understood the message in context with the times and the suffering endured by all of Europe in the 30's and 40's. It's always good to be reminded of our common humanity, especially here in the United States where so often it seems to get misplaced like an old shoe.

I look at the discourse about the Occupy movement and the significance of putting bodies on the street in protest. It reminds me a little of the Vietnam War protests we held in the late 60's, except we brought joints to smoke and the Occupy folks bring Starbucks. By comparison the AIDS marches of the 80's were somber affairs but a chance to show the rainbow flag on the evening news. There was a certain euphoria about standing at the fence of the White House and giving the finger to the symbol of the President and screaming "Shame." (of course, he wasn't home)

But my (our?) generation saw the need for public outcry against those things that assaulted our humanity, something that would have shocked my father's generation. I know several of my compatriots from those ACT-UP DC days, and the war protests two decades earlier, who went to work in government. Change from within was the objective, a noble cause that seems to have had little effect.

I think Chaplin would have understood the role he played in The Great Dictator gave voice to the screams that eminated from Europe. I am sorry to say we have no hero to stand up and speak for the screams people utter today...and that worries me. The Occupy Movement is only the first wave and civil disobediance is a mild response to the times...I fear much worse in the days ahead. Perhaps the country needs another revolution. I would hope the "American Spring" pushes forth a voice of reason, but this is an election year and all we hear are lies. Let's hope the cries on the street don't become "Lock and Load."

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Unfortunately it seems that people do not understand that change comes from the challenge to authority, not from obeying its rules. From his writings, Thomas Jefferson seemed to understand this. I find it fascinating that the tale of Moses is about confronting the authority of the Pharaoh, when it would have been easier for Moses to have accepted his destiny, as a Prince of Egypt, to become Pharaoh and then set the Israelites free. But no, the moral is that authority is power and once power is gained it corrupts because it is too tempting to keep control and power for the person who attains it.

Many people fear the "Lock and Load," mentality, but who will exercise it? Given the present trend to get things opposite to reality I fear reason will be rejected.

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