Monday, February 4, 2013
America the Beautiful
I fled what little of the Super Bowl I had to overhear when the children from Sandy Hook were paraded out with some superstar or another to sing a rousing chorus of America the Beautiful. Am I the only one who found this obscene and a tiny bit emblematic of exactly what's wrong with America? I fled from the house and out with one of my oldest friends to see a screening of one of my favorite movies, Days of Heaven. It's been way over twenty-five years since I first saw this Terence Malick movie, and watching it on a big screen in a wonderful movie theater was a treat. I think people either love or hate Malick's movies as they tend toward the ponderous, but I can't imagine anyone hating the sweep and beauty of Days of Heaven, not to mention the sight of the young Richard Gere, Sam Shepard and Brooke Adams. Call me pretentious or out of touch, but as the camera rolled over the vast plains, the waving wheat, the hundreds of impoverished workers that unloaded from giant steam engines that rolled through the expanse of the heartland, I felt vastly more American and glad of it than I had catching a glimpse of the Gomorrah that is Super Bowl Sunday.