Shit You Should Know

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Silence Is Golden

The best things in life are free. I’m always looking for things to take the kids to that are free or inexpensive. Each month here in the great frying pan shaped state of Oklahoma, the school sends home a magazine highlighting all sorts of things for families to do in the area from local fairs or concerts to special events that certain venues like museums and libraries hold. Everything listed is family friendly. I look forward to receiving it each month so that I may peruse the pages to find things the kids and I can do to pass the time. For instance, thanks to that magazine I found out that each Sunday admission to the Great Plains Museum is free for local residents. JACKPOT!
The most recent gem that I found tucked away in the magazine’s pages was a free screening of a couple of silent films. I almost passed. The thought of taking my children to something that lacked modern special effects, was not animated, and lacked the use of 3-D glasses made me slightly queasy. After all, in this day and age kids are bored so easily.

Finally, I mustered up the courage (and insanity) to bring them. I told the kids to bathe and get ready because I was taking them out on the town. It’s a shame I don’t own a flapper dress and feathered headband or I would have dressed the part.

When we arrived, I found that it was a very small gathering which was fine. The films were being shown at Cameron University. The event was hosted by the Magic Lantern Film Society. The two films they chose for that night were Sherlock, Jr. (1924) starring Buster Keaton and Speedy (1928) starring Harold Lloyd. Both films were comedies.
In typical fashion of my beloved offspring, the whining and the complaining commenced…

“There’s noooo tallllking?”

Note the emphasis on elongating the letters. I want you to feel my pain and HEAR their pathetic, whining voices.

“Why is it in blaaaack and whiiiite?”

“I’m borrrrrred!”

“That guy just said there are snacks. I’mmmm hungryyyyy!”
At first it was torture to the point I actually contemplated leaving then I remembered something important but sometimes detrimental to my own well-being. I am NO quitter. I will push forward no matter how stubborn I appear because regardless, I WILL get to the other side of whatever I am crossing. Win or lose. About twenty minutes into the first film, the kids were into it. They were laughing and predicting what would happen next. My hair for a few moments in time decided to take a rest from turning slowly gray.
My daughter said it reminded her of Bugs Bunny and “those guys that poke each other in the eyes and stuff.” Yes, friends. It appears I have failed at introducing my daughter to the humor of the Three Stooges. I promise to do better in my parenting in the future. As you can see, I am trying to redeem myself here!

During intermission, my son made an interesting observation. He says to me, “Why are there so many old people here?” Funny thing is what my children consider old. For instance, I’m thirty. My children constantly ask me about the “olden days” and “ancient times”. You know…when dinosaurs roamed the earth? Apparently, they think my husband clubbed me over the head and dragged me into his cave by my hair. I guess if you use it as a metaphor for “love” it isn’t entirely false.
After explaining to him that the film society itself is headed by folks who are in their 50s and 60s, the members themselves are mostly in their 60s and 70s with the exception of the students from Cameron University that belong to the group. I concluded by informing him that the best part was that should there be a zombie apocalypse while we were there at least the old folks were easy prey so we’d have a chance to get the hell out of there. He liked that idea.
I know most people immortalize Charlie Chaplin but in my opinion he doesn’t have anything on Buster Keaton in Sherlock, Jr. Keaton has a Hugh Laurie-esque look about him that reminded me of Laurie in the British sketch comedy show, A Bit of Fry & Laurie. In this film, Keaton plays a projectionist whose dream is to become a detective. After proposing to his girl, his rival frames him for stealing the watch of the girl’s father and Keaton is asked to leave. Later at work while showing a film about a stolen pearl necklace, Keaton falls asleep and dreams that he is in the film as the detective trying to crack the caper. What takes place next are lots of hijinks and sight gags that leave your sides hurting.

In Speedy, Harold Lloyd’s title character is a diehard Yankee fan. It first costs him his job as a soda jerk. Later, he manages to snag a job as a cabby. When by chance he manages to pick up the one and only Babe Ruth, he gives the Sultan of Swat the ride of his life all the way to Yankee Stadium. The Great Bambino’s appearance is delightful. Later in an effort to help his girl’s grandfather save his horse drawn trolley car business, he recruits the help of the local shopkeepers who use the car as a clubhouse each night. You can expect many sight gags and slapstick comedy as well as some good ol’ car chases not to mention a great street brawl between the shopkeepers and the thugs full of physical farce.

All in all, the films were entertaining. I wish local theaters would show more silent films from time to time especially comedies like these. If any of you get the chance to see either of these, you should do so. My children even asked when we could go back to see more.


  1. Nice to see you back for starters. That is pretty cool about the silent films. We have nothing like that around here. In the summer they have old movies on the beach in the evenings but old is Jaws and things like that. I will have to suggest this to the township. Pretty neat. I think the three Stooges would do well with the kids too!

  2. Hmm, I've never seen those movies. If the kids enjoyed them, maybe even I have the patience to sit through them. I always liked Nosferatu. Creepiest looking vampire ever, hands down.

  3. Also, I like your labels "free shit", "stubborn", and "whining".

  4. I have to agree. I would not want to open my eyes and see Nosferatu staring back at me. Makes me think of "Bat Boy" that graces the covers of National Enquirer (or a similar tabloid) from time to time.
    Metropolis is a good one too if you are looking for something more sci-fi.

  5. Following from... one of those blog hops! LOL! Your blog sounds interesting and I'm ready to read! :) Have a great week!

  6. This post made me smile. It is funny how kids perceive us oldies!! To my 11 year old daughter, I'm ancient (I'm 41) and her dad who's 61, well, best not talk about that!

    Found you via Tuesday blog hop.
    CJ xx

  7. You'd be surprised at what kids like. We watched Some Like it Hot with ours, and they were rolling on the floor. But you never know how they'll react...I thought they'd like Poltergeist, and all they said was that it was "really lame".

  8. Cute blog!

    I just found your blog through a Thursday blog hop! Have a great night.

    Amanda @

  9. Your children obviously have better taste than the people I work with. Silent and black and white? They don't see a reason to watch anything black and white. They say that the actors in those films sound like they are reading the lines off of cue cards.
    Anyway, I would take Buster Keaton over Chaplin myself. Harold Lloyd seems to be all but forgotten and I would take him over Chaplin as well.

  10. I love Charlie Chaplin, he really knew how to make the simplest things funny! Glad you imparted that on your kids.

    30 aint OLD! I'm 25, where does that leave me in the eyes of your kids?

    I always thought of black and white as color blind movies, then after watching TNT growing up, I gained a healthy appreciation. Live on!

  11. Hey haven't heard from you for quite some time... hello.. and I also just got back from somewhere out there.. I never tried watching any silent movies... maybe because I don't know where to watch one.. but if it's comedy... it's a thumbs up for me...

  12. Hi! I'm a new follower via Google Friend Connect. :) Found you through the Blog Hop! :) Hopefully you can stop by! Stop by and enter my great going on giving away 4 Gift Card to 4 WINNERS to Target, Starbucks and other stores -&- giving away a TASSIMO T-20 Brewer Machine :)

    -Ai Mei


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