A Weekly Offering of This n That

Rainy Day is my alter ego. She is the little angel that sits on one shoulder and whispers in my ear to forgo that 6" piece of triple chocolate fudge with the four scoops of ice cream on it; she is also the little devil who sits on my other shoulder and convinces me that I can eat just one bite of each and be satisfied, and then laughs with such great abandon when in fact, I eat the whole thing, she falls off my shoulder. Mostly, Rainy Day helps me see the humor in living and, mostly, she encourages me down the right path. Not necessarily the straight and narrow one (how fun is that?) but the path that offers the most adventure and fun.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rainy Day and The Help

Rainy Day watched a movie last night that all of her friends who had seen it raved about. They raved about the movie, and they raved about the book (which Rainy Day has yet to read) and eventually it made it not just to the top of Rainy Day's movie queue, but actually into her mailbox and DVD player! Last night, Rainy Day watched The Help.

She won't say she was disappointed, but she didn't understand the raving about the movie. Until she got to thinking about it, and reading several reviews online. Few of Rainy Day's friends lived through the '60s, and to the best of her knowledge none of them lived in the Deep South during that time. Rainy Day both remembers the '60s as she was there, and she remembers the Deep South, as she lived not too awfully far from Jackson – right outside a wee little town called Anniston. Alabama – at Fort McClellan where Rainy Day was known as Private Day.

When Rainy Day was a little girl she loved playing with her Crayons – and she loved it when she got a big box of 64. One of the things she noticed was all the colors played well together. She learned to distinguish between red and yellow and green and purple. What she didn't learn was that skin colors were somehow different, and therefore needed to be kept away from each other. Rainy Day was one lucky girl. Her friends were across the 'skin rainbow' from albino white to deepest, darkest brown. Rainy Day is so glad her parents had the good sense to have and raise her where she could happily be colorblind.

And then the '60s came. And with it movies like Lilies of the Field starring Sidney Poitier. A black man, an itinerant handyman stops at a convent farm in the Arizona desert to obtain some water for his car and ends up building a church for the nuns. In the meantime he learns a great deal, and he teaches a great deal. He does not answer to the term, "Boy."

Another movie of the '60s, also starring Sidney Poitier, with Rod Steiger came along, In the Heat of the Night. Another black man in the Deep South. In both movies, the black man commanded respect, on his own. No white man wrote an anonymous book to help him.

And that is what bothers Rainy Day about The Help. Their savior was a white woman.  And while there were some great laughs in the movie, there was an underlying layer of saccharin. Perhaps it was meant to cover the racism that still thrives in this country?

If you have never lived in the South, and or if you missed the '60s (for whatever reason), this movie is probably worth the time to watch. If for no other reason than the costuming, and a glimpse into the lives of the '60s day 'massa' and 'help'.

Rainy Day often wonders what all those racists think when they find out that their ancestors, like yours and mine, walked out of Africa. Some walked out earlier than others, but we are all African! DNA is a marvelous discovery, yes?

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