Monday, June 13, 2005

The World is Too Much

In my 35 years thus far on the Big Blue Marble, I have only seen a handful of Alfred Hitchcock movies: Psycho, The Birds, Vertigo, North by Northwest, and Rear Window. I can honestly say I really don’t remember much about Vertigo and Rear Window, but I can make the claim to having seen them. Be that as it may, I’ve never felt like I had a huge cultural chasm in my soul for not seeing more Hitchcocks, but I was induced to see The Man Who Knew Too Much last Saturday evening. As far as flicks go, I was entertained. (There was no Jar Jar Binks or Cher in the movie, so Man definitely had a few stars coming to it before it even began.)

At any rate, not far into the movie the main characters, a Dr. and Mrs. McKenna (played by Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day) are seen traveling through Morocco on their way to Marrakech with their son Hank. They befriend a smarmy Frenchie who seems to insinuate himself into their evening’s plans, and as the movie cuts to the scene in which the McKennas and Luis Bernard (that’s Frenchie’s name) are preparing for a night out on the town, you see Doris Day helping Hank put on his pajamas (with a robe and slippers – I was waiting to see if the kid was going to light up a pipe and start reading the evening paper). The two of them, mother and son, are singing "Que SerĂ¡, SerĂ¡" (which, by the way, is Spanish for "I feel like a complete moron wearing a robe and slippers in the middle of Morocco"). You quickly learn that the parents are getting ready to go out, and the son is about to be babysat by someone in the hotel’s employ. Red flag! It should come as no surprise to learn that just a little while later in the movie someone to whom the parents casually entrust their son subsequently kidnaps the boy.

I’m probably not the first to think this, but I may be the first to verbalize it: Hitchcock was a nefarious knave whose primary goal was to advance the agenda of a powerful triumvirate composed of Henry Ford, Coco Chanel, and The San Diego Chicken. It’ll all be abundantly clear in a moment.

Henry Ford: he perfected the assembly line to mass-produce his automobiles. If your child is abducted, what better way to cover ground quickly in your search than an automobile? (Let’s remember, the movie took place in the late 50s.) Following that same logic, what better way to be prepared for such an abduction (in Marrakech or elsewhere) than to purchase a handful of Ford’s vehicles and have them at the ready?

Coco Chanel: she was French. But it goes way beyond that! No matter how sweaty you get, you must smell good. You didn’t see people passing out when Doris Day’s character entered the room after an exhaustive search – they embraced her and wished to be by her side. Dainty, genteel, and feminine all go out the window if you smell like an outhouse.

San Diego Chicken: I know what many of you are saying. "The San Diego Chicken didn’t even come into existence until the late 70s, and Hitchcock was in his heyday in the late 50s and through the 60s." Why do you think you’ve never seen the face of The San Diego Chicken? There’s a whole army of individuals who portray the Chicken; it’s gone through generations of certain families, and the machinations of the Chicken (along with Ford and Chanel) were alive and well at the time of The Man Who Knew Too Much. By getting the world to accept that the world was an unsafe place basically ushered in a mania ready to embrace dancing poultry as entertainment. It all fits.

If you think this is a stretch, simply take a look at the world today: people pay extra money for hubcaps that spin around like a Cuisinart blade ready to slice carrots, Pauly Shore is about to get another TV show, and Hillary Clinton was elected Senator of a state in which she never lived previously.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is a twisted “reality” we live. Your article reminded me of the absurdities we partake of on a daily basis under the guise of “normality.” A few years back I paid a few hundred dollars for some good size rocks which became my retaining wall. It was more appealing than concrete and less expensive too. My brother in law, K. Wayneyna and his family came to visit and I had to show him my recent cost saving project. He laughed as he told me in his African accent, “Man, in America you can sell anything, back home in Kenya, your neighbors would laugh if they knew you bought rocks.”...I knew then and there that I'd been had by the influence of a cartoon from long ago...curse you Fred...curse you Barney!!

Keep writing my friend…the truth must be told

Charles L.