Monday, May 18, 2009

Will Rogers, Frank Capra, and Woody Guthrie

All great communicators from different media venues around the the time of the Great Depression.

These are three men who had a tremendous influence on American and global perception and thereby affecting change that to some extent endures even today.

Will Rogers became known as an outspoken humorist, with a take on the political community that played no favorites. I may be wrong, but in my estimation most of the things he said, sounded as though he mistrusted every part of the political machinery Republican, Democrat or whatever and he became the tongue in cheek voice of America.

Woody Guthrie was the original Protest Singer. He composed songs that supported the common man and his plight. His lyrics exposed hearts, the heart of stone that is found among the power brokers, and the burdened heart of the common man simply trying to do for his family.

Frank Capra, made movies... "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" among others. This movie especially, presented visuals of a hero's behavior against all odds that stirred our consciousness to believe and to hope that change could be had if we could find it within ourselves to try.

This is my early exposure to "The American" that I wanted, and still want, to become.

From Will Rogers biting commentaries about political corruption, to Woody's "This land is your land, this land is my land from California...", to Jimmy Stewart's portrayal of Mr. Smith going to Washington with good morals and ideals in Capra's movie; I, like many Americans were inspired to believe in America... not the machine but its living and breathing heart of the common man.

I believe that the heart's desire for the right thing is still there.

It may be hidden by the media, thrown into a witch's cauldron of confusing issues. It may be trying to find its Queen of hearts in the three card monte game being played by the governance of the global community.

But I believe it is there somewhere, still beating, even yet, waiting to catch a glimpse at some clarity.

These are some of the things these earlier media heroes placed in my mind and my heart.

The expectancy that God's righteousness will ultimately shine through, to break through our combined human darkness and guide us into His light.

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