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August 19, 2010

Lessons from South Pacific


Last night, I watched the troops leaving Iraq on MSNBC and then turned to PBS to watch South Pacific live from Lincoln Center. I feel like I should have some profound comment about this, about war as entertainment, but I was too caught up in the magic of Rodgers and Hammerstein and instead was left wondering, yet again, why people bother writing musicals anymore, because they were just that good.

Both of my favorite Rodgers and Hammerstein shows are about World War II, actually - the other, of course, is The Sound of Music - and now that I think about it, my two favorite movies are too (The Sound of Music, again, and White Christmas). Of all the mystery shows I love, my favorite is Foyle's War - again, set during the War. Some of this is likely particular to me, and my influences, as my father and aunt love anything WWII, and my favorite movies are two of my mother's favorite movies.

But it's not just me. It's undeniable that that war led to great art, both at the time and afterward, and still captures our cultural imagination, even now. In sixty years, will our grandchildren be watching movies about the war in Iraq and loving them like this? I suppose it's possible, as impossible as it is to imagine right now. Who are this war's Rodgers and Hammerstein, this war's Irving Berlin?

To tie in another current event, the ridiculous "Ground Zero" "mosque" controversy keeps bringing to mind this song:

And because I thoroughly regret not seeing Matthew Morrison as Cable, here he is singing some more, shirtless:

Posted by Kat at August 19, 2010 05:00 PM
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