James Leroy Wilson's blog

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Woodstock and the Grasshopper

Sunday afternoon I stumbled upon former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee being interviewed by Jim Lehrer in a special on PBS. I admire Bradlee because he's in perhaps the most exclusive club in the world. What club is that? Well, Loretta Lynn is in it. And David Helfgott. And this hint might be the clincher for figuring it out: Erin Brokovich is also in it. I'm not sure who else.

Anyway, after that ended I noticed that both Race for Your Life Charlie Brown and Citizen Kane were about halfway through, and I pressed the remote for Charlie Brown because I had gone longer without seeing it.

I think the movie was intended for pure comedy, but there are some things to think about in the movie. For instance, the boys find the cabin for shelter first. They invite the girls in, share their food with the girls, and then the girls vote the boys out. Considering who the boys are - Charlie Brown, Linus, Schroeder, Franklin - it is not surprising they are unable to stand up for themselves, especially considering that the girls are Peppermint Patty, Lucy, Sally, and Marcie (who's the only nice one).

Anyway, as the group continues its river raft race, we get all the neurotic behavior that characterize the Peanuts gang and the late-20th century civilization they mirror: sense of entitlement, blame-passing, panic, worry, too much talk and too little action, over-reacting to everything, contempt for those who do the most.

But then there is Snoopy and Woodstock, who remind me of the Grasshopper in Claire Wolfe's latest column. They are resourceful, and they do what needs to be done, but then they lay back and enjoy the ride. They don't worry about the race - they hardly behave like they're even in a race. But guess who finishes first?


  1. The club is living persons who were portrayed in Oscar-winning performances.

  2. You got me curious enough to look up other members (or past members) of the club:

    E J Flanagan, Alvin York, Anna Anderson (alias Anastasia), Helen Keller, Blanche Barrow, Jake LaMotta, Dith Pran, Claus von Bülow, Helen Prejean, John Bayley, Alicia Nash.

    Near misses: George M Cohan, Władysław Szpilman, Aileen Wuornos, Ray Charles, Katharine Hepburn, June Carter Cash.