Tag Archives: Charlie Chaplin

The ramblings of a sober man

When we’re born into this life it’s a completely different world than the one we leave behind. Ultimately whether we realise it or not the world is changing rapidly every day. I see technology advance so quickly that it’s scary at some points, I watch beautiful pieces of land disappear under masses of concrete and glass and I see a human race who mostly don’t care.

I am by no means an environmentalist, I’m not a member of organisation that sets out to change the world. I am in fact a guy who mainly sits at home, reads comics, watches sci-fi and occasionally steps outside into the vast space that is planet earth. I don’t go all out to make a difference in the world and I don’t think any more or any less of people who do.

Over the years I’ve watched on countless occasions as wars and corporations and industrial effects have savaged lands and pushed the beauty of the landscape to the side. I often think to myself that I was born out of time, that I was never meant to be alive in this day and age and that my mentality would be better suited to the start of the last century. I look at images of streets with horses and carts, where everyone seemed genuinely happy to be there and where men, women and children would pass each other in the street and make eye contact instead of updating their Facebook with “Walking down street, saw minger picking nose, ewww lol”

Truthfully, I think the world we live in has gone to shit and that’s not a naive opinion. This is not my attempt at slating governments or corporations or the people behind technology. I can’t say anything about technology because frankly I would be a hypocrite seeing as I’m currently using a popular piece of machinery to type this very blog entry.

The financial status of the planet is enough for me to sit here and write and write and write about and I could also do the exact same for the crime rates around the globe. I could sit here and tell you that I think within a hundred years we will be run by a totalitarian government and our right to free will completely revoked. I could sit here and tell you that society today has made life virtually impossible for the people down below and that it is causing so many issues that the hierarchy of the world appear to be blind to………..I could tell you all of that but I won’t.

We’re born, we live, we die. That’s the general rule of life and whether we like to admit or not, our existence is pretty meaningless. What are we supposed to do with life? I say we’re supposed to fill it, fill it with joy and hope and love and every other emotion. Fill it with what we enjoy, what we want to do. I say we take life and ride it from start to end and make sure it’s the best journey imaginable. That’s what I say, but sometimes that’s not always possible. Frankly, this day and age make it so hard to truly enjoy it. For me I think I would be walking around in the Victorian times right now, on my way to some rendition of Sherlock Holmes with William Gillette or something along those lines.

I’m not a man of any faith, I don’t know what’s waiting for us all on the other side but I know that we’re supposed to enjoy what we have here. I’m planning on trying my damnedest to do exactly that, whether that involves indulging my mind in 16th, 17th and 18th century literature or reading the latest 2000 AD issue, whether it’s watching Charlie Chaplin classics or the latest episode of Doctor Who, whether it’s taking a stroll up the hills and mountains or the scenic route to the supermarket I think it’s important that we make the most of the life we’ve been given.

I know that this isn’t my normal type of posting but sometimes it’s good to get away from the norm, sometimes in life something will shake you to your core and bring on some sort of epiphany and that’s exactly what’s happened to me. Of all the great writers of history at my disposal, I remembered a sentence that just clicked with me, it wasn’t from Twain or Shakespeare or anyone like that, it was from a TV show.

 

“The hardest thing in this world, is to live in it”

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The greatest speech ever made?

I think that everyone has their “go to” video, song or book. I myself have many of them, in fact I have a “go to” library when I think about it. There is however one video that always draws me to it. I could write about it but nothing that I put into words could ever do it justice and so instead I’m just going to leave the video here.

I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone – if possible – Jew, Gentile – black man – white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness – not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost….

!/images/photos/0000/0874/Great_Dictator_Pub_140-6_normal.jpg! The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men – cries out for universal brotherhood – for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world – millions of despairing men, women, and little children – victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

To those who can hear me, I say – do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed – the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. …..

Soldiers! don’t give yourselves to brutes – men who despise you – enslave you – who regiment your lives – tell you what to do – what to think and what to feel! Who drill you – diet you – treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men – machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate – the unloved and the unnatural! Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!

In the 17th Chapter of St Luke it is written: “the Kingdom of God is within man” – not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people have the power – the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.

Then – in the name of democracy – let us use that power – let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world – a decent world that will give men a chance to work – that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfil that promise. They never will!

Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfil that promise! Let us fight to free the world – to do away with national barriers – to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers! in the name of democracy, let us all unite!

The Little Tramp

Throughout history I don’t think there has ever been a more creative genius than Charlie Chaplin.

Ever since I was 6 or 7 and I sat hidden on the stairs, looking through the holes and watching “Chaplin” with Robert Downey Jr as my parents watching it, I’ve been fascinated by him. His films, his creativeness, his personal life and all the controversy surrounding him. That little tramp character that he brought so much life to still intrigues me to this day and finding out more and more about what he went through. The story of him being kicked out of America and the sad story of Hetty Kelly who Charlie fell in love with in England and sadly died while he was in America, of course she had since married someone else which just makes it even more heart wrenching.

Charlies enduring love for film and entertainment is evident in everything that he touched. From his silent beginnings through to The Great Dictator and Limelight. He worked tirelessly to make sure his movies were perfect, he wrote the scripts, the scores and took control of the editing. Charlie Chaplin put everything he had into entertaining millions. That aspect inspires me, especially when I watch his work. Almost 100 years on and it’s still as funny today as was back then.

Charlie was also loyal, he kept Edna Purviance on his payroll for the rest of her life even after she couldn’t land any more film roles. A mark of a man who knew that (to some extent) the people around him were important, even if he didn’t always make it clear.

Of course there controversies galore. J Edgar Hoover seemed to have a personal vendetta against him, naming him a Communist Sympathiser which eventually led to him being banned from re-entering the USA when he was touring the UK to promote his latest film. Then there were the divorces and the blood test controversies.

Every idol has their flaws and Charlie Chaplin sure had his.

When I lived in Switzerland in 2005 I remember jumping on a train for almost two hours to go to Vevey just to try and get a peek at his home (all I managed to see was a gate and trees) but just being that close to such a place was strangely fulfilling. In 2015 his home will be opened as a museum and will be open to the public, so perhaps I’ll get my chance to walk those hallways.
If you’ve never watched a Charlie Chaplin film, I suggest you do so immediately.