Over the holidays I enjoyed watching two of my all-time favorite movies, "The Wizard of Oz" and "It's a Wonderful Life." I always enjoy seeing my old friends, George Bailey and Dorothy Gale. Watching these films generates great memories of my family and friends and the many discussions we had about these movies and their characters.
I know everyone that has seen "It's a Wonderful Life" can relate to the frustrations that George feels when he thinks his life didn't matter. I also don't know a single soul who hasn't been brought to tears when George's family and friends come together to give him the help he needs.
The same can be said for Dorothy and her troupe of misfits. We laugh with the Scarecrow, cry with the Tin Man and shake in fear with the Lion. The most common themes that resonates with everyone that I talk with about "The Wizard of Oz" is that, deep down, we all realize we already have everything we think we are lacking and there really is no place like home.
I, however, discovered a very disturbing thing this year. My 25-year-old daughter says she has never seen either of these films. I challenged her on this because I watch these films quite often and when she was younger I know she saw them. Her response to this was "Dad, just because the TV is on doesn't mean I am watching it. Besides, who would want to watch some old movie in black and white."
Well, folks, it is official: I have failed as a parent. For my daughter to have never enjoyed these movies casts a long dark shadow over my parenting skills.
I remember watching these movies with both my parents and as a kid I couldn't wait for the once a year that "The Wizard of Oz" was shown. I also remember viewing "It's a Wonderful Life" multiple times over the two-week break I had from school during the holidays. It seems like it was always on at least one of the channels regardless of the day or time.
I was so stunned about what my daughter said that I started doing some research. A poll conducted by FYE.com found less than half of millennials have seen the likes of "Gone with the Wind," "The Sound of Music," "To Kill a Mockingbird," or even "The Shawshank Redemption."
Only 28 percent have seen "Casablanca," 16 percent have watched "Once Upon a Time in the West" and only a measly 12 percent have seen the Hitchcock classic "Rear Window" -- although the director's "Psycho" fares moderately better at a rate of 38 percent.
Thirty percent of young people also admit to never having watched a black and white film all the way through with 20 percent branding the films "boring," according to the FYE.com research.
Although there were no statistics given for "The Wizard of Oz" or "It's a Wonderful Life," I'm sure they would fare pretty low in the millennials' queue of what to watch. If it isn't on Netflix then it doesn't exist for the majority of today's young people.
So in a weird way for millennials, sadly, it is like George Bailey never was born. Does that explain the disconnect between the generations? Maybe Zuzu's petals are the tie that binds all generations together and without them we can never understand each other.
Millennials strive to "know their own truth" or "find their passion." John Donne said "No man is an island." Perhaps millennials could understand this concept better if they knew why George Bailey was the richest man in his town.
Many millennials battle anxiety and stress on a daily basis because they are striving so hard to make a difference in the world. Perhaps if they realized we all need a Clarence in our lives from time to time they could find life a little less difficult.Editorial on 01/06/2019
Print Headline: Boring George Bailey