Friday, February 14, 2003

Mickey Rooney caught my eye today.

I describe one of my sabbatical projects as regaining control over my Girl Scout collection, begun around twenty years ago. With the exception of some old uniforms (in “climate controlled storage” at the family homestead – thanks Mom!), all 500 or so of these items are together – for the first time! – in my possession. Simply because I am That Sort of Person, I maintained a list of what I have, first in teen handwriting, then on a primitive data base. Now, I’m integrating all the information onto an Access database. I type slowly, and get distracted easily, so it’s taking forever.

Mickey Rooney distracted me today, in a movie still with Judy Garland, in American Girl Magazine (published by GSUSA from 1920 – 1979). In the November 1939 issue, the magazine -- always optimistically aimed at “all girls” -- reprinted from The Parents’ Magazine reviews of movies “for ages twelve to eighteen.”

Of MGM’s “Babes in Arms,” the reviewer wrote “It may be human weakness to depend on the younger generation to save the world, but when we refer to the entertainment world this picture justifies the hope! Mickey Rooney displays real creativeness in his performance, and Judy Garland continues to be the charming girl everyone would like for a friend or daughter. Good tunes and wholesome gayety for the entire family.”

Questions for Discussion:
1. Did Garland and Rooney’s generation save the entertainment world? From what?
2. Why is Rooney described as actually acting (working) and giving a performance, while Garland just “continues to be”?
3. Trace the evolution of the meaning and usage of the word “gay.”
4. If you ran the Video Fan, which section would you hide it in?

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