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  • Writer's pictureKelly Marks

Just a Glimmer

When I was in college, there was some trash-talking about Generation X. The Boomers were considered the greatest generation, and we were the generation that didn’t stand for anything. In the midst of hurt feelings caused by that sentiment, I also had to agree that it was pretty accurate.

Then came the Millennials. Want to hear some trash-talking? Those people took some browbeating: they were lazy; didn’t know how to do anything on their own; never left home.

Now it’s the turn for Generation Z. They are so sensitive. You can’t say anything at all. Nothing is politically correct enough for their sensibilities.

Apparently, what goes around comes around I guess, depending on whose generation is in charge, because now Gen X is making a comeback as the toughest generation: we were the original latchkey kids, had no adult supervision to speak of, drank from the spigot, we were never allowed back in the house after we left for the day, and a host of other things that are now taken as something to be proud of.

I’m not sure if it was the Millennials or Gen Z, but one of them started the whole “I’m triggered“ line, and while it’s a very valid feeling (except for Gen X, who typically suppresses feelings and hurt) the pendulum always swings the other way. The “trigger” is now counterbalanced with the “glimmer”: a small moment that makes you happy.

For me, movies have always done that. I certainly do not see every movie that comes out, but when I do get to see a movie, it makes me very happy.

When I was in college, I would occasionally cut class with a friend of mine and go to a matinee. Something about playing hooky and sitting in a dark theater in the middle of the afternoon always felt so decadent.

A few years later, on a Friday or Saturday afternoon, Paul and I would jump in the car and drive to Blockbuster. We would wander through the store, picking up various movies, reading boxes, debating, and perhaps disagreeing about which one to see. The experience of choosing a movie was sometimes better than the movie itself.

Now we have streaming. I do love the immediacy and instant gratification. I am not a Luddite – someone who abhors and shuns technology - I’m really not, but this week I got a glimpse into the charm of the old way.

A friend and I were discussing movies and Enchanted Cottage was mentioned. I had never heard of it, and since it was released in 1945, it’s understandable. I ended up ordering it off of Amazon and watching it on my desktop. Not a perfectly comfortable way to watch, but within two minutes, I was hooked by the old-school charm of a black-and-white movie and the tenderness of the story itself.

I was sad when the film was over, so I decided to see what Netflix could contribute to the experience. I went to the categories tab and clicked on classics. As it churned through its titles, I was thinking, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, or Katherine, for that matter.

Imagine my surprise when Eddie Murphy’s 1988 Coming to America popped up. Not exactly what I would consider a classic, not what I would even consider to be a good movie. It was slightly less than a true glimmer.

I guess I may have to put on some Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra and dig out my DVD of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, and find some true classics.

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