July 25th, 2012
Black and white tale
Some years back the Wall Street Journal ran an article about an infamous incident, when the combination of a huge snowstorm and a wildcat labor dispute left hundreds of passengers cooped up in a couple of jetliners and stranded on a runway for hours and hours. As the toilets backed up and people got restless, the flight attendants asked if anyone had a video that they could use as a distraction. One young man, just starting college, had a copy of Citizen Kane. He’d seen it in a class and had fallen in love with it. He offered up his video and the flight attendants popped it in.
Maybe five minutes went by before people started groaning. “Boring!” “This is black and white!” “Who wants to watch this?” After a little while the flight attendants took out the tape and handed it back to the owner. Most people on the flight would rather re-read their magazines and complain to each other than watch Welles’ masterpiece. The young man was crushed, and said so to the WSJ reporter.
Now you could take this as a terrible story about modern taste, and on dark days; the Siren does.
But you could also focus on the kid with the Citizen Kane tape. He counts, too. --Self-Styled Siren