Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Bring the Noise
There's a somewhat overlooked movie from way back in 1981 called Continental Divide, the claim to fame of which is that it featured John Belushi in his only "dramatic" role.
In the film, Belushi plays a Chicago newspaper columnist -- Ernie Souchak -- who's known for his acerbic wit and cutthroat copy. His readers love him; the targets of his ire can't stand him; his editor is driven crazy by him -- which is why he sends Souchak out of the city on an assignment to cover the work of a woman who's dedicated her life to saving bald eagles. Needless to say, Souchak accepts the gig unwillingly and hilarity ensues as the cigarette smoking big city loudmouth rubs up against the granola-eating nature buff. Eventually, as is wont in stories like this, the two find common ground in their dedication to what each believes in, and they fall in love over the three months spent together in the woods.
When Souchak gets back to Chicago, his copy is, shall we say, "softer" than previously. He writes pieces with titles like "What I Did During My Summer Vacation;" it's a change not welcomed by his readers -- particularly when there's so much insanity and injustice out there that they feel requires Souchak's attention and anger.
Eventually he does get back to cranking out the kind of stuff for which he's known and loved, while not fully abandoning the more emotional material that indeed came straight from his heart.
Why do I bring this up?
My medical leave is over.
It's time to get back to work.