Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Animal House and Paradise

Today, July 27, marks the 27th anniversary of the theatrical release of the "Animal House" movie. This movie remains to this day my all time favorite "pure" comedy flick (as opposed to romantic comedies, "dramedies", etc.). There is not a single wasted scene and barely a wasted line - in fact Animal House rivals the Tarantino-directed movies for the sheer number of memorable quotes listed in IMDB. And it has well-defined "good guys" and "bad guys" - by its own slightly warped but basically moral standards - so you have someone to root for along with the laughs.

Besides enjoying it as a movie, I have a special place in my heart for both Animal House and for the Meat Loaf song "Paradise By the Dashboard Light", which hit the charts as a single around the same time as Animal House was big. The summer of '78 was a very important time of change for me, as I graduated high school and headed off for college in NYC. I still vividly recall the thrilling, indescribable feelings of independence and freedom that came with living away from home for the first time. For whatever combination of factors, that movie and that song came to symbolize and crystallize those early, giddy days of abandon. OK, I was at Yeshiva U so there was maybe only a tiny bit of abandon, but it still felt great at the time!

Which leads me to voice an opinion that I first developed in those days. I believe these is a place in heaven for those who entertain us and make us laugh, whatever other personal failings and moral lapses they may have had. I wouldn't want to hold up John Belushi as a role model for my kids' middos contests. He made a lot of mistakes and hurt people though his lifestyle, most especially himself. But I have to believe that the joy and laughter he brought to millions is deserving of a special reward. We all could use a lot more of it today.


At 7/28/05, 7:00 AM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

Well there is a Gemora in Ta'anis (I think, or is Moed Katan?) that tells of a Tanna walking through the market place with Eliyahu Hanavi. The Tanna asks Eliyahu, who here is a ben Olam Haba. Eliyahu points to two men. The Tanna asks them what they do. They tell him that they make jokes and cheer people up.
I don't know if that would apply to John Belushi though :-)

At 8/3/05, 2:51 AM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

Belushi was one of my favorites.


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