Originally published in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, March 1, 2010
You guys ever see the movie “Cool Hand Luke”? You haven’t? If I were in charge of our education system, I would make viewing “Cool Hand Luke” a graduation requirement. Why? Because that movie is just full of metaphors and analogies that an editorial cartoonist could use — I could steal a quote or draw a scene, and everybody would instantly recognize it. I’ve lamented before about the lack of universal cultural touchpoints and how it makes my life more difficult, so I won’t go on, but I will ask this: What three movies would you make graduation requirements? The first that come to mind for me are:
And now I want to add “The Big Bus.” Not because it has any sort of social truths that would be helpful for cartooning (or any redeeming value, really). But if I were in charge of the whole educational system, I would quickly become drunk on power and make people watch stuff nobody knows about but I think is hilarious. Sorry.
Anyway, in Cool Hand Luke, the fellow in charge of the prison camp is a character known as “Captain.” He dresses in a clean, white shirt and is seemingly very cordial and gentile with his southern drawl and measured tone. He’s in control. That is, until things don’t go his way. Then he becomes something of a bloviating jerk. Go back to a year ago when various bloviating jerks, er, southern senators took Michigan automakers to task — much of it well-deserved, by the way, but still tough to take when your local economy depended on fixing the mess, not just simply casting blame. Now back to today, when these same southern senators are conspicuously quiet when an automaker with major installations in their states makes some pretty big blunders. What we got here is failure to communicate.