6/19/08

RVOD025 Patriotism

(1972, Educational/Short, color)

Riffers:

Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy

Making ugly things even uglier is what patriotism is all about.

Rating: **1/2

In a nutshell:

Everything, and I do mean each and every little action, can be considered patriotic.

Summary:

Whatever you do, DO NOT agree to appear in any of the star's 'other projects'.Former sitcom star Bob Crane narrates while a number of children wander the streets picking up trash, trampling flowers and complaining to city officials. According to Mr. Crane, all of these activities are patriotic. So is just about anything else you feel like doing.

Thoughts:

Oddly, this short’s definition of patriotism doesn’t specifically mention national pride. It also appears reluctant to advocate a determination to abide by our country’s laws, participate in the democratic process, or contribute in a time of national crisis. But Mr. Crane doesn’t rule such things out either, so I guess it’s implied. Aside from this, well, this and some really strange syntax near the middle, there’s nothing remarkable about it.

This brief scene is the only time the filmmakers allow this man near a child.Obviously the mockery for this short has to center on its infuriating vagueness, with occasional forays into Mr. Crane’s notorious depravity. Bill references the latter when he says, “Bob Crane had a funny sense of what constituted ‘a little act of patriotism’.” Later, Mike follows up yet another of Mr. Crane’s vague admonitions with the sarcastic, “Yes, I'm Bob Crane, lecturing you on how to be a good person.” Also amusing are Kevin’s Daffy Duck impersonation and Mike’s decision to declare “putting walnuts in your brownie recipe” and “wearing white pants” as the only unpatriotic acts possible. The short is fairly bland, and the commentary doesn’t seem to find much footing in it. It’s not boring; it’s just not all that special compared to previous shorts.