Walter Mencken 9:21 p.m., Oct. 20
The Existential Crisis in Footloose
Many years ago, my older brother Mark and I were hanging out at home, bored and restive, when one of us hit upon the idea of taping a mock radio show - "mock" both in the sense that it would not actually be going out over the airwaves and in the sense that we would be making fun of his old collection of 45 rpm singles in the process.
This was a thing once.
Our fake radio station was, of course, WBUT - BUTT FM. And one of our targets was, of course, Kenny Loggins' "Footloose" - an '80s anthem so enduringly powerful that when it came time to tease the 2011 remake of the eponymous film, we got this:
See 'em there, barely visible in the neon glow? Those are Loggins's lyrics.
The reason I mention WBUT is that my brother was way ahead of the curve in his admiration of Loggins's wordcraftery, even sans music. Of course, admiration gets expressed in lots of different ways. Mark decided to play up the way that "Footloose" echoed the French existentialist writer Albert Camus, author of such cheerful novels as The Plague and The Fall.
Both men were fond of the popped collar, apparently.
"Rising, streetcar, four hours in the office or factory, meal, streetcar, four hours of work, meal, sleep, and Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday and Saturday according to the same rhythm — this path is easily followed most of the time. But one day, the 'why' arises and everything begins in that weariness tinged with amazement."
And thus Loggins:
I've been working so hard I'm punching my card Eight hours, for what? Oh, tell me what I got
I've got this feeling That time's just holding me down I'll hit the ceiling Or else I'll tear up this town
The parallel is almost eerie in its exactitude. Which is why I'm reminding you of Mr. Marks's recent announcement that you can see the Footloose remake, free of charge and ahead of schedule, just by visiting www.FootlooseFriday.com and letting 'em know that you wanna cut loose — footloose.
More like this:
- The Movie-Studio Logo Quiz: A New Beginning — Dec. 19, 2011
- The Movie Studio Logo Quiz III: The Heretic — Nov. 14, 2011
- The Crazy Credits, Crawls, and Cautionary Warnings Quiz — Sept. 30, 2011
- The Movie Studio Logo Quiz: The Adventure Continues — Sept. 19, 2011
- The Movie Studio Logo Quiz — Sept. 14, 2011