Friday, January 7, 2011

The King Is Our Friend

I'm done with watching home movies on The Australian Screen website.  Now I'm watching old newsreels. This could be fun and interesting.

The first newsreel is of a speech made by Frank Forde in 1946.  He's that guy who was Prime Minister for a very short time. How long was it again?

Let me go check.....

I'm going to GUESS 8 days.   

I'm wrong.

Lord Wiki says it was only 7 days.

I should have remembered that, since 7 is my favorite number.

He was Prime Minister in 1945.  The newsreel is from 1946, so this was after his Prime Minister days.  I think he was appealing to people to vote for Chifley.  And I guess he helped get the point across.  From what I can see, Chifley did win that election.

Anyway.....

What struck me about the video is Forde's attempt to play the part of friend of the general public.    He talks about wishing he could meet everyone in Capricornia, his electoral district.  He even goes as far to say he's their personal friend.

It reminds me of King George VI's speech in The King's Speech.  The king says, In this grave hour, perhaps the most fateful in history, I send to every household of my peoples, both at home and overseas, this message, spoken with the same depth of feeling for each one of you as if I were able to cross your threshold and speak to you myself.

That speech was from 1939.

I'm wondering if public figures often took that approach back then; appeal to the general masses by presenting a facade of friendship.

Maybe they still do it today. I can't say I watch an abundance of political speeches.

I'm guessing people are more skeptical today. Or maybe not. Twitter and Facebook can give people the illusion that they're friends with a public figure, especially if the celebrity talks back every so often.

I don't necessarily think there's anything too wrong with it.  It could probably be bad if someone puts too much time and energy into these illusions of friendship.  Although it's probably not much worse than someone who imagines all their Facebook friends are REAL friends.  

I guess I'm picky about the use of the term friend. I worked at a preschool where the teachers used the words Friends instead of something like kids, class, little snot-nosed brats, etc.  

Friends, it's time to line up.

Friends it's time to put your work away.  

Yeah.  That annoyed me.

I think most people in our lives are acquaintances. The only problem I have with that word is it's hard to spell....at least for me it is.