Monday, March 24, 2008

From John Adams to The Hills

Yesterday, I was just watching this fabulous and super well made miniseries about the life of John Adams on HBO. Adams, interpreted by Paul Giamatti, was the 2nd President of the United States, he also was a post-puritan farmer and lawyer who pushed the independence of America from the British. This man changed America's history. Thomas Jefferson called him "Colossus of Independence". Hadn't he pushed the issue and negotiated Independence with the members of the Continental Congress, America's revolution probably would have come much later, or maybe it would have never happened. America's history probably would have been more like Canada's. For better or for worst, we would have never known.

The life of the forefathers was so inspiring, and also the people who lived those years, Mrs. Abigail Adams's life and letters. Wife and mother of two presidents. Amazing woman. Actress Laura Linney doesn't do a lot to the character of the real Abigail Adams, but still one can get the idea of how much of an influence the real Abby was to her husband John.

So, after I finished watching it, my mind still was wondering on a 1778 world, they did a great job taking you there, so I was flipping through channels on a 2008 tv thinking on 1778 mode, when suddenly found myself watching MTV's "The Hills"... the reality show soap opera of the young, beautiful and shallow (yes!) people of Hollywood, of Hollywood Hills. I almost have a heart attack due to the futuristic cultural shock. I only can imagine what a couple like John and Abigail Adams would have said of today's society. Is that what we fought for, John Adams? Probably that's what Abigail would have said to her dear husband.

Funny thing is that in both episodes, and for very different causes, the characters have to go to France. Adams goes to the court of Louis XVI representing the Continental Congress to ask for help to win the war against the British, and The Hills girls, who work for Teen Vogue, go to a super chic débutante ball in Paris.

I have to say, the way the miniseries shown Adams in the court of King Louis XVI was great. Just imagine, a simple and very correct Massachusetts man on the most decadent court of France of all times. He didn't like what he saw. On the other hand, the girls of The Hills were totally taken over by the French and by the pretty city of Paris.

It's not the fault of any of this characters to live the time that life give them to live. God knows what type of person John Adams would have been if he would have been born in Los Angeles's 80's or how would be the life of one of the girls of The Hills had they lived on XVIII Century.

In any case, comparing John Adams' 1778 America to The Hills' 2008 America left me with a sour and empty feeling on my stomach. The only really great thing of these days I can think about is the medical advances, like anesthesia, and the dentist. I only can wonder how year 2308 will look like.

You can write a thesis on sociology on everything that is wrong in America from that pile of shit that MTV feeds America's kids. It seems that the only thing that MTV is interested to accomplish is to make America's children -and the world's- a bunch of sexed up retards.

Teenagers on Adams' time. He takes his son, John Quincy with him on his first trip to France on 1778. The 14 year-old was versed on French so he was great help to his dad, who didn't speak the language. On one episode in the Netherlands, John Quincy is invited by Francis Dana, who appointed to go to Russia to gain recognition of the new republic, to go with him as a secretary. John Quincy asked his dad with a hesitant and sad look if Russia was very cold. To which his dad replied, not for a Massachusettsan. The 14 year-old didn't want to go, but his dad pushed him by telling him he is a man already and that he have to take his duties.

Do you hear that? A man already. DUTY. 14 year-old. No MTV, no computer games and no treat him like an little baby until he is 45.

Have you ever seen a movie call Idiocracy with Luke Wilson? I hope we never go there, but it seems this is the road we are driving to :)

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