Saturday, November 12, 2016

Trouble In River City

During the American election campaign, I kept thinking of Harold Hill. His creator, Meredith Willson, grew up in Mason City, Iowa. He tapped into something deep in the American character.

The Music Man is a quintessential American story. It's set in 1912. But, in some ways, not much has changed.


Lorne said...

Just masterful, Owen.

John B. said...

That explains it. Drummers are what made America great in the first place. That's why, all by himself, Trump will make it great again. Strange that I never noticed that they'd gone away anytime lately: credit default swaps; directed virtual asset management; collateralized debt obligations; soft skills labour supply management services; derivatives; launched finance-enabled trades; Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover; usw.

Sales resistance and consumer education aren't any better in River City now than they were in 1912. The hicks have just been waiting for a master of the craft to notice.

Owen Gray said...

I spent some time in the American South, Lorne. When Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were elected, I thought maybe the country had changed. But, when I saw all those black folks herded into a football stadium during Hurricane Katrina, I began to have my doubts.

Now, after the election of Trump, I think of The Duke and the Dolphin -- Huck Finn called them "frauds." I think of Elmer Gantry. The basic character of the country remains the same.

Owen Gray said...

They were waiting to be fleeced, John. They'd like to think they'll be fleeced no more. At the beginning of the movie, Hill is playing poker with some other salesmen. One of them asks him, "How far are you going, friend?" He answers, "Wherever the people are as green as the money, friend."