Does anyone remember Mr. Roberts? Some of you may remember the movie starring Henry Fonda as Mr. Roberts and Jack Lemmon as Ensign Pulver, for which he won his first Oscar for best supporting actor. I didn't remember the award but I remembered the name of the writer on whose book (1946) the play (1948) and the movie (1955) was based. Thomas Heggen (1918-1948) served on a supply ship during WWII and wrote a collection of anecdotes aka a novel that he turned into a play with a co-writer, Broadway director/actor/writer Joshua Logan (1908-1988). I didn't remember all the dates. What I do remember is the message and I often think of it.
If you are still with me, Mr. Roberts and Ensign Pulver serve on the supply ship Reluctant, sailing back and forth from Tedium to Apathy, putting in time and longing - some of them, notably Roberts - for action. The comedy arises from what the crew does out of boredom. Mr. Roberts finally gets his wish (part of the plot) to be transferred and is killed on his new ship by a kamikaze pilot. His only friend, Doc, receives word of his death and does not report this to the rest of the crew.
Because they are so inured to their boring life that they would receive the news of Mr. Roberts's death as another piece of trivia, good only for a moment's passing notice.
You see? I think of this often because I am in such danger of callous insensitivity, drugged as I am with a constant overload of information, entertainment, distractions, games, quizzes, gossip oh, - and cute cats, loveable dogs and donkeys, touching hard-luck stories, the maddening behaviour of certain politicians...I could go on and on and so could you. We all can and do.
"Oh, for a holiday in a complete vacuum!" That's a line from another favourite play, The Lady's Not for Burning, and I've quoted it before, not going into detail now.
I just mean that we are all going down in a sea of trivia, and FB is not helping.
Be careful. Be mindful .