While wandering rather aimlessly around the Internet looking for stuff to write on the topic of “plastic”, something I am very adept at it seems, I happened on a list of 100 movie quotes compiled in 2005 by the American Film Institute. Here is a link to the list complied by 1500 film critics, historians and artists: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AFI%27s_100_Years…100_Movie_Quotes
The ranking of 1 to 100 implies that number one is the most memorable, per these august panelists, and number 100 would be the least memorable. It is obviously quite an arbitrary ranking. FYI there are other compiled lists of famous movie quotes available that you can find on line if you don’t like this one and have way too much time on your hands.
Coming in at number 42 is the single word “plastics”. The reference is to the movie The Graduate. It was the single word of business and I assume investment advice sincerely given to Dustin Hoffman by an older neighbor at a cocktail party. Whether or not the advice was ever to be followed by the Hoffman character was highly unlikely since he was about to be seduced by the much older Mrs. Robinson, who in todays parlance would best be described as a “cougar”. Number 63 on the list is from the Hoffman character: Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me. Aren’t you?
I do remember seeing the movie shortly after its release date in 1967. Even then I would have much preferred the story line be that the 50-something neighbor take Hoffman somewhere private and get naked to discuss “plastics” further and that he would have taken a pass on the aggressive seduction efforts of Mrs. Robinson. Ah, but it was the late 60’s and daddies seducing younger male 20-somethings was nowhere to be found in the movies coming out of Hollywood.
Since I know everyone is curious the number one quote on the list is from Gone With the Wind and has Rhett Butler saying to Scarlet: “Frankly, my dear. I don’t give a damn”. My favorite however is number 9 from All about Eve: “Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night”.
On a much more serious note about plastic it has become a nightmarish real-life metaphor for the horrible degradation of our planet. I am sure everyone has heard of the huge floating blob of plastic in the Pacific Ocean, an area the size of Texas. Also the large number of beautiful sea creatures floating up dead on beaches around the world stomachs full of plastic debris.
One of the most insidious actions of Donald Trump, and there are so very many to choose from, has been his campaign fundraiser of selling plastic straws rather than the paper straws preferred by his environmentally conscious opponents on the left. The red plastic straws come with Trump’s name printed on them twice and sell for $15 for ten of them. Apparently the first batch sold out and a reported $500,000 was raised by the Trump campaign. It does seem odd to me that folks are being encouraged to suck on a plastic object with Trump’s name on it and the implications of that can seem as deranged as Mike Pence recently encouraging Americans to spend more time on their knees and less time on the internet. This Pence comment drew a delightfully snarky reply from Monica Lewinsky with her tweet. Monica’s comment is easy to find with the Google, again if you have time on your hands.
For those who would mock the effort to curb at least a bit of plastic pollution by not using single use plastic straws I am reminded of a quote from Daniel Barrigan, the now deceased antiwar activist and Jesuit:
“One can not level one’s moral lance at every evil in the Universe. There are just too many of them. But you can do something, and the difference between doing something and doing nothing is everything.” Daniel Barrigan