Monday, January 3, 2011

Top 10 Lies "Newsies" Told Me

I was 8 years old when "Newsies" came out, & though I never saw it in theatres (apparently no one did, as it's Disney's highest-costing, lowest-grossing film on record), I watched it religiously every time it came on TV. My dad hit the record button a few minutes late one day, so I spent years clueless about the prologue & the first two scenes.

But I know every single word. I even know words you can't hear, like the line "Jackie just got laid" in the background of a scene where the newsies are buying papes, & I know there's an extra verse to "Carryin' the Banner" that appears on the soundtrack but not in the film. I know that the actor who spun off the ceiling fan at the end of "King of New York" died of AIDS & that the actor who played Les went on to do softcore porn. Also, I think "Newsies" inspired me to become a journalist (which obviously worked out very well for me).

Admittedly, though, "Newsies" didn't teach me the greatest of life lessons. Had I taken too much of this movie to heart, I would believe all of the following:

  1. Ceiling fans will support your body weight.
  2. When engaging in activism to bring about social justice, you've only succeeded when a marching band takes to the streets for your cause & the president-elect gives you a ride to the bus stop.
  3. Your parents will approve of your dating a homeless criminal so long as his illegal shenanigans benefit your family in a time of financial hardship.
  4. Homelessness can be fun! Wheee, dancing!
  5. Even though you ain't got hats or badges, you're a union just by sayin' so.
  6. If you escape from juvy & use brass knuckles on bullies, not only will you not get in trouble, you may find yourself becoming close, personal friends with a president-to-be.
  7. It's OK to steal a horse as long as it's for the purpose of a dramatic dance interlude.
  8. Trust guys who say they've got a hot tip on a horse that won't waste your money. Even if they wasted your money last time. And the time before that.
  9. Slingshots are a legitimate weapon.
  10. Journalism is a reputable career choice.

In fairness, though, "Newsies" also taught me a few legitimate lessons. For example: For a dreamer, night's the only time of day. And all the coolest kids live in Brooklyn.
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