30 May 2010 | petersgrgm
Educational about Our Gang-- and boys in general!
Surely, Birthday Blues is eloquent about Our Gang members and their families. Dickie and Spanky's daddy was at first disagreeable, to point of giving Dickie severe spanking for bringing strange children into the house, without his permission, and making such a mess that the kitchen looked like the municipal dump! Dickie told Mom that he did that to raise money to buy her birthday present, which Dad had forgotten to do for second straight year, and when Gordon Douglas delivered a dress for $22.50, Dad made Mom send it back. (If he could not afford to pay for it, one wonders how the family could afford the water cooler!) The beauty in this Our Gang-er is that Dad became a lot nicer, learning a good lesson from his son. What this episode ALSO brought out is the increased understanding not only about the kids in Our Gang, but about boys. All boys are not identical to each other because EVERYBODY-- boy and girl, man and woman-- is UNIQUE! There are no two boys who are exactly alike, nor any two girls either, nor any two grown men or women. Dickie's and Stymie's experimenting in the kitchen may not have been THAT prevalent among boys in the Thirties (before feminism), but there WERE boys who liked to cook even then! MY father learned to cook from his mother and his maternal grandmother. So, what Dickie and Stymie did HAD parallel examples in REAL life even then. One cannot blame Donald Haines' calling the cake a fake, as HIS "prize" was a MOUSE TRAP! Another kid drew a trick snake (which somehow I used to think was a live baby alligator! All in all, a wonderful Our Gang-er, teaching that there have always been INDEFINITE ways for boys to be boys, often good-natured instead of mean-spirited.