This time it was a hit! Because they've recently posted a classic short film from the 70s, The Phone Call. It's not technically religious at all, actually; it's about a bassoonist who's trying to work up the courage to call a girl and ask her out on a date. It's super awesome because it has a bassoon! And it has all the cheesiness that you would expect from a 1970s after-school special! ...It was also about 25 minutes long, and we were already up a little late from reading manga. Oh, but we enjoyed it. Basically the main theme is believing in yourself. I'm having a hard time getting a direct link to it, but you can easily find it here. My favorite part is when he says to his friend, "You know I play the bassoon, right?" "Yeah." "And that's okay? We're still friends?"
Anyway, that and Johnny Lingo were two of our favorite cheesy inspiring films from back when we were in school. But we'll probably never see Johnny Lingo again, because it's really racist and really sexist. Not in a hateful way, of course; just in an insensitive way, I guess. The message is a lot like the one in Fruits Basket, with the Kisa stuff--how you need to like yourself, but it's almost impossible until there's someone who believes in you.
So there's this white guy merchant living on an island in the Pacific where he trades with the locals. The richest guy around is Johnny Lingo, and everybody loves him because he's handsome and rich. He's a native islander, too, so he's part of this culture, where the custom is to buy the girl you want to marry from her father, with livestock. Word is that he's coming to the island to take Mahana (whose name I'm not sure how to spell) for a wife. The average going price for a wife was two or three cows, and a really sought-after woman could get five cows in exchange for her hand.
Everybody speculated that since Mahana is the ugliest woman in the island, Johnny chose her because he could get a good deal on her, since he's such a shrewd businessman and all.
So he comes to get Mahana, and she's all hiding because she's ashamed, and her father was all verbally abusive saying, "Mahana, you ugly! Get down from that tree!" And eventually she comes down, and her father starts the negotiating, trying to get at least a sort of good deal. But Johnny's ready. His first offer is eight cows. What!! Her father is stunned speechless! At that point it's the best he can do to nod in agreement.
So the happy couple goes off to live happily ever after, and the merchant guy goes to visit because Mr. Lingo had made a special order back when he first showed up, and that order was ready for delivery. He's a little wary of whether Mahana will appreciate Johnny's gift--a mirror. He gets to the house as Mahana's father is leaving in a rage. He's like, "You cheated me! She's worth ten cows at least!" So the merchant goes in to see what all the fuss is about, and he sees Mahana, who is now very beautiful. He asks Johnny what the deal is, and Johnny explains that when all the women get together to do their...womenly things, I guess...they always brag about how many cows their husbands paid for them. Mahana is able to say that her husband paid eight cows for her, and that does so much for her self-esteem that it shows on her face, and the beauty she always had can shine through. And of course she loves the mirror.
And the moral of the story is, like Hatsuharu or Yuki or whoever it was said, sometimes you can't like yourself until someone else likes you. (Or maybe the moral they were actually going for is that we're all beautiful; we just need to be confident to let it show. But they go together.)
Today I'm thankful for bassoon music, getting to watch The Phone Call again, being done with work for the day, fond memories of Johnny Lingo, and flexible schedules.