Stay Gold, Tigger

My seventh grader recently read S.E. Hinton’s classic teen novel, The Outsiders, in her English class.  Did you read that book in your youth?  Did you cheer on the rough but loyal greasers?  Love gentle, sensitive Ponyboy Curtis, who would rather read than fight?  And did you, like my daughter Tigger, memorize the Robert Frost poem that Ponyboy recites to his ill-fated friend Johnny?

Nature’s first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Remember what Johnny said before he died?  “Stay gold, Ponyboy.”  Yeah, I read that book 30 years ago but it still brings a tear. 

Tig’s current obsession is Rent, the film of the Broadway musical by the same name, set in New York City, 1989.  It’s about love and art, and living with rather self-serving “ideals” rather than responsibilities.  Mostly it’s about AIDS.  Medical treatment has changed the landscape so much that we’ve all forgotten what it was like then–a diagnosis was not a nuisance but the promise of an imminent and horrible death.  Is it any wonder the feckless characters in this show live “la vie boheme,” with little interest in building a future? 

Tigger has watched the dvd over and over.  I’m not sure why she likes it so much.  Maybe it looks like fun and freedom to her, living in a slum, not paying the rent because you don’t have any money because you don’t have a job because you’re an artist.  But poverty isn’t romantic.  It’s just dreary and hungry and cold.

I’m returning that dvd to Netflix tomorrow, Tigger.  You’ll have to find something else to do with the next 525,600 minutes of your life.  But I’m glad I watched it.  This is my favorite scene.  Collins and Angel are so happy to be together, even though they’re both doomed.

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9 thoughts on “Stay Gold, Tigger

  1. First, even though it’s dated, my current thugs aka bad boys love the book and the movie The Outsiders ( yes, it is a movie).  I didn’t read it until I was older, but my thug boyfriend read it back in the day and also loved it ( even though it was dated even then. )Second Rent is great !  Not the story line necessarily, but the music, very addictive.  Maybe she will be satisfied with the CD, if your willing to pop for that.

  2. My son recently received a copy of The Outsiders… I will re-encourage him to pick it up.  Actually, I think I’ll read it myself – oddly, I missed it the first time around, alhtough I did watch the movie and had a serious crush on C. Thomas Howell šŸ˜‰    

  3. Oh, yeah, I remember The Outsiders…I think I still have a copy here somewhere…haven’t thought about it in awhile though.   I haven’t seen RENT but since you’re sending it back to Netflix I guess I can get it from there…I like the scene you put up!

  4. Oh yes, I loved The Outsiders. Stay gold, indeed.My youthful obsession was The Count of Monte Cristo. Probably because I had an equally youthful disdain for injustice, and his revenge smelled lovely to me. Maybe. Who knows, who knows.

  5. The Outsiders.  Ponyboy.  Sigh.  Loved that book and the movie.  I love reliving great books from my childhood when my daughter reads them.  She’s still a bit young for that one, but it’s in the collection that I saved for her, when she’s ready.

  6. Both of these are near and dear to me.  Rent in particular has some fun music, but a completly dismal message.  It’s a film I find hard to watch for that reason.  Too many memories of that time, watching freinds and family die slowly (and not so slowly) from an relentless illness.  Still makes me sad just to think about it.

  7. I read the outsiders as an adult and it didn’t make as much of an impression on me, I am afraid. I do love Rent. Actually, I love my soundtrack for rent (which was stolen the first time my car was stolen, boo). I wasn’t as fond of the movie because I don’t deal with change well and they rearranged the time quite a bit.  I have not seen the stage version, but I have most of the music memorized.  And now that I am a landlord, not paying rent is less attractive than it was before I realized who was also getting screwed with that arrangement. (-:  Ha! I AM the establishment!

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