Egypt detects 818 new coronavirus infections; 42 deaths on Monday    Tatweer Misr signs EGP 3.2bn worth investment contracts for Bloomfields educational zone    Egypt prepares for launching its 1st mobile notary public    Water wars    The endangered River Nile    Egypt highlights anti-climate change efforts during Spring Meetings    GERD: All options open    Don't miss AUC's Lions of Cairo ensemble concert    Egypt's external debt increases to $129.2bn in 2020: CBE    Prominent American rapper and actor DMX dies at 50    Tehran vows revenge    Al-Sisi, Lavrov address bilateral cooperation, Ethiopia's disputed dam    Narrative Summit launches 1st episode of Reshaping Norms 2021    Russia offers technical assistance in Nile dam negotiation: Lavrov    2021 Copenhagen Documentary Festival to launch Big Digital Live Platform    Paris to launch first int'l modern and contemporary art fair dedicated to Middle East, North Africa    Syrian air force may have dropped chlorine bomb on town in rebel area in 2018: Chemical arms watchdog    Egyptian artists honoured at Cairo Opera House for taking part in Golden Parade    Lebanese minister expands claim in maritime area dispute with Israel    Abu Dhabi's ADNOC, Dutch-listed OCI weigh IPO of fertiliser joint venture: sources    Karnak Int'l hospital in Luxor to turn into key medical tourism destination in Egypt: Health minister    IMF increases its expectations for MENA economy to 4% in 2021    Russian FM says Egypt is main partner in Middle East, Africa    Macro Group delays Egypt IPO plans    Hotels in Egypt open at half capacity, have 40-45% occupancy rates in Q1    Bayern Munich, Liverpool needing comebacks to reach CL semifinals    Borussia Dortmund's Sancho back in training before City clash    Australia abandons COVID-19 vaccination targets after new advice on AstraZeneca shots    Cleopatra Hospitals, Nahda University sign EGP 7.4m MoU for joint scholarship programme    Egyptian-African Relations Committee discusses strengthening Egypt's stance in Africa    Egypt will not allow internal water crisis due to Ethiopian dam: Water Minister    Egypt's Public Prosecution announces results of investigations into Sohag train crash    Egypt's Trezeguet injury worries Aston Villa Coach Dean Smith    Egypt's hotels, open at half capacity, had 40%-45% occupancy rate in Q1 2021: official    Egypt sees an uptick in new coronavirus infections registers 801 new cases on Saturday    Bibliotheca Alexandrina launches hieroglyphics programme for primary school teachers    Ethiopia invites Egypt, Sudan to nominate operators in data exchange on GERD's 2nd filling    PMI moves towards a smoke-free transformation, takes part in a webinar on e-cigarettes    Zamalek's Shikabala nominated for best goal in CAF Champions League    Egypt's national youth fencing team achieves world glory    Karate Federation celebrates success of Egypt Cup    Egypt's President warns of grave consequences of water crises in Africa    Allianz Egypt partners with IGNITE to equip brand ambassadors for 2021 Olympics    Hassan Allam consortium wins contract to manage, operate Grand Egyptian Museum    Enhanced Labs signs Mr. Olympia 2020 "Big Ramy" And His Trainer Dennis James    King Tutankhamun funerary mask is must-see tourist icon: The Telegraph    Seasoned Egyptian screenwriter Wahid Hamed dies at 76    Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to resume Nile dam talks today    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Ever met ‘the Tramp'?
Published in Ahram Online on 08 - 09 - 2020

Laughter is not easy, especially nowadays when we need it most. Fear and oppression have wiped away our smiles.
Panic-stricken that Covid-19 shall invade every cell in our body, spooked at the proximity of strangers, perplexed about the use of masks, and loathing this constant hand washing, we are stressed and strained. We need relief, levity, jollity.
With wars and conflicts in 40 per cent of the globe, waged by men consumed with greed, we need ‘the Tramp' now more than ever.
The Tramp wanted us to be free in a true democracy. Free of those who dictate to us a style of life that would only benefit them. Have we not been reduced to robots following their every instruction? What is next?
You see he was not only a comic, he was a philosopher too.
With eyebrows rising and eyes popping, we assume you have never met the Tramp.
We are referring to a particular tramp who was born in 1914 and has made the world laugh and cry for decades. Now he is considered an iconic character in the history of the movie industry.
His appearance made us laugh, his chivalry, compassion and self-sacrifice made us cry.
He was a sweet little man, dressed in a black suit with pants far too big, a jacket far too small and a tiny little moustache that wiggled. He wore a bowler hat and held a cane. He walked with his feet parted out at 45-degree angles and his buttocks high in the air. His arms fumbled and his eyes blinked with his quirky movements.
He created a unique version of humanity in his gazes, in his movement, in his interactions with society as a whole, but he never uttered a word. He did not need to.
His creator was one of the biggest stars of the 20th century silent film era and beyond. His name is Charlie Chaplin.
His father, Charles Spencer Chaplin, an entertainer and a notorious drunk, abandoned him, his half-brother, Sydney, and his mother, not long after Charlie's birth.
His mother Hannah, a vaudevillian supported the family but was committed to a mental asylum before his ninth birthday.
Armed with the love of the stage, he found short stints here and there until his big break came when he signed with the Fred Karno Pantomime Group who eventually landed on a three-year gig in the US. Among the eight members was Stan Laurel, later of the Laurel & Hardy comic duo.
In the US Charlie was soon noticed and signed by one movie studio then another, then another. To differentiate himself from other actors, he decided to create a single identifiable character.
The little Tramp was born and audiences got their first taste of the immortal character in the movie The Kid in 1921.
Within a few years and scores of films Charlie became a wealthy man and co-founded United Artists with Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks & D W Griffith.
Chaplin resisted the advent of sound (1927) and continued to make silent pictures, with his own powerful music compositions.
He made landmark films including The Gold Rush (1925), The Circus (1928) and two of his masterpieces City Lights (1931), a critical and commercial success and Modern Times (1936).
Modern Times is a masterpiece of American cinema pointing out the mess the world was in and the group of political elitists who were running the world. A mix of silent and talking cinema he had to act out his ideas for all to see. Chaplin's genius and comedic physicality was formed to perform thoughts to his audience. Silence is gold. Sadly, it is lost.
Modern Times turned out to be prophetic. The Tramp appears for the last time as a factory worker who is never referred to by name, but by number. Familiar? Names become meaningless. He is forced to keep up with the unrealistic production schedule of the corporation he works for. Chaplin explores the very system where all should prosper, but only the top tier does. The society we think is there to protect us, isn't?
People should not be forced to work like machines, for others to benefit.
Conformed to the existence of sound, Chaplin produced eight masterpieces, among them Limelight, 1952, (the borrowed title of this column).
On his return from London after attending the premiere of Limelight, he found his re-entry visa to the US rescinded.
The FBI decided to bow to rumours during the shameful McCarthy period, accusing him of communist leanings, of being Jewish among other personal smears, all untrue.
He took up residence with his fourth wife Oona O'Neill, daughter of the famous playwright, Eugene O'Neill, who disowned her. She was 18. Chaplin was 54. Their marriage lasted 34 years till his death in 1977. He died at 88.
Hollywood's feeble attempt to erase the blemish, awarded him an Honorary Life Achievement Award in 1972.
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire was awarded him by the Queen in 1973.
Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin, KBE, has statues of his Tramp in more than 12 countries and accolades, tributes, festivals, museums, exhibits have continued to honour that unique genius whose Tramp taught us the true meaning of humanity.
With both pathos and humour, our laughter continues.

Clic here to read the story from its source.