Reality Check – Readers Responses

Mr. Campion,

  Your piece on the 50th anniversary of The Graduate was truly welcomed here. (THE GRADUATE at 50 – Issue: 4/4/18) As an aging Baby Boomer and one that has not been too proud of my generation lately, I have fond memories of the film in the sense that there was always a questioning of the former generation on how they viewed the world as something to accept without question and how to fit into that world without equivocation. And how Benjamin Braddock, a flawed, confused and spoiled young man for sure, would suddenly awaken from this conveyor belt existence and realize it was all in front of him and if he didn’t change it, shake it up, make his own way, he would be as doomed as Mrs. Robinson and the rest.

  I look forward to reading Beverly Gray’s book, because from some of the quotes in your piece she appears to be of the same mind and generation and sees the film renewed through different eyes as the decades pass. This is what truly great art can do, as you rightly point out.

  I also must compliment you on some of the subjects covered in this “space”, as they are never rote, and I never feel as though I am being preached to like other columnists or merely entertained. I learn something new and find your take to be original and not the usual ideological talking-points you get from those who live on the right or the left of our political and social environment. This column and you, Mr. Campion, appear to cherish the idea of free expression and you use your gift to share the care weekly. It is a fine calling and I am glad and better for it. Thanx you.

            Carter DiAngelo


  I have never, I mean NEVER understood the ending of The Graduate. I have seen it several times, many times over the last few years, and it irks me, challenges me, even causes me to ask others what the hell just happened? Then I read Reality Check this week and was blown away! Both you and Ms. Gray put into deep perspective what it means to love films such as The Graduate, seeped as it is in such symbolism with an undercurrent of radical thought, taking us out of our comfort zone. Added to that is the film-making itself, so revolutionary. In a way it is intellectually and physically radical and that is what keeps it relevant, as you point out, today. This is why it is one of the great American films during the modern golden age of Hollywood, or really in film-making in general.

  Bravo to those who went out on a limb to not give us a trite and tacked-on, feel-good, ribbon-tying ending. Bravo for artists that allow us, the viewers, to do some of the work and let us leave the film with conflicting thoughts and opinions. It is a rare, but rarer today that such a film can be as popular, celebrated and ballsy.

            Geno S.



  Very good piece.  You’ve captured the essence not only of the film and what it was trying to say but the impact it has had throughout the years. Well done, I enjoyed very much and, I might add I also enjoyed The Graduate very much then and would still get the same amount of enjoyment today.



  I have never loved The Graduate, and I am still not a huge fan, but after your article I watched it again with a new interest and I now understand its import and its place in 1960s American culture and how important that film would be for that generation. I do not see it translating as smoothly as you and the author of the book on it believe. I think some of those issues are not as prevalent to my generation. The Millennials? (I hate that) are not of the mind to be individual in our pursuits, but to do so as an entity, as a movement, which I guess is part of the ‘60s edict, but fails to come through in this movie. I believe, and I think you agree, since you have these sensibilities, or display them in your writing, that the film is myopic or individualist, even selfish and I think overtly radical in an individual way. The characters, especially its main character Benjamin, is self-possessed and has a singular outside the box attitude that he must live by but may be antithetical to the world at large. He is also crazy inconsistent. I do not see an ideology in his thinking, much like your writing. I see his choices as anything but heroic. He is FOR himself and chooses, sometimes stupidly, everything based on THAT.

  I think you relate to the film because your view of the world is that it cannot necessarily be changed but you can change within it whether it is good for the overall good of mankind or not. I do not think that is crazy or anything, it just does not translate to what I believe or what I think my generation believes.

            Sarah Gerald


  Dude, do you make this shit up as you go along? (EXIT STAGE RYAN – ISSUE: 4/11/18) Paul Ryan has always been one of the biggest anti-Trumpers in Washington. Proof, you ask? How about Mueller is getting to go buck wild on Trump because Ryan and McConnell are allowing it. Ryan is paying Trump back for daring to win the Presidency and crash the gates of their exclusive private club. Ryan is leaving because he failed. He failed to politically assassinate Trump and as we get closer to the mid-terms and Trump is still in office, Ryan looks more and more ineffective.

  Oh yeah, Ryan stood smiling next to Trump but that was only because he had to as Trump remains popular outside of D.C and the I-95 Corridor.

  Ryan is learning a lesson once uttered by The Wire’s Omar Little, “Yo, you come at the King, you best not miss.” Ryan missed.

            Bill Roberts


  “Thirty-eight House Republicans, including Ryan, have decided to not run for re-election this year, and twenty-five of them are through with the whole concept of politics as a viable vocation for people who thought Jesus had something to do with the founding of this nation built on free labor and land grabs.”

  Go ahead and say “slave labor” (more provocative, and accurate, than “free labor”)

            Vince Czyz


  Man, the Republicans are so fucked this November. Do they still tar and feather? Cause that may be what is awaiting the Game Show President! Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!



  It is a shame an actual Republican has to run scared from this new form of racist stupidity and it will break my heart to vote Democrat this year, but holy crap this thing has gone so far off the rails I fear for my children.

  1. Tesla

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James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus”, “Midnight For Cinderella” and “Y”. “Shout It Out Loud – The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon” 

And coming in June, 2018; “Accidentally Like a Martyr, The Tortured Art of Warren Zevon”