I watched CASABLANCA last night. Rick Blaine is cyncial and an alcoholic.
But, he rises above his malaise to do the "right thing" to make the world a better place. He realizes he doesn't need to sacrifice love or life to do it--he only has to incorporate a larger view of what is valuable into his life and exchange something valuable to achieve it.
In other words, this film has a vision that allows an IDEAL through behavior by demonstrating a greater opportunity than mere complaint, destruction or self-destruction. Blaine isn't a martyr; he learns nobility of purpose instead. Contrast that to almost any other film shown on the giant movie screen today.
"Keepin' it real" has become a cop-out for no vision of a better world at all, merely an excuse to wallow in the worst of the worst. The voyeurs among us are passive-aggressive, recessive and wouldn't recognize an IDEAL if they tripped over it on the way to the tattoo parlour.
Art is the beacon, but, the light is dimmed. Youth wants an expenses paid trip through Candyland at full volume now. The heroes are in rehab and self-sploitation reality shows where they curse out their expletives and wallow in wretched excess on cable tv.
Where is Rick Blaine when you need him?