It’s Not Real To Them, Damnit

So. As an adult, you have a problem with a movie that you loved as a child. I see on social media that this is a common grievance. I don’t need to name a film. There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of motion pictures that don’t stand up to the intense scrutiny and overthinking of 2017.

It’s not them. It’s you. You are the problem.

I’ll begin with a contemporary example: any current superhero movie. Marvel, DC, independent degeneracy like Deadpool and Kick-Ass; it’s all the same. Permit me to make another assumption- you got all worked-up over seeing the latest hero flick, and you left the theater three hours later feeling empty and disappointed, without knowing why.

It’s you. You’re chasing a sensation from your childhood, and you’re looking to people who work in film to give it back to you.

They never will. It will never, ever happen. You’re asking for too much.

All the fantastical shit inside your head? They have no way of knowing about any of that. They are people working jobs. This is one of the reasons film productions are legally secreted. It’s people’s jobs.

I place Raiders of the Lost Ark and the character of “Indiana Jones” atop the highest heights achievable by film. There are moments in these movies that I have treasured my entire life. Moments that inspired me to be a better and stronger man. If, at gunpoint, I was forced to choose my two biggest heroes, I would quickly reply Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr., and Optimus Prime, the greatest robot ever imagined.

If I held my breath waiting for this moment to be topped, I would have died a long time ago.

It works much better than bringing up Buñuel, Pynchon, or Nietzsche. An utter dolt who can’t write a proper sentence can describe to you, in painstaking detail, the events of Star Wars Episodes IV-VI. The same dolt gets a blank look when asked about the founding fathers of our country, or the three branches of our government. People who can’t balance a checkbook can espouse upon the backstory of a minor Star Wars character, until force majeure intervenes.

These movies that you prefer to reality; they were just jobs. The people who made them laugh at you when you whine about practical effects vs. CGI. They haven’t been re-watching the movies they made every waking hour of their lives, like you might do. It was a job in sunny California, or miserable Pinewood Studios, that concluded before the release of the movie. The lines you quote often had to be spoken dozens of times, ad nauseam, until the actors prayed they’d never have to speak them again. Everything you see on screen is made up, fabricated by people working jobs. 

If you make a ton of noise about an upcoming film production, they might acknowledge you and “play along”. This is because they want to convert you, and make more money. Everyone loves a story where the most ardent detractor is drawn to embrace the movie he or she railed against. If I were at all famous, it might be a “coup” to get me to enjoy any “Star Wars” movie with the name “Disney” on it. This is why, on principle, I will never, ever see one.

The most glorified episode of Star Wars is episode 5, The Empire Strikes Back. It wasn’t directed by George Lucas, so it makes great fodder for attacking his skills, or lack thereof. It has dialogue that the average millennial would cringe themselves to death over, because it was written by Leigh Brackett, who started out writing for the sci-fi- serials upon which Star Wars was based. 

You know the dialogue.* Does it hold up to your scrutiny? You could use a good kiss.

The old Republic serials. Get it?

[*Note: Leia is allowed to have character development, in that she is repulsed at the idea of kissing a Wookiee, because none of it is real. You, however, liken the alien races in Star Wars to human ethnicities, so to you, it feels like real prejudice and you reject it. See also Queen Amidala’s disgusted reaction to Jar Jar Binks, in Phantom Menace. Current audiences can’t accept any negative qualities in their female heroes, even if they’re part of the plot. So now we have sympathetic Klingons in Star Trek, and a lead girl in “new Star Wars” who’s merely a cypher “unlocking her hidden powers”. It’s called a cop-out, or “taking the easy route”.]

Empire Strikes Back became the gold standard. Afterward, every science-fiction movie started in the middle of the action, just like Star Wars, and featured a cantina scene crammed with crazy aliens. Sorry, that’s people in alien costumes. That’s it. That’s all it ever was. One incredibly profitable sequel, and everyone with a film crew sees dollar signs in the desert sands, or tundra.

The core ideal behind “movie magic” is that out of all this film, powder, blood and struggle, a beautiful and stimulating universe of imagination emerged. It used to be Lawrence of Arabia, George Pal and Ray Harryhausen. Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. The Time Machine. Fantasy movies were ornate and vivid. They weren’t reduced to commercials by focus groups and other remoras of today’s La La Land.

The “new Hollywood” of the 1970s was a group of directors who absorbed that movie magic as children, in darkened matinee theaters, and wanted to pass it on to the future. Even Francis Ford Coppola; what other forces could have urged him to create One From The Heart? Why would Joe Dante pepper his movies with Looney Tunes references and cameos? Why would George Lucas collaborate with Jim Henson?

The “new Hollywood” of 2017 is all about decimating the fabric that connects movies and dreams. The best example is the push to pervertize Indiana Jones, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Probably the greatest movie ever made. Inspiration point for billions of people.

That’s why, in order to criticize it, you have to go off-screen. You know, reveal the adult stuff to the children it was carefully concealed from. The stuff kids don’t notice.

That’s right. You’re working to ruin a movie for future generations. A movie that probably inspired you, even though it was just people doing their jobs. 

Indiana Jones fucked Marion Ravenwood when she was 12. That’s the unspoken subtext of the scene in Raiders when they meet again in Nepal, 1936. Indy’s mentor was Marion’s dad Abner, whom Indy alienated by canoodling with his very young daughter, probably in the roaring ’20s. Now Abner’s dead. This is all text in the movie. A grown adult can work out what happened, without judgment. How old was Jerry Lee Lewis’s wife when he married her? 13. Also she was his cousin.

Repeat after me: TIMES WERE DIFFERENT. I WASN’T ALIVE THEN, SO I HAVE NO CONCEPT OF LIFE IN THAT ERA. 

Yeah, Indy had Marion when she was probably too young. That’s the point of the scene. It fucked everything up. 

Meanwhile, when’s the last time you sent or saw a “dick pic”? Can you find a teenage girl on-line who hasn’t festooned the Internet with her naked flesh? Is actual pedophilia normalized yet? How many sane people do you encounter arguing for it? 20 years ago, the news was all about semen stains on a dress. Now we have a once-respected comedian who jacks off in front of women. I would sooner fire a steel-jacketed round into my septum than hear one more god-damned word about other guys’ filthy spunk.

Women can go topless in NYC. This is great for men who love shame, and people who hate it when their Christmas presents are nicely wrapped. It’s a ludicrous gesture against the natural sexualization of female breasts. Who gives a fuck if your tits are out, lady? We’re forbidden to look. Please, spare a thought for us normal heterosexuals, and all the gay dudes for whom the sight of breasts is akin to a pus-oozing, gangrenous pustule.

When you place your own needs and imagination far above those of your neighbor, you are in the wrong. You are the oppressor. You want to criticize movies? Then organize your ideas and get a job doing it. A real one, at a newspaper. Earn respect, as well as money. Get better. Improve. 

You want to tear down movies because they didn’t adhere to your intentionally-impossible standards, or give you the same inspiration they did when you were a child, when you didn’t over-analyze them to sound smarter?

Don’t. It makes you sound stupid, because you think these people working jobs are inside your mind, and can tailor things to your unique, cynical-yet-optimistic worldview.

It was a job. It’s not real to them, damn it. 

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Filed under Bad Influences, Don't Know Don't Care, Faint Signals, Idiot's Delight, Movies You Missed, Nostalgic Obsessions, Saturday Movie Matinee, Unfairly Maligned