On Film, Flying and Cynicism

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Just a few weeks ago, my wife, son, and daughter went to what my father would always refer to as “the show.” I still remember seeing Godzilla at the drive in. Sometimes in the theater dark I imagine what would happen if . . .

It was only recently that my daughter took my son to see the big opening for the last Harry Potter film in Ithaca, NY, while my wife and I remained behind, reasonably confident that everything would go fine, and it did.

People love going to “the show.” They pay for the pop corn, the drinks, and ease their way into a chair. Some people, like me, want to sit through the opening anticipatories and then also the ending credits, waiting for clues to the future and the often art outside the principle narrative.

I can’t imagine the horror and sorrow of friends and family who had all that dashed in Aurora. My heart sinks and sends condolences.

It only takes one person to ruin it all. Invading armies are not required. Neither is a dictator. This doesn’t mean that we should put up with a culture that makes such acts easier than harder. It’s cynicism to simply persist on the present course. As Kundera wrote in The Unbearable Lightness of Being: “…for in this world everything is pardoned in advance and therefore everything cynically permitted.”

Perhaps, soon, going to the movies will be like flying.


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