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Don’t Bogart my Casablanca

I came to a stark, sudden, and earth-shattering revelation this morning while in the midst of my lather-rinse-repeat cycle. I was thinking about going to see “Live Free or Die Hard” and recalled that my mother had just seen it last weekend. In that same conversation with my mom, she voiced an absolute distaste and disinterest in seeing the new “Transformers” movie. I’m not surprised by this because of the anti-Transformers mentality that was fostered in my childhood. Something about robots with souls being un-Christian. Anyway, upon her unconditional refusal, a metaphor immediately leapt into my mind.

Movies are drugs.

When a new movie comes out, it gets passed around the circle and everyone tries it. They rave and rave and try to get other people to try it too. Studios use peer pressure (“Come on. Ebert liked it. Don’t you want to just try it and see what it’s like?”), and you get constant hounding wherever you go; TV, newspapers, radio, all saying “Go see ‘The Bourne Ultimatum!'” “It’s good, man! You’ll be coming back for more!” And you will.

You’ll get out of a movie, feeling nice and comfy in your life, but soon the feeling fades and you can’t wait for another dose of that feel-good escapism. Pretty soon, you’re asking friends to spot you for a movie. Maybe you even catch yourself trying to organize a youth group activity at your church to go see a movie together. At your church, man!

And the analogy continues.

You can get movies cut or un-cut, directors and studio producers are always looking for their next hit, and you can get domestic or imported movies (domestics are easier to handle, but imported ones can give you a better buzz). But beware, the movie culture can be just as dangerous as its illicit cousin.

Let’s say you get approached by a dealer who tells you he’s got something that’s just as funny as “Dumb and Dumber.” You’re interested. “Dumb and Dumber” was some good stuff, yeah? “It’s called ‘Dumb and Dumberer.'” So you try it, and wham! You realize you’ve just been slipped some contraband, home-made, amateur, ethanol-heavy comedy that’s gonna leave you wishing you’d never even heard of movies.

Everybody’s had a bad ride. We’ve all gone to see that movie that made us want to give up on the whole culture; “Eragon,” “Thirteen Days,” “Freddie Got Fingered,” “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.” Yet we keep coming back. Why? We’re hooked. But at least some of us have the willpower to break free. When the “Transformers” doobie gets passed to us, some of us will be able to say “No thanks, dude. That ain’t how I roll.”

Just not me.

Out peace.

Edit: I finally changed the blog page to the main page. You may now rejoice.


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