“You raped my childhood.” A common comment made by idiot men when a piece of pop culture entertainment fails to meet their lofty demands. You may have heard this many times in regard to George Lucas’ “Star Wars” prequel movies. You may have heard this in recent times directed at “Prometheus” co-writer Damon Lindelof. “You raped my childhood.”
What a tragic misuse of the word rape. Just because a movie doesn’t entertain you I’m pretty certain your inner child’s sweet arse will remain intact. I didn’t particularly enjoy the “Star Wars” prequels but at no point did ten-year-old me suddenly feel a need to carry a rape whistle. It also did nothing to stop my enjoyment of “Star Wars: A New Hope”, “The Empire Strikes Back” or some of “Return of the Jedi”. I just haven’t bothered to watch the prequels since I first saw them. Maybe if I kept watching them George Lucas would gain the power of time and space and actually be able to go back in time and violate me as a child but I’m pretty certain if he couldn’t make the origin of Darth Vader interesting he probably has no Time Lord abilities.
I recently saw “Prometheus”; a movie that I was indeed over-hyped for as it was going to deal with a part of the original “Alien” movie that I had always found fascinating. The dead “Space Jockey” that the crew find at the beginning of “Alien” has always intrigued me and to hear that Ridley Scott would be returning to the world of Sci-Fi to explore this creature was almost too good to be true. I am also a big fan of Damon Lindelof and will gladly go on the record saying yes, I loved all of “Lost” including the ending. I know it isn’t fashionable to say that you enjoyed it but who wants to be a part of a gang that is swayed by something so tenuous as ever changing fashion? If you spend your life trying to be cool you will miss out on a lot of cool stuff.
My first viewing of “Prometheus” was a little disappointing. I wanted it to be amazing where instead it was merely good. I was a little disappointed and wasn’t certain where the movie went wrong for me. I tried to think of what I wanted to see more of, where I wanted the movie to go, how I wanted the movie to play out. Then it hit me: I was disappointed because I didn’t write “Prometheus”. This was the movie they wanted to make and I was let down because it wasn’t the movie I expected it to be. So instead of being down on not seeing my vision on the big screen I watched the movie again and enjoyed it so much more.
Is that the problem with most disappointing moments in the cinema? That we aren’t happy with the movie that is presented because it isn’t the movie we would have made? I’m not saying that “Prometheus” isn’t without flaws but that didn’t take away from my enjoyment the second time around. Heck, even “The Godfather” has flaws (come on, we all know that Sonny’s punch misses Connie’s fiancé by a country mile, right?) but that doesn’t stop me from watching it on a regular basis.
With the ubiquity of social media and our opportunity to fire off thoughts quicker than we have them, we are slowly embracing the comfort of negativity and unbridled aggression. We’re quick to dismiss anything with little thought about how someone might react. We would much rather circle jerk each other with slack grins and dull eyes as we dance around the carcass of the latest movie that isn’t perfect. It is more and more difficult to find someone who is willing to say, “Guess what shitheads, I liked what I just saw and if you want to be negative about it, go fuck yourself.” Since when did being positive have to come with the fear that someone will try to tear you down for actually liking something? Why is one person’s joy another person’s red flag?
Earlier tonight I deliberately posted a picture on my Facebook page and Twitter account of my favourite Los Angeles Laker Pau Gasol hugging Rafael Nadal after he won the French Open. All I wrote was that this image made me really happy. I was interested to see how long it would take for someone to be negative about a picture I had stated brought me joy. I didn’t write underneath, “Suck it Novak!” or “The Lakers are the greatest” or anything that would prompt a negative reply. I just wanted to see how long it would take for some dude to be an ass-hat.
It didn’t take long.
A comedian I have nothing to do with wrote on Facebook “OKC” in reference to the NBA team the “Oklahoma City Thunder” who defeated the Lakers in the playoffs. This is a guy that I have a tenuous relationship with at best. I couldn’t tell you one of his jokes, one conversation we’ve had or even what he looks like but he felt a need to be a smart arse over something that obviously made me happy. Douche.
Then another dude on Twitter told me to “fuck off” as Nadal didn’t deserve to win. I immediately blocked him and hope his 37 followers continue to enjoy his inspired rants.
What a disappointing world we live in. A world where we need to shit on people when they’re honest about something that brings them joy. Where we overreact to a piece of entertainment that only made the mistake of not being as “amazing” as it could have been. Where we fire off hurtful comments to each other just because we can do so without fear of any consequences.
On the Internet everyone can hear you scream.
But it doesn’t mean they have to.
12th of June, 2012