Monday, August 20, 2012

My Dork Night

The old cliche says that we fear what we do not understand. Perhaps now we've reached a kind of hubris because now that we know that there are no prehistoric creatures that breathe combustible gasses, that the "canals" on Mars do not service a civilization capable of obliterating us all, and that Republicans, however cavalier and lawless, do not accidentally push "the Button" and start nuk-yew-lur apocalypses, the only unknown we have left to fear is things we know to be impossible.

Like perpetual energy!

I usually assume that meddling legislators are the reason why rational people would repeatedly and deliberately do something that's patently silly. While I don't rule some sort of literary regulation out of the picture, something causes me to doubt that politicians are adding riders to bills that would require all movies to have some variation on the perpetual energy plot device.

I'm wondering when we're going to get sick of movies' propensity to use crayons to write "fictitious new super-battery" on post-it notes and then habitually slap those post-its on every central plot device they stumble upon.

It was especially out of place in The Dark Knight Rises where the stupid glowey-bit of literary significance did not need to be a source of "free, clean energy for the entire city." It could as easily have been a regular old-fashioned, ticking time bomb and all the suspense would have been there.

But you see, regular bombs, even nukes, are considered to be pretty well understood – not by us generally but by somebody that we trust. No, there is no unknown here. There is no frontier. There be no dragons behind the hills that we've been up and down a jillion times over.

But if you string-replace "atomic" with "fusion" suddenly it's novel and scary. Now you're dealing with some massively unfamiliar ground that could actually be the end of times — for all we know.

And, to be honest, it's not really far from the truth; Anybody who does try to sell you the uber-panacea for all the things is precisely the kind of person you should fear. Those are the snake oil salesmen, the ones who will feed cocaine to your infants so they can be perma-healed of all forms of HP loss. By the time the seizures kick in, they'll be long gone with your money.

The movie went pretty much as expected; Batman continued to tout his faux morality system like he was making out with a cardboard standee and pretending it was the actual Katy Perry. Anne Hathaway did a reasonable job of making her cardboard standee pretend to be the actual Catwoman who apparently enjoyed being made out with.

I can't wait for the reboot that makes Batman into the annoying frat-boy who goes a-vigilanteing to accrue ladies.

Like this one.