Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Movie Madness, Culture Crazy

It has occurred to me that I have let "pop" culture invade more of my life than I ever intended. Between celebrity news and gossip, movies, music and social networking, I know more about the rich and famous than I do about the smart and talented.

I had better start getting my act together. If I keep it up with the useless information I absorb, I'm going to die of stupidity.

The other day I was watching "Batman: The Dark Knight". Two characters were stranded outside, wet and freezing and one character said the most absurd thing ever to the other. The "sage" mentor type guy was showing his younger charge how to get warm. (I only suppose he was supposed to be sage; he talked slow and deep, as all sage characters do.) "Rub your chest," he instructed. "Your arms will take care of themselves."

At the time, I thought old boy was pretty cool. I mean, he had the voice and look of someone smart. If his advice wasn't a weapon against cold weather, well, then I don't even wanna know!

What a dumbass.

I live in a pretty cold place. I don't mean pretty and cold - although that is the truth.


Obviously the cold has given me irreversible brain freeze since I believed such b.s. even for two seconds... I've lived here for most of my life. You think I'd know that if you get wet and sit outside in this kind of cold, rubbing your chest will be impossible. Your freaking arms would be too dead from the frostbite. Too bad they wouldn't be "taking care of themselves," huh? What - that's a job for the legs or something?

Yes, I should have known better, but, just for a moment (okay, okay - for the whole movie), I bought the advice of O Sage One...

Shit like that is going to get me killed one day.

Just think of someone new to life in this ice-box called Alaska. If rubbing their chest is the first thing that pops into their head, they had no business coming here. And, just in case this might end up being you one day, here's real-life advice: Put on your coat, dummy!" Better yet, how about trying not to fall into water outside during the winter?

Now I don't think any of us is really that dim, but still...

There is too much emphasis in society on learning how to get out of a limo without showing your drawers instead of how to own a limo service. Know what I mean?

Everybody wants to be a celebrity more than they want to be a hero to their own family and friends. This whole fifteen minutes of fame thing has just gotten way out of control.

Remember the old worries about smoking in movies? People were concerned that such a thing led to higher rates of teen smoking. No one seems to be as worried about what other elements of popular culture are influencing all of us.

We all would like to be better-looking, but with all the pressure from celebrity culture, we are willing to do more to reach that goal. I've heard of very young people talking about wanting plastic surgery. Plastic surgery? Like Doctor 90210 for Toddlers.

And, okay - let's not look that far. Let's think smaller and maybe closer to our "regular" lifestyles. How many really young kids do you know who have use of cellular phones? Don't know about you, but I was twenty and paying bills before I had my own house phone! I guess that fits with my upbringing since I was still playing with dolls at fourteen and fifteen. I can't imagine that for a girl these days - not without it being kind of a big deal.

I'm not exactly saying that movies and music and other segments of popular culture is to blame. After all, we all are part of that culture, whether or not we participate. If we don't participate, we tolerate. We don't seem to be pushing alternatives.

Instead of so many people running around, trying to be a gangsta, celebri-lite, or anything attainable for the sane and steady-minded, we might have a rush on folks wanting to be scientists or change-minded politicians. I'm an easy catch for someone smart. It's always been a kind of fantasy for me that someday there will be gangs of astrophysicists and red-carpets for aerospace engineers. Kind of makes me sweat...

With the regular cycles of furor over the latest release from a singer or movie studio, I doubt my fantasy will ever come true, but a gal can hope. Any single rocket scientists out there?