Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2012: Final (maybe) Thoughts

Lest you think I simply have an irrational hatred for Roland Emmerich and/or his movies, and would have panned 2012 regardless of whether it was actually good, I readily admit that when Independence Day hit the theaters in 1996, I paid to see it and I enjoyed the hell out of it. If I caught it on TV right now, I'd probably watch it again, and while I'd likely mock some of the goofier parts of it—and there are plenty of these—I'm sure I'd enjoy it again.

But Independence Day is, of course, thirteen years older than it used to be, and so am I. Tastes tend to change as we age, standards tend to become more refined.

I lived in a dormitory as a college freshman and sophomore; Independence Day came out during the summer between my first and second sophomore years.1 Near the end of my freshman year (a bit more than a year before the movie was released) an acquaintance of mine from a few doors down the hall barreled through my half-opened door, wide-eyed, giddy, and a bit shocked, desperately looking to get his hands on a ruler and a camera.

I didn't have a camera—he ended up borrowing my roommate's—but I was about to hand him my ruler until he explained why he needed it: he wanted to measure and photograph, presumably so he could show his grandkids, the amazingly huge dump he'd just taken.

You probably can tell where I'm going with this unnecessary little story, but in case you can't, I'll spell it out: where people of a certain age (say, around twenty-one) might see the most amazing, astounding, exciting thing ever, a somewhat older, slightly more discerning person looking at the exact same thing may just see a big pile of shit.2

1. This is not a typo—I was on the six-year college plan. And now I'm using the internet to criticize others for their underachievement, laziness, and stupidity. I think that's funny.
2. In case you're wondering—and who wouldn't be?—I never did try to catch a glimpse of the record-breaking turd, either live and in person or by tracking down the photograph. Some things are best left unknown, including about 75% of the things that go on in a dormitory bathroom.

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