I’ve learned a few things in my short time on Earth, and even fewer things that are worth repeating. The toughest pill for me has been learning to cope with disappointment. I’d like to share with you a tale of how I learned to cope with such disappointments.
The three culprits referenced in the title are shining examples of how our heroes are human; And how this very trait is both inherent to their moments of greatness and their moments of letting us, the audience, down. These are personal templates I use to gauge the comprehensive transformation from being a loyal fan, to a stark, raving, lunatic that rails incessantly against those they once loved so dearly.
I am aware that this is entirely a work of the writer’s opinion, and many people may strongly disagree with the examples I have chosen to so fervently lambaste. To those I alienate, I just hope that you try to remember that opinions are like assholes: Everyone has one and they all stink. My opinions may reek a tad more than most, but hopefully this article explain why this putrid fact is not entirely my doing.
As a young, angry, white male of the late 80’s/early 90’s, it’s right to predict that the heavy metal super-group: Metallica, was on the top of my playlist. Well, back then our playlists were dubbed cassettes that required Herculean efforts of technical and editing skills in order to create a home made mix tape. But, I digress. And Justice for All was and is still one of the single best albums of any modern genre. My young, rebellious mind was galvanized by angry lyrics declaring that the government was wrong, and ultimately an evil, profiteering, oligarchy. How right were they!? Their first four albums are stellar representations of the Metal genre in it’s adolescence. With a technical prowess not typical of the genre, Metallica had me hook, line and sinker. They seemed smart, edgy, and genuinely bad ass. The perfect vessel in which to carry my musical emotions into the material plane.
Fast forward to present day. I try, but I can’t think of a single band who sold out as hard as Metallica did. From suing teenagers for illegal downloads, their obnoxious slow ballads, to basically playing attack dog for record producers, not to mention the cutting of their iconic, luxurious locks of hair, these guys are the epitome of how commercialization can ruin a good thing. This lesson taught me that my heroes were just people, and like people, they were greedy, shallow, and tragically predictable. The saddest part to me is that they may have made more great music after that atrocious black album. You see, I wouldn’t know. My distaste with their transformation was so fierce, that I’d never listen to another album they made. The magic is gone, Metallica is a corporate prostitute, and I’m moving on..
..To perhaps the biggest letdown in cinematic history. Star Wars. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. Even if they don’t admit it. The prequel installments are pure abortions, late term at that. I’ll be the first to admit that the original three are by no means cinematic perfection. They are great as pioneer sci-fi flagstones, and possess genuine charm that may lend it’s favor with me purely by the way of nostalgia. If my rage is not palpable by now regarding the current identity of Star Wars, may I remind you that this is the complimentary portion on the series. George Lucas is a visionary in a lot of ways, but like Metallica he’s defecated on his property for obscene personal gain.
Let’s get down to brass tacks on why these atrocious prequels are beyond any real realm of vindication.
- Immaculate conception. This is poppycock, and a lazy plot mechanism. That goes for the bible AND Star Wars. Really, Mr. Lucas? REALLY!? This seems like he was just sick of writing back stories for the prequel characters. Gag inducing, half assed nonsense for the main villain’s origin. Fail.
- R2D2 receiving a medal, for repairing the ship mid flight. This is the equivalent of giving your fridge a medal for keeping your food cold in the summer. The droids got no medals in the originals, despite their actions, and presence at the ceremony at the end of A New Hope. Just, more tripe glorifying every character from the original three movies to sell the prequels.
- Natalie Portman’s wooden acting. Guess what, you talentless twat? Blaster fire has a recoil!!!!! Every other no named extra grasped this nuance, yet the female lead can’t be bothered. Compounded by the horrible ending of a robot diagnosing Portman’s character with “Died of a broken heart.” Fucking hell. A robot’s cold, analytic, diagnosis hinging on an emotional ailment. Fail! This is like a Priest giving a sermon in binary: “And the Lord sayeth unto thee ‘1011010100100100100101101111!’” It’s just horribly lazy and transparently weak.
- Special Editions of the original series. I don’t know where to begin. Was it the cringe-inducing added scenes such as Greedo shooting first? Or was it the horrible music numbers? It seems that Mr. Lucas wasn’t comfortable with just ruining the license with fast food, prequels. He’s made it personal, by spraying his creative diarrhea all over the original series as well.
This is the abridged version of what I hate about the direction Star Wars has taken. I could go on much longer, but I think you get the point. Mr. Lucas said that “I made these movies for my children.” when asked how he felt about fan backlash regarding the prequels. Well you know what, you dewlapped, inconsiderate prick? Your children didn’t spend a small mint on merchandising!!! This disconnect from the people that made Star Wars’ popularity a reality will never sit right with me. Sure, it’s his work, and he can destroy it however he likes. But, I will not sit by and pretend that this feces is acceptable on any level. The lesson I learned here is that nothing is sacred when it comes to making a buck. Even the most talented people will gladly wipe there ass with their creations if it means moving another couple hundred thousand happy meals. I’m a gentle man, but if I ever get to see Mr. Lucas in person, I will put my hands on him. Hopefully, as his bloated dewlap swells due to lack of oxygen, he’ll realize his folly JUST before I choke the life out of him.
Finally we move on to the latest, and perhaps the most predictable parable of petty partisan politics: President Barack Obama. I’ll admit that despite my age and better judgment, I bought the hype our latest leader shoveled. While I’m not nearly invested in our government as much as I am into heavy metal music, or sci fi cinema, this guy’s failure to deliver hurt me more than the previously mentioned topics. Most of the rage I harbor regarding Obama originates from my own gullibility and childish naivety.
Even in my current state of discontent with how the Obama administration handled it’s first term in office, I do still like our President more than the last offering we had to endure. Mr. Obama was refreshingly articulate. He was tall, dark, and handsome. I was overcome with pride that we, as a society had FINALLY elected a president that wasn’t a pasty, white, protestant, oligarch. I was swept away by his grandiose campaign. There is a lot of good to be said just by his presence in the White House, even if it’s high mark is giving the world a charismatic veneer in which to view us anew. I hoped frantically that this would be the new blood we needed to get our government back on the right track but, jumped up Jesus on a rubber crutch, was I ever wrong.
While not as embarrassingly inept as President George W. Bush; I’m afraid, dearest reader, that our flashy, new, hip president is nearly as shitty as the last one. While enjoying the very precedents Mr. Bush set in his eight long years of tyranny, Barack Obama has let me down despite the obscene power left him. Instead of pulling back executive authority, he’s prolonged the bloating of the branch even further. President Obama not only failed to prosecute the previous administration for their atrocities, he’s done zero to repeal the sources in which they spawned. The War on Terror rages on, Executive war mongering continues, and now it’s completely legal for the president to assassinate citizens without so much as a phony trial. The military industrial complex has run unchecked, Obamacare is a blatant hand out to insurance companies, and now our hope and change savior is flirting with attacking Iran. President Obama is a democrat, I knew better. This was the final straw for me. Any starry-eyed hope I retained for either party to produce a person willing to buck the system has vanished. My opinion of our government in it’s current state is grim at best, and Mr. Obama now joins George Lucas and Metallica on my roster of soulless, cash whores.
This is all armchair quarterbacking popular fiction on my part, to be honest. It’s exactly like me overtly whining about Metallica selling out, or griping vocally to my bespectacled ilk about Darth Maul being killed in the Phantom Menace. Partisan politics is fiction. I haven’t voted in nearly a decade. Voting would suggest that I retain an idea that I still have a modicum of faith in our current system. I’ve long since been convinced that voting is worthless in this broken vehicle of government. I think George Carlin said that masturbating is better than voting, because at least afterward he’d have something to show for it. I couldn’t agree more. And by the way, does anyone have a wetnap handy?
Thank you all for enduring this pablum, and please discuss. Your comments and feedback are very welcome. Take care, and until next time….Excelsior