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Editorial: A movie review that makes a political statement
About politics and other thingsNovember 27, 2013 | 1,230 views | Post a comment
What would you expect but a political statement from a column entitled “About politics and other things”?
I’m not a fan of movies, so I could name on one hand the movies that I have seen that I think were really worth seeing. Among those might be “Dr. Zhivago” for drama and romance, “The Sound of Music” for music and intrigue, “Giant” because I love Texas, “Gone with the Wind” for sheer romance, and “The Blind Side” because I love happy endings and stories about people who have overcome tremendous odds.
Actually, I read Gone with the Wind when I was in high school and was enamored with the book. I’m not really sure that I remember the movie, so that might not be included on my short list.
Today, we watched “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.” I’ve seen it a couple of times before so I didn’t watch the whole thing today, but I loved the ending.
I enjoyed it on several levels. One, at the time it came out in the theaters, the three kids in the movie were the same ages and gender as our three children.
Another reason for liking it is that “local boy” Henry Thomas plays the part of Elliott. Thomas, a graduate of East Central High School, still has family in the San Antonio/Elmendorf area.
After viewing this movie for the third time, I decided that I really like it for another reason. It makes the establishment look foolish. Not that I want the establishment to be foolish, but often that is the case, and even when they are not being foolish, they can look like it.
The heartwarming story of E.T. is about Elliott, who befriends an adorable little alien, and helps him find his way home. Ten-year-old Elliott at first is frightened, but then, his curiosity takes over. E.T., who was accidentally left behind by the mother ship, and Elliott hit it off and get into all sorts of little-boy mischief. The plot is as intriguing as it is heartwarming and humorous. The two develop a metaphysical bond that the adults simply do not understand.
As in real life, children often can be more perceptive than adults. Children have not yet cemented their dogma, but are instinctively more open and willing to listen and learn, whereas adults and authority figures often do not even try to understand a concept new to them. They blindly follow bureaucratic rules.
While Elliot’s family shelters E.T., they come to love him and understand his plight. Once government authorities discover the existence of an alien, however, they don their hazmat suits and gas masks. Accompanied by government agents in dark suits, the guys in white suits storm the home where E.T. has been living with Elliott’s family.
The movie is humorous, as the kids outsmart the adults, but I like this deeper point. Too often adults blindly follow directives that make no sense at all, because adults have quit asking “Why.” They just “do” because “it’s the law” or “someone” said so. The larger the bureaucracy becomes, the more dogmatic are its followers. They must obey the law at all costs as too many adults are conditioned to accept absurd and nonsensical rules.
We see this with the U.S. Postal Service, the IRS, and just about every other government agency, so it gives me great pleasure to see these kids outsmart the government agents. The men in suits are not always the good guys, but they do have the power and the authority.
That is the theme that stuck with me.
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