That’s Not Just Entertainment

The other day, I was reading an article about movies that are based on true stories. Movies like “Selma” and “American Sniper” were mentioned, along with a bunch of others. There were opinions on both sides of the argument, that movies based on a true person, story, or event, need to be completely accurate so the term “based on a true story” will add validity to the movie.

One person argued that that was what documentaries are for, to tell the true story of something. But even these days, with documentaries becoming more well-known, even they can have a political slant. Therefore, their truthiness (thank you Stephen Colbert) can be put into question.

But the one thing that really irritated me was when someone said “it’s just movies.” Implying that movies were unimportant fluff, entertainment of no real value.

Correction. I didn’t irritate me. It pissed me off!

Now I can understand if some people aren’t movie fans. They know only a few things about them, enjoy them enough, but they don’t linger. But if you ask these people, they’ll probably tell you one of memorable movie or two that has stayed with them. If not a movie, maybe a TV show, a some popular song, or book. But even the most indifferent fan of entertainment will have at least one touchstone that they carry with them. Whenever they saw that movie/ TV show, or heard that song, or read that book, it became important. Whether it was because they shared the experience with someone, or they were in a certain point in their life where that thing was important. It doesn’t even have to be a good thing. Sometimes, it’s a bad thing that links us to something.

In that moment, whether they want to or not, that piece of entertainment is important. It reminds them of a certain thing, a certain place in one’s life. Thus, that piece of entertainment “fluff” becomes important.

Here are some examples from my life…

The movie “Dragnet”, starring Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks was a crappy movie, to be honest. But for some reason, a buddy of mine and I thought it was the most hilarious thing at the time. We’d quote it, and laugh or asses off.

*argh* Mariah Carey’s song “Can’t Let Go” was associated to this girl I knew and for the longest time, whenever I heard it, I’d think of her. Thankfully, I’m over her, and the song.

One New Year’s Eve, on a public TV broadcaster, TVO (TV Ontario), they showed all six episodes of the original Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy! I had seen a few Brit TV shows, but this one was hilarious, sci-fi-ish, and just so odd, I loved it, and still do.

I could go on and name a bunch more, but then I wouldn’t get to my ever-lovin’, blue-eyed point!

Movies, TV, popular music, books, and anything and everything in between, aren’t “just…” whatever. they have value! You don’t have to like all movies, TV shows, songs, or whatever that come out, you can also comment on how you don’t like them. But one thing you should always remember is that someone people truly value them. To many, they are important!

Why? Because, somewhere among the entertainment is something that touches us, connects us to that thing. It speaks to us. As much as some would rather they didn’t, even some of those big action movies also speak to us. I remember when the movie “Twister” came out. It wasn’t a great movie, but man it really got me into weather. And I’m sure there are some kids or young people out there (or young-at-heart) who see something even in those live-action Transformer movies that excite them. Like those guys in Japan who built an actual Transformer. Ok, so it was closer to the 80’s version, but still, it was a car and it transformed into a robot.

Then you have guys like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, who were inspired by pulp magazines, sci-fi mags, and Tales from the Crypt. They went on to pretty much shape pop culture for the last two decades of the 20th Century. Their creations have inspired numerous others.It isn’t just the entertainment field that has been inspired. Do you think we’d have the technology we have today if some people weren’t inspired by a movie they saw, or a book they read? How many scientists saw the original Star Trek, or read Arthur C. Clarke, and were inspired to follow their dreams and create something that most only imagined.

I think that’s what it comes down to, dreaming, imagining, creating. Sure many of the people who invented the present day may have come up with their ideas on their own. But maybe if was that silly, entertainment fluffy that also allowed them to see beyond what was, to what could be.



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