The Protective Power of Cinema

6921_5528662602As many of you know, the Mayans predicted that the world would end December 21, 2012. According to their calculations December 21, 2012 will be the end of the current cycle which, when all is said and done, will have run for 5,126 years. Now, when I first heard the news I was pretty bummed. First off, what are the odds I would be born at the tail end of a 5,126 years long cycle. Second, that’s four days before Christmas. I won’t get any presents.

However, my fears were allayed during spring break two weeks ago.

I spent my spring break frequenting a local movie theater and catching up on some films I had missed. I was able to see Slumdog Millionaire with my mom. I watched I Love You, Man, twice. (Neither time with my mother, though)

In addition to the fake butter, one of my favorite things about watching a movie in theaters is getting to look at the previews. I continually saw a preview for a movie called 2012. The previews are rather cryptic. The feature only a monk standing atop a mountain watching a gigantic tidal wave heading right at him. He then saunters into his little hut-like monastery and begins to ring a giant bell. A few seconds later, the tidal wave hits the building in force and, well, you get the picture.

Naturally, I was intrigued by the trailer. At the end of the trailer there was the name of a website I could visit to learn more about the movie. I visited and, as it turns out, 2012 is about how things are going to shake down if the world really does end in two and a half years.

This relieved me to no end.

You see, Hollywood loves to make movies which forecast doom and gloom and they never come true. No problem that has ever been the subject of a film (whether it be theatrical or made for tv) has ever come true. In fact, if there is a movie about a natural disaster or catastrophe that is as good as a guarantee that nothing like that will ever happen. For instance, a few years ago everyone was panicked about the bird flu. However, luckily for us, Hollywood stepped in and played the hero. That made a whole slew of movies about the bird flu coming to the U.S. and killing hundreds of thousands. And because of that, the bird flu remains in remote pockets of South East Asia attacking birds.

Hollywood also saved America on numerous occasions during the Cold War. (And, no, not just by giving us Ronald Reagan) Because Hollywood produced movies about the United States accidentally dropping a nuclear bomb on Russia and causing World War III (Fail Safe, Dr. Strangeglove), Russia invading suburban Colorado (Red Dawn), a Russian boxer killing beloved black actors before Sylvester Stallone can stop him (Rocky IV) America was kept safe from all those things.

So, thank you, Roland Emmerich for deciding to direct this film. Any fears I had about the world possibly ending in 2012 have now disappeared. Everything they show on television or in movies is pure crap. There’s only one place you can tune if you want to see the cold hard facts. So, until Fox News starts doing reporting that the sky is falling, I ain’t going to worry….


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