Movies

Close Encounters

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Oh, Wyoming.  Probably one of the most desolate states I’ve ever driven though.  There’s not much there, and despite some of the prettiest sunsets and mountains I’ve ever seen, it’s still pretty barren.

That being said, I had the opportunity to visit Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, and when I told people that I was going to be passing through, they got all excited and said it was in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I still have not seen this movie, but I now understand why Steven Spielberg thought it would be a great addition to a freaky film:  This monument definitely looks like it could have been created by aliens.

41jNr2olTPLThe drive there was long, and my never-ending patience began to wonder if it would even be worth it. From South Dakota into Wyoming on a state route was pretty empty, and did I really need to see yet another underwhelming (sorry Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse) national monument?  I mean, I haven’t been to Yellowstone, but I’ve been to Jackson and the Grand Tetons twice, so how much can Wyoming really have to offer?

When I arrived there, it was a pretty awesome site.  Really awesome.  If you look closely in the photo, you can see the holes from where people have scaled the tower.

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IMG_20161109_110839389No one really knows how it formed, but there are theories (even though they left out the alien formation one).  It has mystical and spiritual significance to the Native American tribes in the area, and there are pretty walking paths and benches around the monument to sit and enjoy the majestic structure.

After walking the 1.5 mile path around the base of the site, and realizing my choice of footwear was less than appropriate (what do you mean, I can’t climb rocks in riding boots!?) I bade farewell to the monument and Wyoming.  Up close, it was one of the most interesting looking things I’ve seen in a long time, and it never would have been on my list, but I’m glad I saw it.

But I still haven’t seen Close Encounters.

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Thoughts from Wall-E

Aside from being one of the most brilliant movies I’ve seen in a long time, “Wall-E” addressed some serious social issues that I began to think about, and I’ve formed my own opinions.

The movie by Pixar is about a mobile trash compactor called Wall-E. He, along with his pet cockroach, are the only living and/or thinking things left on Earth, due to it being completely trashed by humans in the 21st century. He falls in love with a pod named EVE, and when she is summoned back to the Axiom mother ship, Wall-E follows her. There are very poignant points; I almost cried. Twice.

The social issues are glaringly obvious at first, and then at further digging, deeper ones unearth themselves to be analyzed by the audience. The first issue I thought about were the way the humans were portrayed. They are fat. And not just fat, but obese. And not just a good portion of them. All of them. They are in hovering recliners, all dressed alike, with blinders that act as transmitters, showing a video screen of movies, shows, even webchats. The humans are each completely engrossed in his or her own world.

I absolutely cannot stand this whole politically correct thing with fat people. I’m sick of having people say, “It’s so mean to call her fat!” “He can’t help it!” and “She’s a really nice person if you just get to know her.” Of course she’s nice. In today’s superficial society, she obviously doesn’t have looks to go on, so she HAS to be nice. It’s not like they wake up one day and look in the mirror and gasp, “Oh my! Where did this extra 400 lbs come from?” Aside from those who have medical conditions which require medication where weight gain is a side effect, every fat person in the US got that way by their own doing. And this whole “let’s spare their feelings” thing is complete horse poop. It’s a health risk, it’s wasteful, and it’s NOT OK. OBESITY IS AN EPIDEMIC, and we are officially the fattest nation in the world. Over half the states in this country are obese, up from just a few in the 1960’s. You waste money, time, resources, and your health by being obese. Perhaps this is coming across as harsh, but I USED TO BE A FAT KID too. I got a job at a restaurant, so instead of eating my boredom away, I earned $15 per hour and walked an average of 5 miles per shift. I also sweated my butt off, since it was a summer tourist spot. After the summer was over, I had lost 20 lbs. My pockets were full, my waistline shrank, and I was healthier. It’s not hard to get exercise. Go for a walk, ride a bike…something.**

The second issue is the most obvious one: the environmental issue. Yes, I know that we’re polluting the planet, and yes I agree that we’re wasteful and overpackage products. Yes, I hate the rising prices for gas, food, utilities, and in some places, even your speeding ticket has a fuel surcharge. And yes, I believe the environmental movement is among the things in this world that come “too little, too late.” But we are a society of consumers in the United States, and in order to get that to change, you have to hit us where it hurts. Which is in the pocket book. When prices rise, we are forced to conserve more and consume less. Quite frankly, it sucks. Hard. But these impulse spending, over consuming, wasteful habits are ingrained in our biologies over decades, and now in order to change them, we need to suffer a little. There’s a reason Grandma and Grandpa have money. If they lived through the Depression, they suffered under hard times, and they know how to save. Those saving habits continue through life, and that’s why they can afford to spoil you. Only when we learn those same habits will we be able to truly reverse the damage we’ve done.

The third and last issue deals with Wall-E and EVE. Wall-E is nostalgic, eager to learn, and dedicated. When he meets EVE, his whole world changes, and this robot with mechanical pieces falls in love. He pursues EVE relentlessly, and when she shuts down (for a year) and has to wait for the Axiom to retrieve her, he takes care of her. He holds umbrellas over her in the rain, he puts a scarf on her in the winter, and fans her in the summer heat. He takes her to sunsets, to the park, and treats her as his frozen angel. There is no dedication, no chivalry, no romance like this today. It’s all been lost in the 18th and 19th Century. There’s no more poetry, no more moonlight serenades…barely even getting doors opened, or being followed up of preceded down the stairs. Sometimes I just wish that guys would take a cue from the movies. I understand it’s impossible to be as sweet, caring, thoughtful, romantic, and perfect as the guys (or robots) in the movies…but it’s not like it’s because you don’t know what to do. It’s in front of you in every chick flick, every movie with a functional relationship, every TV show with a married couple. And it doesn’t have to be every day….just once in a while, it’s nice to feel cared for, and special.

There are a lot more issues brought up, if viewed closely. I would, however, save the deeper ones for the second or third viewing. For the first viewing, get lost in the story and hold hands with your date.

**I also believe that there is a severe problem with girls that want to be thin. This “skeletally thin is in” obsession is absolutely absurd. Why can’t we just take care of our bodies? Isn’t there some happy medium?