Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fresh Ideas from Family Beach Week for the Middle East

Step-brother-in-law “R” retold some story about nuclear war that he had gotten somewhere. Do any of you know where this came from? Some movie or short story?

“R” said that in the story, the president is out speaking in some town in America. News comes in of a nuclear missile launch against us from the Middle East. The president and his entourage order retaliatory strikes against the locations that have attacked us; then they leave the town for the safety of the countryside. They find some country restaurant and make that their base of operations. Americans in the restaurant have already seen news of both missile launches on TV, and they are understandably worried. The president tells them everything will be okay. The missiles launched at us, and ours launched in retaliation, are shown as computer graphics on the TV so everyone can watch. American cities are shown to be blown up in computer graphics. The same goes for locations in the Middle East from which the missiles came. Everyone in the restaurant is dismayed except for the president, who tells them again that everything is okay.

Then live video feeds start coming in from the American cities that had been shown to be destroyed. They are unharmed. The missiles launched at us had been duds. But ours launched at the Middle East were real, and those places that launched duds at us are destroyed.

We had made those duds and pretended to lose them in the Middle East to see who would use them against us.

“R” related this story in complete earnestness.

“Oh yeah,” said step-brother “M.” “Just rig a bunch of explosives to blow up when they are being made into IED’s, and let them fall into terrorists’ hands.”

Step-sister-in-law “E” said, “We need to educate their women.” She said their women are sick and tired of being beaten and held back by their husbands. We need to round them up and put them in a safe place, and teach them how to run their own businesses. That would be the thing to do next to begin transforming the Middle East. “’Islam’ means ‘submission,’” she said, smacking one hand into the other. “We should bomb them and educate their women.”

I swear I’m not making this up.

June 28 addendum: Oh, and I forgot to mention, before all this happened, they had the Chronicles of Narnia showing on DVD for the kids. I watched it too because I had not seen it yet, and I had loved the books as a child. While watching, the daughter of aforementioned "E," who, I must mention, is named "Jordan" after a Middle Eastern country, exclaimed, "Aslan is like Jesus except that Jesus was resurrected after three days, and Aslan was resurrected after one day." Her father, aforementioned "M," said, "That's right Honey."

Speaking of the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I give it the same assessment I give David Lynch's adaptation of Frank Herbert's classic Dune. Both have great acting and begin with a rich portrayal of the story. In the case of Dune, much of the richness lies in the production design; in Lion, it is in the wonderful casting and performances of the four kids and all the talking animals, the quick and clear building of the story (because, after all, you have to keep kids' attention), the sinister feel of Narnia in winter, the amazing performance of Tilda Swinton as the evil witch. But both movies lose their richness two-thirds of the way through and degenerate into buildup to war and clash between armies. Important events near the end are subsumed by action sequences, and despite these movies' initial nourishment, the sensitive viewer is left with a feeling of having eaten too much cotton candy.


Jenny said...

Were they at all kidding?

Elrond Hubbard said...

Nope. All sincere. It's all like some pulp sci-fi for them. L. Ron Hubbard or something.