Tonight Princess Little Tree had the opportunity to watch Superman I and II. We had never seen them before but had heard about them for years. we were curious. I more than she of course. Both movies are considered American classics. They made Christopher Reeve an instant celebrity and household name and swept up at the box office. As you read this bare in mind it’s being written while another American classic, a James Bond film by the name of Goldfinger I believe, is playing in the background. This is another classic Hollywood flick that neither the Princess, who’s long ago fallen asleep by now lucky her, or I ever felt even a slight desire to entertain. The 20 to 30 percent of attention I can afford the movie while simultaneously composing this Diary entry on an iPhone is more than enough to be able to already see that these so called James Bond classics are no better than the aforementioned Superman movies.
Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing more unbearable in ones disposition than to discover that what thrills entertains titillates excites and moves the majority of others in his species does absolutely nothing for him but bores and more often than not simultaneously annoys. It isn’t a pleasant way to live amongst ones peers, nor an easy way to feel that sense of belonging that scientists claim is one of the seven basic human needs. Luckily once we escape the socially emotionally and intellectually stifling and suffocating confines of what they call K through 12, we do tend to discover with pleasure that we aren’t as alone in the world as we once believed we were in our first 16 years of existence. It’s a more than welcome surprise. To learn that there are others who share our love for mental stimulation and our inherent disdain for most things pedantic and mainstream.
But that doesn’t mean that adulthood is all pies smiles and magic carpet rides. One does have to interact with the masses regardless of what profession one chooses. Even rock ‘n’ roll. There’s a loneliness, a palpable sense of isolation that can be quite stifling if we allow ourselves to give into the temptation of deliberate hermitage due to not having enough in common with everyday people. I experienced it firsthand just out of the college years. I learned that I had to deliberately choose to mingle with the masses if I was to maintain what semblance of sanity I may have had. I would love to report that it was brutally challenging and nearly unbearable but truth be told it wasn’t half bad. Unlike many of my ilk I found it rather easy to bullshit with the working classes. Water cooler talk and all. The Tree God bless him used to plead with me how I managed to do it. He couldn’t bare to to do it himself and thus was often thrust into a world with himself as his only companion. I almost always replied “I either stay high or I have a few drinks old chap. It makes it more bearable. Try it. It’s not bad once you get used to it.”
Of course I didn’t always need to be high or drink in order to wine and dine with the mainstream crowd. The first coupla years, sure. How else are we meant to endure the banal conversations about nothing and worse yet the barrage of mistaken propaganda for facts and statistics that are thrust into the air so casually and confidently. It’s no wonder the United States has gotten away with being labeled the land of the free and home of the brave when in reality it’s the most brutal killing machine of an empire the world has seen since Nazi Germany. No wonder at all. Flip on any network or cable news show for a few minutes if you can stomach it and you’ll see just how easy it’s been for this sham to be pulled off.
But that doesn’t have much to do with Superman does it? Tsk tsk. So what does Superman have to do with the Transcendendce Diaries? Simply put, absolutely nothing. Superman can best explain the Diaries by the understanding that the author of said tome found Superman to be one of the worst movies I’ve ever had the displeasure to sit through.
Okay I will confess here in the spirit of freedom beauty truth and love that I didn’t actually make it all the way through any of them. Almost made it through the first one. The second and fifth I merely skimmed at best. The third and fourth… I dare say are unnecessary for the purpose for which we first decided to watch them.
(Seeing the look of disgust and utter boredom on the Princess’s face during the first half hour of Superman I, I attempted to give her a pep talk by standing up and dramatically waving my arms around the room to extol the virtues of viewing these films as a means to better understand the common man so we could relate with them better in the future. It was all I had. How else do you justify spending two and half hours of what under normal circumstances is a thrilling and precious life watching something so bereft of anything remotely interesting and at the same time so mentally insulting and mundane? Well it worked. She made it through the first one. As did i. The feeling in the room was more akin to if we had just finished a lengthy visit at a nursing home with an elderly lady with Alzheimer’s that neither of us knew out of the kindness of our heart and in the spirit of selfless service to others. But still, we did make it through.)
Truth be told I cannot for the life of me now understand even a little why or how these films even get made let alone get viewed by anyone over the age of 6 or 7. I know for me personally these kinds of films, anything that was called action/adventure or comic book oriented, was my worst nightmare. I was far too gone into studying the worlds of earth sciences, electricity, chemistry, art and music.
I got so bored with action adventure portions of films that I would either get up and leave which drive my parents crazy or I would bury myself in the little notebook I carried everywhere with me. Taking notes. Asking questions mainly. Or proposing myriad theories about the mechanics of the universe or the human mind or the prospect of God. This didn’t make me the most popular kid in school thats for sure. But for your average 6 or 7 year old which I learned early on I was not, I can clearly see that with the limited capacity for understanding the need to suspend disbelief or knowledge of the art and science of filmmaking that Superman movies or James Bond movies for that matter may be just their thing.
What I can’t get is how anyone past that age can actually take them seriously. Christopher Reeve.. Okay, he was a struggling actor, he wanted to make a name or himself, he wanted to make money… Makes sense. The same can be said for any of the other actors on set or the crew behind the cameras. But for an audience member… How the hell does one even discuss movies like this without cracking up? The way we might when the words Sarah Palin pop up in the occasional conversation. This is the feeling we were left with. I still attempted to sit through Superman II, because it was in and because I had heard so much about the films all my life. Why not see what they’re all about? After all Christopher Reeve seemed like a nice enough chap.
The same can be said about Sean Connery. He’s handsome enough. And one certainly can’t deny what a an enviable badass machine that Aston Martin is. But other than that, we don’t need to sit through an entire movie to marvel over the noble attributes of these basic earthly trappings regardless of their aesthetic appeal. Nope. Someone has to tell it like it is. Most box office Hollywood smashes are utter shite. Tripe if you will. The James Bond myth is as empty and hollow as the Superman one. This is children’s stories dressed up with a few adult clothes and some kissing scenes at best. And yet they’re national icons. International icons. Treasures. Cultural touchstones for entire generations.
But there’s nothing transcendent about them. And therein lies the explanation of what the Transcendence Diaries is all about in a nutshell. They are NOT about things of that nature. Lucky for us all there IS plenty of valuable art and entertainment and noble goals and missions being created on planet earth on a near daily basis at this time in our history to discover and explore. And lest we forget still plenty of propositions about the mechanics of the universe consciousness human psychology and God even to keep us busy for a very long time to come.