Friday, November 15, 2013

Too Real

Can you tell that a like to listen to podcasts?  This morning I was listening to "Stuff you missed in history class."  The co-hosts were talking about the story of Sweeny Todd.  Why does the story grab people?  It's about a gruesome murderer, killing people while they are vulnerable, and then having them baked up in pies.  Why would we listen to that kind of story?  The co-hosts talked about how we feel disconnected from a plot such as that -- while we admit in quiet, almost delicious, whispers, that it could happen, the majority of us have never known anyone to whom this has happened.  It has a sense of unreality.

Whether that is true or not, it brought to mind, for me, how uncomfortable I get when I'm watching a movie in which skyscrapers are struck by something -- be it monster, alien machine or airplane -- and explode, collapsing to the ground.  There should be a disconnect -- monsters don't walk around large cities, whacking buildings, and alien machines have never landed.  But I am not disconnected.  I've seen buildings fall, and that touch with reality makes that kind of plot point too real -- too uncomfortable.  It could be I am not their target audience.  In 2001, my younger son was 5 -- he's now 17.  I think he remembers 9/11, but I'm not sure anyone younger would.

Would a person older than me -- an 80 year old, for example -- be troubled by the reality of a Nazi-like plot element in a movie?  Or an aerial invasion of an island, with planes destroying large ships? They've seen it; they know it can be real.

These are just my thoughts for today.



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