Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Reality and Fakery

A week or so ago, I saw a movie on the TV of my favorite eat joint.  It was full of computer-generated images (which I found out just now are called CGI) that made the impossible look real, and added quite a lot of pizazz and "can't not look" to the movie.  I had to search to find the title: "Live Free or Die Hard."

One of the first things I noticed was a long drawn-out fistfight between two men (I think one was the Bruce Willis character) that involved more violence than I think any human being could handle.  Part of the fight took place in an elevator shaft, with both actors doing what I think were impossible acrobatics.  I believe one of the guys was hanging on one of the elevator cables at one point, which didn't seem possible to me.  During or after the firstfight, Willis was all bloody; but I noticed that as the story went on, the blood didn't change color as it dried (someone slip up in makeup?)  Then there was the scene with the semi and the jet plane that appeared to be hovering while it shot at the semi, which Willis was driving underneath collapsing freeway ramps - which of course missed him.  (I worked in public works engineering for 27 years, and though I'm not a concrete expert, I will bet that freeway ramps just don't collapse like that! -- they're full of re-bars.)

Another movie I saw just a few days ago, same eat joint, was "Starship Troopers."  That one was full of computer images (good monsters, though)!  Again, it had this "can't not look" quality.

I'm thinking that if you make a movie interesting to look at, you can make it as implausible as you like, but you've got the audience eating out of the palm of your hand, and their cash is in your bank.

Fake is more interesting than real.  That may be why porn is more popular than marriage.
(I don't know that it is, but I'd bet my shirt on it.)
Or recreational drug use almost an epidemic.

When I was taking Physics 1 at the university in 1962, we learned about falling-body problems and acceleration due to gravity All the problems said "neglect air resistance." I asked the prof when we could figure that in; he said, "Come back when you've had five quarters of calculus."

Reality is messy and difficult to deal with.  It takes learning, dedication, growing skill, and good judgment.  Makes no difference whether you're trying to establish a solid relationship with a new spouse, take care of a colicky teething kid still in diapers, raise a kitchen garden, rehab an old double-hung sash window, or do practically anything for real.

Anyway, I'm suspicious of the popularity of these high-grade fantasy movies, video games, and all that.  I get a sneaking suspicion in my nasty suspicious mind that an awful lot of people prefer fantasy to reality.  I think it's one of the things that's ruining our country.  And worse yet, it gets in the way of salvation: there's no resurrection without death first.

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