A New Theory

My 10-year-old self said to my 13-year-old brother, “So before our time there was The Great Depression. And before The Great Depression there was The Old West. And before that there was The American Revolution. And before that was medieval times. And before that there was Rome. And before that there were dinosaurs. And before that there was the Big Bang. And what was before that? Well, it must come from a time where there is no time.”

“What?” my brother said.

“It all has to come from something,” I said.

He didn’t hesitate, “Get out of here!”

The moral: Never hassle your 13-year-old brother with philosophical ruminations on the universe. Especially, when he’s listening to fart competitions on Howard Stern.

The Valle Cinema Ramblings Vol.1 : E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial

E.T. is a pagan shaman. He nurtures plants. He heals. He flies. He makes psychic connections. He self-resurrects. Or maybe the flying makes him a witch. Or maybe the healing makes him a magic troll. Or maybe the psychic connection makes him a postmodern fairy. Or maybe the self-resurrection makes him a trans-human prophet. A new internet theory even suggests that he’s a Jedi. If Jedi’s can drop out of society to be intergalactic hippies, then I can support that argument. But whatever he is, he’s what Elliot needs to keep from developing an adult personality disorder. My guess is that Elliot would be a narcissist, always wondering how something will affect his life and not others. “We can grow up together,” he tells E.T., not thinking about E.T.’s home sickness.

Elliot can’t handle the absence of his father. His brother tries to be the man of the house, but he’s a child also. Elliot has a loving mother, but she’s clueless. She doesn’t see Elliot putting back the lamp that helps him fake his sickness. She doesn’t notice E.T. (pretending to be her daughter) fall backwards after a Polaroid is taken. She doesn’t see E.T. standing in her living room when her daughter is trying to point him out. Parents can only do so much. A child needs an outlet.

To Elliot, E.T is a good book. A movie. A TV show. A baseball game. A comic book collection. A best friend; anything that creates a buffer for a child and shelters it from unnecessary pain. E.T. is about how we must protect our children from realities that they’re not equipped to handle. E.T. is about how we have to listen to our children and do everything we can for them. E.T. is about the miracle of salvation; the miracle of finding something that gives us the release we all need in life.

In the end, Elliot tells the government doctors, “He needs to go home.” Elliot realizes that he must let go of what he loves in order for it to live and be happy. This is what he needed to do for his father. Isn’t that what friendship really is? The ability to say something to someone that you really need to say to someone else.

The Retired Jedi (Sort of)

“Now imagine that if you fall off the white line, then you fall a million miles and you die.

Now pretend the couch is a car and that it goes 500 miles per hour.

Now imagine that pole has lasers on top of it and we have to run real, real fast to get away from it.

Now pretend that dog is Medusa and if you look at it, you turn to stone forever.

Now imagine that building is a fortress and we have to storm it and there’s people with bazookas on top of the roofs that are trying to kill us.

Now pretend that the teddy bear is an alien with rabies and turns you into a zombie if it bites you.”

Kids spoke highly of Freddy Kruger. So much that they didn’t even call it A Nightmare on Elm Street. They just called it Freddy Kruger. They’d illustrate his bad-assness by raising their clenched fist and talking about his claws. I could have cared less about Freddy Kruger. I was into saviors. The Luke Skywalkers, the Indiana Jones, the GI Joes. Anyone that did good for its own sake. Not just for themselves.

I was drunk off that archetype. I can’t even remember what my peers were into playing when I gave them the opportunity to lead. Maybe they played doctor or fireman or house. I never paid attention to what people were doing and what their actions meant. I wouldn’t start paying attention until decades later. By then, everyone would be into Jedis. Except for me.