Monday, August 04, 2008

I recently learned that there is a remake of one of my favorite movies coming out this year. “The Day The Earth Stood Still,” has been remade and will be released later this year. The old version made in the 50’s is one of my all time favorite movies and is a science fiction classic. I have a copy of the movie and have seen it multiple times.

The movie is about a spaceman who lands his ship on the National Mall next to the Washington Monument. He has this giant robot named Gort. Gort demonstrates his power by burning the weapons out of the hands of soldiers and melting a couple of tanks. Gort responds to signals from a flashlight and the words, ”Klaatu barata nikto.” He has come in peace to warn us that we need to cool it and keep all our war like tendencies confined to our planet. He says that the robots are the police of our universe and if we go outside our planet making trouble then they will destroy us and reduce us to a burned out cinder. The spaceman wants to speak to our world leaders and give them the message, but of course the first thing we do is shoot him. He escapes and pulls of a big event to get everyone’s attention. He makes all electrical activity in the world stop for about an hour. He then takes off and leaves the rest to our imagination as to whether we heed his warning.

I have often wondered what would happen if a spaceman did make an appearance and gave us a warning to behave or else. I suspect nothing would happen. We have already had similar events to get our attention. The atomic bomb on Hiroshima was a good example, but we continue to make wars even though we have the ability to annihilate ourselves. The Bible is full of stories about miracles and even these have failed to get the attention of most folks.

Another problem with the spaceman coming and pulling off an attention-getting event is that there would be a large number of folks who wouldn’t even know what was going on. They say that about 15 percent of Americans don’t know the name of the president. A recent survey in Texas showed that over 50% of Texans don’t know that LBJ was from our state, 75% cannot tell you the city where the Alamo is located and 98% cannot tell you three men who died in the Alamo. Only about 1% of Texans know the day we celebrate Texas Independence. So, how can we expect them to pay attention to a spaceman when they haven’t yet learned that JFK was assassinated or that the World Trade Towers in New York came down from a terrorist attack. The one thing that most people know how to do is get their welfare checks and how to reproduce. Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton would have a better chance of getting a message across that a spaceman with a cataclysmic event.

As for me, I’m just going to sit on the porch and wait for the new movie. That’s one I am going to see. The one from the 50s is going to be hard to beat. I’m sure there will be a lot more special effects but the old black and white version will always be my favorite.


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