I was lecturing my friend, Anja, about how giving her kids Fruit Loops was disgusting when it occurred to me how disgusting and sick it actually was. I’m not just talking about the fact that it’s unhealthy and full of sugar and chemicals and insects.
It’s disgusting because of what it does to your soul.
Paying seven dollars for a box of crap that you hate yourself for giving to your kids doesn’t make sense. Does anybody feel good about giving their kids Fruit Loops? The packaging goes crazy emphasizing the health benefits of eating this blatantly unhealthy food – “good source of calcium” it blasts across the front of the box. It may be a source of calcium, but it is not a good source. And don’t you put milk on it anyway? The real purpose of this is to get around that warm fuzzy feeling that you have for your kids that, in a more rational world, would protect your child against this stuff using any means necessary.
The reasoning that goes into a decision to give your kids Fruit Loops, or any of this other crap, is a lot like the reasoning that addicts go through when justifying their next binge. “I’ll just let them have it this once.” “All the other kids eat this, so what’s the big deal.” “It’s not that bad for them.” “I’ll just buy it for the toy.” Or my favorite, “My kids won’t eat anything else.”
Your kids won’t eat anything else? Eating nothing is better than that crap. Starve them. Or even better, give them something that’s good and tastes good. Fry them a fucking egg. It’s not that difficult.
So, this being a film blog, what’s this got to do with the price of a movie ticket? Is this how we get marketed into crappy films over and over again? Would the world be any better or worse if they had skipped making 2012, the Roland Emmerich movie? Sure, we tell ourselves, two (plus) hours of mind-numbing nonsense is just what we need to forget all the problems in the world. Isn’t that fucked up? Why should we be trying to forget our lives? I like my life, and I’m a pretty miserable person. Shouldn’t we go to the movies to enrich our lives and make them more enjoyable? Don’t you love coming out a film and discussing it, rather than trying to pretend that you didn’t just waste ten bucks and hopefully dinner won’t be so bad?
I guess you could argue that watching the world get destroyed has a certain cathartic value, and we all fantasize about how our problems would just disappear if the world just got blown up. But all this is just marketing. Just in case you’ve already decided that 2012 is a piece of shit, not worthy of your ten bucks, that’s when the New York Times comes up with a review that’s just good enough for them to plaster a quote across their poster. You know, something like “RIP ROARING FUN!” or “THE MOST ENTERTAINING MOVIE OF THE YEAR”. Or “A GOOD SOURCE OF ENTERTAINMENT”.