Remember the movie Armageddon? Of course you do. Bruce Willis was in it. Nobody wanted to miss a thing. Great terrible movie, but the one thing I loved is that humans will only try to land on an asteroid to destroy it. We don’t even have a space base. Jeeze, humanity. At least build it something nice first before you start drilling it.
Turns out, Armageddon was much more accurate than we all thought, and we are all dupes. Restless billionaire James Cameron and all-powerful Google are going to drill astroids for mining precious space metals! Part of me feels the plan is sullied by having it be partly inspired by Armageddon. It makes Armageddon have a relevance it shouldn’t have. Then again, there is something beautiful about mining in space. There is so little we actually know about space, but what we do know is that is has stuff we want. At the same time, no one can say “poor asteroids.” If that asteroid had the chance, it would crash into your rural town and unleash an alien hoard, which could only be stopped by the sheriff, a teenage boy and their hot female foils. Several movies have predicted this. They are about as good as Armageddon.
Exploiting the otherworldly isn’t limited to the wiles of bored and brilliant billionaires. Sometimes, great things are exploited because there is nowhere else to go. Everyone has heard that Dick Clark died last week. If you don’t know why he should be mourned, the basic gist is that he curated the mainstream youth culture from the late 50s to the early 60s. That is all you need to know. Yeah, we all had fun making jokes about how unnatural he looked every New Years Eve. I can’t speak for every generation, but the impact of Dick Clark is lost on most twentysomethings because he didn’t stay important. The New Year’s Rockin’ Eve kept him relevant, like how the red carpet allowed Joan Rivers to be seen. The celebrities become shades of themselves, and go for the easy work for the sake of relevance. Tragic.
There was a different price to be famous in the 60s and 70s compared to now. This is a generalization to be debated in the comments section, but old celebrities seem unable to escape the showbiz system. Those that are still around and didn’t lose their lives to drugs or insanity seem confused about how to handle themselves. Maybe people dream of going the Betty White route, where they are old and loved by billions of distant grandchildren. There would be no need to trouble the world anymore or to shake things up. It’s all tea-drinking, bridge-playing, terrible prank show days from there on out.
I had a conversation with my friend Zach about Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes. We agreed that old broadcasters should be given their own shows, where they can do what they please and rant themselves to an early dinner. Andy Rooney was insane in his last years on television. There was a very loose form, and it was a person just talking about what he thought from second to second. A speech that started with the thesis “Why aren’t I picked for random survey samples?” could end with “I like movies about things I like.” It’s not that all broadcasters and stars eventually go insane, but they either go insane or get boring. Getting boring means doing the same show and decades later having a new generation know a celebrity only because they’ve always been a celebrity. They’ll either be mined for their reliability to the industry, or burn out because they never slowed down. The latter is much more fascinating, even if drilling Betty White sounds weird.
Arrested Development news: ten new episodes and all released at once on NetFlix. The world will turn to chaos when every bright, important person will be absent for five hours.
The fake movie script passing itself off as a long-lost vehicle for the Chris Kattan’s SNL character Mr. Peepers showed up online. Funny read, and the best parody of Being There you’ll read this week.
Axe Cop TV show. Axe Cop TV show. Axe Cop TV show.