The Movie Principle Of Life



Did you ever find yourself watching the antics of your fellow humanoids and thinking, "Jeez...did I just stumble into a movie, or maybe get hold of some bad acid, or what?"

Well, fear the heck not, my friend; you're not alone. In fact, if you often experience ample corroboration of the old saying, "Reality is stranger than fiction", then it's likely that you're the one who's sane, and it's the rest of the world that's crazy. It sure seems that way to me, anyway.

In fact I've generalized the weirdness of the human species into a kind of theoretical framework I call The Movie Principle Of Life. Here it is.

Imagine a planet of space aliens in some far off star system. These particular aliens happen to have these incredibly powerful telescopes that can zoom in on anyone on planet Earth and watch their behavior. There's only one catch; they have no audio. They can watch the movie, but they can't hear the soundtrack...which of course means that they can't hear anything we say. They can only watch what we do.

Most of is piped into their television sets on their version of the comedy channel, onna counta the vast majority of human behavior is just plain silly. No, wait...stupid would be more accurate. Take war, for example. People killing each other like it's the most natural thing in the world, murdering and doing unto each other in ways that you know damned good and well they wouldn't want done unto themselves. Stupid. 

Then there's politics...guys (and I'm sorry to say that gals are increasingly getting into the act), blustering and blathering, lying through their teeth, thumping their chests with endlessly boring variations on the same old "us vs. them" theme that has given them job security ever since the concepts of "us" and "them" first came into existence. Except that the aliens can't hear any of the political bullshit, but they're smart enough to realize that these are people who obviously expect everyone to take them as seriously as they take themselves.

The aliens see it all. Goose-stepping Nazis in the 1940s, humorless Soviets freezing their asses off in Red Square during the cold war, as the missiles, tanks, and other engines of death rolled by. They watch barbarians sacrifice virgins, and they watch nations sacrifice their sons and daughters for all kinds of nonsense—money, power, patriotism...call it what you want. (They're just as dead whatever you call it.)

They see fat old women dressed in black crying and tearing at their hair in funerals. They see Hollywood glamour babes running to the plastic surgeons. They see religious rituals of all kinds that involve very stupid hats, and various things burning...and sometimes the burning objects are people. They see the lead singer having a hissy fit because he didn't get his Perrier backstage. They see people giving more attention to their pets than to their children.

They have to be laughing their asses off. If I didn't have to deal with it myself, that's what I'd be doing. It's all just a movie—one that we usually take way too seriously. If it didn't wreak such death and destruction and devastation on life, liberty, property, and the very planet itself, I'd say it would qualify as a cartoon. Alas, it's a very bloody, very miserable cartoon.

Nevertheless, I do my best to treat it as a movie. In fact, all humans are running their own movies. The two-part question is:
  1. Are you going to let the self-prepossessed twits and drama queens who take themselves way too seriously put you in their movie? Or...
  2. Are you going to live your life as though it's your movie? It is, you know.
For my part, I choose B. My life is my movie, and I don't need anyone else directing it.

Do you?

Back to VitoSpace Index