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BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Fictional films become reality

In today’s age of hundreds of cable channels available at the flick of one lethargic thumb and the Internet beckoning with countless Web sites, more and more popular culture is becoming infused with reality.

We’re even subjected to so-called “reality” shows, a seemingly endless parade of programs with increasingly risqué titles like the suggestively naughty, “Trading Spouses,” and those soft-core porn “Real World” repeats. If living in a posh, rent-free apartment where all you need to do is get drunk and act mildly entertaining in the hope of landing a movie deal is reality, then MTV, sign me up!

The line between our culture, with its fabricated constructs of what reality is, and the things we actually experience has begun to blur.

It’s gotten to the point where, when I’m feeling a certain emotion I think not of what’s causing me to feel that way, but a movie scene that I can relate it to.

Tension mixed with horrible realization make me think of that scene in the movie “Seven,” where you realize that Gwyneth Paltrow’s head is in the box that Kevin Spacey, as a creepy serial killer, had delivered.

Outrage mixed with anger makes me think of that scene in “Ghostbusters,” where the Stay-Puft Marshmallow man crushes a church in New York City, and right before blasting him with that neat laser they had, Bill Murray shouts “Nobody crushes a church in my town!”

“Hell yeah, Bill!” I think to myself when I’m outraged and angry about the latest moronic thing President Bush has done. “Fry that damn marshmallow!”

Lately the scene that has come to me the most often is another Bill Murray scene, the one in “Rushmore” where Murray, playing millionaire Herman Blume, is at a birthday party for his sons. Still smoking a cigarette and sporting a drink, Murray mounts a diving board and does a cannonball into the pool, slowly sinking all the way to the bottom and staying there. The apathy and self-hate portrayed in that scene is something I’ve really been able to relate to lately, and I’ve been thinking of it often.

Maybe you think of the scene in “Pulp Fiction” where John Travolta and Uma Thurman win that dance contest when you’re cutting some rug at the bar.

Maybe you think of that dead baby crawling along Ewen MacGregor’s ceiling in “Trainspotting” when you think of something really shocking and gross, something you never want to think of again.

And I know some of you freshmen have been thinking of that scene in “The Wizard of Oz” where Dorothy tells Toto that she doesn’t think they’re in Kansas anymore. I know, I’ve seen it on your faces.

Even if you haven’t, maybe you will. After all, you did read about it here.

And this just isn’t me, either. We’ve been trained to think of certain songs that match feelings we might be having, and the clothes that we choose to wear are based on popular culture as well. So many things are dictated and suggested to us by popular culture, a totally fake construction developed by marketers and directors, that we’ve replaced the essence of our lives with the dreams of theirs.

More and more, our memories and perceptions are being based not on anything we’ve actually experienced, but on links to a chain of mass media and culture that has permeated our lives collectively.

In this form of mental pseudo-communism, we all share morals, values, ideals and fears based on publicly consumed movies, books, etc; instead of things we’ve experienced in our own lives.

You hear a song on the radio over and over, and suddenly you like it. You read a book and begin to write like the author does. It’s that easy.

Or maybe it is just me.

What I’m saying here, is that we need to be more aware of where our perceptions come from. We need to break the chain and think for ourselves and wonder why we’re doing the things we do. Is it because of something we’ve actually gone through, or something we saw on TV? You have to ask yourself, “Why am I wearing this Abercrombie T-shirt?”

And I’m certainly just as guilty as anyone else, as guilty as someone must feel when Peter Falk, starring as Colombo, fixes them with his lazy-eye stare and says he’s just got one more question. That guilty.

Maybe having me question your values has made you angry, like in that famous scene in “The Shining” where Jack Nicholson, possessed by a creepy hotel, crashes through a door with an axe in an effort to get his wife.

Well, if so, I’ve got two words for you: Heeeere’s Johnny!

E-mail Shaun with comments at [email protected].

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