I know now why I cried but it is something I can never do again
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away…
Before I died inside, I remember being quite emotional and emotive as a child.
Peering back into a reflective mode, manages to re-ignite some of those old emotions I felt back then, via some sort of nostalgic time machine. I can however take those emotions into context and rationalise them now but I can’t help going through the motions of them, in exactly the same manner as I did all those years ago.
I find the whole thing a lil strange
Take this for example.
I’ve always pretty much found perfection in the Film terminator 2.
As a film, it suceeds in doing pretty much everything you need it to.
As for the musical score, it is nothing short of pure perfection but there isn’t a single happy note in the entire film, even at any point where there are doing well or when the enemy is momentarily subdue, the whole thing is just completely sombre and the unrelenting beat of the percussion of the robotic march forever getting louder and closer just shows the momentum, the unstoppable momentum we have as we roll on to our inevitable demise.
but the greatest lines it draws are the moral ones.
Let’s do a quick character recap to get this ball rolling
The enemy in the film (Skynet) may appear to be a meglomaniac computer, but it is actually a representation of human kind’s own need to destroy and control gone haywire. And then human kind’s archaic nature to destroy and plunder are seen as human traits to cherish and fight for, rather then contain and neutralise.
The hero of the story (Arnie groapyourgrandaughternator) ultimately has no moral guide and is pretty much programmed to go about his business without any ethics involved. His involvement in this film and his actions are not based on anything other than following specifically controlled orders. he has no deep dark past or a broken childhood or someone to avenge or ethics to pass on, he is simply a weapon, just like a frying pan is, in the culinary wars of scrambled eggs. A means to an end to drive the plot forward.
This exact same point can be used to describe the villain, the T-1000 who is no longer good or bad but simply a function of a main directive to follow orders relentlessly. This is played very well in contrast that the main villain is perceived as being a poliec man, which are also supposed to be a relentless force in order to ‘protect and serve’, while the antagonist does nothing but the complete opposite, throwing upside down our thoughts on what are social means expect.
In many films, they attempt to draw parallels between the hero and the villain to make them relate to one another but in this film, where they share exactly the same motivation (as being a function of their initial programming (or perception of it). yet no where in this film is this parallel made, infact, they go their best to try and keep this notion from the viewer, yet it is as clear as day for anyone who would take two seconds to evaluate the situation.
Infact the point that arnie’s character was the evil robot in the first and fourth films (which i won’t mention ever again since it was so bad, i got the men in black guys to erase my memory again as soon as I finished typing that line), yet he was good in the second and third ones, illustrates this point on a much smaller scale.
There is in a sense, no good/bad side of this story, only perception and the interpretation of logic (a defence robot who sees its owners as threat will ultimately defend itself based on its basic programming, does that make it evil. When it killed on behalf of a given military, was it considered evil then??). This removes and blurs the lines of this omnipitent evil machine and brings us as collective viewers closer to the corporate responsibility of what goes wrong.
This is reflected when Sarah Connor decides to blame a human for creating the system and sees him as personally responsible for what happens in the future.
Perhaps a lil short sighted but it does help portray how we are all ultimatlely share a responsibilities in the global events that occur, in our own little way, especially those who turn a blind eye to them (or the rammifications of their actions).
However, The driving force of the entire film is a mother’s undeniable love for her son and a son’s realisation of his potential role in history and his ability to not accept fate and to change it. You take away all of everything else and you have just a pure unrelenting love for two people here as well as a woman’s journey to overcome her decade long views on the machines that killed her husband and want her son and the rest of the world dead.
Linda hamilton is a beast of a woman and does an amazing job at this portrayal, there is so much energy and passion in this role that she does far more for feminism and motherhood than I have probably seen in any other film to date. The commitment she physically put herself through and the mental preparation she provides in all the scenes she’s in and even in the ones she’s not and how the other characters resonate off her is just incredible.
Mothers have the hardest job in the world but how hard a job must it be to raise the saviour of the human race in a world which thinks you are crazy.
Many people will watch this film for the spectacle it provides and the groundbreaking special affects and James Cameron’s overall Godhood in following up a film that many thought was a piece of art and could not be topped.
Infact putting out any sequel in today’s movies market is considered cashing in and it was the same in the early 90s, so how this reached any form of critical acclaim is beyond me.
But I remember watching this as a child, perhaps a lil bit too young (between six and a half and eight), and the film made me feel no more than being disgusted with myself for being alive.
I was disgusted with my very own humanity to its core.
I felt a shamed to be alive, to be part of this production pool we call life
To have any remnance of being considered an intelligent life force on this planet.
To think that anything I put my mind to, in order to potentially help people wouldn’t eventually fall into the hands of another and cause complete and utter anihilation of everything that has come before us.
How could we all be so stupid
How could this science fiction film which basically operates as a template for our impeding doom be taken so damn lightly.
And they all lived happily ever after
I mean think about it, there was no potential happy outcome to this film
The robots win and earth is annihilated before it even has a chance to fight, fight for the crumbs of human civilization which would ultimately plunge itself into darkness yet again on its own accord, without any outside intervention.
Or the good guys succeed, and it’s a hollow victory because they are unaware of whether they can stop judgement day completely or sit around and simply hope that it doesn’t eventually come in the next five, ten 3598 years. And you are aware of how many more soldiers would eventually be thrown through time.
But who can keep patrol of everyone like that all the time? There isn’t enough red bull to even keep the most insominiac-like of us awake to perform this task.
so there was no walking off into the sunset,
EVEN when at the very least the evil T-1000 takes a lava bath and you think, phew we might get a glimmer of happiness now after they’ve thrown and blown up the chip and the metallic arm they came for, we are plunged into another dark moment.
The heroic/non heroic robot reminds us that he is part of the puzzle too and must also go. He spends the entire movie attempting to learn how to be human and does the most Godly thing possible, he sacrifices himself for the sake of others. But he can’t kill himself of course, the loved ones who have grown attached to him have to murder him. A life for all lives.
Wow, that’s a big change for any child who is used to disney’s portrayal of happily ever after. Having the saviour of the day voluntarily murdered by his friends. Gee whiskers…
Now you have to watch the sad bastard being lowered into the hottest lava in the world, lava that had his liquid mate shitty his pants and doing the diarrhea dance all over the place, he was lowered into and singed to death without even missing a beat. He took it like a boss without any whining.
And to top it off, just before he kills himself, he thumbs up, THUMBS UP. I mean as a kid, I was already distraught about everything and then to watch possibly the most selfish and selfless character i’ve ever seen in the history of cinema then decide to punt out a big bag of ‘hope’ made me feel……empty.
I can’t remember actually when I stopped crying the first time I watched this scene. I think a part of me still hasn’t stopped in all fairness.
All I feel is complete shame.
Infact, the exact way I feel is the same as when Sarah connor drifts off for an afternoon snooze and wakes up to find herself and john having fun in a playground, and she is screaming at all of them to get the hell out of there, but they can’t hear a word she is saying. They all of a sudden they are hit by a nuclear bomb. SHe is screaming so hard, she is set alight while holding the fence and then her flesh blows off and all you see is her skeleton underneath, still trying to pass the message on it its most futile form.
And at my very very lowest point in the film, just when you think its all over, we get this beautiful speech and probably would have been my quote of the year 1990 if I had been writing back in the day.
The unknown future
rolls towards us
I face it
For the first time
With a sense of hope
Because a machine,
Can learn the value of human life,
Maybe we can too.
Wow, an education into being human provided by a machine built to destroy our very humanity.
Shame, shame shame
It took my legs away from me closed the door and plunged me into a dark dark dark pit.
But while it took away everything I had hoped and previously cherished, it provided me with everything I absolutely needed
This film gave me a sense of emptiness and sorrow
I wanted to be lowered into the lava nd probably take the entire world with me.
And taught me a valuable life lesson.
If I was really meant to be the world’s saviour, someone would have come back in time to save my ass already. Instead, I was born to be a complete and utter bum.
History is quick to show us the eloquent achievements of man kind, over various time periods and across its many trials and tribulations to become the most dominant species on the planet.
And while it may be quick to highlight the atrocities of certain individuals, it is still incredibly slow at highlighting the individual cumulative shame we have all brought upon ourselves.
The worst thing about this is, the film still gets to me, it’s like a heroin addict being repeatedly shown all the acts they performed and the people they hurt on a daily basis and trying to be ok with it.
I know now why I cried, but it is something I can never do
But It doesn’t make me cry anymore.
Infact, it makes me a lil cheerful at time, because that pit I resided in and first hated, has now become my home. I have furnished it with cheap Ikea goods and now have a large selection of alcohol and munchies stacked in the fridge along with many a boxset of dvds of grey’s anatomy and ally mcbeal.
I useed to fear armageddon but now I Idon’t, infact, I fear very little and I think this film is the cornerstone of me overcoming fear by taking away my fundamental hope for mankind.
ALthough It gives me a great new perspective on it. Everyday we don’t end up killing ourselves is a blessing in my eyes. And that is something quite special to be born out of an inherent fear of something you have as a child. Alot of my friends are still scared of the things they are of, as children and while some have outgrown those fears, none of them have managed to turn it into something positive. And for that I am somewhat greatful to look up at humanity in some high regard from my lower deposition in my pit.
I’ll Be bACK
in short, unless you wish to regress to a incredibly shameful child hood state where you reflect on everything you’ve ever done as being completely pathetic, never watch terminator 2 after just watching wall-e, on a seven hour plane ride while off your tits on free wine and dubiously pronounced “the living dead”, by a med student ,with not enough bum fluff to floss your granny’s furry badger.
Here is something for the more observant of you
The more insightful ones of you will see the impact this film has on me.
Descriptions of my internal self with regards to the post I made on Welcome to hotel califonia would highlight that descriptions to four aspects of myself heavily relate to
arnie, edward, sarah and the other character in this film.
Other members of this site will notice that one of my more popular posts on ‘colourless green eyes sleep furiously‘, the template, especially the last few sentences, is built on a similar wavelength to the final lines of this film as well.
There more ya know…
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