Can't Spell Quixotic Without A Queue

« April 2005 »

Memo to the Star Wars Line: I'm sorry, but YOU ARE DUMB.

I feel bad about this. I really do. Because on general principle, I don't think people should be made fun of MERELY for dressing up in Jedi robes and standing in line to see a shitty movie. I don't understand it, I'd never DO it, but those two factors do not, in and of themselves, put you in the crosshairs of this space.

I actually view it very similarly to going to church, something else I don't really understand and would never do. But, you know, doing ridiculous things that make you feel better is part of human nature. We all do it. Some people collect Hummel figurines, some people play videogames, some people watch the collegiate basketyball. Whatever creams your Twinkie. I classify all this stuff under the broad umbrella term of "hobbies".

But whether your hobby is loving Jesus or loving Jar-Jar, the most vital tool for enjoying any liesuretime activity is a healthy sense of fucking perspective. Some people find Jar-Jar annoying. Some people don't even care who Jar-Jar is. And some people resent it when Jar-Jar gets quoted as a solution to problems, either personal or political. A smidge of perspective, a hint of self-awareness, that's all I ask from hobbyists, especially my fellow hobbyists in the GND community.

And all it would take is a tiny bit of perspective to come to the realization that lining up more than a month in advance, for a movie you don't want to see, at a theater where the movie will not in fact be playing, is completely and utterly insane. Yet that is what's happening, right now, even as we speak, in Los Angeles, in front of Mann's Chinese Theater. Star Wars fans who lined up for Episode 1 in front of Mann's, who lined up for Episode 2 in front of Mann's, are now lined up for Episode 3 in front of Mann's, despite Episode 3 being booked in the Arclight Dome about a mile away. And it's not like they don't know. They know. They don't care.

They are doing this despite, for many of them, having an avowed lack of interest in the movie itself, due to the acknowledged suckitude of the prequels to date. They are doing this because, well, NERDS LOVE RITUAL. Seriously. The Vatican could learn a thing or two about ritualized obsession from the GND community. But why take my word for it. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Keep the line at the Chinese. To the death." - See, this is what I mean about perspective. It's not to the death. It's not even to the pain. It's "to the movie". Once the movie opens, everyone will either go home or head off to where the movie's actually playing. Death isn't even on the table as an option. No need to bring it up.

"I think it's rather telling that we insist of having the Line at the Chinese, whether the film plays there or not. It's completely the opposite of pathetic that we are lining up where the movie may not play. The Line IS more important than the movie. And so we must hold the Line where the Line can thrive. - Tune in next week for another exciting episode of Right Premise, Wrong Conclusion!.

"This line IS STILL HAPPENING. We will still have A HELL OF A @#$% TIME. We will RAISE A SPACE FREIGHTER WORTH OF MONEY FOR STARLIGHT. My son will see EP3 in the THEATER IT'S MEANT TO BE IN. And in the end I will see if with the people I wouldn't see it without...ALL OF YOU! THIS IS OUR DESTINY! - Apparently, Star Wars destinies are like Star Wars action figures - considerably scaled down and under-articulated.

I mean, let's say we dive headfirst into the idea that lining up for the movie has somehow evolved into a social event that transcends both lining up and the movie. Let's assume that the particular brand of overly clingy, slightly creepy "community building" for stuff like this is the noble and wonderful thing it's made out to be. Why then, if it's so wonderful, is it tied to an event that can only happen three times, can only happen every three years, and will never happen again after May 19? If you're already in it for the general camaraderie and toy lightsaber fights, just throw a party or have a convention. Sure, you can't do it outside, on the street, for a month, but who the fuck wants to spend the entire month on the street outside with the same group of people? I like my friends too, but eventually I want them to go home.

The only people more deluded than the ones who don't care that they're standing in the wrong place for a movie they'll hate are the people who are convinced that BY standing in line at the wrong place for a movie they'll hate, it will magically transform into the RIGHT place for a movie they'll LOVE. And while I'm sure anyone willing to wear a Stormtrooper outfit on Hollywood Boulevard can convince themselves Episode 3 won't suck, the rest is just another case of fandom not realizing how devalued "fan power" has become.

Perspective. It's not just for artists anymore.