This month, I have felt very much my sub-culture status. Or, to put it another way, the media is making me feel as lonely as Eleanor Rigby.
I am one of the members of a group that is completely and absolutely and infinitely indifferent to Star Wars.
When the series first arrived on the scene, I did not hurry out to see it. In fact, I have only once had the pleasure of viewing one of the infinite sequels or prequels – someone dragged me to it. My memory is not at all of the movie, but of the headache that I felt as I watched amateurish muppet like creatures cavort across the screen, and heard much dialogic bombast. If only it had really been a Muppets movie!
Of course, where I heard bombast, others, millions of them, heard the siren’s song. Such is life.
I am not hostile to the franchise, as I am to, say, the James Bond franchise, which I consider a pernicious machine for spreading racism, imperialism, sexism and all the rest of the rotten isms that are like facets of our national psychosis. It’s the James Bond cancer, and its coming our way in your local multiplex plus as American foreign policy, dudes!
It is almost impossible to be a fully subscribed member of the American media hookup without absorbing mucho Star Wars lore. Darth Vader is perhaps the most famous fictional devil figure in modern culture. But I don’t know whether the Empire is good or bad, or exactly what it is. And the details of George Lucas’s creation, which are debated with connoisseurial froth on twitter, facebook, Slate, Salon, etc. make my eyes glaze over. A non-fan in a world of fans is in a curiously embarrassing position, like a non-involved person witnessing a domestic squabble: one has the sense of being de trop, of being put, by sheer accident, in the position of a voyeur.
I wonder if Adam will someday want to see these movies? And I wonder if they will seem less irrating to me as an old man than they seemed to me as a young sprout? I’m prepared, I think. Adam, like Andy Warhol, is a proponent of the school that says that the essence of art is not uniqueness but repetition. Thus, there is a version of the GingerBread man (“I want the one with the old woman in it”) that I have now heard a good twenty times. So if I am forced to actually watch Star Wars, so be it. I plan, though, to enjoy to the full my subculture until then.