Monday, March 14, 2011

Ten Things I Learned from Science Fiction & Fantasy

Spring, 1986: A movie called Legend opens in theatres. I’ve only recently mastered the art of not pooping on myself. Goblins, unicorns, faeries, blurred lines between good and evil: all become part of my developing paradigm. As do slap bracelets, new wave music, and Nintendo. (The movie tanks at the box office.)

Summer, 1986: Another movie opens in theatres, a little flick by the name of Labyrinth. Tagline: Where everything seems possible and nothing is what it seems. (It also bombs. wtf, America?)

1987: The Lost Boys hits theatres, and doesn’t bomb. Kiefer’s mullet takes full credit for this.

Kids see everything. Kids learn from everything, and often not the intended lesson. So what did I learn?

I learned to be careful what I wish for. I learned that my reality is not the only reality, and I learned to embrace the strange. I learned that the sins of our fathers shape the world but our own choices define us. I learned that mistakes can be redeemed, at a cost. I learned to be flexible, because there are forces at work beyond my knowing. I learned to think outside the box. I learned to be compassionate, because the surface is only the barest distorted-mirror reflection of things.

I learned that nothing is what it seems, and that’s awesome.

I also learned that men in lavender spandex leggings are sexy, something I’m still trying to unlearn.

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