Someone posted that little fact on FB this morning. The man is 87 today. Happy birthday Mr. Shatner!
Thinking of him brings back some great memories. It’s not just about Star Trek – it’s about a time and the places I was in, and how those times shaped me.
There was always a certain sense of innocence, hope and belief in the inherent goodness of people/life that the Star Trek movies featuring Captain Kirk embodied. I loved that he was so much bigger than life, that his character was so incredibly over-the-top, it was like watching a manic boy scout save the world. You knew that it was all going to work out, the good guys would survive – the only casualty would be the hapless, nameless ensign in the red suit who got chosen for the away team at the last moment.
Entertainment is so different these days. Our heroes are always flawed (realistic), characters we love are constantly being killed (viewer investment) and the outcome is never guaranteed (spinoffs).
I’m not saying I don’t enjoy movies and television as they are now. I’m just saying it’s different.
And when I think of those lost times I feel my whole being smile. It was an event to go stand in line for a movie with your friends and family. Entertaining each other, talking, laughing and joking. Begging the staff to let you in so you could go to the bathroom. Rushing to get the best seats. Hurrying to get popcorn so that you didn’t miss any of the trailers or the short before the actual movie. When the movie finally started you were READY. You were invested.
That doesn’t happen anymore. We pre-purchase tickets for all the big releases. Sometimes our seats are already pre-chosen. We meet moments before the movie theatre doors open, get our popcorn, file into an already dark theatre, sit in our seats and barely say a word to one another. We check our phones to avoid watching commercials and barely pay attention to the trailers because we’ve already seen them on television. There is no such thing as a short anymore, which puzzles me because they are always a category at the Oscars. Who gets to see them?
Going to the movies is just business now. I find myself leaving the theatre feeling empty no matter how good the film was. It’s just something to do. You can say you saw it. But there’s no connection. So sad.
I’m sitting here this morning, writing this while I listen to a Bruce Springsteen music station. It’s my way-back machine. I guess I’m just feeling nostalgic and a little bit yearny today. Wishing for simpler times, simpler pleasures, and, as Bruce sings – a little of that Human Touch.