Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Penthouse View of Insanity

My apartment has two skylights, which would be great if I lived somewhere where you could see the sky while you were home for more than three months out of the year. Instead, my apartment lets me get a magnified volume version of whatever type of weather is currently occurring. Tonight, it's a rainstorm*. Because the sound of the rain and wind has made it impossible for me to sleep at a god-fearing hour, I've been forced to turn to my dark subconscious and television for succor. In a cruel twist of fate, they were both focused on the 1993 film, "Demolition Man."

I first saw "Demolition Man," in high school. I grew up in the country, and spent many a Saturday night hanging out with my brothers watching public television. Occasionally, our attention would wander to one of the other late night stations; and in North-Central Iowa, one of them would invariably be playing "Demoliton Man." The film, a dystopian action film, or at least a movie that aspires to be a dystopian action film, stars Wesley Snipes, Sylvester Stalone, and Sandra Bullock as people, um, in a future where there is no violence except that violence propagated by Wesley Snipes. Also, Taco Bell is the only restaurant (see, Annie, the future's a bright place). Anyway, the movie is completely ridiculous in the most mediocre of ways possible. Stuff blows up, Sylvester Stalone pretends he's read "A Brave New World," Sandra Bullock enjoys one last moment as a starring actor, and Wesley Snipes plays a prisoner who refuses to play by societies rules. I can't remember if he didn't pay his taxes, or if it was something else. The film survives in two forms. One, as a cheap movie that any channel can presumably secure the rights to play in exchange for a bag of yogurt covered pretzels, and two, as a pinball machine that is uncommonly prevalent in the Pacific Northwest. I've seen four "Demoliton Man," pinball machines between Seattle and Portland. Or put another way, one machine for each person who saw the theatrical release. The mere presence of the "Demoliton Man," machine at the bowling alley I frequent seems to have led to an increase in the showing of the film on late night television, particularly on nights I can't sleep. I can only conclude that this is part of a conspiracy by the Illuminati to dull the senses of the already slow-witted parts of the populous. Well, to you, shadowy conspiracy members, I say, um, it's working. That film is a train-wreck, and I cannot stop watching.

*Counter to stereotypes, I have not experienced that many rainstorms in Seattle. The city seems more prone to a constant grayness from October to May than to any outright fits of ill-weather.