Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Life Lessons From the Movie Volcano

I have no doubt I should be studying right now. Given the massive midterm I have in 6 days, 17 hours, and 36 minutes that has the potential to alter my future, I'm clearly spending my time well. That being said, any who claim to know me should know that I have a great love for 90's national/natural disaster movies. Recently I had the opportunity to watch Volcano, my favorite movie ever made about a pyroclastic eruption in the middle of LA. Among the other catastrophes my young eyes witnessed on my television screen as I was raised (including, but not limited to alien invaders, massive asteroids, more volcanoes, twisters, more asteroids, and dinosaurs in San Diego), Volcano shaped me into the paranoid, anxious person I am today. Viewing it again, here are some important things that can be applied to our everyday lives.

1. It is never "just an eathquake"

To borrow a phrase from the best series ever written, constant vigilance! Don't let your guard down friends. Especially when you've been warned. I made the mistake of watching "Final Destination" as a young one. Sometimes death (or misfortune) is just out to get you. That near miss is a clear message that you should stay away from any and all fast moving or sharp objects. Also, taking vacation is a terrible idea. Don't even think about it. The entire city will probably start to burn down just as you start to walk out of the office. Or 7 city workers will become vaporized while everyone seems weirdly ok with it. There's always something nefarious lurking under the surface. Possibly a giant volcano that not a single geologist or scientist seems able to identify or predict until it erupts. In the middle of one of the highest populated urban areas in the country.

2. Racism is bad. Teamwork however is not. 

Mr. African American gentleman is rightly frustrated with the dismissive and bigoted LAPD officer with whom he has the misfortune to run into again just as his street is burning up and lava is streaming down Wilshire Blvd. Good thing they decide to unhandcuff him just in time for him to singlehandedly save the city. At least until the lava shifts direction and heads straight for the hospital where the entire city's 4 million person population is being treated (see above lesson, you're never safe) . If ever you feel you are being subjected to unfair or prejudiced treatment, find a way to heroically intervene. Then and only then will you receive the reasonable help you've been seeking. Also, as precocious and idiotic child who ran into a garage rigged with explosives notes "they all look the same" covered in ash. Except they don't.

3. Love can be unexpected. And terribly timed.

So, maybe Anne Heche's best friend (and lady love?!) was vaporized mere hours before, and she is likely in a state of severe psychological shock and trauma. But, Tommy Lee's eyes are just so dreamy! And did you see the way he took charge there and spent the majority of the 99 minute movie shouting at people? MMmmmmm. Similarly in life, you will usually find love at the most inopportune times with some very incompatible people. Don't fear. Live in the moment, especially while the rest of the world is collapsing around you in a toxic cloud of ash, smoke, and magma. You probably won't last much longer anyways. YOLO!

4. Teenagers are Helpless. And idiotic. 

Never, I mean, NEVER leave your child with one. Especially if there's a river of hot magma heading their way. And they're in a blast zone of buildings seconds away from being blown up. Unless Tommy Lee is nearby. He'll pull them out of the rubble without a scratch. Oh, that Tommy Lee....

5. Always listen to the person yelling loudest and longest.

That entire scene where the nicotine-addicted Metro guy melts could've been avoided if he just listened to Tommy Lee. I mean, 7 dudes just got vaporized the day before within feet of the subway line. I mean, really? You don't think that's a little weird? Although, that scene where he slowly descends into the red hot magma and literally melts before our eyes was nearly as traumatic as that scene in Who Framed Roger Rabbit when Judge doom is flattened, eyes pops out, then slowly and terrifyingly disintegrates. It's good for you to watch as a child. It builds character, and neurosis. For heaven's sake, if someone is angrily shouting at you to close the red line, CLOSE THE RED LINE!