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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Quack Fu!

There are certain things from my childhood that I'd prefer to not revisit. I hope to never get the hives again. I hope I never believe that skeletons come out and prowl the streets after midnight. I hope I never go back to watching movies on VHS and pan-and-scan. And I'd like to stay away from a repeat viewing of Howard the Duck.

I loved Howard the Duck when I was a kid growing up in New Orleans. I had a poster of him and owned a comic book, and I watched the film at least once. Even though I can't really remember what all happened in the film, other than Howard popping out of a large egg and Lea Thompson dedicating a song to him towards the end of the film, I'd prefer to keep it that way. Why? It's not because the film is one of the most reviled films George Lucas has been a part of (next to The Phantom Menace). Frankly, it's simply because of how there can be experiences, like bands and movies, that can only truly affect you in your youth. Trying to revisit them in adulthood can yield unsatisfactory results.

Numerous movies I watched when I was young still resonate with me: Star Wars, Back to the Future, and the Muppet Movie, for starters. Yet like watching episodes of Full House, watching something like Howard the Duck would make me wonder why I really watched something in the first place. I argue that I was young and had yet to acquire what most people call "taste." But you have to start somewhere. Starting somewhere years ago gets you to where you are now, right?

We aren't born with an acute sense of taste, especially with films. I've yet to meet a toddler who prefers La Strada over Elmo's World. I've yet to meet a toddler who finds Wilco's later efforts overrated compared to Being There. The comparisons can go on and on. What I'm saying is, give credit to something that can hold somebody's attention, because years down the road, when people can decide what's cool and not cool, credit is going to be given to something you might have thought was pure crap.

I accept the fact that someday, my younger cousins and my nieces will probably praise something I thought was utter garbage when it was first around. I don't want to be that loud, obnoxious dude in a record store that tries to present concrete truth that Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac was better than the Buckingham/Nicks era. I don't want to be that smug guy in the movie theater line in Annie Hall who thought the Fellini film was not one of Fellini's best. Of course I'm going to have my opinions on things, but I think it's important to give people some room on stuff I adamantly dislike.

Plenty of people gave me room to find my own opinion when I was growing up, so I hope I can do the same. (And I'm glad my mother told me only a few years ago that she thought Speed Racer was stupid.)

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