The Spice of Life

November 20, 2010

We are told often enough, usually by our mothers, that variety is the spice of life. It is also true online – without variety in your sources, all you have are people who agree with you. Fun for a while perhaps, but ultimately lacking in stimulation.

This struck me particulary when this morning I saw the following two tweets in my tweet-stream:

It’s my blog and I’ll whine if I want to (or why the end of the Harry Potter movies isn’t all that)

November 16, 2010

The Guardian newspaper has an article from the charmingly named Jemima Owen about how the last Harry Potter film coming out is like an end to childhood.

Break out the violins.

“When the film of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released on 4 November 2001, I was 11 and in my final year of primary school … Nine years later, I find myself again nervously glancing at my watch on Friday night as I make my way towards the Leicester Square Odeon in London”

It isn’t even ten years. Not a whole decade.

Try this :

1977 : I am in the middle of primary school, in the fourth class. We take a class (school?) excursion into the city of Sydney, to the Hoyts Entertainment Centre (majority owned at the time by 20th Century Fox) which had opened only one year earlier. This is truly one of the formative experiences of my childhood – we saw the movie “Star Wars” on the big screen. Really big. Really loud. I was nine years old.

The scale of the place amazed me. The glamour of the cinema itself, and the city it resided in fired my imagination for years to come. For some pictures of the cinema at that time, here’s what the National Library of Australia has : (I’d love to copy them in here but who has time to fill out the request forms?)

For many years afterwards my dreams were haunted by, as I discovered in my twenties, this image of the exterior of Hoyts from across the road. Really. I dreamt that picture, in colour, at night, lights blazing and the names of movies up on the boards out front for all to see. Is it any wonder I held a soft spot for another movie that I saw there over four hundred times through the nineties? But I digress …

All this was the setting for the mind blowing experience that was Star Wars.

Fast forward now to 2005. The release of the final installment in the Star Wars saga. The mouth of the snake chewing on its own tail that is Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. That, people, is a wait of [sound of gears grinding in brain…] TWENTY EIGHT YEARS.

So take your Generation Y (or whoever-the-marketing-department-thinks-you-are) whining about waiting nine whole years for a cycle to end and suck on it. I waited three times longer and was so completely devasted by the experience of it all coming to an end that, frankly, I’m not sure I have recovered from. Perhaps I shouldn’t have seen it. I certainly came home, lay on the couch and was, in all seriousness, depressed for some time that it had really ended.

For so much of my life there had been the promise of three more episodes. An ending and a beginning all tied up neatly. When it was done, so was I.

Take this as a warning. Prepare yourselves, come the ides of 2011 don’t come crawling back here saying that I didn’t warn you.