Funny, The Things You Miss

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// February 19th, 2007 // Blog

I seem to be making a number of embarrassing 'confessions', of late. Well, here's another one to add to the collection: one of my favourite films is… Independence Day.

I know, it reeks of cheesy 'America saves the day' patriotism, but i still love it. It's a no-brainer, kill the aliens, save the planet, let's all hug each other, guaranteed-to-make-me-feel-good, kinda flick, with some ace one liners, most of which belong to Will Smith's character.

Example 1:
Alien crawling out of its crashed spaceship is greeted by the thrusting fist of an angry Smith, and the words: “WELCOME TO EARTH!”, soon followed by: “Now, that's what i call a close encounter…”.
Example 2:
Unhappy Smith dragging unconscious alien across the arid Nevada desert floor:
“You know, this was supposed to be my weekend off, but noooo… you got me out here, draggin' yo heavy ass through the burnin' desert, wit' 'ur dreadlocks stickin' out da back of ma parachute. You gotta come down here with an attitude, actin' all big and bad… AND WHAT THE HELL IS THAT SMELL?!?!”
AAAAAAAAAAH! [Smith proceeds to give the alien a good kicking]
But I ain't mad.”

Since its release onto video, i must have watched the film at least twenty times, perhaps more, the last time being a few years ago. However, last night, whilst flicking through the channel guide, i saw that it was on, and even though it was already half way through, and i hate to watch anything after it has already started (if i miss the first 15 mins of a film, i usually don't watch it; similarly, if i miss the first episode of a series, i don't tend to watch the rest; that's why i've never seen a single episode of 24, The Office or Lost), i decided to break my usual habit, and flipped over.

Eventually, i reached the part of the film where Jeff Goldblum's character has the idea of infecting the 'mother ship' with a computer virus, which would disable the shields of the ships on the ground, and give the humans a short window of opportunity to launch a global attack. As all the satellites had been disabled/ destroyed, the rest of the world's armies had to be notified of America's 'great plan' via morse code (i wonder if that's even feasible? Ah well). The scene then cut to a military base somewhere in the Middle East (i forget where), and it is during this chapter that i witnessed five seconds of footage, which i swear, i had never ever noticed before:
A fighter jet was shown, with a big Israeli flag waving over the top, and some soldiers stood next to it, shortly followed by the shot of a similar jet plane, with a large Arab flag (i don't know which one), and an Arab pilot looking over with some mistrust, at the Israelis.

You mean, ID4 has a message? That certainly was a shock to the system! How the heck did i miss that?

After the humans had destroyed the aliens (sorry to spoil the 'surprise' ending, to those who haven't seen the film), the newly discovered footage got me thinking:

Ok, so the aim of that little segment was to make us realise that, bottom-line, we're all human, all members of the tribe Bani Adam, and so we should put our 'petty' differences aside, and work towards the betterment of the species; in this case, killing the high-tech aliens who want to exterminate us with their super-charged death rays.
HOWEVER, now that said high-tech aliens had themselves been wiped out, what is to stop the humans going back to their old ways? Would they now let bygones finally be bygones?

My guess: No.

What would most likely happen is, that there would be an almighty race by all able governments to salvage any remnants of the crashed alien spacecraft, in order to learn the secrets of their awesome technology, harness the power of their weaponry, and thus gain dominion over the world, and maybe even the galaxy. No doubt, many human lives would be lost in the process, and God alone knows about the safety of our fellow inhabitants of the Milky Way.

I also wondered about the ethics involved in wiping out an entire civilization of alien creatures (the whole race migrated together, from planet to planet, like celestial nomads). We could go with the classic, “They started it!”, which would be true. Also, the US president did try to negotiate a truce with one of them (the one that had crashed to Earth after an aerial tussle with Smith), which it quite rudely refused; but that was just one alien. It was probably in a very bad mood at the time – wouldn't you be, if you had been punched in the face, dragged through the desert, and almost dissected by a crazy, long-haired xenobiologist? Thus it seemed a little harsh to kill every last one of them, without trying to contact the leader. I suppose a few aliens may have survived the destruction (long enough for a good poke in a secret laboratory, anyway).

It's funny that i never had such thoughts before; i think it highlights how ignorant i used to be on the world, and its many problems. However, i am usually more optimistic about mankind; is this a sign that i am becoming a tad cynical with age? Am i growing up, or growing old?

Hmm… this no-brainer's surely got ma lil grey cells a buzzin'!

3 Responses to “Funny, The Things You Miss”

  1. Ryan says:

    I watched that too!

    I loved the part where the Israelis and Palestinians came together to kill the aliens.

    And I think there were the British and the Iraqis also working together…

    Peace for a common goal to annihilate the invading aliens.


  2. AnonyMouse says:

    Hmmmm, I haven’t seen that movie… huh, I don’t think I’ve even heard of it! I wonder why…

    Well, since YOU like it so much, I’m gonna put a hold on it at the public library… :D

  3. iMuslim says:

    Ryan, just to be pedantic, i don’t think it was the Palestinians; only because they don’t have the money for a fancy jet fighter plane… perhaps they helped out on the ground? The Brit soldiers had the most stereotypical English accents i’ve heard in a long while! It was really funny to hear that again.

    Mouse, perhaps you’ll enjoy it, inshallah. I imagine your brothers will for sure, with all the alien-killing action! A bit of mild swearing here and there, though… so be warned.

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