Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Scary Places

The Jubilee Weekend gave Joe and me the opportunity to go away for the weekend to Glasgow.  With the extra day at the end it didn’t feel as rushed as usual.  Spending time with the family was not a clock watching activity.

 Sunday morning we decided to check out the cinema.  I suppose we could have checked out the churches, and we have done so in the past, but this time we opted to go and see “Prometheus”, the prequel To “Alien”.  All I have seen of Alien and its sequels have been short snatches – aliens exploding out of peoples’ innards.  I’m challenged enough dealing with the real world and some of our not-so-alien explosions.

 I was not that impressed.  I might have coped better if the film had not been 3D.  My own prescription glasses did not take well to being climbed all over by another pair of glasses.   They didn’t sit well.  Maybe only certain sections of a 3D film lend themselves to 3D technology – I remember ducking just the once when alien ships flew over my shoulder.

 There was simply too much about the film that was not believable.  The aliens and their fiendish plan to conquer the earth – I had no problem with that.  It’s what they do.  The mutation of a good looking human into an alien – that happens.  I can even swallow that half a dozen humans fighting the entire alien race, with their less superior weaponry, come out on top.

 What I really found unacceptable was the irresponsibility or the arrogance of the human race – pushing buttons to open doors and having absolutely no idea what’s on the other side.  Or waving to alien snakes lurking in black oily stuff and saying “Hello, buddy!”  Or trying to take the mutating human being, who is fast becoming an alien, back on the spaceship.  What are they thinking?  They seem to have misplaced their common sense.  I cannot believe there aren’t any safety protocols in place to deal with alien snakes, mysterious buttons and mutating human beings.

 I acknowledge that you have to take risks.  It’s hardly good film fare if everyone stays on the ship and strange buttons don’t get pushed and aliens are kept at arms-length.  One needs a few explosions and mucus squishing between one’s fingertips.  It just seemed to me that a voice of caution coming from someone somewhere was much needed and very absent.

 You can see where the irresponsibility comes in – but what about the arrogance?  We are always being told that we are the most highly developed species on the planet.  We are the top of the food chain and the decisions we make affect all manner of life on the earth.  It seems we carry this top dog mentality about with us – that we have the right to do what we like, where we like, to whom we like and no one can stop us.  We press the button because it’s our right to press it, no one can stop us from finding out what’s on the other side.  We have a right to satisfy our curiosity.  The alien snake is somehow inferior to us because, after all, it’s just a snake.  It doesn’t carry a stun gun.

 So, that was my take on “Prometheus”.  Not the movie of the year as it promised to be.

 Incidentally, while waiting in the queue to buy the tickets I was musing.

 I was assuming that “Prometheus” was going to be scary, because “Alien”, the bits I had seen, had been scary.  I was thinking about my usual Sunday mornings when I was at church.  They were very different activities – watching a scary film on a Sunday morning compared with sitting in a safe pew in a church.

 “Safe pews?” said the still small voice, “If any church has safe pews there is something wrong with the church!”

 Yes, churches are places of safety – but they should also be places of danger.  When you start listening to a word that that is God breathed, and you let it fill you, you are like the mutating human being – changing not into a scary alien, but into the likeness of Christ himself.  Instead of pushing a button and having no clue to what’s on the other side, you claim promises, trusting that God will do what He says – secure in your faith that what happens next will be God’s good will for you.  You say, “Hello, buddy” not to alien snakes swirling in black oil, but to friends, neighbours and strangers you meet throughout your day. 

 No, church can be a dangerous place – when you are serious about God.

 As long as you are serious about God though, you are always safe!

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