Independence Day: One Year On
by Alan Benson
Well, it's been almost a year since those aliens tried to take over the
earth, and I think it's time for us to
step back and reflect upon the past 12 months. After all, a lot has
happened since then what with the
rebuilding and all. Sometimes, it's hard to remember that a year ago, we
faced utter destruction. At the
time, the takeover made big news, but nowadays it's like it never happened.
Have we already forgotten that
just one year ago we lost Houston, Chicago, and the El Toro Air Force Base?
I think we have, and that's why, one year on, I think it's important to
look back and consider the impact a
couple thousand of those aliens and a whole bunch of laser bolts had on our
Of course, some of you are probably asking why we would want to relive all
of that bad stuff. Most people
were content with the excellent documentary, Independence Day, that
came out shortly after the
aliens arrived. The movie, which made millions, summed up the invasion
pretty well; more importantly, it
proved that documentaries don't have to be tepid, low-budget downers like
My only complaint is that I didn't think the movie was exceptionally
even-handed. The aliens did have their
bad points -- blowing up the White House, destroying New York, tying up
traffic, screwing up the weather
on my trip to Austin -- but I think the fact that the filmmakers made no
attempt to get the other point of
view made the aliens seem worse than they were. (Perhaps if they were a bit
more responsible, their film
might have even won an Oscar, like that documentary about Marlon Brando's
days in the mafia.)
Even though the aliens were plotting the total destruction of the planet,
they did have some good points, too.
very cool flying saucers;
They had a
gutsy, take-charge attitude that's all too rare nowadays; and
They had a
very tough anti-Brent Spiner stance.
I don't think the documentary did a very good job of presenting the aliens'
side of things. Perhaps it would
have been better in the hands of a more skilled documentarian someone
like Oliver North, who did
wonders with the story of Ted Kennedy's brother, or that nice Robert
Zemeckis, who did that movie about
that young fellow who ran across the country all those times and met Nixon.
Now, back to the events a year ago. I, like most Americans, was surprised
when the first pictures of the
aliens arrived on the TV. I was expecting someone a bit more handsome,
someone like that David Bowie chap
who fell to earth in the '60s (though I could do without those two-tone
eyes; they still give me the creeps to
Even if the aliens weren't cute, they could at least have a good
personality like that Mork fellow or Alf
(though that cat-eating habit would probably get him in dutch with the
liberal media nowadays). Instead,
they were some of the most unpleasant, ugly creatures I ever laid eyes on.
And rude, too; they blew up the
Empire State Building without as much as a "by your leave." I swear, Emily
Post is right; the world is going
to H-E-double-L in a handbasket.
I do have to say that I admired President Bill Pullman's handling of the
affair. I doubt I could have handled
losing my wife in the midst of an alien invasion as well as he did. And
then to go on and fly around shooting
up the aliens after that, well, that reminded me exactly why I voted for
him in the first place. Good show
President Pullman; here's to four more years!
Of course, a lot of the credit should go to computer mastermind Jeff
Goldblum and pilot Will Smith. I seem
to remember that Mr. Goldblum had a problem a couple of years ago where he
was turning into a fly, but he
must have licked it. It just goes to show you that given the right
know-how, there's nothing science can't
do. Both of these guys are war heroes now, and they both seem like real
stand-up fellows. Thanks for the
That's not to say everything's hunky-dory now that the aliens have been
defeated. I think some aspects of
the invasion could have been handled better. For instance, the whole
cleanup was a mess. I know the
infrastructure was all smashed up, but it looks like they could have found
some garbage trucks to haul away
those big old crashed ships by now. I mean, it's been a year and all!
And that's not mentioning the smell! I don't want to be rude, but
whooo-whee! Sometimes, when the breeze
is right, the whole neighborhood smells like rotting alien. It gets in your
clothes, and your hair. Yuck. They
can put a man on the moon, make clear deodorant, and repel an alien
invasion, but they can't invent an air
freshener for alien-stink? I find that hard to believe!
Of course, you can't have everything you want as soon as you want them. I
suppose we should spend less
time sniffing the air and more time thinking about how lucky we were that
Apple made an
alien-mainframe-to-Macintosh converter cable. Happy Fourth of July, everyone!
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