‘The Day The Earth Stood Still’

‘When a UFO lands in Washington, DC  bearing a message For Earth’s leaders, all of humanity stands still.  Klaatu (Michael Rennie) has come on behalf of alien life who have been watching Cold War-era nuclear proliferation on Earth.  But it is Klattu’s soft spoken robot that presents a more immediate threat to onlookers.’    Rotten Tomatoes

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The title of the 1951 film reminds me, somewhat, of our present day circumstances as we have retreated to our homes and shuttered our businesses…and our economy has come to a sudden and abrupt halt.  If the pandemic has provided us with any benefit…it has given us time to think.  People are reacting in India as they can see the Himalayas, that are over 100 miles away, for the first time in decades due to less air pollution.  I regularly see families walking on the campus of Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale.  Our typical frenetic pace has become slow and measured and thoughtful.

It is the year of a presidential election…but most of us are more focused on our 2020 pandemic and the health and safety of our loved ones.  Political rhetoric rings hollow…in the face of our imminent mortality.  We ask ourselves what is, truly, important to our well being and happiness?  Is it a Caribbean cruise…or a trip to Europe…or a summer home in a warmer climate.  Or is it the security of our friends and neighbors…and the human family?  Is it really vital and essential to be the wittiest or the one who can attract a crowd…if the words that you say are hollow, or designed to manipulate your listeners…for your benefit?  

I saw a television preacher, this morning, who pursed his lips and blew his breath and announced that he had blown the Coronavirus out of our country.  He went on to explain that he, ‘did not even have to blow very strongly.’  

There is a saying, ‘this too will pass,’ and we will return to our lives of going where we want and staying until we want to return home.  Will we recall that the heroes of our travail were not the rich and famous…but the poor and hard working…essential…employees who cared for us…when we could not care for ourselves?  Will we realize that the Barons of Wall Street have but one goal…that is to become richer with our money?  Will we consider that the mother’s milk for political life…is getting re-elected?  Will we know that many preachers…have the same goal as the Wall Street crowd?  Will the competition that we engage in for almost all perks of western society…seem like a wonderful multi-layered cake with beautiful icing and ornate design…be bitter in our mouths when we cut into it…and it is filled with saw-dust?

In, The Day The Earth Stood Still, the alien, Klaatu, addressed a team of Earth’s scientist as he spoke of the giant robot, Gort, that accompanied him to Earth.  ‘In matters of aggression we have given them absolute power over us.  Your choice is simple: join us and  live in peace, or pursue your present course and face obliteration.  We will be waiting for your answer.’  Klaatu and Gort re-enter the saucer and depart.’    Wikipedia

So, now we are living in the reality, in real time, of the sudden and total change of our way of life.  After much suffering and death and sadness…we will have the opportunity to return to a new normal…what will it be…

One response

  1. Classic! I remember seeing this one in a theater…. Twice in one day!

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