The trailer for the movie Cabin In The Woods shows an eagle flying majestically through the air–until it crashes into a force field and disintegrates.
Today, it’s that eagle. Last month, John Carter slew several monsters in the arena with his superhuman strength. Another time, it was the Tauntaun in Empire Strikes Back dying at Han Solo’s hands as he sliced it open with a light saber. The liberty loving Autobots kill dozens of indigenous Sharkticons on Quintessa in that show’s original animated movie. Remember that Reek Obi-wan put down in Attack of the Clones with his light saber?
It’s amazing in an era where we’ve made so many strides towards tolerance and equality that flagrant animal abuse from imaginary means is still tolerated. Indeed, many people cheered when John Carter slew the beasts opposing him.
Who speaks for these beasts, real and imagined, when they are put down by futuristic weapons? Does anyone truly care about their plight? Is it just another symptom of where we as a society have gone terribly wrong when we can’t find it in our hearts to love these virtual beasts enough to put an end to their virtual deaths?
As if mocking humanity’s innate ability to care for the imaginary, toy store and comic shops are supplied with ample light saber toys, Phaser replicas, Nerf guns and licensed pretend swords. Cruelly, unjustly, priming our very children to grow to love tools of pretend mass destruction. When your children have grown to the right age, will they still care for cgi animals? Will they love the Rancor or the Muppets as I did when I was a kid? Or will their first instinct be to put down Miss Piggy with what they deem justifiable force?
We have strict gun laws but there’s simply no consideration for pretend weapons. Granted, the United States has had enough sense to ban toy guns that look realistic but their solution only goes so far. With access to futuristic and unrealistic looking toy guns, toy swords and so on, children are still free to indulge in imagining taking out pretend prey.
Is popular entertainment to blame, with its unwholesome images? Could the Government do more then it has? Or is the problem simply that parents aren’t doing a good enough job? Perhaps their own morals concerning real and imaginary animals have been allowed to degrade over time? Perhaps they’ve forgotten the lesson their own parents and grandparents learned from films such as Bambi (oh, Bambi. How you suffered when your mother was taken from you at so young and tender an age! How can people forget your agony so easily?)
For every film such as Spielberg’s E.T., the Extra-terrestrial, there are counter-films such as Aliens and Starship Troopers. Films where alien life forms are murdered wholesale by futuristic artillery. Generations have been brainwashed to have little or no consideration for the imaginary beast.
The only viable solution seems to be to get people to change their attitudes–to make them care again. Watch more wholesome films (like last year’s film, Rise Of The Planet of the Apes, showed a man who loved his genetically enhanced ape like a child. Sure, the apes eventually break out and cause all manor of havoc, but the message is correct. Don’t mistreat cgi simians in your care). Last year’s The Muppets also seems to have been received positively by film going audiences.
Perhaps starting a day of action to raise awareness could also be a turning point in this important battle. The International Day to Raise Awareness About Protecting Imaginary Animals from Imaginary Weapons (or IDTRAAPIAFIW Day for short).
Start your children earlier. Buy them a teddy bear or maybe a plush Gungan. Make a donation in their name to the Imaginary Animal Protection Fund. Raise them up, teach them the morally correct thing to do is love pretend critters and watch them never waiver in their love, even as adults.
Is it too late to turn back the clock? Have we gone too far? This writer believes the answer is a resounding “no”. Attitudes change all the time. All it really takes it one brave voice to stand up and defy the crowd. One voice can affect positive change. One voice can make all the difference in the world when there is an injustice to be addressed. I urge you to be that voice. Stand up. Say “no” to cruelty against imaginary animals by imaginary weapons. Change the world so we all might have a better tomorrow.