We have choices in life. It’s often so easy to overlook them that it took me most of today to realize what choices I faced over the last 14hrs and what significant choices lie ahead during this deployment and beyond.
I just finished watching Interstellar. The first time I watched it was in little Lawton, OK and I thought it was awesome. A bit much to wrap my brain around, but a very cool sci-fi. My wife isn’t much of a science geek, but she wanted to talk about black holes and relativity for the next two hours!
However this time, it was a different experience. Yes, I already knew what was going to happen in the film. But I found out I had been missing the entire heart of the movie. It’s not about gravity, relativity, and a mission to find a new planet. That’s just the plot you block heads!
The real point of the movie is so powerful it gives me goose bumps… moves me to tears. It’s a movie about the power of love.
“Love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends the dimensions of time and space. Maybe we should trust that even if we can’t understand it yet.”
Anne Hathaway’s character says that line, as she is trying to convince her fellow scientists to make a decision based on love, not on data. Because she knows in her heart of hearts it’s the right one. (And it was…)
But it didn’t fully hit me until Matthew McConaughey’s character is trying to send life-saving data to Earth from another dimension. He tries to send it on every frequency and data channel known to man; all to no avail.
That’s when McConaughey realizes it’s his love for his daughter that will get the message across time and space. He ended up on this wild sci-fi mission not because he was a great pilot, but because he had such love for his child that he could harness it to reach her. (And he succeeds.)
Ok. So perhaps you haven’t seen Interstellar and this makes no sense. That’s what happens when I try to explain the beautiful kernel of truth in an utterly complex movie that is nearly 3hrs long. But take my word for it- underneath all the sci-fi coolness is a message people from all walks of life know. Whether it be Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, your pastor, Gary Zukav, your child, Oprah, a parent, or you… people throughout time have known the power of love.
Whether or not you’ve seen the movie and understand what I’m saying, stick with me here, ok? Because this feels important.
Earlier today, as we were delayed in Germany due to an engine flaming out, I went to see a movie at the base theater. It didn’t really matter which one we watched, as we were just looking to relax. So Matt and I went with Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, “The Hateful 8”. I didn’t know what it was about, just that it would probably be like many other Tarantino films: a western with strange twists, some memorable dialogue and likely a level of violence.
Well, it was very much a Tarantino film, but by far the most violent and foul of his creations. It brought racism, violence, and an utter lack of compassion for life to a new cinematic level. Three long hours of it. Was the acting good? Yes. Was the plot unique? Yes. Did it make me feel ugly for watching it? Yes.
But throughout the movie, I kept thinking, “What’s the point of this movie?” Is it to glorify wanton violence and death? It must be. ‘Cause, that was the entire focus of the film.
I hear that Samuel Jackson and Quentin Tarantino both speak out against gun violence. But yet they blow people’s heads apart in graphic detail on-screen? It’s the choice they made to create a movie peddling death, extreme violence and racism. It’s a choice that Christopher Nolan made to take a huge risk on creating Interstellar, a movie about exploration, family and love.
It was my choice to buy a ticket to see Hateful 8, just as it was my choice to watch Interstellar again. I’m glad it worked out that way. Because it offered me a stark reminder: I can choose to laugh and relish in graphic violence. I can choose to cheer and laugh in uplifting love. The choice is always ours.
Hollywood elite denounce violence, yet peddle it like porn. Are they riding the great metal chariots to combat zones? No.
When the seeds of hate spread by self-important politicians, media, or clerics take root and grow into conflict, do those same people participate in the fighting they fueled? No. It's left to young men and women, many who aren't even sure who they are fighting.
I can’t stop ISIS, Boko Haram or Al-Shabaab from wanting to destroy half the planet. As much as I’d like to, I can’t sit down, have a cup of tea with them, and talk about how much we actually have in common. If I could just take them on a climb of Rainier before they first pick up that AK-47 or IED vest… I wish in my heart it was that easy. It isn’t.
But I’m gonna do my damn best to progress with love. Lord knows it’s a tough thing when you’re in uniform fighting a war. But it’s a fight worth fighting. It’s a choice I make. And let me be clear, it’s not just the fight to protect the innocent that’s worth fighting. The good battle, the crucial battle, is the one in which we use nothing, find nothing, but love.
(Want to learn more about Interstellar the movie and it’s underlying plot of love? Here are two articles that might help:
Watch the film and let me know what you think.