Sunday, July 5, 2020

Independence Cray

This past weekend I watched Independence Day, as I always do this time of year. I've probably seen it twenty five times or more since it premiered in 1996, as it's one of my guilty pleasures.

During this year's viewing, I spotted something I never noticed before...

The character of Russell Casse (played by the now-insane Randy Quaid) claims he was abducted by aliens ten years ago. According to him, they performed all sorts of experiments on him in an effort to learn about humans. The incident was so traumatic it caused Russell to become a hopeless drunk.

Russell tells his story to anyone who'll listen. No one believes him course, as everyone just assumes he's a crazy old rummy.

Then this happens. The very same aliens who kidnapped Russell invade Earth, in city-sized spaceships fifteen miles wide. Instantly, the question of whether mankind is alone in the universe is definitively and unquestionably answered.

We then find out that Russell's been dropping leaflets on City Hall, warning the public about the threat the aliens pose. Oddly enough, instead of finally believing him and listening to what he has to say, the authorities arrest for disturbing the peace!

Then this happens.

As does this. The aliens begin systematically wiping out all of humanity.

In the third act, a few desperate survivors gather at Area 51, where they plan a last-ditch air attack on the aliens. Because the entire military's been decimated, Major Mitchell asks if any of the civilians present have flight experience.

Russell overhears the Major, says he can fly and volunteers for the mission. He then mentions his abduction again, saying, "On a personal note sir, I'd just like to add that uh, ever since I was kidnapped by aliens ten years ago, I've been dying for some payback."

Major Mitchell and his aide then look at each other and roll their eyes in the most exaggerated way possible. It's clear from their expressions that they also consider him a crackpot.

And therein lies the problem. This doesn't make a lick of sense! Why are people STILL treating Russell like he's a nut? Sure, before the aliens arrived the public's treatment of him was somewhat justified. But now that there's incontrovertible proof that aliens exist, it's evident he's been telling the truth all along. Yet for no good reason, everyone still acts like he's crazy any time he mentions aliens.

Instead of mocking and berating him, the military should be debriefing him, pumping him for every ounce of info in the hope he knows something about the aliens that could be used against them.

I demand the film be recalled and this grievous error rectified immediately.

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