Norway’s channel NRK2 ran a couple of documentaries on UFOs followed by “Close Encounter of the Third Kind”. I taped it and finally sat down to watch it. I was delighted with the movie when it first came out. Now, the ending seems too cute and too easy. More importantly, though, I’ve discovered that my own fascination with UFOs has faded. It was a somewhat cynical Keera who watched (a very young) Richard Dreyfuss try to sculpt with mashed potatoes.
What really got me, though, as a former New Age buff and heavily into the mystique of UFOs at one time, was that I no longer could remember what the heck the first two close encounters were. It’s almost like losing one’s religion. An entire area of interest and belief had faded away and stuff I used to know and discuss regularly is not even a clear memory any more.
I still have the fascination. I’d still like to see something like the plot in Carl Sagan’s “Contact” come true. I’d love for the people involved in SETI to pick up a signal pattern that is regular but not explainable. Oh, what a stir that would create! Just writing that is making me feel tingly all over.
But as I watched “CE3K” again, I found myself missing the absolute delight and satisfaction I had when I first saw it. Aliens finally show up and return the missing crew from the equally missing Flight 19, and all I can think seeing it 30 years later is, “So, aliens do jazz. And breathe our air. Meh.”
Well, maybe that last isn’t cynicism. Maybe the movie just wasn’t that great and I forgot all the critical reviews at the time.
I would love to get lost in a story again, however, about some possibility that may change humanity. A real daydream that pulls me out of the ordinary, day-to-day stuff, and even penetrates my skepticism and cynicism, leaving only a child-like wonder. That would give me absolute delight and satisfaction.