There are those arguments you get into with friends that are just almost too cliche to even bother writing about. Like, is truth relative or absolute. Or, which is the better conference, the Big 10 or the SEC. Well, at least I hear this used to be a debate.
Anyways, today I find myself engaged in one of those debates: The classic “Who is responsible for the salvation of Earth in Independence Day? Bill Pullman, Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, or Mankind at large?” I think it’s rather customary to eliminate the obvious answer of Randy Quaid from the choices, because, well, let’s be honest, no one would be able to argue against it. Totally takes all the sizzle out of that skillet full of deep, delicious, pointless conversation.
Think about it. It’s no easy inquiry. Your emotions take you one way, your logic another, and your nostalgic recollections of the days when Jeff Goldblum ruled the summer blockbuster circuit still but another. Before you know it, you aren’t sure whether or not Bill Pullman might actually have been the president of the United States (I mean, Ich Bin Ein Berwha?. The only presidential quote you can recall is “"We will not go quietly into the night!" We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day! ”).
You also start thinking that maybe Tommy Lee Jones was actually in the movie, as was the case in every other “One part Will Smith Two parts Aliens” flick of the day, and if so, obviously TLJ MUST be the right answer.
I didn’t want my mind to go down that path. So I set up an analogy instead.
Suddenly it became clear. The cast of Independence Day was actually 20th Century Fox’s prescient vision of the 2009 Indianapolis Colts.
Will Smith IS Austin Collie. The young, confident, attractive newcomer. The inspired hero. The one willing to sacrifice his well being for the sake of the whole. Both channeling their love for their supportive stripper girlfriends.... err, ok, maybe not quite right. Ummm. Both having matured into men after going on their Mormon mission trips...errrr... scratch that. Hmm. Missions! They both went on missions. And I feel like Austin Collie SHOULD be friends with Harry Connick Jr.
Jeff Goldblum IS Matt Stover. Goldblum was 43 when he managed to bring down an entire, parasitic alien race through the use of a simple computer virus (I’ll never quite get how an alien race with absurdly superior technology, the ability to read minds, and the seemingly requisite power to bend space/time didn’t have any anti-viral software, but I digress). Matt Stover, the venerable post-vinatieri kicking dude, was, at age 42, the oldest person to ever play in a Super Bowl. The place kicker is sort of the ‘geek’ of a football team, right? I mean, if I needed an IT guy, and all I had available to me was the entire Colt’s roster, well...yeah...I’d probably just fix it myself. But if, in a dramatic, hyperbolic moment of frustration, I became so enraged by my faulty computer that I wished to see its demise in some profound symbolic fashion, I’d ask Matt to put it through the uprights for me. And then have Dwight Freeney jump on it.
Bill Pullman IS Peyton Manning. No. Literally. They are the same person. When was the last time you saw Pullman in a movie? It’s no coincidence that Bill’s on-the-screen presence dissipated as Peyton’s on-the-field domination began. Just close your eyes and listen to Peyton’s audibles and cadence before a snap. Now imagine Pullman’s face, and a young Sandra Bullock, and you will find yourself in the middle of a witty bit of dialogue from While You Were Sleeping.
The Indianapolis Colts Fans ARE Mankind. I’d rather not make too many judgments on the Colts fan base, because on the whole, I’m sure they are very nice people. I mean, they are from Indiana. You can’t hate that. But from personal experience however, well... you have to understand, I’m from Florida. Put on your Bucs/ Jags/ Fins jersey and Man Up.
So, conclusion? Seeing that the 2009 Colts actually LOST the Super Bowl, I probably should have gone with a New Orleans Saints analogy instead. Sooo close. Well, when all else fails, Occam's Razor:
“Dude, it’s totally Randy Quaid” [prolonged awkward silence]