ID3: The Thinking Man's Movie

By Dave Barry

	Could Alien beings from another galaxy come here and obliterate human 
	civilization? If so, would this be covered by our home-owners' insurance? 
	These troubling questions are on the minds of the millions of people who 
	are being exposed this summer to the spectacle of grotesque, repulsive, 
	inhuman creatures that would stop at nothing to their determinations to 
	dominate the Earth. I am referring, of course, to the Democratic and 
	Republican conventions. 

	But the public was also troubled by the blockbuster motion picture 
	"Independence Day." It definitely had a powerful effect on me. I had been 
	skeptical about all the "hype," but when the 2 1/2-hour movie was over, I 
	found myself sitting pensively in the theater for quite a while pondering 
	the question: How am I going to get out of here, when my shoes are bonded 
	in place by one of the most powerful adhesives know to science, Movie Floor 
	Crud, which is a mixture of Pepsi, Milk Duds, and year-old nasal secretions 
	snorted out by distraught moviegoers during the ending of "The Bridges of 
	Madison County"? A lot of people just leave their shoes on the theater 
	floor and walk out barefoot. 

	But getting back to "Independence Day": What happens is, these aliens from 
	millions of light-years away arrive in our solar system in a fantastically 
	huge spaceship manufactured by the Winnebago Corp. When they reach Earth, 
	they are in a bad mood, possibly because their luggage has not arrived, so 
	they attack New York City, causing the population to panic and run around 

	In my opinion, this is the only unrealistic part of the movie. I mean, 
	we're talking about NEW YORKERS, here. These are tough people. These are 
	people who, every day, without even thinking about it, voluntarily go down 
	into dark, steaming, noisy, extremely aromatic holes containing the New 
	York City subways system. Poeple who do that are not going to get bent out 
	of shape just because an alien invastion force is obliterating their city. 
	They are merely going to shrug and continue reading The New York Post 
	(front-page headline : UFO ATTACK DESTROYS BUTTAFUOCO HOME). 

	At the same time as they hit New York, the aliens destroy Los Angeles - a 
	clear indication that they had been monitoring the O.J. Simpson trial. They 
	also wipe out Washington, D.C., apparently believing - this just shows that 
	even a highly advanced species can be stupid - that wiping out the federal 
	government would be somehow make it more difficult for the county to 

	While millions of Americans take to the streets to celebrate the fact that 
	they will probably not have to file income-tax returns for several years, 
	the president of the United States, played by a weenie, escapes, along with 
	several key actors, to an ultrasecret government installation. 

	There they learn that scientists have been trying to repair an alien 
	flying saucer that crashed in 1947, which means the warranty has expired. 
	(This crash was hushed up, except for a brief statement from the Federal 
	Aviation Administation assuring the public that flying-saucer travel is 
	perfectly safe.) The secret installation also contains the bodies of 
	deseased aliens, which have likewise been kept completely hidden away 
	except for one brief incident in 1977 when on of them showed up as part of 
	a science-fair project submitted by Amy Carter. 

	The plot thinkens when Jeff Goldblum, who plays a brilliant cable-TV 
	scientist, discovers, by analyzing signals coming from the mother ship, 
	that the aliens are the source of all "infomercials." This makes the Earth 
	so mad that it decides to fight back. There is a spectacular aerial battle 
	between a fleet of scae-model alien saucers and a fleet of scale-model Air 
	Force fightters, led by President Weenie. Meanwhile, Jeff Goldblum, flying 
	in the crashed enemy saucer, which is piloted by the Fresh Prince of 
	Bel-Air, gets inside the mother ship and uses his laptop computer to put 
	a virus into the aliens' main computer system. He can do this because the 
	aliens, like every other life form in the galaxy, have basically no choice 
	but to use the "Windows 95" operating system; in fact the whole reason why 
	they have attacked the Earth is to destroy Bill Gates. 

	Goldblum's virus easily disables the aliens' main computer. Perhaps you're 
	wondering why aliens who can travel millions of light years can't fix a 
	computer virus. The answer is that, like any large organization, the 
	mother ship has only one individual who actually understands the computer 
	system, and that individual is not available. The alien computer nerd is 
	hiding in the bowels of the Mother Ship, playing with the alien version of 
	Space Invaders, in which the object is to kill little attacking figures 
	that look like Keanu Reeves. So the alien ships, their defenses disabled, 
	are all shot down, and the movie ends with people all over the world 
	celebrating. Of course the cheering will stop soon enough, when the 
	millions of attorneys crawl out of the smoking rubble of America's cities, 
	contact the surviving aliens, put neck braces on them and start suing the 
	Earth in general for trillions of dollars. THAT'S when we should really 
	get worried. 

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