Today I have another movie parallel to write about. It concerns the film...Napoleon Dynamite.
I know most of you reading this probably just experienced the eye-rolling symptoms discussed in my warning at the top of my blog. It's no secret to my friends that I like the movie Napoleon Dynamite. However, once again I find myself getting more, or at least different, lessons out of it than your average Joe.
Hey-whoa-hey, now hold up, you say. I just put the words Napoleon Dynamite and lesson in the same sentence. The casual viewer of the film would contend that it is one of the most pointless movies in the history of film, a film doubtless directed by grade-school dropouts who were definitely smoking something stronger than tobacco when they made the film.
At first glance, this would appear to be true. There is no real conflict/resolution or climax to the film; it seemingly relies on the unprecedented dorkiness of it's characters to keep viewers entertained. However, an observant student of the film such as myself will notice that beneath all that, a subliminal object lesson exists.
Most of us know the story: Napoleon is simply a very nerdy kid who, on account of his moon boots and sweet fro, is picked on constantly at school, and has a very hard time making friends. The jocks ridicule him, the hot cheerleader types ostracize him. Let's face it, someone who's favorite hobbies are drawing ligers (like a tiger, except "bred for it's skills and magic" ;-)- and dancing disco isn't going to be at the top of the popularity chain.
And when your best pick-up line is, "I see your drinking 1% milk. Is that 'cuz you think you're fat? 'Cuz you're not. You could be drinking whole, if you wanted to," you somehow find yourself in short supply of cute babes that wanna date you, much less play you in tetherball. ;-)-
Despite all this, Napoleon does end up making friends who accept him for who he is. And that's the issue I want to address today: the issue of realism in our relationships.
Right now our culture is running a serious deficit in the "realism" department. Don't believe me? Turn on your TV or pick up a magazine. Day by day, we in America are constantly bombarded with the idea that image is everything. That's why we spend so much time working out, buying new clothes, and mindlessly conforming to our peers around us. Just count the number of kids in any given school wearing Hollister brand clothes as an example.
This view saddens me, because I think that it tends to foster an unhealthy obsession with the surface, to the exclusion of those things that really matter. We're so obsessed with our fashion and popularity that we've stopped searching for the real deal. We neglect reaching out to someone because they might not fit in with our clique. We watch and listen to and do things we know we shouldn't all in the name of "fitting in."
I'm not immune to this Americanized syndrome by any means. I struggle with it just as much as the next guy. The difference comes when you realize that none of it will last. In 40 years, no one will care what kind of car you drove or who you hung with or who you dated. But the things that do matter, honesty and integrity and faith, among other things, will last a lifetime!!! With this in mind, continue searching for the real. Live today with a determination to obtain those things which will last: true friends, faith, integrity.
Have a good one.