Tuesday, November 29, 2011

There Goes My Hero

You know how moving stories of human triumph make people cry? Like those programs about, say, a child who used the phone to save his dying mother, or a man who lifted a car to rescue a squashed cat or summat?

Yeah, I never cry at those. I'm probably dead inside. My Dad used to blub every Saturday night over Surprise Surprise, while I looked at him like he'd gone insane. I mean, here was a man who regularly yelled at my Mum for having the washing machine on when he wanted to watch telly. But some TV show with Cilla Black...that made him feel human emotions?

Yeah, there's definitely a hollow space where my heart is. I mean, don't get me wrong - I cry with frustration, and in anger. Sometimes I cry out of disappointment. But I never cry at the things other people do.

Other people cry over sad puppies or romantic movies.

I cry at the end of Alien 3.

And my malfunctioning tear ducts don't end with a movie about a creature bursting out of someone at the end. I also cry over movies everyone else finds completely dull and dry, like Remains of the Day. I cry at other sci-fi classics, like Twelve Monkeys, and I cry at things that star Jim Carrey, like Truman Show.

I don't even know why, really. I don't know what moves me about Starman, that doesn't move me about Britain's Greatest Heroes. I just know that it happens - I watch some guy who saved a girl from a burning house, and I'm dry eyed. I watch Kyle Reese telling Sarah Connor that he came across time for her, and I'm sobbing my heart out.

It's inexplicable. I can't explain it to people. I just know that it happens, and after it happens I feel much better, and then I can carry on living this life in which the most exciting thing happens is some lady rescuing a cat from a tree. No one comes across time for someone else. No one lets herself drop into a pit of fire, to save the human race.

This is what we've got: a mediocre program on a Saturday night, about families that shouldn't have fallen out with each other in the first place. I don't care if you're reunited, family. You're probably all a bunch of miserly, unforgiving assholes anyway.

Where as Ellen Ripley...well. She's my real hero - even though she's made up.

God only knows what that says, about me.


  1. Ellen Ripley rocks, and even I sniffled at Remains of the Day.

  2. Actually I recall tearing up a little too when Ripley is falling into that vat of molten metal I think it was and the alien pops. Once in a while I see a movie that tears me up, but in my life there's only one book that has the power to make me weep "The Last Temptation of Christ" by Nikos Kazanzakis. The movie tears me up too. The power of a good story.


  3. And why should you want to be like everyone else, Charlotte?

    Even if you could, which I'm certain (thankfully) that you can't?

    The things that touch us to the point of tears are part of what make us individuals.


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