After nearly four semesters at Cornell, I’m finally getting going on the whole picking the major thing. I’ve engaged in the requisite flirtation in a variety of subjects, dipping my wick in everything humanities, from film to government to Africana studies. And now I’ll finally settle down, albeit carrying the scars and diseases of my academic promiscuity, with what I thought would be my major all along — English.
My decision didn’t come without reservations though, chief among them being how I’ll generate coin down the line and how I’ll scratch together the change to get a decent little life going. English majors basically concede any possibility of a stable income in exchange for not having to understand things like thermodynamics, global capitalism or addition. Right now I have two vague aspirations for what I’m going to do with my life — one involves the newspaper industry and the other necessitates me figuring out how to own and operate an independent bookstore. Needless to say it probably doesn’t bode well for my piggybank that both of these industries might cease to exist five years from now. Then again everything isn’t exactly going as planned for the AEM majors who once thought they’d be shredding 20 dollar bills to make New Year’s Eve Party confetti once they graduated. So maybe we’re all eagerly waiting to board sinking ships at this point, no matter the major.
So what’s left? Newspapers folding like the Mets in September? Bookstores swallowed up by Walmartitized Mega-chains? Investment banks hamstrung by Big State commies? I think it’s time to sell out. Take the road more traveled, baby. Fill the hole where your integrity used to be with dollar bills and buy a jet ski and call it a mother fucking day.
But do what?
Never fear: An industry is here that just won’t die.
To the lost and undeclared, get involved with the Bad Movie Industry. Those dudes are straight printing money. This weekend Fast and Furious made over $72 million. $72,000,000! That’s literally baffling. And if you’re not confused right now you should be because, yes, The Fast and the Furious was a movie that came out like five years ago. They just took out the “the’s” for the 2009 version. We haven’t seen such a blatant slap in the face since Chris Brown got arrested. (Hey now!) These movie executives basically asked, “Yeah we want to change the title as little as possible, but are moviegoers stupid enough to spend $10 on blatant and shameless pandering?” Apparently, the answer was a resounding yes, to the tune of $72 million.
People will see anything. Throw up some billboards and patch together a jazzy trailer for any piece of shit and people will giddily pay up. $72 million for Fast and Furious! How do people even consider other professions?
A few weeks ago, 10,000 B.C. was on HBO and my roommate had to be convinced that, no, this wasn’t Disaster Movie or any other cheeky parody, this was a legitimate movie that was somehow meant to be taken seriously. Bad doesn’t do 10,000 B.C. justice. The only way I can describe it is that it’s so ridiculously awful and inexplicable and painful to watch that it makes you feel like a horrible person for acknowledging its existence.
That’s a snappy little criticism by me, but that movie made over $300 million at the box office and over $30 million in DVD sales. That’s more money than me, my kids and my grandkids will make combined. As we say on the mean streets of suburban Penn., now who’s the big shit?
After the stunning discovery that 10,000 B.C. made $300 million my roommate and I frantically said things like, “Are you fucking kidding!” and “Holy fuck!” for the better part of 20 minutes before deciding that we were going to take a piece of this inexplicably large bad movie pie for ourselves.
Taking inspiration from both Fast and Furious and 10,000 B.C., we entitled our bad movie Angels and Demons and Wooly Mammoths. It’s still in the developmental phase, but we do know the plot will center on the unearthing of frozen prehistoric wooly mammoths. The mammoths come back to life (a la Encino Man) and terrorize the Finger Lakes Region. We also know that Keanu Reeves will figure prominently. Gross revenue’s estimated at a modest $255 million.
I encourage everyone working their asses off to become part of a dying industry to instead get involved with Bad Movies. Understand that there is no idea too dumb, no title too shameless, no plot twist too over the top, no advertising campaign too far-reaching and no sacrifice of integrity too devastating. We, the American bad moviegoer, will eat it up, and you, the artist, will never have to work again.