May the Gorge be with you

Or, why there are more important things to talk about today than Star Wars.

In less than one news cycle, the portion of the internet I read has transitioned from live-tweeting reports of destruction due to a climate change-fueled storm to whether or not Disney will screw up the franchise.

That’s actual dead people, millions more living without power, transportation infrastructure and the country’s economic center paralyzed; replaced by heated discussion of whether or not new movies will acknowledge the content of the Expanded Universe.

It’s frankly sickening, but we’re talking about it anyway. Thankfully, the unceasing barrage of political ads has stopped…except for how it hasn’t. So-called battleground states are drowning in attack rhetoric, while folks along the coast are dealing with the real thing. With seven days to go, the only voters who seem to matter live in Ohio, Virginia, and Florida.

Citizens of the United States in New York and New Jersey can’t see campaign ads, nor can most of them see the President walking hand-in-hand with their leaders, working to minimize long-term damage and bring relief as fast as possible.

Citizens of the Facebook and Twitter are up in arms over an already rich man in declining health wanting his significant contributions to popular entertainment to continue on after he’s gone selling a company he built from nothing for billions of dollars. A man who has already pledged half of his billions to charity, and is arguably one of the most significant creative forces of the 20th century.

And I say, good for him. Star Wars occupies a huge part of my mind-space, and the man is both worth and due the money. As a child, I watched the first movie every day for a year. As an adult, I sat wide-eyed in a theater with fellow fans at 12:01 AM to see the big scroll one more time, and then 4 more times that day. This year, that movie (Ep. I: The Phantom Menace) became a billionaire in its own right.

Star Wars movies have made over $4 billion at the box office, nearly as much in home releases, and over $20 billion in merchandising over the last 35 years.

In the last 35 hours, Hurricane Sandy did about that much damage.

Next year, there will be another storm, and more damage. There will never be another franchise like Star Wars, no matter what the sparklepires and boy wizards may think. Whoever occupies the office if the President will (hopefully) work for the betterment of all Americans, whatever their bank balance. This morning, my heart and thoughts are with those who suffer in our nation’s great cities.

Be well, and be safe, and we’ll talk about movies some other time.

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