There’s a famous piece of music – you’ve all heard it and yet I would bet that most of you don’t know what it’s called or who wrote it. Well, I’m going to put that to rest now. The music was written by film composer James Horner, and he wrote it for the first Alien movie. It doesn’t show up in the movie at all, because director Ridley Scott didn’t want music in those tense moments where Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley is preparing to blow up the ship, so it got used in the movie trailer instead.
And it’s shown up in just about every single action movie trailer since. When trailers are made for movies more often than not the final edit isn’t done, so they know they will need about 60 to 120 seconds of music and Horner recorded versions for every movie trailer length. Music is often one of the last things done on a film, but the movie studios want the trailers out there to generate interest, so they fall back on James Horner’s brilliant 2 minutes of pulse-pounding action music. If you’ve ever wondered why the music in some movie trailers sounds familiar, this is why – it’s that one piece of music that didn’t get used in Alien.
Lots of people have soundtracks running through their heads as they go about their days. It’s not so strange, just look at the number of people with iPods on their heads. For me today I have some Van Morrison running, and I expect that to later involve into the stellar work of Maaya Sakamoto. But I wonder now if the music in the head of Glenn Beck is that famous piece of music by James Horner.
I’m sure you’ve seen by now the news that a guest on his show openly called for Osama bin Laden to commit an act of terrorism on this nation so that the people would demand that the government "protect them effectively, consistently, and with as much violence as necessary," to which Beck solemnly nodded his head in agreement (as if he could do it any other way). While most of the outrage has focused on the idea that there are people of supposed intelligence wishing for a terrorist attack I would like to focus on the last part of that sentence.
Protect ourselves with as much violence as necessary? Um, what? Boy have the positions of the right evolved as we’ve moved out of the cold war and into terror watch. It used to be that we wanted as much weaponry as humanly possible to deter the outbreak of violence. It sort of worked too, although the reality is much more complicated than that. But now the thinking is to use that weaponry. Where did that bloodlust come from?
Yeah, we got the crap kicked out of us in early fall 2001. It hurt unbelievably, and the reaction to lash out is a natural one. But things have settled somewhat, and we’ve exacted a misguided form of revenge for it (there’s nothing about justice in the invasion of Iraq). But apparently some want that hurt feeling to return, so that we can lash out again and get our worthy proportion of blood, because it isn’t going to happen without it. And that’s the key point for me.
These people want their action flick. They want to lash out – cause pain, suffering, and commit acts of violence against these people they do not trust. The bloodlust is already there. But we can’t justify it if we’re on the road to peace. Obama isn’t going to attack anyone new, so we must be attacked ourselves so that we can commit the acts of violence that we want. It’s not about fighting terrorism or any form of justice but instead about the desire to kick some ass and kill some people. To cause pain.
So I’m back to my original observation – that I think that the soundtrack in the heads of Glenn Beck and others is James Horner’s 2-minute trailer. Can someone please turn the man onto a decent chick-flick? The man has already shown us he can cry. Maybe have John Cusak (okay, maybe a stand-in) hold that boom-box and play some Peter Gabriel? We’ve got to do something before the man actually hurts someone.