Bill and Ted’s. Excellent Adventure always clicked with me as a kid. For one it was fun as all kinds of hell. For another the concept that even the most mediocre of people could shape the world both fascinated and inspired me.
The film centers around two dumb friends who are told by someone that “Hey, you guys are going to be amazing, and society is going to build on your creations. It’s going to end war, famine, obesity, religion, and everything is going to be excellent!”
Together they travel through time and proceed to have themselves a most excellent adventure. It was a film that no one expected great things from, but little did they know, like so much of the films of the 80’s it would shape an entire generation. Of course my friends and I went around speaking as annoyingly as they did in the movies, and playing air guitar. The fundamental message was lost on us.
As I’ve grown up I’ve revisited the film countless times and have passed it on to my kids, who take from it the same thing I did. But for me, I’ve gained other lessons.
Music has always been a huge part of my life, from my grandparents listening to the old standard country music, to my mom and her friends all sitting around a table drinking singing Fleetwood Mac, Bob Seager, Elton John and other now classics. Once my mom met my step father, I learned how to play piano, guitar, and a few other instruments (none of which I play now with any frequency). Once I found a girlfriend, I found the seduction of R&B. Once she first broke up with me I found the comfort of the Blues. Bill and Ted encapsulated all of that with one further thought, Music can change the world. In my world music was an influence above all else.
Fast forward 20 years and let’s look at the state of the world. What happened? Music seems to have lost its major impact as auto tune, Bieber Fever and the internet has taken a once original and money making enterprise and turned it into a bit of an underground movement. If thereis a band like Wyld Stallions out there we may never get to witness it unless its sampled and redubbed in another song. It’s sad mostly because today more than ever we need Wyld Stallions.
A Guy walks into a political rally and opens fire. A nine year old kid commits suicide because she’s tired of living in fear of bullies. Planes slam into a building killing thousands because of a religious agenda. Governments are arguing amongst themselves about the best course of action that will ensure they get reelected while people die of curable diseases simply because they can’t afford treatment. When did life become so complicated and hateful?
Most people tend to blame the media for sensationalism, and bringing the negative side to light more than any positive. In some ways that’s true. The media takes the bad news and runs with it because people watch. When people watch the news shows sell commercials and make money. The biggest problem that I see is that there is so much of it everywhere. It used to be that information was gotten through the mail, then a phone call, then over email. Technology has made us all so versatile that we can all be reporters and record things on our phones and send it anywhere at any given time. We can access news and information and rebroadcast it and retweet it, post it on Facebook and do it all from anywhere we happen to be. We see it all the time in theme parks, people on vacation together yet they’re glued to their phones finding out what everyone else is doing.
Part of the reason I run a theme park website is because it’s an escape from reality and life. I work manual labor for a living and at the end of the day writing about a world where a mouse rules all, a boy wizard casts spells and we can soar hundreds of feet into the air before coasting easily back down safetly eases my troubled mind and aching back. It’s bliss in a hard world. It’s the same reason I love movies,surfing, my wife and my children. It’s good times with good people in a world filled with bad things and bad people who want to get ahead by their own means.
And that leads me to my point. Bill and Ted had a grasp on that. The troubles of the world are the troubles of the world, not yours. Music, theme parks and good times will pave the path for peace if we let it.
And who could we have lead us into this brave new world where we forget troubles, and try peace? I nominate the Black Eyed Peas. Sure, a lot is auto tuned, but with catchy lyrics and relatively no songs about harming or injuring anyone in anyway I think we can all get behind Will I am, Fergie and the gang. Who said the future had to be based on peace and love? Just a thought.
Still, let’s hope we can emulate our two “righteous dudes” a little bit more. Keaunu Reeves was talking the possibility of a third movie any day now, so maybe that can get the world back on track. But it all starts with us and one simple message: