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THE POWER OF ILLUSION

by Mike Robinson


I enjoy a good movie. But I have to remind myself that so much of what I see on the screen is not what it seems. Much of it is illusion. Hollywood is the land of illusion. So I keep my critical faculties on alert when I view a movie - no matter how good it is.

If we believe everything we see on the movie screen, then we will believe that the following…...

All grocery shopping bags contain at least one stick of French Bread.

The ventilation system of any building provides a perfect hiding place.

The Eiffel tower can be seen from any window of every building in Paris.

Men show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating but will wince with pain when a woman tries to clean their wounds.

Cars that crash will almost always burst into flame.

Persons knocked unconscious by a blow to the head will never suffer concussion or brain damage.

It is always possible to park directly outside any building you want to visit.

Any lock can be picked by a credit card or a paper clip in seconds - unless the building is on fire and a child is trapped inside.

All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with very large red readouts so you know exactly when it will explode.

Any person waking from a nightmare will sit bolt upright and pant.

It doesn't matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts; your enemies will always wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around you in a threatening manner until you have disposed of their predecessors.

I enjoy those tongue-in-cheek observations but, sadly, those are not the only ways that movies twist reality.

You see, if we are not careful, many movies will subtly pressure us to believe that life is not a sacred and precious gift; that marriage is a consumer item rather than a life-long commitment; that the end always justifies the means - no matter how immoral and corrupt those means may be.

I enjoy a good movie. But I won't allow the illusionary world of the movie screen to determine my values, my beliefs or my behaviour. No movie is that good.

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