Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column scared by pop culture. And this isn’t just some snotty rant from a highbrow. Our heart does a-flutter when we think about the recent trend of entertainment themes: our nation being destroyed.Certainly, 9/11 got our attention. But this goes beyond that. This is tidal waves on the big screen, Dennis Quaid wandering across a new ice age, and the latest: Apocalypse 10.5, to be seen on prime time. In the preview, it shows Mount Rushmore crumbling. Should we be sad or happy? We have to admit, from what we understand about Washington, he was a brave man, a great general, a one-term president, but a man who quit because he was tired of the media exposure … and we don’t necessarily think his face should have been carved into Native American lands. Might as well build a monument of some salt in a wound, too. But we digress, like Dennis Hopper in just about every movie he’s been in. Apocalypse 10.5 definitely sounds like a good picture waiting to happen; the problem is, we already know what’s going to happen. An antagonist with a family will have an expertise dealing with the tragedy. He or she will be the brave person, talking against a blind and deaf government, who at the last moment relents, just as the (insert tragedy here) begins to unfold on a major city. Usually, Canada is long gone at this point.Most Americans, meanwhile, are running around in a spasm with our heads unscrewed. We here at Summit Up take that as an insult – but when you already live in the hills, and that’s where people are heading, then, well, keep the barbecue going, pop open another can of something that delights, and enjoy the sunshine.When the folks freaking out start filling up our lawns, we’ll just force them to pay high tragedy taxes and, with the sudden boost in revenue, we’ll shuttle them to Vail, because Vail lawns are a much “nicer” place to spin around and wail. (And speaking of all this, do actors have to go through a tragedy segment when they’re in school? How much do they pay the guy with the hot dog cart, unaware of the chaos and approaching lava?) How far pop culture has come from those days when it appeared to be so harmless. Cheesy families taught us valuable lessons about life in 23 minutes, with seven minutes of messages from diverse and multi-colored sources of caffeine. But we’d put up with the commercials, because we had to see how they’d frame that last conversation, right before the music kicks in. Even our rock stars were caught belting out sentimental ballads (i.e. Axl singing “Patience”). Now, in the Real World, rock stars are arbitrary. To play to our fears, they begin the movie in an office, or a truck, or any job where millions of Americans could relate, which sends us right back into it.Then, WHAM. Satan rises onto the Earth and strikes down. The U.S. Comedians all scream, “This isn’t funny anymore …” as they fall down a newly-opened pit. When it’s all over, when the wall of water has devoured the skyscraper, a lonely soul wanders down the street, suddenly a foreign land, a junkyard, and worse yet there are, in the dark spaces … well, you know.The truth is, the Death Genre must be popular. Movies aren’t made these days without careful market study. Previous ratings have been good, and the movies have made money. Obviously, that means we need more graphic, High Definition reminders of the balance beam of life. Spreadsheet in hand, writers, producers and executives ponder the great, eternal questions: In what ways could life on Earth end? Could the earthquake be bigger? What is believable? Should they fall in love before, or after, the meteor hits?We would feel just fine if our real tragedies came with popcorn and a soda. But seriously, we really can relax. We will feel just fine in a few days, as soon as this A-pop-alyptic culture peaks and fizzles like a Fourth of July sparkler. Just in case, we’ll do like they do in the movies, keeping our eyes to the skies, looking for swarms of locusts, or bright lights, or … wait … do those clouds look like the Four Horsemen?***Here’s a happy item phoned in by Breckenridge resident Jennifer Connors. She and her husband Bradley Wilson are celebrating 11 years of nuptial bliss this Saturday. The two are longtime Breck locals, he having lived here for 24 years and she for 14. Jennifer fondly recalls their wedding reception, which you may (or may not) remember if you’ve been a Breck local since way back then. The party was at the BOEC’s Griffith Lodge, and more than 400 local folks got down with the still-popular band Shakedown Street. Connors also sends out this little love note to her hubby: “He is my sunshine, and my life.” Awww, sweet!***Another celebration of the birthday type will be taking place tonight at the Blue Spruce. Maybe the last time you saw Sean MacCarron he was this big, but now he’s turning 40. He’s inviting everyone in Summit Up land to be at the Blue Spruce at 6 p.m., “and hang out with people who you haven’t seen in a while.” Go, and reminisce about the past four decades that make up Sean’s life.*** It’s Friday, and we’re writing our own script these days. It all starts as a dream … Call us at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13620, or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
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