Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Terminator 2: Judgment Day ★★★★★

Terminator 2: is a movie I have watched more than nearly any other movie with a few exceptions. From 1992-1995, this film lived in my VCR along with Akira. It is I think the ultimate James Cameron movie, a movie about being prepared and preparing oneself for the worst and knowing that one might not survive it and acting as one must, regardless of outcome. It is a movie which loves its characters and wants them to be ok, to make the right decisions, to prevent the apocalypse. This film made me feel better because in the early 90's when I closed my eyes I saw cities on fire and highways buckling under tidal waves nearly all of the time. It is a film which believes in humanity, in family, in loyalty and trust. It believes that if we care for one another we might survive the worst that we ourselves can make.

I watched Terminator 2 so many times that I could play Linda Hamilton's escape from the psychiatric hospital sequence in my head the same way I could play Dr. Dre's The Chronic or Sister by Sonic Youth in my head. When I would lay down to sleep at night I could see Arnold Schwarzenegger riding his motorcycle down the dry riverbed of the Los Angeles River.

I have never lived through a period of time that felt as pre-apocalyptic as the early 1990's. What has come in the wake of that period should render that laughable but to me it is like waking up from a bad dream only to have that bad dream come true immediately after. The anxiety that I had, the sense that only by bending spacetime back on itself that we could have any hope at all of surviving a civilization self-engineered to consume itself in flames. Since then it is like the end has already come and gone without anyone really noticing when exactly, mirrored in the shards of the past, called the present or the future, which no longer fit together, which cannot be made to fit together again.

The Breaking Of The Vessel, that was how I saw Terminator 2. So I studied eschatology and narratology. If we were driving towards our own end I wanted to know what stories were driving us there and why we wrote such stories. I wanted to know about how prophecy affected the present as well as the past and the future. I wanted to know how these things could change. I wanted to write about Terminator 2. I wanted to in the hopes it would bring me peace or if not peace than order and context to what I saw behind my eyes. I never wrote what I wanted to. I wonder a lot what if anything would have happened if I had. I wonder that a lot, in almost every situation, what would have happened if I had just acted with foreknowledge, preparation, tenacity, fortitude, if I had acted like a hero in a James Cameron film. Linda Hamilton was my role model, but I was a terrible student. Nonetheless, even she cannot bring herself to do what she feels she must, that there must be another way. Sometimes there is and sometimes there isn't. There are more than two paths, and sometimes in the long run there is still time to change the one you are on. <3

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