Flipping channels last night I found the Bruce-Willis-saves-earth movie Armageddon, one of summer 1998’s two blockbuster hits featuring an asteroid threatening to End Life As We Know It. (The other is Deep Impact.) A few minutes viewing confirmed my recollection that Armageddon is one of the Ten Most Ridiculous Movies Ever Made. The reasons are many, not counting Willis’s blond hairpiece. Here’s a representative example of Hollywood screenwriting at its most inane: they bring a Gatling gun on their mission to the asteroid? Yeah, I know it’s supposed to be a visual comic book but I knew comic books and Armageddon, you are no comic book.
I switched off television and went outside. The Maine night was clear and moonless and stars stretched from horizon to horizon. I rarely notice the night sky at home–there is too much surface light, my head is down, I don’t go outside after dark, whatever–and I could not avoid staring at it here. I lay back on the deck, eyes wide open, and absorbed the silent spectacle. A meteor streaked by and disappeared, without the aid of gatling guns or hairpieces. Glorious.