NOTE: Not every word I say or write is meant to be taken completely seriously. Most of the time, I'm just having fun, yet still trying to retain some semblance of truth behind my ludicrous statements. With that... I love the movie Signs.
I know of many people who loathe Signs, but just as many feel the way I do. It seems to be one of those films that very clearly divides people.
One of the reasons it polarized people were the actual aliens that eventually descend upon Earth in a bid to wipe us out. And while I agree there are flaws in much of the reasoning behind their actions, I personally find them entertaining. It's a monster movie. Yes, it stars big actors in big set pieces, but at the end of the day... it's still a monster movie.
I'm a sucker for monster movies, and one of the main reasons I liked this monster movie is that I happen to love the way the aliens communicate. It's been done before, and often imitated since, but it's still awesome. The rapid clicks, clacks, and other noises make for an intriguing concept. It's fairly preposterous, but certainly plausible that these advanced life-forms speak in this manner on a regular basis. I'd love to hear their Presidential debates. Click-clack. Buzz. Nerf-spoogle. Bzzzxtl.
Signs was released in 2002, nearly a decade ago. Yes, I couldn't believe that either. It feels like yesterday. Nonetheless, it's 2011. Mel Gibson isn't exactly America's favorite edgy actor anymore. Joaquin Phoenix's last film was an interesting Andy Kauffman experiment that was daring, but not particularly well-received (though I suspect in time that may change). And M. Night Shyamalan is no longer being hailed as "the Spielberg of his generation." Though in time, I'm hopeful he will have carved out his own unique career... and eventually he'll get back into his stride.
But for me, most noticeable of all when looking at that film in comparison to today?
We, the human race, might be turning into the actual aliens from that film.
Let me explain...
A few days ago, I asked a visiting friend if he wanted something to drink. He said a soda. I asked, "would you like diet, regular, or coke zero?"
"I'll take a reg."
I'm sorry, what did he say?
"A reg. Make it two. Two regs."
It certainly was a peculiar way of ordering his drink, but nevertheless, I fetched his regular Coca-Cola Classic and went about my business.
But it stuck with me, mostly because he had said it so casually. As if this was normal. Suddenly, signs of this abbreviated language started blipping in my head everywhere. I realized that this is how we will eventually communicate. Not just a couple of words, but all of them. We won't speak in sentences. Instead, you'll ask where the bathroom is through blips, grunts, clicks, and other strange noises.
The English Language is slowly dying, destined to be a doomed relic from another time.
Think about it.
We don't call couples by their individual names. It started with 'Bennifer', but now stretches into all sorts of celebrity couples. Brangelina. TomKat.
It's individuals as well. Their last names have become irrelevant. ScarJo. Miley. Posh and Becks. Mimi. Sports stars too. ARod. CP3.
No one wants to be known by a full name, that's disgusting after all. A full name is meant for those who aren't special. Everyone wants to be a one word brand that fully encapsulates who they are (or think they are).
And while celebrity monikers like these are seemingly harmless, it's what's happening in the real world that proves this fad isn't just limited to them.
Anyone who works with twitter (including this author) knows the importance of condensing words into shorthand terms everyone universally understands. If you think LOL is the only word used to compact several words, then you probably don't spend much time on the internet.
But it's not just twitter and social networking sites like it. I'm noticing this type of communication everywhere. My friend Schnarf abbreviates at least one word for every sentence he uses. It actually became a fun inside joke at one time, as each of us would cut words down as much as possible to see if we could still comprehend one another. Ten years later, he still uses this type of communication often, and he's not alone.
I once saw a girl's headshot that listed her first name as Jeni4. No joke. That was the name on the headshot. I'm not talking about her AIM screen name. Her actual name. She claimed she was born with that name, and maybe she was, but I wasn't buying it. Even if she was, it seemed at the very least strange and slightly off-putting on a headshot. I might have called her an idiot. Turns out, I was the idiot! She was just ahead of the rest of us.
Slowly, we're moving into a place where words will be obsolete.
We are becoming the aliens from Signs.
The irony of course is that long-lost civilizations used similar short codes and signs to communicate. We thought we were progressing by elaborating on the spectrum of words you could use to describe people, places, things. What morons we were! We wasted so much time on developing an intricate system of language that now seems obsolete. The joke is on us!
And so I just want to stay ahead of the pack. From now on, I will not be Kurt Edward Larson.
Instead, I'd like to be known as Ku (double mouth click) (cat purr).
Look, a guy in this business has got to try and stay on top of trends. I can see the headlines now... Ku click click purr sells mov 2 Para. Pics 4 record $.
I'm embracing this new movement, rather than fight a losing battle.
In fact, we shouldn't stop at the written and oral language. This type of editing should be applied to everything, including what I love most... movies.
If you haven't seen Signs, don't worry. Below is the best scene, and pretty much sums up the whole plot. Don't worry about silly little things like characters and motivation... just enjoy the aliens!
Feel free to comment on this post, in regular established language or rolls of the tongue followed by whistles.