Morning thoughts as I sit here unable to talk about "The Force Awakens" with anyone because I selfishly went to a pre-opening screening and I've got myself on verbal lock down (I'm going with a group tonight and I can't wait to have someone to discuss it with). I also write this with a coffee mug my brother gave me with Yoda, Luke, and Han on it, so I think you know which side of the Light Side / Dark Side argument I fall.
I'm already seeing the party pooper posts and articles about crazy Star Wars fans and the overblown hype and all the cynical stuff. But here's a thing. I'm a cynical guy. If you know me in person. you know I'm viciously pessimistic. (Characters like Jane and Emily are my way of trying to claw myself back into a position of hopefulness... they're what I aspire to be, while I think more like Kate a lot of the time.) I pay attention to the world. The bad stuff bothers me deeply. Human cruelty, stupid politicians, all of it. I wake up every day and fully expect humanity to disappoint me deeply in some way. It's not a great way to be, but people being awful to each other upsets me every time I hear about it. Empathy and cynicism are a tough combination to live with. I'm sad a lot.
But I went to see the new Star Wars Thursday night. Woke up today, saw some stupid thing about a certain cruel politician whose name I will not speak and thought "not right now, I'm in a good mood." I'm in an actual good mood. Good moods are not a frequent occurrence for me. Good moods these days are limited to successful book events, comic cons, and days I get to spend time with my three little nephews, because it is impossible to be in a bad mood around those kids.
And really, isn't that what the movies were invented for? A little bit of light in the darkness. Opening a window of fiction because reality can drive you absolutely insane if you think too much about it. Maybe it's the escapism. Maybe it's the endorphins. Maybe it's the popcorn. I don't know. But as a professional cynic, let me suggest that there are a lot better things to be cynical about, and maybe some harmless thing that makes millions of people stupidly, giddily happy isn't worth getting cynical about.
The world's got plenty of other options for you. I'm ignoring those other things today. Because I'm in a good mood, and I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts.
Matthew Phillion is the writer of "The Indestructibles," part-time actor, occasional filmmaker. Currently on the lam in Salem with his trusty dog, Watson.