Miller Monday – Week 1 – The source of all my problems.

April 16, 2007 at 1:08 pm 5 comments

You know, for me, personally I really don’t believe in personal responsibility and accountability.  Don’t get me wrong, if someone else commits a crime they should do the time. 


Its just for me, personally, I don’t find myself accountable for anything I do.  I have thought long and hard on the subject and I honestly don’t see how I could ever be accountable for the things I say or do.  And for me, it really all boils down to two movies that I watched over and over again in my youth.  In fact, I can pinpoint the cause for every stupid thing I have done to date and match it to one of these two movies. 

My first five years of life were fairly uneventful.  In fact, I have very little to no memories of anything that occurred prior to 1984.  But 1984 was a pivotal year for me.  Is it ironic that George Orwell prophetically chose 1984 for the all important year 1984 for political and moral dystopia?  I think not.  For that was the year that two pieces of cinematic magic corrupted my heart forever.

I remember seeing the Never Ending Story on the silver screen.  I remember seeing the previews and thinking that nothing could be more awesome.  It seemed more like religious dogma than childhood entertainment.  I remember the scent of buttered popcorn and the lush crimson carpet under my feet as I floated into the theater doors.  In fact, in my minds eye it was less of a theatre and more of “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show.  And I can tell you, I left that day a saved soul.


For those of you who haven’t seen it, I envy you.  It is a cancer.  I still think about TNES constantly.  Right now I can hear the lead singer from Kajagoogoo singing the sweet melody line from the movie theme.  It’s the story of Bastian, a troubled loser who finds solace in a magical book that transports him to the world of Fantasia where he has wonderful adventures with an Indian boy named Atreyu, his horse Artex, and his luck dragon Falcor.  They travel through the world of Fantasia trying to save the world from the destruction of the Nothing – a powerful force bolstered by the loss of innocence, youth, and imagination.  Who could forget the final scene where Bastian in the real world has to save Fantasia by giving the princess a new name — a name which interestingly enough has approximately 15 syllables. 

That movie has instilled a sense of stupidity into the core of my heart and soul. 

For example:

  • I remember being 7 years old and encouraging William Blake to try a back flip off of the top of the monkey bars.  Let’s just say he didn’t stick the landing.  The sad thing was that I knew he wasn’t going to make it; I simply wanted to see something awesome and fantastic. 
  • Sometimes when I am driving in traffic, I imagine that my parking break is a button for lobbing missiles into the cars in front of me.   I even do my own sound effects as I relentlessly blast every car on the road into smithereens. 
  • As a 10 year old I remember riding my bike off of a cliff thinking that I could easily fly down to my safety.  I was wrong. 
  • In college I encouraged my room mates to dress up like a Gremlin and terrorize freshmen girls. 
  • Right now there are two window washers outside of my building.  Without consciously doing it, my brain automatically wants to see them crash through the window and do somersaults onto the floor. 
  • This morning while shaving I put shaving cream all over the face of my sleeping 1 year old son.

I do know why I do these things.  I just can’t be held responsible. If I sat and thought about it I could come up with a 100 more stupid things I have done due to that friggin movie.

The second movie was probably worst than the first.  I probably watched The Karate Kid on betamax video every day for 3 years.  I still have it memorized.  I still have dreams about it.  I still fantasize about a new Karate Kid movie.  I can’t help it.


Here’s my synopsis – Loser Daniel Larusa moves from the safety of New Jersey to a lower class lifestyle in
Los Angeles.  He gets his butt kicked regularly (much like Bastian) but learns Karate from an ingenious little man from Okinawa and eventually beats the living daylights out of his tormentors in the all state Karate Tournament. 

Now on my sixth birthday I somehow convinced my dear mother, Patsy Jean Miller, to enroll me in Karate lessons.  That might have been the dumbest thing she ever did.  As soon as I put on my little karate robe, I was a 6 year with a personal vendetta to settle.  I still remember standing in front of my mirror at home punching, kicking, and attempting the “Crane Technique” to pulverize Johnny and have Elizabeth Shue run up and smooch me. 

Thanks to the Karate Kid I have done the following stupid things:

Knocked out the teeth of my next door neighbor, Chip Spackman, with a shovel

  • Shattered two mirrors (with heavy blunt objects)
  • Been in three car accidents (all of which were supposedly “my fault” which we both know is nothing short of bullroar)
  • Urinated on the Varsity Cross County team uniforms the day before league championships
  • Castrated two cats
  • Thrown a computer and a TV from the top floor of high buildings
  • Made my brother drink my urine
  • Pushed my brother out of our tree house for laughing

Imagination and vengeance do not a good combination make.  But I can’t seem to purge my soul of the two of them.  Now, I know a lot of you think that this is simply me making excuses for the things I have done.  But you are wrong.  I cannot help it.  This is who I am.  If I could go back and stop myself from watching I would.  Trust me, I would.  But I can’t.  So unfortunately everyone else now has to suffer.  I’m so sorry.

Yours truly,

Joe Miller


Entry filed under: Film, Miller Monday.

Chocolate vs Kissing? Pass the Godiva. Death and Taxes

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Joe Lowry  |  April 16, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    In all my years of blogging, writing the SPOTD, and other assorted stuff, I have never written anything quite like this. You managed to hit many iconic points in the use of the movies selected and the vignettes into your own troubled psyche.
    I’m embarassed to admit that I have never thought of using the shift button as a rocket launcher, instead preferring the dual machine guns of my index fingers while they sat at 10 and 2 on the wheel.
    The mogwai is nothing be ashamed of by the way, the shaving cream on the infant? Yes.
    Awesome start to Miller Monday. Heaven help you if you run for elected office someday with the paper trail you are accumulating.

  • 2. TommyBoy  |  April 16, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    I’m not crossing J. Miller anymore. Now I must watch my back CONSTANTLY. Sorry about the jelly beans.

  • 3. Lindsay  |  April 16, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    Thanks for the warning: I now will not be signing up my wild child for KARATAY (meant to be pronounced like Kramer did on Seinfeld). I am, however, truly frightened of what he might do later into childhood and adolescence. LeMare told me Miller Mondays would be funny–I now find them terrifying. How appropriate that you started on Friday the 13th.

  • 4. lemare  |  April 16, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    Bullroar. Classic! How did we leave THAT quote out of our Waiting For Guffman post???

  • 5. The Buk  |  April 16, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    I loved Karate Kid myself, probably saw it about 50 times but can’t get enough of it.

    An 80s movie that had a bully had to have Billy Zapka (Karate Kid, Back to School, Just One of the Guys)

    He truly was my hero.


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