Calling Long Distance

I am fortunate enough to be part of a generation that grew up with cultural milestones like Indiana Jones, Star Wars, E.T. and Fat Albert. People of my generation often look at the youngsters of today and shake our heads. We all remember how NKOTB opened up the whole boyband scene. We roll our eyeballs as we watch NSync and the Backstreet Boys duke it out, each trying to claim that they were the original boy band. We know better. That's until an even older (perhaps smellier) fart grabs us by the collar and shoves a black and white picture of the Beatles in our face.
Part of being in generation X (us old farts) involves having watched E.T. at some point of our very impressionable childhoods. I remember my E.T. experience quite vividly. I don't remember the movie at all, but I remember the experience – the emotions, the thoughts, the feelings I had when I first watched E.T. on the big screen.
<img src="" align = "left" hspace = "7" alt = "E.T. – The Extra Terrestrial" border = "0">I was FREAKED. I don't know what possessed my parents to buy me an E.T. toy that had a finger that could light up, but E.T. really had me cowering. I was a five year old, and the last thing I needed to see was this thing with a long neck running in the woods making gurgling noises. I'd rather have had Freddie (Nightmare on Elm Street for you Gen Yers) than E.T.. At Freddie looked somewhat human. It really didn't help that E.T. seemed slimy at times, and was a really disgusting colour to boot. BBBrrrrr….still get the shivers thinking about it.
20 years later, Spielberg decides to terrorise generation Zers (or whatever the 90s / millenium babies are called). E.T. hits the big screen once more, now with the technology of the ages behind his/her/its yucky dumpy body. I decided to do the brave thing. Watch it.
<img src="" align = "right" hspace = "7" border = "0" alt = "Drew Barrymore in E.T.">Sitting there in the theatre I had zero recollection of how the movie ended. My childhood horror came back to me as I watched E.T. do his/her/its 100 meter sprints into the forest. It helped that I was much taller now, and confident in my abilities to remove E.T.'s head from the prehensile neck if necessary. Settled in, I watched the movie for what it was, and it was nothing short of a movie that changed movie-making history. There was the feeling of nostalgia as I watched Drew Barrymore, then a young child. I too was a young child. It almost seemed like we were old friends who have not seen each other for some time. We had both gone our different ways. She makes a lot more money than I do of course.
Flying bicycles. A land where the kids knew better than the adults. Trust prevailed over cynicism. E.T.'s not a fantastic movie. But if you're a gen Xer, you'll want to phone home.
I hear a question. "How do I know if I'm a gen Xer?"
You'd have known that NKOTB meant New Kids on the Block.
<span class = "byline">Images &copy Universal Pictures.</span>
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