Did anyone else besides Chatterbox laugh out loud upon seeing the article on the front page of today's New York Times arts section? The dead-serious piece-- "With the Force but Without Guns" (registration required)--is at once a bit of Star Wars hype and a maudlin post-Columbine sobfest, a combination almost too delicious to be wished.
The main point of the first 10 paragraphs is that conventioneers at the "Star Wars Celebration" in Denver are too glum about the two-week old tragedy in Littleton to have a good time. That's because 1) Star Wars' "dark side" borrows Nazi iconography, 2) Dylan and Eric were known neo-Nazis, 3) Eric's Web site says he hated Star Wars fans, and 4) Star Wars has a lot of shooting. Or something like that. Point is, they're glum. And it's because of Littleton, which is apparently all anyone in the state of Colorado can think about right now.
Chatterbox kept reading the piece in hope of finding out whether Kosovar refugees were also too burdened by life to enjoy the Phantom Menace buildup, and if perhaps the 11,000 Dow was sufficient consolation. Or whether Denver was a tasteful choice for the Star Wars Celebration so near John Elway's tearful retirement, and what the lunatics queuing at Mann's Chinese Theater think about the whole mess.
Sadly, the piece did not deliver on any of these morbid wishes. But media cynics can take partial consolation in the totally gratuitous Y2K reference in the 16th paragraph, which underscores the importance of May 19 (the release of The Phantom Menace) by saying that it is even "more anxiously awaited than the millennial New Year's Eve."