On Facebook the other day, I saw a link to a piece entitled How ‘The Fifth Element’ Predicted Lady Gaga And Everything Else About Modern Life—Back in ’97.
I postulate that anyone writing for money on an Internet site is 25 years old or younger. Why? Let’s use this piece as an example.
The article says that The Fifth Element, a fine film that I’ve seen many times, predicts:
- Yes, a fashion model can carry an entire movie.
But fashion models have been in films for decades. Ever heard of Racquel Welch? She modeled before she carried films. Jane Fonda? I know, if you’re like me, you think Nat King Cole carried Cat Ballou, but her name was over the title.
If you go out on the Internet and conduct a search for models who became actresses, those lists written and poached by 25-year-olds do only include fashion models who became actresses in the late 1990s.
- We love Divas
Is Diva Plavalaguna from the movie any less weird than Lady Gaga from Earth? Or Nicki Minaj, for that matter?
What on earth? People who appreciate divas did not appreciate divas before 1997? Good lord amercy, what about Diana Ross? Does he mean only lady singers who look weird? Maybe this writer’s granddad can explain Wendy O. Williams or, frankly, any pop singer from the 1980s to him. Sarah Brightman. Cher. Madonna. Come on, this is where divas started?
- And cruise ships.
Behold this howler:
The cruise ship industry was still in its infancy in 1997.
In 1997, terrorism was something that happened in far away place, to other people.
Keep in mind, 1997 is four years after the first World Trade Center bombing and two years after the bombing in Oklahoma City. It’s some number of years after the bombings in the late 1960s and 1970s. A couple decades past airplane hijackings in the United States.
The author goes onto say:
Since 2001, however, it’s been on the cultural frontburner almost continuously.
In the news, one never heard about the 1972 Munich Olympics, the Iranian Hostage Crisis, constant kidnappings throughout the Middle East, or the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro (of course the author didn’t hear about this, since it took place on a cruise ship before the industry was in its infancy).
No, indeed, The Fifth Element was the thing that brought terrorists to our attention.
- The real estate crisis.
Silly human, the real estate crisis only involves New York City.
In future New York, we see that apartments for ordinary people are reduced to tiny cubicles. Not too different from the current New York!
In 1997, all New York apartments looked like the sets of 1940s films. Every studio was a three-bedroom penthouse. But in 2000, Rudy Guiliani sold 75% of Manhattan to New Jersey to buy its silence in covering his affair with Judith Nathan, which resulted in the small sizes for domiciles that continues to this day. Or something.
- Reality TV
People forget that reality TV as we know it now didn’t exist in 1997.
Cops debuted in 1989. The Real World debuted in 1992. I mean, really. A quick search of Wikipedia gives you a history of reality television. As to shameless self-promoting television hosts, come on. We can go back to Morton Downey, Jr. Or Geraldo, who got his nose broken on his television show in 1988.
I mean, the Howard Stern show was syndicated eleven years before the film, and it features a hucksterish outrageous personality transmitting his thoughts via radio waves to your receiver.
Who could have seen this coming? Only the divine oracle that is The Fifth Element.
The other things in the list are about Bruce Willis’s lingering popularity (well, he’s still working, but I wouldn’t say he’s still “huge”) and the lingering popularity of the Leelo costume for Hallowe’en (coincidentally, it covers little of the feminine physique).
Like so many things, the piece has a certain cultural myopia that can’t see anything before the middle 1990s and comes off, at least to this old man, as annoying because of it.
But it does reflect an adolescent viewpoint that says, “All history began with my birth or self-awareness” that cripples our contemporary society and discourse.
NOW GET OFF MY LAWN!
UPDATE: Thanks for the link, Mr. H. I’m not sure if he means I’m not self-aware or not. Which might prove that I am not.
UPDATE: Thanks, also, for the link, Ms. K.