Sense Ability: 3d6, With Bonuses

As you may have noticed, the film market is again being flooded by a deluge of "kiddie" flicks. A recent Time article noted that movie moguls are no longer surprised when a cheap effort like Problem Child or Home Alone grosses $50 to $150 million in a few weeks. This recurrent rush of adolescent super-starts makes one wonder at the source of their appeal. What is it about childish antics that has such a powerful draw on the adult movie audience?

Perhaps part of the answer lies in the language we apply to the question. Who makes up the majority of the movie-going audience? Grown-ups. Grown Ups. Past tense. Ones who have grown but are now "up" and have subsequently lost their impetus to change. Passed from a state of becoming into...what? A static existence? That is difficult to imagine, that anyone could actually stand stagnant amidst the torrential winds of change, but what is it that adults so frequently complain of to children? That the years seem to fly by, that their little nieces and nephews seem to sprout up in days rather than decades, as if months passed for children where only a week went by for their adult guardians.

"Summer's going fast, night's growing colder; children growing up, old friends growing older." (Rush: Hold Your Fire, "Time Stand Still") Time is a great wheel, as poets and symbol-makers have long known, and while everyone spins along at the same rate, making the same revolution in the same amount of time, children seem to be way out on the disc's edge. In the passing of a year, they race along at amazing speeds, moving through great stretches of transverse existence while the slower-moving adults nearer the hub can only stare outward in wonder.

The passage into maturity is a struggle. But what makes it difficult, this entering into the collective fold of social normalcy? Just this: you are opposing the pull of the wheel. You feel the tug of exuberance and radiant awareness pulling you back, fighting to fling you back to the rim of experience. But you resist. You let the rules of acceptable behavior bind you and blind you to the worlds of perception, the explosions of sensation available only of the brink of comprehension. "Rising falling at Force Ten, we twist the world and ride the wind." (Rush: Hold Your Fire, "Force Ten")

A lecturer, described in Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, faced an interesting challenge in one old woman's apparent denial of reality. "Rubbish!" she declared when he tried to explain the laws of empirical physics. "The world is a huge plate, riding on the back of a giant turtle!" (The quote may be a little mangled, but the sense is there.) The disdainful scientist laughed politely, but then he wouldn't know, would he? He has bound himself so tightly to the middle of the disc that after a thousand revolutions he has passed through precious little actual growth. Only by letting go of accepted limitations on thought and behavior, tumbling freely towards the brink of human consciousness, can we, like the old woman, look beyond the edge of the disc and get a glimpse of the world beyond. Let go. Flip out-ward, and learn to soar.

Because those turtles, they're really something to behold.