Ah, Short Circuit 2 was on Sunday - a film I adored from the first time I saw it as a wee, impressionable bairn. Indeed, its portrayal of the Church (coupled with Nuns on the Run) probably was what turned me off organized religion for life, showing the bigotry, hypocrisy and sheer lack of imagination held by those who believe the world started with talking animals, naked girls being cloned from a guy's rib, and God being too no-fist to build a fence around a tree.
Short Circuit 2 had further effects on my mind. In a way, the central character and I are kindred spirits - wisecracking juveniles who, while being kind a friendly, are not the best when it comes to social situations (though unlike Johnny 5, I have never tried to woo a chick by telling her that "your mother fucks dogs" in Spanish and hoping she'll never translate it...). And like Johnny 5, I've lost my cool, become angry and violent, though my eyes stayed the same colour. I've also ended up lonely, in a corner, sans friends or cheer, trying to distract myself from depression by reading science fiction.
But the most painful part of this film isn't the titular android getting turfed out of art galleries, churches, bookstores and the like for the crime of being different, it's when the villains of the piece try to kill him by smashing him to pieces with fire axes and lead pipes. Seeing this cross between Wall-E and The Young Ones screaming in agony as sparks explode out his bleeding wounds probably made me the dysfunctional neurotic that I am today.
The crucial bit is what happens next. In silence (since his "throat" was slit and his voicebox broken) the now one-armed Johnny painfully hauls himself up, slowly grabs his other arm and rolls away, his "guts" spilling out. Johnny has no friends, no help, no way to even call for assistance and no one would assist him anyway. It would be very, VERY easy to give in to complete despair because, hell, I did when I saw the film, weeping at this unfair turn of fate that's up there with the end of Blake's 7.
But the important thing is what Johnny does.
He drags his dying ass to the nearest Radio Shack and rebuilds him until he's fit enough to defeat the bad guys, cause "A Life Form's gotta go what a Life Form's gotta do!"
And, as I sit before this computer I reflect that this attitude rubbed off on me. Nearby is the USB modem, still an ugly black colour from the fact it was soaked in my hot arterial blood which dried instantly over it. How did I bleed all over the modem? When I was turning it off, of course, so there wouldn't be a stupid hissing beeping noise on the phone line - and I HAD to use a land line since I couldn't handle my mobile. I was thinking THAT clearly, even as the memory makes me shake and nauseous right here and now.
As my parents noted, had I not held it together so well, I'd be dead - no ifs or buts. And maybe, just maybe, it was the memory of Johnny 5 in my dying mind that was what got me out of it alive.
Of course there are some that might say I'm talking crap and it's not Johnny 5 who saved me but God. In that case, I am willing to compromise: