Monday, August 27, 2007

A flash

The sudden flash of light occurred in mid-flight on the China Airlines flight from Vancouver to Taipei, just as the main character in the Spiderman 3 movie first confronted his evil alter ego. All as one, the occupants of the cabin looked in stupefaction toward the source of light, waves of palpable fear rolling through the plane. Partaking of that recoil, I, too, could only think back on the scenes of the China Airlines aircraft going up in flames in Okinawa a little more than a week ago. It took me — and I would say most passengers — a good minute to calm down after realizing that the source of light was not something that had gone terribly wrong with the plane, but rather a kid who, caught in the action of the movie, could not refrain from taking a picture of the large screen in front of us.

Air accidents — even those than do not result in loss of life — continue to awaken nightmares in people’s imagination, especially so when, as with other catastrophes, the images are repeated over and over again in the media. This barrage of images in the past week turned an innocuous event — a child seeking a shot of his favorite cartoon — into a source of dread.

Not that I want to play film critic or anything, but that moment when the flash went off was, for me, the only source of excitement throughout the whole movie.

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