Sunday, December 8, 2013

R. I. P. Paul Walker

On Friday, I used this space to say a few words about the passing of Nelson Mandela. A few days earlier, as you are probably aware, actor Paul Walker died in an auto accident. A tragic irony, if ever there was one. Regrettably, I didn't say anything here. Now that I have said something about Mandela, I feel bad for not doing so about Walker.

The fact that he was not a world leader does not make his death any less tragic than Mandela's. In fact, his popularity may make it just as impactful on the kids who see his movies. For them it should be a cautionary tale. They know who he is and can more readily identify with him. As important a person as Mandela is to the history of the world, many under thirty view him as something from their history books. To these people, he is important because that is what they have been told that. Walker is of this time. He became what they aspire to.

The one thing I hope does not come out of Walker's passing is what I read in one article over the weekend. It theorized that what happened to him may help romanticize street racing. Yes, I understand he was not racing at the time, but it is what has become associated with the man. We don't need a bunch of knuckleheads putting their petals to the metal. Leave that on the screen.

Speaking of the screen, I admit, the prospect of watching another Fast & Furious, or even the old ones, seems like it could be morbid entertainment. Still, I'm curious to see what the powers that be cook up for the next installment if the show does indeed go on. It's an odd series in that it actually hit its stride in the fifth movie. It can be argued that parts five and six are the best in the franchise. Click here and here to read my reviews of both of those movies.

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