Morbius: Why’d you jumble that combination?
Adams: What ever you know and hear, your twin self out in the tunnel knows, too.
[Morbius attacks Adams.]
Morbius: I’m not a monster, you …
[Adams gains control quickly, but Morbius continues to struggle.]
Adams: We’re all part monsters in our subconscious! So we have laws and religion!
Morbius: Let me go!
Adams: You’ve got to listen! We don’t have much time!
— Walter Pidgeon (as Dr. Edward Morbius) and Leslie Nielsen (as Commander John J. Adams) from Forbidden Planet
If you haven’t seen the 1956 science fiction film Forbidden Planet, and you’re any kind of science fiction fan, consider yourself duly reprimanded. (If you’re not a science fiction fan but willing to put up with some retro eye-candy, there are certainly worse ways to spend an hour and thirty eight minutes.)
Long before the late Leslie Nielsen became famous for his over-the-top character Detective Frank Drebin in the Naked Gun movies, I first ran across a much younger and more serious Nielsen as Commander J. J. Adams of the United Planets Cruiser C-57D.
Beyond being a classic, the film does us a service in that it dramatically reminds us of a fundamental truth of who we really are. In our Ids — the Freudian term used in the film for the primal portion of the subconscious mind — whether we’re Liberal or Conservative; Black, White, Brown, Yellow, or Red; gay or straight; or Alpha Male or part of the herd, we’re all part monsters.
The Chosen and the Damned
I was taught when I was very little — as most of us in this self-important, recklessly breeding organism called the Human Race were taught at some point — a very easy way to be a monster.