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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

Start: 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.

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