Last Father's Day, as a gift, my two boys bought me a gift card to the local cineplex. Well, not the local one, but one located on the other side of town. This past weekend, I decided to take them to see WALL-E, to continue our longstanding tradition of seeing Pixar movies in the theater. Wilbur protested at first, because he thought it was a "baby" movie, and he being all of eleven years old now, was too grown up to go see it.
The movie tells the tales of a future where the planet Earth is a vast wasteland covered with garbage bought by humans at the giant "Buy 'n' Large (think Wal-Mart) store, then disposed of, until the planet is uninhabitable by humans. A very good environmental movie, with a message that resonates not only with children, but adults as well. In the end, both my boys enjoyed the movie, and thanked me for taking them. However.....
I took them to an afternoon matinee, and bought them two children tickets, which were appropriate, since, as much as they may protest, they are children. Because of this, they were given two "WALL-E" digital watches, a promotional toy wrapped in plastic, made of plastic, and destined to be worn for a while, then end up in some scrap heap much like the kind WALL-E compresses into cubes at the start of the film.
I'm sure this is not the fault of the film makers, they probably didn't say "Hey! Let's make a cheap giveaway to entice children into the theaters on opening weekend". No, that would be the work of marketers, who, obviously oblivious to the film's central message, thought that there's not enough junk promotional toys rotting in landfills, let's add a couple more.
Both kids gave the watches to me to hang on to, (they've moved on to real watches with hands, digital watches are for "little kids"), and I stuck them in one of Grandpa Jones' old cigar boxes, along with other collected trinkets, where someday, they might actually gain value, while the rest of them rot away in a cube of trash compacted by a Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class.