The Day We Argued About Movies: Part 2

Dear Michael,

How much we argued. That’s what I remember most about our walk and talk that day. The whole walk wound up being one long disagreement.

If I thought a scene in “Poltergeist” was funny, you might say you found it serious.

If you thought Arnold gave a good performance in “Terminator II,” I might saw he was better in the original.

It was as if we had actually agreed to disagree on everything.

And I had to ask myself, why must you always be so contrary. I would have loved for us to see eye to eye at least once in a while. And I grew quite frustrated – pissed off, really – and I’m pretty sure by the time we got home, the feeling was altogether mutual, and the walk turned out to be something less than an overwhelming success.

But now I realize that that day might have marked some kind of a turning point for you, and maybe, to a lesser degree, for me, too. Through the whole conversation, as you insisted on your point of view as valid – that, for example, “Superman 3” never got its due at the box office or Uma Thurmon was well cast in whichever “Batman” sequel she showed up in – you were actually making a clearcut, profound statement to me.

I am my own man, you were saying.

You can say what you want to me, you were saying, but by the same token, I can say what I want to you.

I’m establishing my identity here, whether you like it or not.

My ideas and thoughts are my own, no matter how much you disagree.

I stand independent of you, you were saying.

And now, all these years later, I can finally respect you for that freedom of spirit. I know its origins well, having long felt it myself. I have no doubt that your streak of stubbornness, harnessed right, will take you far.

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