One of my favorite movies of all time is the Dark Crystal, directed by two of the most creative people ever born, Jim Henson and Frank Oz. The movie is a dark, twisted children’s movie, with a cast of gnomes, fairies, scary vulture-like creatures and a one-eyed witch, instead of the usual fuzzy Muppets.
The gnomes are called “podlings,” and they are the film’s working class. They live high up in trees and throw big parties with flutes and drums. From time to time, the evil bird creatures, known as the Skekses, hunt and trap the podlings. They are taken to a castle and forced to stare at the giant Dark Crystal, which emits an all-powerful hypnotizing light. Once this happens, the podling’s “essence” begins to drain from him or her, which the greedy Skekses drink, temporarily restoring them to a more youthful appearance.
I think of this movie each time I stare at my new lava lamp, which my boss gave me earlier this week. (My company’s logo is a bouncy red ball, the lava lamp is a great marketing gift, since it forms floating red spheres).
But, now that I have my very own lava lamp, I catch myself hypnotized by it for minutes at a time, to the point that I’m almost drooling, just like a podling.