“Pirate Radio” & “The Box”
 
            “Pirate Radio” is just a nice waltz down memory lane for Baby Boomers.  In a loose adaptation of actual events, in 1966, apparently, Rock n’ Roll couldn’t get on the “official” British station for more than an hour at a time, so that gave rise to an enterprising bunch of deejays who set up a portable station in a barge floating off the coast, and called it….Pirate Radio.  They didn’t play anything that we still don’t hear every day now on all the “oldies” stations----Rolling Stones, Beach Boys (hmmm, lack of Beatles songs, could be a copyright problem).   This movie has all the deejays rocking to the music, and people listening on their transistors, slight whiff of contraband---that rebellious undertone that’s always been the backbeat of rock n’ roll, anyway.
            Her Majesty’s government, at #10 Downing Street , was apparently determined to quash this little populist rebellion, this “filthy, detestable, vulgar” music, which, of course, just made everybody want to listen to it more.  The deejays were not exactly out of the pages of GQ.  They were, however, greatly enjoying their status as rebel celebrities, as well as fortuitously benefiting from the first stirrings of the sexual revolution (after the birth control pill became widely available, and before anybody knew about AIDS).
            There’s something wickedly exuberant about this whole enterprise, from the tongue-in-cheek interpretations of stuffy Cabinet meetings to the ribald fellowship aboard the good ship Jolly Roger.  If you grew up with the rambunctious music of this era, you’ll just enjoy the plentiful sound track, as well as the pictorial tribute at the end (be sure to stay through the credits).  If you don’t like “pop” music, anyway, well, you probably won’t “get” it.  But for those of us whose psyche is indelibly marked with 60’s rock, well, the whole experience just makes you want to get in your car afterwards and crank up the volume of any decent song you can find.  And not explain why to anyone.
 
            Speaking of not explaining why to anyone, you’ve no doubt already heard the premise of “The Box”:  a stranger comes to the door of a young couple, carrying a box that has a red push button on top, under lock and key.  All they would have to do is take the key, open the box, and push the button.  Then they’d receive a million dollars in cash, delivered the next day.  But somebody they don’t know would die.
            What would you do for money?  What would you not do?  Perhaps that’s why God gave us the 10th commandment, about not coveting.
            It’s impossible to discuss this movie further without giving away the plot.  But if you decide to see it, consider this metaphor:  the stranger at the door is God, and the couple is Adam and Eve, who then evolve into Cain and Abel.
 
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Greenville , Texas