Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Spirit of Doom

12/9/2015—The underlying theme of the 2015 movie Tomorrowland is that we are succumbing to a mood of despair versus an earlier mood of hopefulness and that this change is itself making things worse. People in despair do not improve their situations.

This theme plays out both expressly and implicitly in the movie. In one exchange, the hero, Casey Newton, repeats to her father a story he has often told her:

Casey Newton: There are two wolves who are always fighting. One is darkness and despair. The other is light and hope. The question is... which wolf wins?
Eddie Newton: The one you feed.

In another scene, Casey is in high school. Three teachers, in a row, drone on. One is describing mutually assured destruction and the danger of nuclear weapons. Another is describing the dire effects of global warming. A third, dystopia in literature.

But, despite the dangers described, the students are bored stiff. They are tuned out. Why not? They are not being challenged to do anything. This is all just happening.

Meanwhile, Casey has her arm in the air, trying to ask a question. The first two teachers ignore her. The third finally calls on her. Casey asks, what are we doing to fix it? I mean, I know things are bad. But what can we do?

The third teacher is just flummoxed by the question. Now the audience sees that the teachers are as bored as the students. For they also do not believe in the possibilities of the future.

Now think about America’s broken politics. How we hate each other. And call each other un-American. And say the other side ignores science—(by the way, liberals ignore science all the time. See genetically altered food.)

Wouldn’t it be crazy to believe that our politics could improve? What could possibly do that? So, we are infected by the spirit the movie is protesting.

Science fiction is often a harbinger of the future—as is art in general when it’s healthy. Science fiction gave us the Terminator movies and the Matrix movies, warning us against technology destroying the human quality of humanity.

Well, in the October 18, 2015 issue, Charles Yu reviewed six science fiction novels in the New York Times Book Review—my barometer of the elite—and this is what he wrote about them in general:

And although it is admittedly a small sample, after having visited this particular cross section of the fictional galaxy, it’s hard not to notice a prevailing atmospheric quality common to many of the stories: So much of this work feels as if it is post-something, pervaded by a sense of living and writing in an era that comes after, of fiction being produced by novelists who can’t help feeling that it’s getting late or, in some cases, that it’s too late. The emphasis here being on the post-, and less on the something, which is variable from writer to writer and from story to story. Sometimes the something is big and vague, and sometimes it’s more specifically defined.

It’s too late. It’s getting late. Like Tomorrowland, we are in deep trouble that we cannot get out of.

They always said that we would run out of resources one day. I never quite imagined that the major resource we would run out of, would be hope.

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