Take biology and psychology that developed over many thousands of years in the Stone Age, throw in Bronze Age spirituality and religions, mix in legal, finance, and government institutions developed in the Renaissance, toss in jobs, consumerism, work ethic, and education developed in the Industrial Revolution, add mass media and instant communications of the early 21st century, and possibly add machine automation that will make the work force far smaller and resources far easier to get as icing on the cake. Stand back and watch mayhem and chaos ensue or work toward bringing about the Star Trek future.
I’m going to go off tangent for this post and write on some random thoughts I have had over the last few years. I’ll try to keep this more light hearted than some of my previous posts.
Why are space aliens in the movies usually such jerks? The aliens from ‘Independence Day’, the foes of Sigourney Weaver from ‘Alien’, the large bugs from those campy ‘Starship Troopers’ movies (I actually liked that movie as I had a thing for Denise Richards in high school), the ‘Predator’ series, and the Empire from Star Wars are key examples. Even Star Trek got in on less than pleasant aliens with the war loving Klingons and anal retentive Vulcans (though I absolutely loved Mr. Spock as the perfect compliment to Captain Kirk). Only occasionally are there cool aliens featured in Hollywood like Superman, E.T., Yoda, and the Avatar aliens. And that’s about it, besides the trippy aliens from ‘2001.’ You would think any species that is advanced enough to master deep space travel would have abandoned their violent and animalist natures centuries before they set out to ‘boldly go where no one has gone before.’
Why are most movies about the future dystopic? Most movies about the future are like the Terminator series, the Matrix trilogy, Equilibrium, Gattaca, Brave New World, etc. Even H.G. Wells presented a real lousy future in ‘The Time Machine’ clear back in the late 1800s. Can anyone show me any movies about the future where the future isn’t hellish? I can think only of Star Trek and it’s various spinoffs and Futurama. But even Futurama features immoral crackpot scientists and alcoholic robots who want to “kill all humans.” Seriously Hollywood, come up with some futuristic movies where the future doesn’t suck.
Why is it rich people or large corporations are always villains in Hollywood movies? Who decided that having money makes you evil and being poor is virtuous? Yeah I get that the Bible said “It is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into heaven.” But the Bible, like many ancient works, is full of metaphors. That’s how people get ideas across. I use raging torrents of metaphors all the time. If there were no metaphors there would be no music, no poetry, no religion, no philosophy, no literature, and no culture. But I have known enough poor people, enough rich people, and enough middle class people to know that having money, or not, does not make or break your character. All social economic classes have their share of jerks, saints, sinners, humanitarians, cranks, heroes, and losers. Why are companies dumping toxic waste into rivers and supposedly holding back future technologies getting award winning documentaries made about their evils and the companies that develops life saving medicines and better yielding crops get maybe a thirty minute snippet on the Discovery Channel? Seriously, where is the good news from big business version of Michael Moore?
Why does Hollywood feel compelled to roll out remakes of movies from the 1980s that usually weren’t that good to begin with? How many sequels do we really need? I’m just waiting for the suits at the studios to roll out remakes of ‘The Princess Bride’, ‘The Breakfast Club’, and ‘Platoon.’ I heard a few days ago they are doing another Indiana Jones’ movie. Harrison Ford has got to be in his seventies by now. How much treasure can his tired old bones carry? Once again Hollywood, you’re running out of good ideas. Maybe you should just let movie goers submit suggestions at the theaters or your Facebook pages. Really, how many remakes of campy 1980s movies are we going to get subjected to before movie goers revolt in mass and just subscribe to Netflix or Hulu?
I have to admit I haven’t been to the movies in almost two years. Most of the movie watching I do is on my computer with Netflix or Youtube. I haven’t gone back because it just seems too much hassle to fight traffic, pay for a ticket, buy overpriced sodas and treats only to watch the same worn out story line over and over while the kid sitting behind me kicks the back of my chair as someone’s cell phone rings every five minutes. Maybe I’m getting picky in my old age and not being hip or keeping up with the young people. But I wasn’t hip even as a young person. I love watching movies, don’t get me wrong. I just love watching them at home. In movie theaters they get kind of picky about people eating pizza and hot wings while having a beer during the show. But I love the freedom of being able to watch movies at home. Long live the Internet.