Happy Tax Day. Here’s hoping you’ve got a nice cushion to sit down on now that Uncle Sam is done having his way with you.
If you have watched any Devon Stacks’ analyses of the Hollywood machine, then you probably view everything that trickles out of Big Media in a whole new way. Once Devon parts the waters and shows you what’s happening beneath the surface, you can never go home again. Not always nice, not always easy, learning to spot the buried messages represents a vital component of life for those still resisting the final collapse in these, the latter days of the Pax Americana.
If you haven’t seen one, I highly recommend his summary and analysis of Ciderhouse Rules. This pro-abortion film was lauded by the illiterati, in stark contrast to Big Media’s overwhelming censorship of current release UnPlanned because of the “sensitive nature” of the subject. Translating parcel-tongue to English, what they mean is that they must protect, not the delicate sensibilities of modern viewers, but the annual fetal contributions to Moloch.
Watch three of his analyses, and the next thing you know, you’ll start making connections of your own. Which brings us to the very normie sci-fi scene.
It’s a series, actually, with Episode One dealing with Aliens. We’ll talk about a couple of other episodes in future posts. The episode on aliens gives us all the fodder we need for today.
Long time genre fans expect to see the usual Boomer perspectives. Naturally, his version of the story of science fiction begins and ends with the era of the Boomers. To be fair, he is a film guy making a film about film people, so it’s no surprise that his documentary would ignore the foundational stories of the genre. It does start with HG Wells, but then skips straight past four decades of science fiction to land on rubber monster B-movies. The usual Big Pub diversity hires get trotted out to offer Narrative Approved talking points about how the genre has matured under the careful guidance of perverts like Arthur C. Clarke without a mention of giants like Howard and Burroughs and Lovecraft and Merritt and the rest of the True Golden Age writers. Oh and they talk to Ken Liu – he’s great and one of two bright sparks in the show. Hilariously, the other is Keanu Reeves, who comes across as one of the smartest people and deepest thinkers in the documentary.
As a sign of how shallow the thinking is, Cameron et al. discuss how science-fiction was a small and unpopular field – remember that the enormous popularity of the pulp works has been memory holed and they start with the dweebish era of the Campbellian age – but that it has overtaken other genres as evidenced by the current rage for superheroes and spaceship movies. It then goes on to talk about how science-fiction has always been popular as evidenced by the popular films from the fifties, sixties, seventies, etc.
Let’s set all that aside and instead analyze what Cameron and others of his ilk have to say about their goals.
Cameron discusses “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” with Spielberg. At the nine-minute mark, Cameron mentions that, “You really created a kind of, almost an alternate spirituality, or alternate religion.”
Wait – what? Why do we need an alternate spirituality? What’s wrong with the one we’ve got? It’s an optimistic framework for understanding the universe, one that proclaims our ultimate victory over death if we accept the price paid for us by the blood of our Savior. Why, it’s worked well for two thousand years, it has built a civilization responsible for the greatest advances, the lowest infant mortality rates, one where the greatest threat to people’s health is overabundance. One that put a man on the moon, wiped out diseases that once decimated continents, one that shared its bounty with the world, and flung wide its doors to welcome all comers. It would take a lot of effort to convince people to give up a civilization like that – the kind of effort that could only be conducted by outsiders who don’t understand or accept or appreciate the gifts of Western Civilization.
“Yes,” Spielberg continues, “and the superior civilization is going to find the best of you, and pull the best of you out of yourself.”
The superior civilization? Spielberg makes movies about a strange alien arriving in America and showing the poor benighted locals a superior culture and new spirituality, and the struggle these wise aliens face thanks to the inherent prejudice of the…
Well, this just got really uncomfortable.
The documentary shines a light on the two-faced nature of Spielbergian sci-fi. It lurches back and forth between two contradictory positions that carry the same message.
On the one hand, it delves into the role science fiction can play in demonstrating the failures of Western Civilization. What a shame, the story goes, that a few outsiders would enter a world like Pandora or countless worlds filled with noble savages just like it and start mucking up the place.
On the other hand, it delves into the role science fiction can play in demonstrating the failures of Western Civilization as it struggles to maintain its own identity in the face of invasion by the Other. What a shame, the story goes, that a few outsiders like the Prawn or countless races just like them would enter a world like ours and meet with such resistance and fear of their obviously superior ways.
Either way you look at it, Western Civilization is the worst.
In the end, though, the greatest glimpse into the mind of the twentieth century’ greatest film-maker comes at the tail end of the episode when he admits that all he has ever wanted to do was help filmgoers get comfortable with the idea of aliens among them, aliens dedicated to improving the way of life of the locals. Spielberg wants to encourage everyone to understand that aliens are good and the changes they bring will help them evolve into a better sort of being. All they have to do is stop being afraid of change and the Other.
Unless the other is American, Christian, or Western.
Those guys are the worst.
Cool story bro.
On a related note: Don’t give money to people who hate you.
I’m going to go take a shower.