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Next step: Hollywood’s Reification of Earth
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Yes Mother Earth's revenge, coming to a theater near you soon:
Tired of abuse by mankind, the earth is angry. Worse, the planet is out to even the score.

Audiences can expect a story along those lines when M. Night Shyamalan’s film “The Happening” reaches screens in the next year. The project, to which 20th Century Fox signed on last week, imagines a planet that is starting to act like the vigilante Travis Bickle from “Taxi Driver.”

“The Happening” will not be the only big-budget studio film to test a new kind of villainy, in which the real victim is the environment, and, whatever the plot variations, the enemy is all of us. Beginning this summer and for months after, movies as diverse as the “The Simpsons Movie,” “Transformers,” a remake of “Creature From the Black Lagoon,” and James Cameron’s “Avatar” will take on environmental themes.
Yes friends, a new low in self-loathing. We're not a part of nature, but instead an enemy of nature. Amazing.

And who will this sort of nonsense effect the most? Those least capable of sorting fact from Hollywood fiction.

This was fairly predictable of course. You see Al Gore won an Oscar with a fairly awful film. But the theme is what did it, as most have figured out. So this is a business decision, in reality, since Hollywood is known to always attempt to leverage future success by ripping off present success. We've seen it a million times - a successful reality show theme is aired. Soon 12 other similar reality shows air trying to capture that audience.

Is it any wonder that the new rage in Tinsel Town will be Global WarmingTM and radical environmentalism? Or the reification of our earth which an unfortunate minority of those who see such films will buy into?

This is just the beginning and I think we're in for a long, hysterical and expensive ride. Heck, even the New York Times is becoming a bit wary. But being a student of human nature and by nature a bit cynical, I just don't see it getting any cooler, in terms of hype, before it gets much, much hotter.
 
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Agent Smith said it best in The Matrix:
I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure.
 
Written By: Ugh
URL: http://
I’ll bet those human farms in The Matrix were neither organic or carbon neutral.
 
Written By: Grandersnack
URL: http://
Really, Ugh? Look up how rabbits handled introduction into Australia. Or Caribbean tree frogs in Hawaii.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Who still watches M. Night Shyamalan movies anymore? I know I stopped after the village.

Now Transformers? They better not mess that up and make it like Captain Planet with Energon.
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
We expect better out of Hollywood? We’ll be lucky if the rabbits in these movies don’t develop fangs and bloodlust from being harried by us evil humans.
 
Written By: Firehand
URL: http://elmtreeforge.blogspot.com
And this is all different than the classic ’CHUD’ in what way?

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Really, Ugh? Look up how rabbits handled introduction into Australia. Or Caribbean tree frogs in Hawaii.
I wasn’t serious - I just liked the line in the movie, the way Hugo Weaving delivered it, and it seemed relatively on topic.
 
Written By: Ugh
URL: http://
Ugh, for me was the way he could deliver the phrase, "Mr...Anderson" The pause between Mr. and the name was perfect..."That is the sound of inevitability"...

And Looker CHUD, the first one is a classic, the others merely money-grubbing sequels lacking the vision and artistic talent of the first....

I was just thinking that the modern environmental movement really hates people, we are no longer making the world better for all, Earth Day to make the Planet Cleaner and Your Life BETTER, too, but rather now the enemy is US and we are making the planet better by making ourselves scarcer or non-existent. Of course by non-existent, I mean all non-green types, we "greenies" can hang around a few more generations, but you carbon guzzling, Gaia-Devouring Breeders have GOT to go, and soon!
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Ugh, for me was the way he could deliver the phrase, "Mr...Anderson" The pause between Mr. and the name was perfect..."That is the sound of inevitability"...
Yeah, he was great in that movie (and the 2 sequels for the most part, though they went quickly downhill in general).
 
Written By: Ugh
URL: http://
Yeah, he was great in that movie (and the 2 sequels for the most part, though they went quickly downhill in general).

Monica Bellucci and Trinity and the albino twins made the second one and well nothing really made the 3rd one...and this is from the man who adored the 1st one.

Trinity and Flight Officer Ellen Ripley are the only two womyn I’d leave my partner for.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Score one for GW-Alarmists. Their alarms have noticeably stimulated the market for alternative-fuels and renewables. And they’ve succeeded in generating a nation-wide GW discussion that hinges largely on their own terms. Score!

One reason for Global Warming’s staying-power could be college-educated folks, including myself, are willing to indulge a popular delusion for what they perceive to be a "greater good."

An old friend designs off-grid electricity generation systems (usually photo-voltaic with diesel or propane-powered standby generator). Over beers last week we laughed at the folly of it all: he’s raking in the dough selling PV-arrays and he advertises in journals catering to the GW-crowd, but, neither one of us actually believes in anthropogenic warming.

Is my friend stupid? Smart? A filthy American capitalist exploiting a dishonest global media-campaign? It all depends, I guess.

Either way, the snowballing GW lie reminds me of a parenting cliche. Parents regularly lie to their children that four brussels-sprouts, or a spoon-full of cold mashed potatoes, left uneaten "causes" starvation in Africa, or where-ever. The parent knows that the causality is dubious, but lies to the child anyway.

Just like the well-meaning parent, most of GW’s advocates are well-enough educated to know that GW is a lie, but to them it’s a sly lie told to stimulate behaviors they deem positive (ie. "Eat your veggies!", "Drive a Hybrid!," "Vote Democrat(ic)!").

At age 7, I discovered that the best way to refute the "Starving Kids in Africa-lie" at the dinner table is to barf-up the brussels-sprouts that my Mom just conned me into eating. That showed her, and she never used that line on me again.

Some nation-wide variation on that theme may dissuade Global Warming’s nannies from fibbing, too.





 
Written By: steveaz
URL: http://
I think the word you’re looking for is “anthropomorphizing”.

Reify: to regard something abstract as material.
 
Written By: Dave Schuler
URL: http://www.theglitteringeye.com
"Reification" could work here too, though I don’t want to enter into a Fark-esque debate about whether or not this is REALLY "Irony" or another term....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"We expect better out of Hollywood? We’ll be lucky if the rabbits in these movies don’t develop fangs and bloodlust from being harried by us evil humans."

Already been done - see The Night of the Lepus.
 
Written By: ray_g
URL: http://
We’ll be lucky if the rabbits in these movies don’t develop fangs and bloodlust from being harried by us evil humans.

The summer blockbuster of 2009: The Lepus!

"They were born that tragic moment when science made its great mistake... now from behind the shroud of night they come, a scuttling, shambling horde of creatures destroying all in their path."



 
Written By: Bryan C
URL: http://bcostin.typepad.com
I was just thinking that the modern environmental movement really hates people
That has been evident for years, this planet would be a paradise if it weren’t for all those evil homo sapiens. Of course Earth would be perfect, if we could eliminate only those with “Blow Dried” brains who believe this garbage.

Now the real propaganda campaign begins. Hollywierd will bombard viewers with messages showing how evil our species is, telling its audience the socially responsible thing to do it commit suicide. With luck those spawned in the shallow end of the gene pool will take that advice, leaving more room for the rest of us. Fortunately that also will eliminate most of the entertainment industry, those who open their mouths before engaging their brain.

Seriously this will do for the “Cult of the Evil Human” what “The China Syndrome” did for the anti-nuclear energy crowd. Thoughtful debate on humans effect on global warming will be more limited. Congress will waste even more money, and promulgate more odious regulations forcing us to do what they think will solve this non problem.

The sensible way to deal with this new wave of propaganda is to boycott those movies, but the American people rarely do the sensible thing. Like lemmings they are eager to follow the crowd over the cliff.



 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
I remember Agent Smith’s line about humans, mammals, and viruses. The thing is, it’s exactly backwards.

Humans are the ONLY mammal that develop an equilibrium. Other mammals don’t. Look at deer, rabbits, bison, etc. They all have histories of overpopulating their ranges, and having massive die-offs from starvation.

Typical Hollywood. Good with the presentation, bad with the facts.
 
Written By: JayC
URL: http://
I think the word you’re looking for is “anthropomorphizing”.

Reify: to regard something abstract as material.
Nope. Reification is precisely the word I wanted:
Reification (German: Verdinglichung, literally: ver-, over + ding: thing + -lichung: as english, -ify) is the consideration of an abstraction or an object as if it had human or living existence and abilities;
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
With the exception of a lunatic fringe, very few do anything about the much-hyped problem. Even the Germans want nothing to do with speed limits on the Autobahn.

People are smarter than they are given credit for. They grumble about expensive gas, but aren’t lining up behind certain members of Congress, who want to take money out of the oil companies (yes, the same oil companies that we own, in our 401k’s and IRAs) and spend it on votes... Excess profits, indeed. Let’s talk about excess taxes first.

Barbra Streisand can scold us from her mansion, and most people think hypocrite. Ditto for Mr Gore, who was inconveniently caught using extraordinary amounts of energy while lecturing the rest of us. John Edwards decries two Americas, evidently the one he lives in, and the one inhabited by the rest of us who make do with under 28000 square feet. You can put them on TV, and in the news, but you can’t make me believe in, or even care much what they say. Think I’m wrong? How well is Gore’s documentary doing at the box office?
 
Written By: MarkD
URL: http://
Ugh, for me was the way he could deliver the phrase, "Mr...Anderson" The pause between Mr. and the name was perfect..."That is the sound of inevitability"...
Right, and so, later I kept waiting for Elrond to ask
"where is the Ring? Mr...Frodo",
or
"don’t you think you kept my daughter out rather late last night? Mr...Aragorn"


The oldsters here must recall the movies of the 50’s and 60’s and the mutant creatures being spawned as a result of our "nukular" testing.

50 foot women, "THEM", visits by Michael Rene and his master Gort telling us not to play with our nukes in space or blammo!

Ah yes, those were the days when all we had to fear was nuclear oblivion or being a survivor left to deal with mutants, giant insects, and silver robots (Klaatu Barada nikto).
(snark) All such good movies too, high quality work (/snark) (except for Gort, which actually was pretty good quality)
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Looker, Them is a classic, better even than CHUD.....

I can just here Frodo saying, "Whoa" to Elrond, too....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
here on the real earth, however, in the most populous state in the Union (and with an economy large enough to join the G8) water planners are no longer debating whether the climate is changing. Instead, we are trying to figure out (a) by how much and (b) how quickly. The environment of the Bay-Delta is crashing, the Colorado River looks more and more to be slipping into a multi-year drought, and the snowpack melt patterns are already changing.

this is the real impact of global climate change. there’s no dramatic shutdown of the Gulf Stream, no sudden collapse of the Ross Ice Shelf. Instead, by slow, creeping measures, enormous weaknesses in the infrastructure on which our society depends are being revealed.

Las Vegas, frex, is out of water. The city quite literally cannot support any new growth unless it finds new sources of water. Arizona has the lowest priority to Colorado River water. If the drought in the basin states continues, Phoenix could be in real trouble.

yes, there’s water in the Pacific. But desalinization is tremendously expensive, and that doesn’t even count the energy cost of moving the water from the edge of the ocean up to where it’s needed.

yes, a tremendous amount of water is used for ag. But ag. is a multi-billion dollar industry that keeps food prices low and stable (relatively).

so, in Western states alone, dealing with climate change will cost billions of dollars and may impose wrenching changes on long-standing and highly-valued industries.
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
Francis, the answer is and WAS, always, to adopt the market-based approach. Global Warming isn’t your problem the problem is that BLM rents land at about 1/4 the price private land rents for, ergo ranchers over-graze it...BLM sells water to farmers at 1/10th the cost per acre foot LA can buy it for, ergo you have over-use of water. Ask yourself this, "WHY IS THERE A CALIFORNIA RICE GROWERS ASSOCIATION?" Is it really sensible that a semi-arid state produces rice in industrial amounts?

So worry less about carbon offsets, and environmental change and worry more about paying a market rate for resources used.

Modest suggestion: Sell the Federal property in the West that is not Nuclear, Space, or Defense related... and sell off the Central Valley Project. Do that and you’ll see the Colorado come back.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
so, in Western states alone, dealing with climate change will cost billions of dollars and may impose wrenching changes on long-standing and highly-valued industries
The problem here in the West is not Global climate change, it a regional return to an arid state after a long relatively wet period. We live in a desert that was here long before humans. Through an unusual wet period and the use of technology we have been able to make the West a relatively green habitable region. This is the return to equilibrium
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
Joe:

Preach it brutha, preach it!

My sister-in-law calls from Tucson to complain regularly about the water shortage. I tell her if she and a couple million other people stopped living in the desert, there wouldn’t be a problem with a water shortage...



 
Written By: darkjethro
URL: http://
Lets just save ourselves the trouble of all these bad new movies and go out and get a copy of Godzilla va the Smog Monster on DVD...because there is absolutely nothing Hollywood can do that can equal something as craptastic as that one
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
One word Francis - Anasazi.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone familiar with Hollywood atomic-era science fiction. The production values may have improved markedly, but the sophistication of the people involved hasn’t. (Considering such classics as "The Day the Earth Stood Still," arguably, it has declined.) This next generation of eco-fiction movies will be morally clumsy, like the atomic-era sci fi, and over time will be just as risible as most of that genre.
 
Written By: Tedd McHenry
URL: http://www.mchenry.ca
Who could forget the ’insect’ genre movies.
The mutated fish become human movies.
Volcano movies.

Waterworld, flipped around the other way (wet to dry, and nearly as ’good’) Tankgirl.

the more recent spate of ’earth gets hit by big rock’ movies (Armageddon, Asteroid, etc, replays of 50’s - WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE!)

Most of these are decidedly bad, I see no reason to think they’re suddenly going to get convincing.

Hell, they can’t even translate good post apocalypse books (The Postman by David Brin) into decent movies, let alone starting out with a crappy idea for a screenplay to begin with. The only thing that will be any good might be the CGI.

So, Hollywood can do what they like, and they’ll still screw it up.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Hey Firehand -

The rabbit bit’s been done. See Monty Python & the Holy Grail. The monster Tim is played by a white rabbit.
 
Written By: Boring Made Dull
URL: http://boringmadedull@blogspot.com
This is the wrong film to use as an indicator of how "Hollywood" feels, considering that most of the studios passed on it — despite Shyamalan’s earlier successes.

The general word on Shyamalan now is that he’s a very talented director who writes increasingly stupid stories, and that his ego and self-righteousness have begun to overwhelm his good sense.

So the fact that Fox finally decided to take on the project has nothing to do with the views of its executives; only that they saw a chance to make a profitable film and develop a relationship with a writer-director who might be good for them in the future.
 
Written By: Ted
URL: http://
I have to doubt that orthodoxy is so demanded from the right considering the front runner is Giuliani
It’s a long time between now and the election, there may be many a slip the lip, and the rim of the cup. You can not make a prediction this early. Thing will change between now and when we cast our vote. Anything can happen, so we don’t know the next two years. Who will be president 1n 2008

What happens now will be forgotten by the time of the general election. What we have now between the two parties is irrelevant in the long run.
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
I haven’t heard of any enviro-whacko stuff in transformers. In fact, the bad guys (robo-nazis) take a negative view of us, but the good guys ( gas-guzzling sports cars and trucks... Oh Yeah) think this is BS and blow them up. I have been all over the fan sites, and haven’t heard anything like what you describe. Anyway, its being made by Michael Bay, who prefers explosions to preaching, and makes movies where oil drillers are heroes.
 
Written By: Dylan Bruns
URL: http://
I’m curious. Can you guys think of any current environmental problems that were not caused by people? Or do you just not believe problems exist?
Recognizing that humans are responsible for one of the biggest waves of extinction in history and the wholesale destruction of the environment =/= hating humans.
 
Written By: Lars
URL: http://
Can you guys think of any current environmental problems that were not caused by people?
The Caribbean island of Montserrat - volcano ruins life for citizens
Drought in the SouthWest (except if there weren’t humans trying to live here no one would care).


Heh -
Global Warming(tm) - just because you think it’s caused by humans, doesn’t mean it is.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
The Caribbean island of Montserrat - volcano ruins life for citizens
Drought in the SouthWest (except if there weren’t humans trying to live here no one would care).
Fair enough. Shows me for using hyperbole in a rhetorical question.
In any case, I was just mocking this thread for not dealing with the reality of human-caused problems.
Global Warming(tm) - just because you think it’s caused by humans, doesn’t mean it is.
True. That that is the overwhelming scientific consensus is pretty good evidence though... But at least you agree it’s a problem; denialists seem to be learning (slowly).
 
Written By: Lars
URL: http://
Don’t count on it Lars. This denialist is constantly amused by what is fast becoming a world wide phenomenon, the Gore Effect.
 
Written By: wilky
URL: http://

 
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