Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Shockingly Close to the Truth

Well, maybe not that close, but pretty close once in a while. I’m talking about the movies, most of which are crap and pap for the masses.

But take Lord of War, in which Nicolas Cage plays a gunrunner who makes it big. Although at first it seems as though individual arms dealers like Cage’s character are the utmost evil, you see at the end that gunrunners are just subcontractors for the big arms dealers: governments. And the supreme irony, saved for the very last scene, is hard to miss. So hard to miss in fact that the director could not get a US studio to fund the film. Read into that what you will.

One other interesting flick that comes to mind at this moment is The Island, which at first appears to be some kind of future society where humans have isolated themselves from a polluted outside world, but is actually a facility for clones waiting for their organs to be harvested when needed. Too many viewers, I fear, will probably not be shocked by what are actually very chilling scenes which show that clones — in fact living, breathing human beings — are treated like bugs.

Finally there is V for Vendetta, which is quite a mixed bag (for example, Rice Farmer does not endorse violent solutions), but does offer a view of totalitarian society which everyone would do well to take seriously. One thing I believe the filmmakers didn’t get right is revealed by V’s statement, “People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” In fact, as I have observed several times on this blog, those in power are afraid of their people, and that is the reason for informants, spy cams, police states, reading people’s emails, listening to people’s telephone conversations, arbitrary arrests, databases, RFID, disappearances, torture, and concentration camps. If governments weren’t afraid of their people, what use would they have for all these things? To stop terrorists? Even if terrorists are real, motor vehicles kill far more people but governments take little action to mitigate motorized carnage.

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