It’s a great thing to sit down with your eight year old nephew, watch a kid’s film and realise the world is going to die if we don’t get our shit together.
I suppose the title of this blog could be construed as slightly negative, but then so is the word ‘no’ and heaps of people use that word every day…
After a second viewing last evening (the first being last year), once again Wall-E amazed me with it’s ability to sum up the plight of our planetary universe through the format of an animated kids film. Sure, it won an Oscar® for best animated film, but it could have easily picked up more had it been thought of as more than just a kiddies flick (it was nominated for best screenplay, song, score, sound – what about picture, director all the big ones). Then you look at the Mr. Not Quite President Al Gore and his fancy animation of Florida going down the plug hole and think, “wow Albert, that was something quite frightening presented in a way that lulled us into a slow and painful brain death.”
The Wall-E view of the world presents earth as a wasteland, filled with skyscrapers of compacted rubbish, rivers oozing rather than flowing, everything with an all-round eery brown/gold hue. Humans, who have migrated from earth to live in space, have evolved into large blubbery creatures that are moved around on hovering gurneys with screens of information preventing them from viewing anything else of their surrounds. Constant advertisements play on these small personal screens and on much larger screens around the spaceship they live on.
I must say that seeing programmes now like ‘The Fattest Loser’ and ‘The Fat Doctor’ where people are more stored fat than anything else suggests that the human reality the makers of Wall-E present isn’t far from what we have now.
Rampant consumerism, which makes up a vast portion of the west’s current psyche, is also lampooned in this film. The call of “Blue is the new Red” is met with humans pressing a button on the arm-rests of their gurneys and their red suits turning a blue shade of blue.
The human need to consume a variety of bright sparkly things, many of which they don’t need, is what caused the current world financial meltdown.
People: I want that!
Banks: We can lend you some money to buy that if you want…
People: Well, I don’t actually have a job at the moment. I might not be able to pay you back.
Banks: Oh, that’s ok. Look, we’ve lent millions of dollars to people over the years. We know what we are doing. We wouldn’t be lending you the money if we didn’t think you were ‘good for it.’
People: Gee whizz, that’s fantastic. I’ll go out now and buy that house I’ve always wanted for my wife and kids.
Banks: Look, why don’t you shove an extra couple of zeros onto the number and get a new plasma screen TV, a hummer and another hummer?
People: Um… only if you’re sure.
2 years later…
Banks: Um.. can we have our money back please? We shouldn’t have perhaps lent to you in the first place.
People: Um… no you can’t have your money back. I don’t have it. I said I didn’t have a job when you lent it to me. I still don’t. So I can’t pay it back.
Banks: Umm… can we please have our money back? Pretty please?
People: No. I don’t have it. Whose idea was it to lend to the likes of me anyway?
Banks: Um… our chief executive… but he’s gone now.
Many, many times in the past few years I have struggled with Consumerbrain telling Moneybrain to rid itself of some balance. Moneybrain is quite strong these days, but in the old days of maxing out credit cards, I could easily have bought an i-phone without a second thought. Now days, with things like saving up for a future being a little bit more important than a new thing, Moneybrain is an all powerful being and Consumerbrain has been left high and dry on the overdraft platform waiting for another debt train to pick it up.
And what have the G20, other governments and organisations around the world offered as a solution to the financial crisis we have found ourself in – a financial crisis caused by people spending money they don’t have??? The central banks around the world have been slashing interest rates so that we… you guessed it… SPEND MORE BORROWED MONEY!
Idiots. Dickheads. Ibeciles. All of the above.
Obviously Consumerbrain still pulsates strongly through our political and business leaders. Those few people that control so much of our wealth and decision making processes are floundering. Capitalism has failed to provide in a way that is sustainable. Economy is cyclical. Up and down, in and out, boom and bust. It has gone on for years and years and years and it won’t stop just because the US government control all the banks. And then you have the Fox News tea-baggers (see last blog) who don’t want to pay any tax so that they can spend more of their money on piles of unnecessary shit.
Anyhoo, Wall-E does offer hope for the earth. In the end, after 700 years, plant life does return to earth. Humans return to begin repopulating with a new, more sustainable outlook. Caring for what they have because when they return to earth they have hardly anything.
If you have too much of a good thing you will definitely take it for granted. Stop spending, start living.