In a world full of sound bites and 30 second commercials that tell you all you need to know about the product, it is amazing to me that pop culture still demands movies that are 100 minutes plus in length.
We know that the dumbing down of western civilization has resulted in considerably shorter concentration spans than even 50 years ago. The evolution of texting and its particular form of shorthand writing has added to the decline in both concentration levels and verbal communication.
And yet movies remain the bastion of long concentration spans. Many a youngster today can quote word for word scenes from his favorite movies. Can stand and quote a monologue that lasts for several minutes, if that monologue appeals to his sense of self.
But do we really know what this part of pop culture is actually doing to us? Do we see it as basic entertainment, a fun way to spend an hour or two…or do we see deeper meanings in the movies we watch?
In some instances, it is easy to see the deeper meanings…a good example is Al Gore’s horrendous deceitful movie, “An Inconvenient Truth”. (Even the title is a lie!) Anyone who sees that movie and actually takes a moment to think about it, will see that the inconvenient truth is the agenda Gore holds…inconvenient because he intends to use these lies to garner great wealth in a short period of time.
There is no doubt that pop culture can influence generations…not just the current one, but future generations as well.
“And that completes my final report until we reach touchdown. We're now on full automatic, in the hands of the computers. I have tucked my crew in for the long sleep and I'll be joining them soon. In less than an hour, we'll finish our sixth month out of
Cape Kennedy. Six months in deep space - by our time, that is. According to Dr. Haslein's theory of time, in a vehicle travelling nearly the speed of light, the Earth has aged nearly 700 years since we left it, while we've aged hardly at all. Maybe so. This much is probably true - the men who sent us on this journey are long since dead and gone. You who are reading me now are a different breed - I hope a better one. I leave the 20th century with no regrets. But one more thing - if anybody's listening, that is. Nothing scientific. It's purely personal. But seen from out here everything seems different. Time bends. Space is boundless. It squashes a man's ego. I feel lonely. That's about it. Tell me, though. Does man, that marvel of the universe, that glorious paradox who sent me to the stars, still make war against his brother? Keep his neighbor's children starving? “
…. George Taylor, Planet of the Apes, 1968
The above quote is the opening lines of this movie. The scene setter that ends with a clear statement that man is violent, warmongering and intentionally starving other people’s children.
The underlying message is that the country powerful enough to send man on a mission to deep space is nothing more than a capitalistic empire building nation. Short synopsis…capitalism will destroy you!
How many people in 1968 thought these words, powerfully said by Charleton Heston, were talking about the evils of capitalism? But there they are…in all their glory. 41 years later we see movies with the same themes.
Avatar tells the story of the evil capitalist strip miners going to all out war with a nation of peace loving natives…all for the power and dollars that the rare mineral being mined could provide. Again…capitalists are nothing more than evil, money hungry, ecology destroying people who will stop at nothing to produce that extra dollar.
“Beware the beast Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone among God's primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him; drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of death.”
………….Cornelius, Planet of the Apes, 1968
When Roddy McDowall read these words from the sacred scrolls, he was showing how evil man is. How the capitalist will destroy the land, destroy peoples lives from greed, will take what he wants with no regard to anything but his own selfish desires.
How many people in 1968 realized that this was simply more propaganda against capitalism?
And so, this year we have the new movie, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”. An attempt to show how mankind was indeed the creator of the very thing that brought about the Planet of the Apes.
The story is simple….(I hope I don’t spoil this for anybody wishing to see the movie)….
Man, in his quest to make money, discovers a drug that can cure Alzheimer’s. Tests on apes create remarkably smart creatures, yet the drug has a fatal flaw….it is a virus that will kill all people who come in contact with it.
The basis of the story so far….man’s greed will eventually destroy mankind. This is well developed through the use of a CEO with flashy suits and an abrupt manner, always on the run, always rushing to another meeting and who makes it clear that the single purpose of his business is to make money. He doesn’t care about the sick who will be saved…he cares only about the money to be made.
Anyway, through a series of incidents the smart ape ends up caged with a large number of other “normal” apes, and fed gruel and abused by the compound keepers. They are kept there until they get shipped off to a laboratory for further animal testing. The smart ape teaches the others stuff, and eventually picks the locks and leads a breakout.
The audience at this stage understand that the apes bear no malice to man….that they just want their freedom….the freedom that was taken away by the evil capitalists. The clever use of emotion helps to solidify that this is all the apes desire.
Eventually the apes make their way to a forest with all the trees that they could want where they can be free in the environment that is as natural to them as cites are to us.
The final feel good moment is when the smart ape…the leader…says…”Caesar is home”.
The film-makers have done everything they can to show that while capitalism is bad, freedom to live in the environment made especially for you is good. That people who free the apes who have suffered so much under capitalism, are the heroes of the day.
It is not a difficult stretch to draw the capitalists as the tea party/republican/conservative movement, and the freedom loving apes as the liberal/progressive movement.
And the audience will always be sympathetic to the plight of the apes.
Of course, this is a very rudimentary view of the economy, and I see the parallels totally differently to the way the film-makers intended.
I see the apes as being the taxpayers. We have been taken from our life of freedom and forced into cells where we are required to live our lives under the direction of government.
The government takes from us whatever they want by force, they throw gruel and trinkets our way to control us, and they do with us exactly what they want…they abuse us with rules and regulations…they use us as their experiments to increase their power.
SO, it is not capitalism that is under fire in these pop culture movies, but government.
The truth is that true capitalists understand that their ability to generate wealth is closely aligned to their ability to make ecologically sound decisions. To destroy the goose that lays the golden egg is not in their own best interests. They will feed it and care for it to ensure that it continually lays golden eggs for as long as possible.
No, it is not the capitalists that destroy the ecology…and it is not the capitalists who create wars…and suffering. It is in the interests of capitalists to lift the standard of living of people throughout the world…not to keep them suppressed. Why? Because people with money spend it…poor people do not. People with money will buy the capitalists products, expanding their markets and increasing their profits….all the things that the capitalists want.
The destruction of peoples lives, the suppression of populations is totally against the best interests of the capitalist.
And yet, the left continually paints capitalism as a zero sum game. The rich can only get rich because the poor are suppressed and become poorer. The rich get that way because they steal from the poor and all that other crap that you hear ad infinitum.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes tries to send that message but fails dismally. The message it actually sends is that freedoms can never be taken away. That governments can not control people by taking away their freedoms, regardless of the gruel and trinkets they give away.
Sooner or later, a leader will emerge who will inspire the imprisoned, who will lead the people from their captivity and into a world where freedom is celebrated.
That leader will NEVER come from the left.
That leader will never be a moderate.
To succeed, that leader must be a conservative. That leader must have experienced the conditions of the imprisoned and downtrodden. S/he must have honor, truth and determination as the cornerstone of their policies.
That person MUST recognize the evil of large government and speak out against it. That person must have the skill and dexterity to pick the locks and set the people from free.
If that person does not appear?
“You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell! “
……..George Taylor, Planet of the Apes, 1968
Pop culture is not simply a reflection of the current attitudes. It is also a great predictor of the future.
Do not allow the maniacs to blow up our country. They are trying….Obama and his clown posse are doing everything they can to keep you imprisoned. They want to control what you do, what you say and what you think.
They want you to be thankful for the gruel they serve each day, thankful for the shekels they pass around, thankful for the toys they let you have. Their hope is that you are so busy playing with your toys that you do not look out a window and see what you are missing…see what they are enjoying.
The government, large powerful governments, are the evils in this world. It is they who send our children to war. It is they who rape the economy. It is they who prevent growth and stability….for if the people were to ever really exert the power they have, it is the governments that would fall…and the politicians would have no power.
Nothing is more scary to a politician than to have to join the work force. He would rather sit in a cage and take his handouts thankfully than be faced with the daily task of earning a living.
Government is the domain of the oppressor…and you and I? We are the oppressed.
We must find a leader who will courageously slice and dice the existing government down to what is the absolute minimum.
Only then can we be free…and say…”I am home!”