Your Life Is Not Like the Movies Part 2
A couple of years ago I penned a piece that broke down some basic ways movies distort our version of ourselves because, face it, like most storytelling, movies are made of lies we really want to be true. Looks like it’s time for another take on this idea:
Real Life is Far More Complicated Than a Movie can Possibly Depict
As affirming as it is to see racists as unbearably evil monsters, people who are uncomfortable with gays, and CEOs of Mega-Corporations as the Spawn of Satan life is just not a binary proposition. Black and White, Good vs. Evil thinking is that of children who aren’t capable of understanding context, perspective or the complexity of adulthood.
Could Green Book depict the events of that road trip with the viewpoints of every possible aspect of history? Sure, but it would be eighteen hours long and completely unwatchable by any paying audience. BlacKkKlansman was mostly true except for the part that painted the police as allies against white supremacy and its protagonist as a Freedom Fighter despite his infiltration of Black Power Movements in order to destroy them from within but Christ, that’s an entirely different movie and you didn’t make it, did you? Vice was about a human being in a system of government not a golem made from malevolence infecting a pure and clean democracy. But it was directed by the guy who directed Anchorman so pipe down, pedant.
Hollywood is there to sell movies and morality tales that boil all of our complicated reasons and choices down to that of the Jedi vs the Sith are the movies that sell. If you’re looking for movies to expose the truth as you see it, as you want others to see it, or as your college gender studies textbook tells you to see it, you’re barking up the wrong tree. The truth never fills the seats.
Your Abs Will NEVER Look Like That
Unless you starve yourself and workout ten hours a day, every day, with a paid personal trainer hired to torture you into submission to crunches and egg whites, that Brad Pitt stomach in Fight Club will never be yours. Even Chris Pratt gets a pudgy dad-bod when he’s not filming a Guardians film so calm the fuck down and enjoy your Oreos, fatty.
We Do Not Love the Outside of the Box Thinker
There are countless movies made celebrating the outlier, the person hired to shake things up, the “Think Different” Steve Jobs wannabe, the guy who invents the thing that changes the world but reality tells us that we pretty much hate that guy/gal. The only movies that demonstrate our built-in resistance to the Person With The Grand Ideas with any kind of fealty to how it really goes are along the lines of Tucker: A Man and His Dream” Requiem for a Dream, and the movie stocked with the premise that the only way to pull oneself out of the bureaucracy and System is to lose one’s mind, Brazil.
The teacher that challenges the system gets squashed by it. The politician who makes a stand gets destroyed. The activist who defies the government is assassinated. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to be like that person but know in advance it probably won’t go so well for you. We say we like you but we never do. You challenge our notions of ourselves and the vacuous waste we’ve made of our lives — why would we?
The Police are not that Science Friendly
First, looking at the conviction rates across the country do not support the brilliant policing and sleuthing shown on film. Second, the science behind things like CSI is fictional in such a way as to be almost Marvel comics made-up.
The fact is that most police officers rely on fax machines, the hope that the badge will cow suspects into compliance, and brute force to get the bad guys (and the occasional innocent guy) along the road to jurisprudence and protecting and serving. Cops today are far more like substitute teachers in a high school than secret agents or indefatigable detectives.
Animals are Generally not Cute and are Psychopaths If They’re at All like Humans
If your cat was the size of your Volkswagon, it would fucking eat you like it does a bird on the sidewalk. Dogs routinely eat their own shit. Your pet fish has a brain the size of a BB. If the movies showed animals as they are rather than anthropomorphized laugh riots or inspirational figures with the voices of top-notch comedians, they’d all resemble the insane homeless with multiple fetishes and obsessive disorders.
Now, that’s a Pixar movie that I’d pay to see and would stunt your child’s growth!
Nature is not Our Friend and Having More Babies is What is Killing the Planet
“Save the World!” we cry. “We’re Destroying the Planet!” we proselytize.
Have you seen the planet? I mean, outside of your paved cubicle of SELF Parks and highways and Taco Bells? It’s fucking BRUTAL. Nature gives no shits about us and, in the nonstop cycle of birth and death and disease and creatures designed to eat us from within, from without, and in every manner someone could be digested, it is hellbent on our individual destruction. Ever played The Oregon Trail? Goddamn!
For every Ferngully fantasy, there is a Day After Tomorrow so you’d think that the movies have it right in their dystopian depictions of planetary destruction but you’re wrong. The planet is going to be fine… without us. The more realistic demise is not of the rock we live upon but the species we inhabit. It won’t be because we burned too many fossil fuels or forgot to recycle plastic. It will be because we can’t stop making more of us.
It took over two hundred-thousand years of human history for the world's population to reach one billion; and only two hundred years more to reach seven billion. You wanna get to the bottom of Climate Change? Add mandatory abortions to that Green New Deal and you’ll be accomplishing something. Plainly put, we’re going to die of hunger. And disease. And exposure. Imagine an orange with a couple of ants. Now imagine the same orange with 1,000 ants. WE ARE THE FUCKING ANTS. I suppose, in the rubric of movies getting it right, Thanos had the right idea by snapping his big, purple fingers and wiping out 50% of every living thing because that’s the only thing that’ll save us.