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Misanthropy, the New Hollywood Trend?

Wikipedia, that unauthoritative authority on all things, says that misanthropy is...

...a general dislike, distrust, or hatred of the human species, or a disposition to dislike and/or distrust other people.

This has clearly been the environmental movements' opinion for some time. You can tell this simply by listening. When they warn of environmental dangers it is always coached in terms of threat to the planet, not to humans. Extreme examples of this can be found in most any flyer from ELF, ALF, and Greenpeace. It's also the subtle undertone to any intonations from the Goreacle.

This now seems to be a trend in Hollywood, at least for this year. First there was The Happening, which pretty much says that humans don't deserve to live. Depending on how you spin it, some have commented that WALL-E is another, but I've heard contrary arguments and will wait 24 hours before commitment (which is when I plan on actually seeing WALL-E).

And coming soon, the sacrilege that is known as the 2008 remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still. The original is one of my favorite films, regardless of genre. A lot of people find it annoying because it's vaguely anti-McCarthy and vaguely pro-Communist. I find both objections weak.

I might agree with objections to the new one, though, especially given its declared pro-environment leaning. The recently released trailer holds a hint of that bent, as the robot Klaatu played by the robot Keanu Reeves intones:

If the earth dies, you die. If you die, the earth survives.

Wow, deep, And such utter crap. If somehow, someway, tomorrow the human race actually found itself in possession of The Big Red Button of Earthly Destruction and someone, just for grins, giggles, and the sake of misanthropic adventure, were to actually press it and "kill" the planet, what result?

If you believe in a loving, omnipotent God we'll probably get a lecture about being better stewards or some such. He will then hit the reset switch and on we'll go.

If you are of a more atheistic bent, however, you know what will happen. Tides will rise and fall according to the assorted laws of physics at play. The planet will continue to spin about the sun for the same reasons. At some point an amino acid will come into existence and entire evolutionary parade will begin again.

In other words, humans can't kill the planet. The planet just doesn't care. We are millimeter marks on the measure of the planet's life. This entire attitude, this hubris, infects the entire modern environmental movement and it defies logic and reason.

Now, if you want to say that we, the human race, might be in danger, well then that's more honest. But honesty is not a strong trait within The Movement and certainly not in the latest misanthropic films we're seeing.

Oh, and why is the remake such a sacrilege? Because first there's that general rule of thumb that great classics should be left the hell alone. If someone were to remake Casablanca I would have to hunt them down and wreak all levels of mayhem upon them. (I'm sure Roger Ebert would get to them first, though.)

More to the immediate point is the turning upside-down of Klaatu's mission to earth and the message he delivers. In the original, the message is simple: Don't export war. Do whatever you like to yourselves and your own planet. Come out to the stars, join us, have fun, bring tequila, wait until you try our margaritas. But leave the guns at home 'cuz if you come out here and start a ruckus then Gort and his buddies will kick your ass from here to breakfast and back again. Peace!

In other words, the aliens were not busy-bodies sticking their noses into human business. In the remake, it appears that they are precisely that. They are here to annihilate mankind in defense of the planet, because the planet is far more important than we are. Misanthropic bastards!


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