THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 792, October 12, 2014
Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
There was a movie that I have been wanting to discuss for quite some time, but unfortunately I found more pressing subjects to write about, so it got pushed to the back of my mind. I decided to approach the subject again after seeing another movie that had a similar theme. So there are now two movies that I am going to discuss. The first movie was the remake of the sci-fi classic, "The Day the Earth Stood Still." Yes, the original is far better than the remake (understatement of the decade). Though I will say that the logic of the aliens in the original movie was somewhat flawed. It seemed absurd and hypocritical to try to prevent violence by keeping a giant robot on Earth that is willing to vaporize anybody that shows aggression. "Be peaceful, damn it! And don't you dare point out the irony of using violence to prevent violence!"
Well, I digress, considering that the logic of the aliens in the remake is even more flawed (understatement of the century). In the remake, violence is no longer the issue. The issue that they now have is the way that we treat the environment. So instead of being a bunch of self-righteous peaceniks, the aliens are now a bunch fanatical environmentalists. So fanatical that they are willing to commit genocide in the name of saving the planet.
The movie pretty much starts off the same way the original did when Klaatu, the alien visitor is shot by a jumpy member of the military, when he decides to do something that could be easily construed as a threat. For a race of people intelligent enough to create installer travel, they are really short on common sense. Klaatu, played by Keanu Reeves, is then taken to the hospital, where he is questioned by the president's Chief of Staff played by Kathy Bates. When Bates asks him what he is doing on our planet, Klaatu gives her a long stare before telling her that this is not their planet. Right away the arrogance just spews right out of him. Apparently living on this planet since we first evolved from apes doesn't give us the right to claim it as our own, yet they have barely stepped foot on the planet and they think they are a better judge on how to use its resources then we are. Then somewhere along the way we learn that the aliens are planning to exterminate the human race in order to protect the planet. I think Mr. Spock said it best in Star Trek IV "Driving an entire species to extinction is not logical." Before anybody sends me emails about the context of the quote, I know that Spock was referring to the human race's treatment of Humpback whales, but I'm pretty sure that he would apply the same logic to this situation. For that matter he probably would have given Klaatu his famous Vulcan nerve pinch after only five minutes of talking with him.
At one point of the movie Klaatu has a dialogue with a physics professor played by John Cleese, where they discuss the reasons behind this genocidal mission. Klaatu basically explains that his people were once a bunch of evil polluters that eventually changed after using logic and reason, which he thinks we are incapable of using. If that Cleese character was truly that smart then he should have asked these questions:
"Okay, you do realize that some of the things we do, like burning fossil fuels isn't something we're doing for fun? If we didn't burn them, people in certain areas of the globe would either freeze to death or burn certain fuels that are even more harmful to the earth. Obviously to avoid pollution on your planet, you had to develop better technology. You guys ever think of sharing it with us?"
"Oh, well we didn't think you people would listen. You seem to show such a reckless disregard for the planet that we thought you couldn't be reasoned with. We thought it would just be easier to kill everybody."
"Yeah, we're the ones who are unreasonable."
Then we have "Noah", a recent movie adaptation of the epic Bible story, Noah's Ark. Though I think bastardization would be a more appropriate description. I briefly mentioned this movie in a letter to the editor that was recently published on TLE. I had said that the makers of this movie had replaced the Judeo-Christian elements with an environmental extremist message. I do want to point out that while I am not a religious person and I consider Noah's Ark more of a fable then a historical event, I was disgusted by the way that one of my favorite childhood stories was completely gutted to promote some fanatical aspect of environmentalism.
Instead of having a God that decides to lay waste to most of humanity because of their wickedness, we now have a "Creator" that wants to kill humanity for abusing the Earth's resources. They even manage to make Noah, played by Russell Crowe as likeable as a serial killer. Instead of making sure his sons had wives so they can reproduce like in the Biblical story, he decides that he wants the human race to end right after his family line dies out. Then when his daughter gives birth to a baby girl, he tries to murder the baby before backing out at the last minute. His reasoning? He doesn't want to create future generations of people who will abuse the earth. I think Charles Manson not only comes off more likeable then this version of Noah, but probably more rational.
What really intrigues me about these two movies despite how terrible they are, is that they do seem to reflect the actual mindset of fanatical environmentalists. Many of them do have this insane mindset about protecting the earth's natural "beauty" to the point that they would rather see their fellow man suffer or even die before allowing them to alter it in any way. It kind of proves the point of Green Peace co-founder Patrick Moore, when he said that many environmentalists seem to have an intense hatred for humanity. In the case of Noah, where they were able to replace Judeo-Christian elements with environmentalism, it seems to prove the points that many people have made about environmentalism being a religion. It also proves the point about logic and reason not being one the strong suits of many in the environmentalist movement.
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