This is about mental conditioning and the film industry’s part in it
Background: When Orson Wells broadcast a dramatization of H.G. Well’s ‘War of the Worlds’, on October 30th, 1938, it was so realistic that millions of Americans believed it was an actual news broadcast about an actual invasion by Martians. The ensuing panic was not lost on the ‘Powers That Be’!
Apart from whether or not a story has merit, there are many obstacles to overcome before the cameras begin to roll, not least of which is the financing of the project. A story which might ruffle the feathers of the elite, or lift the curtain on some of their less endearing traits and doings, won’t get made unless it isn’t really about them but some other elite group the first elite group has it in for. No, they aren’t one happy family. There are different elite groups with different agenda’s, but they all believe in influencing the masses to their own advantage.
I’m steering clear of War movies, Spy movies and Cop movies. Each of these genres routinely has a very obvious agenda. The ‘timely’ airing of Fox’s ‘24’, for instance, based on the premise, “If you had 24 hours to locate a bomb and you had someone in custody who knew where it was, would it be okay to pull his fingernails out, or water-board him?”, was a clear attempt to provide political cover for the Bush Administration’s illegal use of torture and imprisonment without end by scaring the crap out of the people. The viewer, in most cases, doesn’t acknowledge the agenda hidden in full view because, after all, it’s just entertainment.
Hollywood has made countless science fiction movies which deal with everything from viral epidemics to full on alien invasions: they are listed here. Science Fiction – and I should know – is a useful vehicle for influencing the thinking of the masses because it is fiction and, therefore, not based on anything the audience member may have encountered in real life. This might seem to be a small, and obvious, point to make; but it isn’t. If a person hasn’t encountered the events depicted in the movie, in real life, how can he or she decide whether or not the premise of the movie is credible, or whether the actions of its antagonists (the good guys and the bad guys) make sense or are appropriate? We humans have a sense of what makes a person’s actions unacceptable. We instinctively know when someone has crossed the line. Science fiction by-passes that filter process, and is able to plant thoughts and opinions in our subconscious; thoughts which, at some later date, could well make the masses more amenable to accepting a government action which, previously, they might not have.
Movies about viral epidemics are straightforward in their propaganda intent, demonstrating the government can fix everything, even if it was responsible for the problem in the first place. Usually, some disaffected scientist or technician (‘The Andromeda Strain’, released in 1971 and 2008) flips out and steals the virus, but the government agent always saves the day. Such a plot plants the question in the mind of the audience member, “Surely there’s a shot we could take if this happened for real?” Of course there is, or there could be, thanks to the Pharmaceutical companies making it and the government insisting the population takes it. If it happens for real, the question is: was its release deliberate, or did the threat even exist – like the flu epidemic that didn’t happen – simply so ‘Big Pharma’ can make a profit or so it can empty the shelves of drugs that are close to their expiry date? Look to see more movies and made for TV programs based on global epidemics, like ‘Torchwood’. They will more and more espouse the inevitability of mass roundups and incarceration in government internment camps – for the public’s own good, of course – as well as establishing the fact that hard choices will have to be made as to who can be saved.
In ‘2012’, the propaganda message is obvious: the few (the elite) must be saved, while the rest of us are to be left to perish, because, well, that’s how it should be. When Oliver Platt’s character, Carl Anheuser (the Government man), suggests to Chiwetel Ejiofor’s character, Dr. Adrian Helmsley that, if he’s truly upset that he’s on the ark instead of someone else who might be more deserving of being saved, he might want to offer his place to one of the Chinese workers who built it, could it be any clearer? Here’s the scene. [If anyone has the Youtube link for this, I'd appreciate it.]
The President of the United States, of course, stays at his desk, like he did in ‘Deep Impact’, or fights the alien invaders, as in ‘Independence Day’ (which claims that an advanced alien species would not be smart enough to protect their computers from an Apple notebook) because, well, he’s the best example of humanity there is, meaning, the U.S. is the best country there is. American exceptionalism (it’s not really a word, by the way) is just more propaganda, aimed at keeping the American people believing that they live in the country their parents also believed they were living in. We have the same kind of idiocy in the British Anthem, ‘Rule Britannia’. [Would Obama, Bush, Blair or Cameron make such a sacrifice, I wonder?] Consider ‘Avatar’, where, apparently, only a U.S. Marine can convince the planet’s life force to get off its ass and save the world, and ‘Predators’, where the Mexican gets it first, followed by the Russian, the Japanese, etc. etc. and the only two people left at the end are an ex-US Army Ranger and a female Israeli assassin, because, let’s face it, Israelis are exceptional, too! Actually, I think the Icelandic people are pretty darned cool, followed closely by the Scandinavians. Note also that, while the U.S. Ranger knew nothing about the alien creature that was trying to kill him, the Israeli assassin did, launching into a description of a covert mission in Guatemala in which the former Governor of California’s elite team of soldiers got whacked. If she knew, then the entire Israeli Intelligence apparatus must have known. It’s a clumsy way of telling you, the audience member, that Israeli infiltration of the U.S. military is nothing for you to worry about. It also reinforces the idea that the U.S./Israeli relationship is immutable and totally wonderful – even though Israeli foreign policy and covert activities have consistently worked against the interests of the American people.
The remake of ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ stands out from the current crop of Hollywood offerings because it carries a deeply worrying message: that most of the people alive today have to die if the world is to be saved. The 2008 version of the movie, where Klaatu is the agent of our demise and the robot Gort is nothing more than an accumulation of self-replicating nano-bugs, is diametrically opposed to the original, Robert Wise directed version, released in 1951, the theme of which was the Cold War and the ever present threat of nuclear annihilation. Here, Klaatu’s message was one of non-interference on the part of the other civilizations that exist [points to the ceiling] ‘Out There’ that want nothing more than we keep our warmongering to ourselves. That the 2008 remake is about implanting the idea that the herd has to be culled is obvious from the fact that, apart from that one message, the rest of the film’s content was demonstrably not important enough to worry about – like, did it make sense. Furthermore, instead of demonstrating the power of the technology at his disposal by shutting down all electrical power across the planet – except for airplanes and such – as Michael Rennie’s version of ‘Klaatu’ did, Keanu Reeves’ ‘Klaatu’ makes turning off the power his last act – as he’s leaving for home, in fact. What the heck are humans to use for heating and cooking once oil, gas, solar, wind or wave power are no longer available? Wood and coal! Our alien benefactor has left us with no choice but to clear cut the world’s forests and continue burning a dirty, fossil fuel. Isn’t that what got us into trouble with the damn aliens in the first place? Yes, of course it is, but that small detail wasn’t important because the intended message was and is: ‘There are too many of us. Some will have to go. And, soon!’
On cable TV, the History Channel has run a series on Ancient Alien visitations to Earth which asks, “When were they here? Where did they go? When will they return?” The ‘UFO Files’ series now gives credibility to the subject of alien craft buzzing our cities – a see change from the halcyon days of Project Blue Book. Why? What’s going on? Why has the U.K. Ministry of Defense released its data on U.F.O sightings? Why has the French Government done the same? The American Government, of course, still dithers, preferring to neither confirm nor deny the existence of extra-terrestrial craft, which serves to keep the issue in the public consciousness because who, in their right mind, trusts the government?.
Maybe having blown up the financial world, stolen all our wealth and the wealth of generations yet to be born, as well as grabbing all the oil in the middle east by past wars and wars yet to come, the ‘Powers That Be’ have planned that we are to suffer some kind of plague which the ‘Powers That Be’ will discover, when the time is right – that is, when the right number of humans have been culled – was spread by evil aliens sitting in huge spacecraft high in Earth orbit, or from some secret moon base. The world must unite, we will be told, to fight for our very existence. The battle will be won – since they weren’t really alien ships – and the grateful survivors will bend the knee to the United Nations or whatever agency the ‘Powers That Be’ have cobbled together to receive our obeisance and all their problems will be over. Ours, of course, will have just begun.
How about that for a movie script?