The other day we saw that brand new movie about dinosaurs wrecking a theme park and eating tourists. Seriously, this movie is made for the disgruntled Orlando service industry. I sat gleefully, amused at the completely un-shrouded product placement, I cackled along with film as we indulged in some deliciously gratuitous violence, and rooted uninhibitedly for Dinosaur Indiana Jones. I mean Star Lord with Velociraptors. I mean whatever Chris Pratt was doing on screen. I ate up every overly campy dramatic pause and laughed at the blatant and unnecessary exposition, probably included for the people who can’t be bothered to pay attention and figure it out for themselves. Every time a tourist died, I would politely wide the drool from my toothy grin. It is a fun movie for sure.
I don’t necessarily have a review for you, so much as a philosophical essay about how the film spoke to me. I heard a message in this picture about the rampant destruction being caused by our economic and social obsession with the “Youth Culture”. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but if you live “on the grid”, you’re probably in some way subject to the kingdom of children. It’s a cultural movement that was started by advertisers looking to extract “disposable income” from children and a military industrial complex looking to train better Americans for a better America (whatever that was in their minds). Anyone that innocent, trusting, and naive with money looks pretty mouth-watering to the capitalists. So a movement to advertise direct to kids, to get them to buy things, instead of contributing that money back to the family in some way or saving up for the future. These were once innocent intentions but they set a wheel in motion that created the culture we live in today. Fear has become the way we are conditioned to keep spending. We become ingrained with a fear of loss of life and loss of love. How we spend reflects how that fear effects us all. Our industries exhaust all resources so we can buy eternal youth, ironically consuming the youth as one of it’s resources. The only thing that matters is avoiding death and decay at all cost. Don’t look old, don’t look slow or weak. Expendable.
The American dream is now to make enough money to live as a child for as long as possible, without pain of body or mind, or pain of spirit. We hemorrhage dollars to avoid ALL pain and strife, not realizing that experiencing pain is how we grow. We are supposed to learn from pain, it is what shows us our truest desires if you stick with it long enough. Pain of the body reminds us to be present, to pay attention and focus. Accidents are what happen when you are not fully present for the task at hand, and accidents almost always lead to pain. Pain of the mind is supposed to remind of of the importance of training your mind like your body. The pain you experience after a hard day of mental focus is like the pain of sore muscles. It means your growing. The pain from a choice or decision is meant to call your attention to the situation so you may recognize an answer or a sign you may normally miss. Working through the pain of training the mind will lessen the pain or even completely remove pain from a choice because you can rest knowing you are prepared for whatever moment is given to you. Pain of the spirit is what should guide us. Your soul will always be in pain, no matter how you medicate, if you are not making choices in balance within a moment. Your soul will be in agony if you are not in balance, like an emotional shin split. If you numb the pain, you’ll only continue to be pulled out of alignment, destroying the spirit.
In the genre of science fiction there are, classically, two modes of thoughts, “Can we” and “Should we”. This one says to me, “It’s too late, look at what we’ve done”. At one point the investor is having a moment with the scientist, discussing the terrible beast that they’ve created. They talk about the creature being stronger, smarter, faster, more teeth, bigger claws, and thus able to easily over power all their security measures. The scientist, rather casually with some amusement remarks, “Well what did you expect? You wanted all the features of a predator, did you not expect the attributes that goes along with these features?” I paraphrase, but the truth of the matter is this is the monster of a generation we’ve created. We’ve bred our children to be apex predators and then can’t figure out why they’re bullying each other to death. Thanks to the internet we’ve created a breeding ground for ego like bacteria on a piece of raw meat left in the sun. Everyone, even remote tribes, has access to the Promethean fire of knowledge. And nothing grows an ego quite like knowledge. A single ego can grow without limitations and can spread across the globe in a matter of hours now thanks to our digitally connected consciousness.
Once people had to learn and train for years, mastering their own mind before they could harness the energy that is the collective consciousness. And don’t get scared because I used a hippie buzz word because you know damn well it’s a real thing, it’s measurable and it’s observable. Consciousness is simply an idea. If you have ever asked for a prayer to be said for you or those you love then you believe in a collective consciousness as an effective force. Think of your closest friends, the people you share all your ideas with, the people who you consider family, blood or bonded. Don’t you feel most at ease with them, like they’re on your wave length? That’s a group consciousness. Thanks to the internet, for the first time the human consciousness is truly unlimited. We can instantly share an idea with the entire globe the minute we have it. Through web traffic statistics, through Facebook surveys, through content aggregators we can measure the size and scope of an idea on a scientific level like never before.
The collective consciousness is a very real thing but now it is flooded with confused and aggressive personalities. We meet personalities all the time but never the people they’re connected too. Personalities on the web can meet and combine with like personalities without the physical limits of having to interact with another person. Your personality on the web can speak louder than your actions in the real world ever would when gone unchecked. These personalities believe in right and wrong but know nothing of family, responsibility, or forgiveness. The digital consciousness is dominated by those who believe in their own personal manifest destinies and they invade our imagination through advertising, social media, and the god damn TV. Call them what you like: bullies, assholes, and idiots. They’re all a part of each of us. They are our predator instincts, to kill and survive. These personalities run free across the expanse of online consciousness free from the restrictions they would face in reality. Every last one is just seeking a little more territory, just a little more food. Just running rampant, destroying for the sheer fun of it. Imagine growing up in that environment.
Worse, imagine a generation imprinting on that. That’s the culture we have to present to our children today and they are learning they are supposed to behave in these awful ways. We let them sit in front of glowing screens, trusting them to know right from wrong because they can list the bullet points. How many babies know how to use iPhones? From day one, we let them sit and choose which reality they want to participate in. They watch as celebrities and sports heroes and politicians all get to do whatever they want and never suffer any consequences. And what do we do when someone falls? Once a generation believed you picked them up, but from what I observe from our culture it seems that you’re supposed to point and laugh. Or worse, now they just watch. It’s a little disturbing to think about the fact that there are people who will happily work their lives away, mind, body, and spirit sacrificed, for the pursuit of their digital life and leaving nothing in the way of culture or knowledge to their children.
Thankfully the final message of the film is simple. Yes we’ve made a terrible mess, we’ve created the monsters that will ultimately destroy the world we cling to and the only way we’re going to survive is through cooperation, responsibility, and learning to communicate. We must make peace with our personal monsters, to train them, and ultimately to trust them. We must learn how to sacrifice our notions of right and wrong and do what is best for our survival as a species. The apocalypse is not neigh, it is right fucking now. War, famine, plague, death run rampant in both the spiritual and physical world. There is hardly a place on this earth where one can go and not feel the effects of an environment over run by predators. The message I got out of the film is this. It is time to take a look at the things we once made slaves, our emotions, our instincts, our natural tendancies and remove the chains and shackles and learn to work in harmony with true nature.