July 13, 2017
by Doug “Uncola” Lynn:
Sometimes, during the summers, I like to stay up late. When not reading or writing, I will usually resort to watching a series on television. I enjoy series because the character development and storylines are far more in-depth than what is viewed in a mere two-hour movie; although I do watch them as well. On HBO, I have experienced The Sopranos, The Wire, Boardwalk Empire, Deadwood, True Blood, and a few others. On AMC, it was Breaking Bad and I still watch The Walking Dead. What I like about Netflix, however, is the ability to access a virtual cornucopia of diverse programming on any device; at home, on the road, and easily “un-paused” with the flick-of-a-finger anytime, anywhere, within the matrix.
The word “programming” implies that those who watch are being “programmed” and this is what I find most interesting: What is being sold, and why. As red-pilled as I am, I find myself immune for the most part; yet, as the word “programming” indicates, I often wonder if these shows are affecting my overall worldview. In other words, because I have a dim view of the future, is this why I gravitate towards watching darkly disturbing television programming? Or, do these shows actually contribute to me seeing the world, and the future, as inevitably dystopian?
All throughout the entertainment universe there seems to be a certain tragic fatalism at play. Look at any summer blockbuster going back for decades, and if it wasn’t sharks or dinosaurs wreaking havoc in the lives of humanity, it was alien attacks, or meteorites, or mummies, or Harrison Ford fighting both the Nazis and the Galactic Empire. During previous summers, both youth and adults alike witnessed Katniss Everdeen fighting the forces of President Coriolanus Snow in The Hunger Games; or violent robots terrorizing the earth in Transformers. And, this summer, the big Hollywood hit is Wonderwoman fighting Aries, the mythological Greek God of War, who placed mankind under his evil spell.
On television, the dystopian shows have become pandemic. Some of the most recent programs from the past several years included: Colony (alien tyranny upon mankind), The Handmaid’s Tale (totalitarian theocracy), Revolution (post-apocalyptic America), Jericho (post-nuclear war), Between (mass disease & quarantine), The Shannara Chronicles (post-apocalyptic earth), 3% (dystopian segregated society), Attack on Titan (man-eating giants), and too many others to mention here.
When considering all that dystopia I am reminded of a line from the 2008 film, “The Day the Earth Stood Still” where an alien spy in a McDonalds restaurant tells the alien destructor (played by Keanu Reeves), the following regarding humanity:
I’m afraid they are not a reasonable race. I’ve been living amongst them for seventy years now. I know them well. Any attempt to intercede with them would be futile. They are destructive, and they won’t change. The tragedy is, they know what’s going to become of them.
Do you have that feeling as well? Like you know what is going to happen, and that it won’t be good? Like watching a slow motion car wreck, a train derailment, a distant tsunami, or a mushroom cloud before the shockwave hits? I have that feeling and I don’t believe it’s from the fictional shows that I watch on TV or in the movie theater. Instead, I get that feeling just by reading and watching the news every day.
Here is the truth: The mainstream media is an alien monster, operating in collusion with multifarious political minions, at the behest of their mutual masters: the Dark Lords of the Galactic Empire. Aliens have overtaken the nation’s capital and they are now broadcasting their mind-meld over the earth.
See for yourself. The real action begins at the :52 second mark of this video:
We know what is about to happen to us: chaos, civil war, financial armageddon, and world war. A brash and bawdy Bruce Wayne billionaire, disguised as the Joker, has overtaken the Zombie Queen and now the aliens have engaged their warped drive to seduce the masses with a phony Russian election hacking narrative. Somehow, I don’t think this story will have a happy ending.
Perhaps because so many people, all throughout the land, can feel the bad mojo in the air; and this is why they are turning to apocalyptical entertainment: To see and understand the future. Or, it could be the Dark Powers That Be are simply programming the masses for imminent violence, destruction, and death.
In my own case, however, I like to watch these shows to see what is being programmed, speculate as to the reasons “why” and, at the same time, try to learn some new perspectives on human nature operating under duress, and in dire circumstances. When viewing all the vampire shows over the past several decades, I wonder if these were to prepare the masses for the bloodsucking Fabian Socialists, and financial establishment leeches, draining the life from those working to sustain society; and now that the zombie craze has swept America, it seems as if we are being prepared to war against not only each other, but while destroying the flesh-eating people of Walmart; the dead men walking in the great and forthcoming culling soon to take place.
With these thoughts in mind, I have been watching a series on Netflix entitled “The 100” which originally premiered on The CW Network in 2014. I am only a few episodes into the second season and initially started watching it for the reasons as previously stated: Knowing it was marketed to young people, I wanted see what was being programmed; I desired to speculate as to the reasons “why” and, simultaneously, learn some new angles on humanity operating under extreme stress in difficult situations.
As one would expect from a juvenile dystopian television show targeting the younger generation; all of the main characters are very good-looking, the dialogue is somewhat snappily stunted, and the sub-plot denouements are often unrealistic. Nonetheless, the overall production, set and costume design, and special effects, are pretty stellar. Moreover, unlike The Walking Dead and other adult fare where there can be slow episodes and lulls between cataclysmic events, “The 100” rocks from one disaster to the next with no respite; most likely to satisfy the morbidly infinitesimal attention span of the Selfie Generation.
In short, the show takes place 97 years after a nuclear war that has wiped out most life on earth. A group of 2,500 survivors circle the earth in a space station called “The Ark” waiting for the radioactive blue marble below them to normalize again in order to sustain life and allow for healthy genetic perpetuity. Just as Noah of the Bible released a dove to find dry land, so did the leaders on the Ark as they sent a group of 100 juvenile delinquents to the earth as guinea pigs to see if they could survive. Chaos, hard-choices, violence, betrayal, honor, sacrifice, courage, love and sex ensue. I realize, the way this is written, it all sounds trite, but actually, so far, it has been a fairly interesting series. Although I will, most likely, not watch all four seasons of “The 100”, here are just a few human perspectives that could be gleaned from the show thus far:
- Groups with no code, or law, descend into anarchy
- Coalitions are formed by the like-minded
- Politics are always at play within any group
- Politics are always at play in the relations between groups
- Allegiances change based upon circumstances
- In matters of survival, expediency reigns supreme
- Some leaders value the group over the individual
- Some leaders value individuals over the group
- Once trust has been established in a group, it becomes that group against all others
- Groups and individuals who desire similar outcomes will form temporary alliances
- Leaders emerge, as do traitors
- By their actions, they are known
In real life, just as in fictional stories, cowards will lie to survive, heroes will take risks to save those whom they love, and leaders will lie to those whom they serve, while telling themselves it’s for the best. Above all, the stated goals of the group define the coward, the hero, and the leader, in any circumstance. And, more often than not, the greatest violence perpetuated upon mankind come from those who are simply following orders.
In the end, everyone must choose this day whom they will serve. Our focus determines our reality. If two groups don’t agree, then they will fight; and, only the winners will remain relevant and viable.
As for me, I have come here to chew some bubblegum and kick ass. I’m all out of bubblegum.
4 thoughts on “They Live: Choose Before You Die”
Bravo. You are a fantastic writer. Please keep up the great work. I just finished reading Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia. You have probably already read it but if you haven’t I highly recommend it as well as Orwell’s essays written during the first years of World War II. There are many striking similarities between then and now.
Thank you Paul
Good one! Besides the observations and analysis, I especially enjoyed the ending.