January 7, 2019
by Doug “Uncola” Lynn:
A recent Netflix original movie has taken America by storm. The film is called “Bird Box”, starring Sandra Bullock. The online streaming service claimed it was viewed by more than 45 million accounts during the first seven days after its release; the best week ever for a Netflix film. Although I was, initially, hesitant to write about it, it’s now become such a big deal, I’m compelled to add my proverbial two cents.
The film became available for streaming on December 21, 2018 and since that time, it has propagated as a viral topic of conversation, instantaneously, online and in three dimensions. My kids mentioned it over Christmas break and the discussion continued to expand by means of social media, internet memes, and a plethora of articles both in print and throughout the electronic interwebs.
This movie was deliberated upon at my Saturday Morning Breakfast Club, was mentioned by an announcer at an area college basketball game, and was even broached with a sardonic chuckle, by a guy with whom I was conversing in a church.
However, before I discuss the film, let me first reveal why I was hesitant to write about “Bird Box” via My Personal Disclaimer on Netflix.
For those in a hasty hurry, however, feel free to skip over the next segment and scroll down the page a ways to: “Opening a Tacky Gift from Netflix, Wrapped in a Bird Box”.
My Personal Disclaimer on Netflix:
I suppose my main concern over writing this article is that I don’t wish to advertise for Netflix or, in any way, contribute to the company’s growth of its subscription base. Honestly, as this essay demonstrates, I have a love-hate relationship with the service. It offers a convenient and affordable access to an impressive library of film and documentaries but not without its cultural bias. It’s like anything else, buyer beware.
For example, I was recently watching the “Blue Planet” series on Netflix and found it quite fascinating. Did you know scientists know more about the surface of Mars than they do the deepest of Earth’s ocean trenches? But with the new technologies available today, I am able to see, via the battery- powered remote laying on my leather sofa, stranger real-life creatures then I’ve witnessed in any science fiction film or imagined in the reading of any fantasy novel.
Even so, as spectacular as that sounds, the first episode of “Blue Planet 2” comes with the caveat of Sir David Frederick Attenborough’s narration lamenting artic walruses and their babies drowning at sea while escaping polar bears. It’s because there’s no more icebergs for the sizable flippered marine mammals to take naps. Consequently, to the sad visuals of beleaguered walruses treading water and slowly sinking, the viewer hears Attenborough in a matter-of-fact manner, saying it’s due to “the warming of the oceans” which is “most likely caused by man”.
This, in spite of proof Antarctic sea ice has not shrunk in 100 years and NASA’s relatively recent claim that mass gains of the Antarctic ice sheet are greater than any losses. Furthermore, even if all of those scientists are liars and fakes, then there are still more than a thousand international scientists who dispute man-made global warming.
Regardless, David Attenborough doesn’t mention any of this to the millions of people watching “Blue Planet” on Netflix. Why would he?
After all, Netflix is the home of the Obamas and the Obama Administration’s former National Security Advisor, Susan Rice. It’s no surprise why the masses are being programmed into accepting totalitarian Agenda 21 mandated Gaia worship and global taxation schemes.
Here’s another example:
Some time ago, my spousal unit and I reclined upon our luxurious household accouterments and selected a movie entitled “Other People” from Netflix’s cinematic buffet. The selection was rated pretty high on Rotten Tomatoes and it seemed like a film for which we were in the mood.
All systems clear, right?
After a short while into the film, we realized the protagonist was gayer than Richard Simmons at a Justin Bieber concert.
Fine. We’d seen worse.
But, then, after another 30 or 45 minutes or so, the main character was soon sodomizing his ex-boyfriend missionary style. Even though nothing was shown below the waist, the act played out in their faces and it was NOT pretty.
But that wasn’t all. In the afterglow, the story’s protagonist asked his vanquished lover if he recently “waxed his asshole”.
And just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, a scene unfurled where a gender-fluid, prepubescent boy performed a drag-queen striptease that seemed right out of a depraved pedophile’s fantasy pizza party.
Sadly, without all of the Cultural Marxism, “Other People” would have been pretty good; but the shameless deviants in Hollywood, and at Netflix, could care less whether or not my wife and I enjoyed the film. Instead, they ceaselessly shill this type of degeneracy to the masses to normalize perversion in the minds of mainstream movie watchers around the globe.
This is the dangerous side of Netflix: The company, by and large, programs people with Progressivism in the relative safety and comfort of their own homes.
But I digress.
Opening a Tacky Gift from Netflix, Wrapped in a Bird Box (SPOILER ALERT)
Obviously, Netflix is not without its benefits. Unlike a few years ago during this Fourth Turning, between Christmas and New Years – at the close of 2018, my bride and I cooked up some homemade popcorn and enjoyed a movie with one of our adult children; and all without spending $60 at the movie theater.
In spite of its viral buzz during the final days of the year, as we watched “Bird Box”, we were mostly underwhelmed, except for the “B-movie” satisfaction of our “Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K)” commentary as the scenes unfurled.
Then, days later, given the film’s bad reviews, I found myself wondering why I kept hearing, and reading, about the movie well into 2019.
Besides the “Bird Box” memes covered by People Magazine which weren’t that funny, there were still others circulating that were pretty good:
Moreover, early in the new year, Netflix was forced to tweet out a warning against a new social phenomenon called the “Bird Box Challenge”. It began with a girl whose YouTube video quickly garnered in excess of two million views showing her blind-folded and going about her day:
For readers who aren’t aware, Bird Box takes place on post-apocalyptic earth where the remaining survivors are trying to stay alive and flee a life-threatening phenomenon. If someone sees this, the mysterious force, that person is shown their greatest fear and commits suicide. Sandra Bullock’s character, Malorie, and her children wear blindfolds throughout the film so they don’t lay eyes on it…
Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE,” Netflix’s account tweeted. “We don’t know how this started, and we appreciate the love, but Boy and Girl have just one wish for 2019 and it is that you not end up in the hospital due to memes.”
But, what’s even more strange is how Netflix refers to itself in the first person on its Twitter feed?
Nevertheless, “Boy and Girl” was how the two children in “Bird Box” were addressed; and this may provide the reader with some indication as to why more recent articles have been published with titles like: “Bird Box Is A Bad Movie, So Why Do So Many People Like It?”
Paradoxically, article after article, after article, appeared on this lame movie: Some comparing it to other films, like “A Quiet Place” and another review even described how “Bird Box” felt like it was written by an algorithm.
Actually, it does have that sort of feel; like when artificial intelligence is used to extrapolate its own creations in music or painting. The film appears piecemealed and not making a lot of sense but, still, having its moments.
In fact, seemingly, this is the essence of “Bird Box”: It is sloppily thrown together in familiar patterns, but yet strangely unique in not altogether repulsive ways.
I thought “Bird Box” greatly resembled a film from ten years ago called “The Happening” (2008) starring Mark Wahlberg, wherein Mother Nature encouraged folks into killing themselves.
Bird box also brought to mind a Stephen King novel called “The Mist” that later became a movie, and with the same sort of commonplace, familiar themes that people (especially those like me) find so irresistible:
Unexplainable monsters, unseen, in a literal (or allegorical) fog.
Of course, that leitmotif is nothing new. Its originations we’re first recorded upon the walls of caves by Peoplekind’s earliest traveling artists and entertainers who, today, are so aptly referred to as “The Missing Links“.
But, now, after giving it some more contemplation, I’m speculating if the viral phenomenon of “Bird Box” has occurred, in part, because of its applicable parallels to real life.
Perhaps the presented themes therein resonate, in an unconscious manner, amongst the People of the Pre-Apocalypse by means of our collective dystopian predilections.
As I’ve written of before, we’ve been conditioned to perceive aliens and demons as outside threats for centuries and, today, more than ever, we’re permeated with foreboding and dread. So much so that a Canadian teacher in a comment on my last article, said he (as “Canuck”) felt “a tremendous amount of guilt for bringing 3 kids into this terrible world”.
Let’s face it, for those with children of any age, we do worry about them; but, especially, when they’re young and vulnerable on such a cruel and dangerous planet. It is, in fact, a heavy burden. Fear for my family actually contributed to a sort of “psychological paralysis” on my part, during the last decade; and for reasons having nothing to do with fiction.
Appropriately, “Bird Box” effectively addresses the parenting of kids in the post-apocalypse. As the narrative unwinds, the viewers witness a selfish woman (Sandra Bullock) grow into the role of a mother. She was previously a self-centered artist who soon learned to appreciate creations not of her own making. She called them “Boy and Girl” and, perhaps, there’s something generic about that which appeals to people. Because if the kids aren’t given names then, maybe, they won’t be missed as much should they be lost.
In the case of Sandra Bullock’s character, it may have been a type of self-protection. She would care for the kids as if they were someone else’s children, but if she gave them names, then they’d become hers to lose.
Which is another aspect to “Bird Box”: When people viewed the “demons”, their sadness and fear drove them to kill themselves.
As the events unraveled, this viewer wondered if, perhaps, the blindfolds forced the characters to look inward; to overcome their fears and focus on their priorities instead. Because that’s what happens in the film: Even, when blindfolded, the important things come into focus.
In “Bird Box” we see how post-apocalypse priorities remain the same as in the pre-apocalypse: Children. The next generation. There’s a certain comfort in that; of people remaining true to what makes them human – even after the proverbial shit hits the fan.
In many ways, for the viewers, the fear stays in our heads. It’s because we don’t actually get to see the monsters, except as reflected in the terrified eyes of those soon to die.
It’s conceivable the coding of “Bird Box” demonstrates the courage to move forward; even when wearing blinders. There are those who believe faith is the evidence of things not seen. If so, then it takes courage to hold on to the hope of circumstances righting themselves in the end; even when they don’t. If faith is courage, then courage is action. Faith is what we do and that’s why people are known by their actions.
We are what we believe.
And just like the canaries in the coal mines, birds in the bushes, and the ones in our hands, we all know real threats are coming. At the same time, we also realize dangerous threats were always here. We know this, not because little birdies told us so, but because we understand the more things stay the same the more they change.
It may seem as if monsters are shaking the bushes to sounds of screeches in the trees, but, for those who have ears to hear: Faith means moving ahead while blindfolded. It means not being fooled by what we think we see, or even hear. It means prioritizing and making the next right move in spite of our fear. It’s doing what we can while accepting the truth of certain outcomes being beyond our control.
In the end, “Bird Box” is about prioritizing free will over circumstances; it’s about choice and moving onward while knowing we might fall. Because if we focus on what we think we see, we risk dying afraid; killing ourselves, as it were.
The river of time is ever flowing, through dark woods and raging rapids. Some of us will drown as others are wrecked on the rocks.
But that’s the way it’s always been.
It’s the same old story and, in a way, it’s comforting.
Who knows? For those who do make it through to the end, there may be birds singing to the rush of wings on the wind; and a time when we’re surrounded by the smiles of those who stumbled through hell and kept right on going.