Quick Roundup 389

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

One to Avoid

Jennifer Snow, whose movie reviews I always enjoy, has no plans to watch The Day the Earth Stood Still. Neither do I, but she makes a connection I hadn't thought of that may be worth remembering.

The basic premise seems to be that humans are "destroying" the earth and thus some super-powerful aliens have decided to get rid of humanity in order to "save" the earth. What are we doing that's so bad? Technology.

Now, here's where it just gets STUPID. How the hell did these aliens get the power to destroy us WITHOUT technology? We're being attacked by super-powerful HYPOCRITES? Wow, that's inspirational.
She also rightly describes the proper response to such a situation.

On the one hand, it is disturbing that Hollywood seems to have no lower limit on how lousy a movie it can put out. On the other, such a weak premise should be quite easy to demolish in a normal conversation. A great place to start would be to ask, "Why is it okay for aliens to use technology, but not man?" or "By what right should a human being be murdered simply for polluting?"

Huff Piece

I enjoyed the following reaction to what David Harsanyi called, "a brilliantly absurd piece, titled 'Laissez-Faire Capitalism Should Be as Dead as Soviet Communism,'" by Arianna Huffington:
Huffington argues, in effect, that communism and "laissez-faire" (minimal-intervention) capitalism are equivalent ideological extremes.

Sure, one of these philosophies spurred the murder and misery of hundreds of millions worldwide; the other promotes liberty, innovation and welcomes foreigners to lounge around in expansive mansions paid for by their former oil baron husbands.

So we can agree; there is no such thing as a flawless ideology.
(HT: Amit Ghate)

Explain Away, Blame Victim

Doug at Rule of Reason unearths an excellent blog posting by Caroline Glick that explains how multiculturalists aid and abet terrorism in no uncertain terms.
In the aftermath of the Mumbai massacres, it is hard to imagine that there is anything as pernicious as the jihadists who sought out and murdered non-Muslims with such cruelty. But there is. Their multicultural apologists, who enable them to continue to kill by preventing their victims from fighting back, are just as evil.
The whole thing, which Doug quotes from extensively, is worth a read.

Heroes of Capitalism

Galileo Blogs has encountered a blog that I plan to add to the sidebar (along with Caroline Glick's) some time in the near future.
I want to draw attention to a great new one I discovered, "Heroes of Capitalism." Each day this blog features a businessman who improved our lives. Actually, the last part of that sentence is redundant because a successful businessman in a capitalist economy always improves our lives by creating goods that we value and purchase from him in trade.
The blog credits Andrew Bernstein for its inspiration, and lists Eric Daniels of Clemson University among its contributors.

Fifty-Four Year Drought Ends!

I am happy to see that my alma mater won the Texas Bowl in impressive fashion!

-- CAV


: Added hypertext anchors.


Jim May said...

The funny thing about "The Day The Earth Stood Still", is that it reminds me of a script I wrote (and got part way to finishing principal photography, until a job loss stopped it) based on a similar premise: aliens consider taking over the Earth in order to save it from human depredations, on the grounds that good planets are hard to find.

Where I depart from "Earth", is in what I mean by "depredations" -- and while my aliens do care about habitable planets, they value *self-civilization* far more. Their invasion, far from the enviro-cultist genocidal fantasy that is TDTESS, would actually be *civilized* -- they would take over, not destroy. They would install a provisional government occupation similar to that by the U.S. of Germany and Japan after WWII, in order to truly civilize human culture, saving all life on Earth.

The problem is that this comes at a cultural cost: human civilization "cultivated" in this fashion would, like a hothouse tomato, be something less than what it could have been if it had solved the great challenge on its own -- achieved stable self-civilization, without outside intervention.

Truly original civilizations of the latter kind are *extremely* rare, and are valued by the aliens above all. They seek equals who have made the same trek as they have. They don't want to make a mistake and lose that!

The script is the story of the aliens' compromise solution to this dilemma.

The theme of the movie is: what does it mean, to be "civilized"? While this theme easily fits into the plot of "TDTESS", my plot has a more dialogue-driven, intellectual path. It would work well as a stage play too.

And the working title? "I, Man". (An alternative title that riffs on TDTESS would be: The Day The Earth Stood Up.) If anybody wants to fund this, I can handle the entire thing from shooting to post-production :)

Gus Van Horn said...

Very interesting! I hope you succeed in obtaining funding for that.

madmax said...

Some interesting stats regarding 'The Day The Earth Stood Still." It had a production budget of $80 million. My guess is that it its marketing budget was at least half that. But so far its take at the box office is not that high for a Christmas release action film. As of today, it has grossed $66 mil domestic and $100 mil overseas. Interesting that the overseas numbers are higher. My guess is that's because environmentalism is much stronger in Europe than it is here. This movie looks to make a marginal profit for Fox (so much for Fox being "Right Wing") and nowhere near blockbuster status.

For Jim May:

Jim, how much would your movie cost and how much would you spend to market it? Also, could you find a non-leftist director to make it if you were somehow to find the money? Would any Hollywood distributors actually distribute an anti-environmentalist movie? Lastly and most importantly, would such a movie succeed at the box office given our culture? Would people actually go to the theater or buy on DVD an anti-left movie that had explicit pro-Objectivist, pro-reason, pro-individualist themes? You know far more than me but I am inclined to say it wouldn't. But I hope I am wrong.

Gus Van Horn said...

Thanks f0r the info, madmax. It is heartening that this movie is not exactly popular here.

Jim May said...

madmax: Depending on where I shot it, I would expect to be able to do that movie for $100k or less. (The first attempt had a budget of about $2k -- but that was with a lot of "pro bono" work from the actors and from makeup). For this movie, I would handle writing (done), direction, and all the post work (I already do that for a living).

My original plans were to release it to the Internet via atomfilms. Today, I could use metacafe or a similar site that pays per view for popular original content. I originally did not expect to make any money from this, so any profit would be a pleasant surprise.

While the script could easily be adapted into a full-length feature with a larger budget, there is no way this movie gets made in today's Hollywood, with anybody's money but mine. Even apart from personnel/political issues, the movie itself would be a tough pitch because the "meat" of the script consists of a series of courtroom-style dialogues.

That being said, I did cast one non-Objectivist actor who was still gung-ho for the concept *after* he read it :)