"The voice of the intellect is a soft one,
but it does not rest until it has gained a
hearing. Ultimately, after endlessly
repeated rebuffs, it succeeds.
This is one of the few points in which
to be optimistic about the
future of mankind."
Analysts of the social scene, sociologists, psychologists, theologians and others have noted the apocalyptic nature
and almost obsession of film, games, literature and other
cultural symbols designed for and sought by people 18-35.
To mine the deep implications and causes can fill books. But a shorthand version is an attitude about the future that is not all sunshine and roses. Some of those reasons may smack us in the face if we look closely.
Think of the impact on younger minds of just these events:
THE MEDIA COVERAGE OF KATRINA
WITNESSING THE WORST ECONOMIC COLLAPSE SINCE
I chose those three because they are linked by a seemingly helpless situations played out large and in detail in a media saturation. But there are multiple such examples and other complexities of modern life that also work to destroy optimism.
Bringing it back to Freud then, is the soft voice of intellect being heard? Or is it being drowned out in a world of social media where Kim Kardashian has 9 to 10 million "followers?"
THE HUNGER GAMES
We became two of the most recent of the millions who are making this film a box office smash. Talk about dystopian! The Suzzane Collins young adult novel which was a sensation, is even more so in the hands of Director Gary Ross who wrote and directed Pleasantville, Seabiscuit and Big. Ross is a very good film maker and his screenplay with Collins is of a world that is a continuation of the bleak future theme.
Lana is more enthusiastic about the film than I am. It is an entertaining, big budget action adventure thriller focused on kids surviving a decadent societies' game. She sees the hope expressed in the story line. I see a clever portrayal of a society that becomes increasingly self indulgent, hooked on cheap thrills and riven with a wealthy elite controlling poor, working masses.
And it is probably just me, but the brilliance in the film
is the parody of our obsession with "reality game shows." How far will we go? When I was ceo of a television production company we'd joke about how outrageous game shows could become. This film is a punctuation point.
Stanley Tucci as the television host, Caesar Flickerman
is delightful. Jennifer Lawrence as the heroine continues to show remarkable talent, first seen in Winter Bone. Elizabeth Banks as vacuous Effie Trinkle is superb. She captures the empty values and superficiality of a society that can enjoy watching children kill each other. Woody Harrelson as the burned out former hero provides a nice nuanced and textured performance. And Donald Southerland as the contemptible president Snow is a poster boy for legalizing assassination.
I'm struck by how this is a film for and about youth and even in a kind of victory there is an uncertainty and looming shadow.
"Have I not reason
to lament what man has made of man?"
REALITY CHECK NOW
MORE OF THE SAME
A new public awareness campaign has been launched.
It is the most recent voice in the escalating fight over
There may be places where fracking has not done harm.
But clearly, there are places where it is doing severe harm.
"A simple child,
That lightly draws its breath.
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death?"
I've been accused of looking on the bright side of things. Not sure about that, rather I'm a pragmatist who understands the value of doing something. In engagement is opportunity, and hope. That attitude was honed in Paul Hamori's class on Hegelian dialectics.
"The history of the world
is none other than the progress of the
consciousness of freedom."
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
See you down the trail.