Monday, January 17, 2022

Don't Look Up

Don’t Look Up (Netflix) could have been titled The Big LieIn the Adam McKay film, a comet threatens civilization. But the comet is nothing less  than the denial of reality. In fact supporters cheer the president, Meryl Streep (Janie Orlean), when she exhorts them not to "look up" at the celestial object coming right at them. Substitute global warming, but added to the whole plethora of denials perpetrated by the Trumpocracy, the Covid conspiracy, the Iran nuclear deal, and the destruction of the institution of democracy, you have a raging crowd cheering the downfall of humanity, in both the literal and metaphorical sense of the word. Leonardo DiCaprio (Dr. Randall Mindy) and Jennifer Lawrence (Kate Dibiasky) play the astronomers who make the initial findings. Ultimately they’re arrested for unveiling another truth, the mission to destroy the comet is being foiled for a greater good: the enrichment of the few. Spoiler Alert: the survivors, end up naked in a Garden of Eden somewhere in the multiverse. Just when they’re about to profit from the spoils…boom.There was a famous Twilight Zone, “To Serve Man.” A group of humans also in transit arrive on a new planet. They'd been lured to the world of the Kanamit, the inhabitants of a far away planet, having previously been presented with a book entitled “To Serve Man.” The problem is that it turns out to be a cookbook. Don’t Look Up is the perfect sequel to 2001: A Space OdysseyFrom the first frames when a gigantic telescope is scouring the heavens, the graphics are enormously creative, but the subsequent disquisition is short and sweet. The dialogue and narrative could be the bubbles in a graphic novel or comic strip. The tone is almost dismissive and devoid of gravitas which is a perfect rendering of how the mind actually distances itself from the shock of something terrible happening. Even as one thinks "this couldn’t possibly be happening" (Donald Trump being reelected), it’s happening again with the concomitant feeling of paralysis about being able to do anything to stop it.

Read "The Wormhole Society" by Francis Levy, The East Hampton Star

and listen to "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor

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