Movies! Or Why I Stopped Worrying About Politics

Movies, Movies, Movies!

Why so much writing about movies?

I don’t quite know what it is, but it’s hard to write about anything but film these days. In the past, people have asked why I didn’t write about this or that political issue. Sometimes the answer was just that I hadn’t had the time. But more often, it was that I didn’t have anything new to offer. I’ve noticed that a lot of political bloggers are fine just regurgitating what others have said. In fact, this is what blogging is for a lot of people: a brief introduction, and then a long quote by someone else.

Politics Is Depressing

These days, I find I don’t have that much to say about politics. The election of Donald Trump as president has really been a bad thing. What is there to do but wait for the next election. I suspect that 2018 will go okay. But what if Trump wins re-election in 2020? Political parties aren’t mostly about ideology. If this really is the country of ethno-nationalism, what is the Democratic Party going to do? I don’t know. And it is really depressing to even think about.

Movies Are Fun

As a result, I’m writing more about movies than ever before. And that means less work to be done here. So I’ve created another page over at Pyshchotronic Review: Space: 1999. It includes an article, Great 1970s TV: Space: 1999. Hopefully, I can get Will to write something for the page. I remember that he was something of a fan of the show at the time, whereas I had never even seen it until the last year.

But I hope that the continued posting of quotes will keep you all engaged and discussing the issues of the day. They do seem to get a fair amount of discussion. But I’ve noticed that I tend to get more comments when I have something to say myself. And I will continue to have things to say. Just the same, my political thinking has gotten broader. I still think elections are really important. But I’m more worried about the system itself. I fear we are doomed if we continue to think that the way things are is the way things ought to be.

Our Biggest Political Problems

Hierarchy is the fundamental problem. Our belief that we should have a pecking order is what allows us to continue to justify ridiculous levels of income inequality. And it’s what makes everyone think that capitalism is somehow natural and right.

I get tired of having to argue with people who tell me how capitalism is the reason we have cool phones and without it, the poor would be even worse off. I can counter these arguments, but it’s exhausting. Why is it that most people just accept an economic system that doesn’t work for them? I really don’t know. And so it’s more fun to write about movies, even if Space: 1999 clearly demonstrates a hierarchical society in a positive light. Even when you are reduced to 311 individuals, people don’t question hierarchy.

Yes, we are doomed, but I have some great movies we can watch as the end approaches.

2 thoughts on “Movies! Or Why I Stopped Worrying About Politics

  1. >Why is it that most people just accept an economic system that doesn’t work for them? I really don’t know.

    Because most people think we only have two options:

    1. Capitalism as practiced in America

    2. Communism as practiced in the former U.S.S.R.

    I myself am just learning that there may be other options.

    • I agree, and would like to add my own thoughts.

      Our form of capitalism has a huge propaganda engine behind it, namely advertising. Jonathan Dee (author of the fine novel “The Privileges”) once wrote that advertising serves as capitalist realist art, modeling not what our society is but what capitalism wants us to think it is. Very much like Soviet art depicting happy sewage workers.

      Some of our main problems under capitalism today are climate change, social dislocation, and low self-esteem. Ads promise purchases which will fix these all. Save the planet by buying Chipotle. Get a better job (and better life) with CareerBuilder. The family will all enjoy meals together if you cook Kraft macaroni. And so on. Forget about racism; in ads, it doesn’t exist. While social class can be leaped with the right car.

      There was a VW ad a while back, not very long ago. A family in a generic minivan had loud, overweight children and a frazzled parent. The song playing was “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys.” As they pulled into a convenience store, we saw another family of delightful, healthy children, riding in a Volkswagen.

      This propaganda helps mute the castastrophic gradualism of our system. Everybody doesn’t lose their job, go to jail, get denied insurance coverage, all at the same time. It eats at us in pieces. Just as climate change slowly raises the water temperature on that frog in the pot.

      The Dee article is from an old Harpers. It’s available for free at the library or behind a paywall here:

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