Monday, July 11, 2005

Spielberg : a dangerous man!

Spielberg a dangerous man?
When a billion dollar movie serves to support war, sexism, militarism and xenophobia, and further, subliminally conditions the viewing public to accept that killing, in some circumstances, is justified, then watch out! If you have not yet seen War of the Worlds, don’t! I want bother reviewing the film, (that you can find easily enough) but I’ll just make a few comments.

It seems the writers, producers and director are making quite the effort to further instil in the public the love of family and the need for the use of violence to solve problems. Someone once said that all images have their ideology.
So we see that Tom Cruise, (why even bother with his character’s name?) when he must save his blond and blue-eyed daughter’s virginal life, can only resort to killing. Forget reasoning, forget empathy- just tell your obedient and submissive offspring to look the other way while daddy goes and offs the hysterical man that just saved your life. It is this type of mindset that Hollywood is too keen on…has always been keen on, as the big buck movie backers and war machine stock market profiteers (thanks for all those tanks ands planes and soldiers Uncle Sam!) are given another pep rally. Kill, kill, kill- that’s the only way to save ourselves. That and the help of God, Earth’s God, MY God, not THEIR God! (In the last narration there is a type of thank you prayer to our God, who having created our world in such a way as to protect us, saves us from the big bad wolves.)

There is a heavy importance in this film given to the sacred nuclear family, to the right of the individuals to protect themselves and theirs. We see scenes of panic and chaos where instead of mutual aid and co-operation, the people can only fight it out, resorting always to force. The entire plot turns on this salmon like desire to return to the origin, to mother and grandparents, to the family, the supreme raison d’être of life, while the rest of humanity can fight it out amongst themselves.

These days I am re-reading Brave New World and it brings me to ask: how are we so conditioned by society (state, schools, family) that we accept all to easily the prevailing ideology of competition and the use of force. Hollywood is one if the most important storytellers for the young and when these war lovers, these so called liberals that the Right complain about, can only make these superficial, traditional, ideologically potent films of indoctrination then we must call Spielberg and company dangerous.Where are the pacifist, activist, alternative filmmakers and writers? Who has another vision?

Judith Malina (see Living Theatre) used to argue: I want to destroy the nuclear family! It is and has always been the prime conditioning mechanism of all that is wrong in society: every man and his castle instilling violence, the use of emotional blackmail, of class and poverty, of our psychological armour, of the ideologies of obedience, love of country, money and objects. Inside those four sacred walls we are conditioned to the established ruling system that governs our minds and souls.

"We are all murderers", said R.D. Laing, when we use the threat of violence; when we make use of power in the bedroom, or in the kitchen; when we use the bombs in Iraq or in the London subway. One could say we are all hypocrites also if in accusing the other of violence we don’t look into our own selves to see how it manifests in our own actions.


At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Jessica Slote aka Loretta said...

Gary--beautiful blog site, first of all. Then, as always, interesting and inspiring to read your words. I haven't seen (and don't intend to see) War of the Worlds--and feel I don't need to. The print images and the tv ads say it all. Your own commentary sums up exactly what I figured was the case.

One odd angle to the whole thing is Spielberg's "tolerant" standing-up for Cruise's Scientology. The director lobbied the money people on behalf of the actor to allow a Scientology tent on the set at all times. Of course, Scientology founder what'zizname was by profession a pulp science fiction writer who borrowed ideas from H.G. Wells and others.

Journalists in this country have politely looked the other way to avoid any serious investigative reporting on Scientology and Hollywood.

All for now--Blog On!



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