A Phil-for-an-ill Blog

February 15, 2009

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)


– What is Predictive Programming?
– Alan Watt – Predictive Programming; Theory and Practice
– Vyzygoth Interviews Phillip and Paul Collins – Invoking the Beyond (Predictive Programming)

Check out the corresponding Wikipedia page to read a decent synopsis.

While being busy minding her own business and while also having no criminal past or affiliation the door rings at the house of Dr Helen Benson. She answers and is greeted by an authoritative authority figure, who without blush lets her know, “Dr Benson you must come with us. You’re in federal custody…” Get used to the new now folks, a time where it is apparently perfectly acceptable for the authorities to go around and apprehend and detain whoever and wherever they like without showing arrest warrants at all and/or reading Miranda rights.

The magic words that serve to rationalize such obtrusive government interference into your private lives are, “it’s a matter of national security.” Ergo, “no questions please ma’am/sir, just do as we tell you thank you very much.”

And even if you manage to fire away a question here or there, the law-enforcement officer ‘assisting’ you is likely to have no answers as he is just following orders or just doing his job. Quite unsurprisingly this also turned out to be the case with the nosy and moderately obstinate Dr Benson.

To reflect the gravity of the National Security matter a scene is shown in which a whole highway has been shut down and reserved for the Police escort delivering Dr Benson to some undisclosed military facility seemingly engaged in monitoring airspace.

To meet the sudden threat from outer space, rather than assembling a group of top politicians, the movie-script opts for the mobilization and employment of a team of top scientists. Nonetheless, the scientists are and, for the entire duration of the movie, will be assisted and coerced, if necessary, by ever present military personnel.

By the way, you will see the active presence of the military throughout the movie. Also you will see plenty of bodyguards walking about, security guards in galore, and a host of cameras all keeping an eye on everybody’s moves. Combined with the fact that there is no such thing as civil rights in this movie, the movie very much depicts a de facto police state environment. But of course, all this authoritative saber rattling is merely there to keep you all safe and secure. We all know that. Whether the threat comes from fictitious terrorist desert gangsters or from fictitious space aliens, in the sheer context of homeland security, it is not really important as long as the threat is perceived to be real.

The viewer is readied to anticipate full scale civil evacuations if and when so-called national emergencies come wreaking havoc upon and all around us, such as the alien invasion portrayed in the movie.

A revealing and very important dialogue transpires between Klaatu and Dr Benson:

Klaatu: “This planet is dying. The human race is killing it.”
Dr Benson: “So you’ve come here to help us?”
Klaatu: “No, I didn’t.”
Dr Benson: “You said you came to save us.”
Klaatu: “I came to save the Earth.”
Dr Benson:”You came to save the earth, from us.”
Klaatu: “We cannot risk the survival of this planet for the sake of one species. If the earth dies, you die. If you die, the earth survives. There are only a handful of planets in the cosmos that are capable of supporting complex life. This one cannot be allowed to perish.”
Dr Benson: “We can change. We can still turn things around…”
Klaatu: “We’ve watched. We’ve awaited and hoped that you would change. It has reached a tipping point where we have to act. We’ll undo the damage you done and give the Earth a chance to begin again.”
Dr Benson: “Don’t do that… Please. We can change.”
Klaatu: “The decision has been made. The process has begun.”

The movie makes no bones about the notion that the typical viewer is to blame for the phenomenon of the world going to hell in a hand basket. The degenerating environment, ballooning pollution, over-population global warming, it’s all the fault of the average joe. Humans like a virus eating away the planet. What a horrible realization, the viewer is nudged into thinking… Consequently, he or she is left teetering on the brink of a guilt trip. Fortunately, the movie quickly offers a way out of this unbearable psychological predicament. All we have to do is… change! Easy, no?

But wait, where did we hear that slogan before? That’s right, here we did:

How convenient it is that this want for change just so happened to coincide with one of Obama’s favorite campaign mantras. We leave out for the moment the most obvious of questions: what kind of change are we talking about here? Call me a nitpicker but change can be for better, but it sadly can also be for the worse.

Obama though is not the only one shouting “change” from the rooftops, it seems to be somewhat of a fad nowadays as change.org does the same thing. This site suggest all kinds of cute and puny news items dressed up as changes triggering all kinds of emotional responses. But are all these charming suggestions for change really enough to save the planet? Or is it merely something to keep the public busy, drops on a hot stove, exercises of futility, similar to e.g. the fraud called “elections”?

Lest going off on tangents, for all clarity, the imposition of a guilt-trip on the viewer and the need for (Obama-esque kind of) change are the predictive programming elements of significance in this most important of scenes.

Quite similar to the original, Klaatu proceeds to demonstrate his hands down intellectual superiority by kindly helping out with ease the planet’s most intelligent physics scholar, Prof. Barnhardt. In addition, also similar to the original a standing Klaatu authoritatively looking down on a humble and seated Dr. Benson and Prof. Barnhardt, helps persuade the viewer to also accept Klaatu‘s parental moral superiority.

A most interesting discussion follows between Prof. Barnhardt and Klaatu:

Professor: “There must be alternatives. You must have some technology that can solve our problem.”
Klaatu: “The problem is not technology. The problem is you. You lack the will to change.”
Professor: Then help us change…”

Klaatu: “I cannot change your nature. You treat the world as you treat eachother.”
Professor: “But every civilization reaches a crisis point eventually. […] Only when your world was threatened with destruction that you became what you are now.”
Klaatu: “Yes.”
Professor: “Well, that’s where we are. You say we’re on the brink of destruction, and you are right. But it’s only on the brink that people find the will to change. Only at the precipice do we evolve.

This is our moment, don’t take it from us. We are close to an answer.”

Again all the woes and ills of the world are pinned on the typical viewer. Never are the guiding financial, economic and religious powers given even as much as a casual and superficial critical review. And that’s a shame really, since it is not the hordes of simpleton Joe Sixpack’s and Jane Soap-opera’s who are too blame but rather a relatively small group of psychopathic megalomaniacs; the bigger than life banksters, the mesmerizing religious hierarchies – most notably that of the Catholic Church, the military industrial complex, etc., who are ruining it for the rest of world.

But oh no, movies like this tempt us into believing that not only are we guilty, we need to be driven on the brink of annihilation in order to greet a better world. What a great premonition that is, huh?

On the side, Klaatu demonstrates his superhuman magical powers by downing two obnoxious helicopters but then contrasts this act of aggression by showcasing a high moral standing through rescuing the son of Dr Benson from falling to sure death. Thus his authority over life and death is laid bear.

Ironically, after witnessing from close up the most basic and ubiquitous types of bonding belonging to humans, Klaatu has a change of heart and confesses to Dr. Benson: “There’s another side to you. I feel it now.” The obvious question being, couldn’t he have realized that a bit sooner? Wouldn’t it have been better for him to first study humans from close up rather than doing that after setting in motion the hellish wrath from outer space? After all, didn’t he and his space alien buddies scrutinize this planet for quite a while already before coming to earth?

Anyway, be that as it may. The rudimentary type of bonding between mother and child is offered as the key to our Problem apparently and proceeds to save the day. It is literally and figuratively left out of the picture that the loving and forgiving relationship as seen between mother and child is unfortunately usually not as pronounced in other relationships as the movie seems to imply. The movie does not care, and they all, minus a few soldiers, intelligence personnel and a truck driver, live happily ever after.

In addition, never mind those big bad boy banksters hiding and snickering in the shadows who no doubt greatly enjoy this remarkable piece of tear-jerking distraction. A craftily made and entertaining work of misdirection aimed at obfuscating the faces of the real guilty; the bunch of megalomaniacal degenerates really responsible for sending this world to hell, and then some.

My other analyses (oldest first, newest last):

Children of Men (2006)
300 (2006)
28 Weeks Later (2007)
Soylent Green (1973)
Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
The Kingdom (2007)
The Invasion (2007)
Shoot em Up (2007)
John Rambo (2008 )
I, Robot (2004)
Cloverfield (2008 )
Conspiracy Theory (1997)
Starship Troopers 3 – Marauder (2008 )
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008 )
Code 46 (2003)
Equilibrium (2003)
Gattaca (1997)
Minority Report (2002)
V for Vendetta (2005)
Things to Come (1936)
Swordfish (2001)
Independence Day (1996)
Death Race (2008 )
Bee Movie (2007)
The Happening (2008 )
Cyborg Girl – Boku no kanojo wa saib?gu (2008 )
Transformers (2007)
Survivors (2008 ) – BBC TV Series – Part 1of6
Survivors (2008 ) – BBC TV Series – Part 2of6
Survivors (2008 ) – BBC TV Series – Part 3of6
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008 )
I Am Legend (2007)
Robocop (1987) – Promoting the Militarization of Police
Dark Knight (2008) – Excusing the Rude & Stoic Strongman Crime Fighter

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