I liked but didn’t love the movie Wall-E. The message about the environment, consumption, and technology was apparent. It’s a message that a six year old, and maybe even a four year old, would get. But Frank Rich of the NYT waxes rhapsodic about the movie in the context of this year’s political campaign. He writes:
One of the great things about art, including popular art, is that it can hit audiences at a profound level beyond words. That includes children. The kids at “Wall-E” were never restless, despite the movie’s often melancholy mood and few belly laughs. They seemed to instinctually understand what “Wall-E” was saying; they didn’t pepper their chaperones with questions along the way. At the end they clapped their small hands. What they applauded was not some banal cartoonish triumph of good over evil but a gentle, if unmistakable, summons to remake the world before time runs out.
He concludes his analysis with:
Americans should see it to appreciate just how much things are out of joint on an Independence Day when a cartoon robot evokes America’s patriotic ideals with more conviction than either of the men who would be president.
Again it reminds me of the Haraway passage: “Our machines are disturbingly lively, and we ourselves frighteningly inert.”
Here’s my view:
1. Looking at all the trash on the pixelated planet, I felt guilty about how much garbage I make.
2. The bloated humans’ comical and stupid attempts to reclaim and nurture the planet’s lone green thing made me feel overwhelmed, cynical, and apathetic.
3. The BuyNLarge schtick, a clear reference to Walmart and other box stores, was cute but the critique was practically non-existent. WalMart is the elephant in the living room.
Excuse me while I prepare for my weekly run to Walmart grocery store.