* * * *
It's a Mad World
by S.E. Mann
Back in the days before the world looked so bleak, the world looked pretty darn bleak. American movies answered the call to arms to prepare the public for the things that were certainly to come: Utopia, but gone very, very wrong. Of course many of these themes, and actual stories came from much earlier times, and were fashioned for the present, as these things tend to go. It’s the way of things, the endless adaptation of the works of previous eras, taking things from back when they didn’t know anything. I’ve always wondered how it is that all those past generations which are notorious for their bumbling and naivety on such matters as the environment, social equality, education, science, medicine and politics, seem to have accomplished so much that we in our enlightened times can’t resist copying every chance we geniuses get.
Could our hope in the future have anything to do with it? Hope springing eternally from the well of residuals, that is. Don’t get me wrong, the idea of getting paid for one’s labor is a grand one. And one that I subscribe to. Greed is good and all that. Ok, maybe that’s going too far, quoting Gordon Gecko, but, like his character pointed out after that great line, greed, competition are the pillars of improvement. And so profit is not inherently a bad thing. In fact it’s a pretty spiffy thing when it comes to things like movies. Think about it, if there was no profit to me made in making movies, they’re be no movies to be made. Sure, there’d be some non-profit documentaries chronicling how naive and bumbling past generations were and how we’re fixing all that now, or other non-profit documentaries described as being made with no money, when in fact gobs of it were funnelled into the venture in order to, you guessed it, club past generations over the head like baby seals. Yes, there would be those, and if we are to subscribe to Douglas Adams' theories, they’d even make it all the way to colonizing the next world. But still, without profit, there would be no popular cinema, no movies for everyone, for the average joe or bloke, for the common clay, you know, for us morons.