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Don't Look Up, Just Give Up

Why the establishment really pissed off with Adam McKay's Don't Look Up
 
by system failure
 
Why a movie with some of the most famous actors would bring such an embarrassment to the establishment? Probably because it would depict establishment's multi-level ugliness using establishment's star-system "materials".

That's the short answer on why Adam McKay's Don't Look Up produced, up until now, so much controversy.

The presence of Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence in a movie, makes it really hard for the establishment "experts" to bury it, if they don't like the deeper message it carries. So, reviews should be mixed and covertly undermine the movie, devaluing it smoothly. 
 
The creators of the story (Adam McKay and David Sirota), wanted to highlight the incredible unwillingness of the societies to deal seriously with the now very direct threat of climate crisis. Yet, remarkably, they did much more than that. In all key sectors of the mainstream culture, the movie almost brilliantly exposes the related real-life behaviors. And unveils a culture in decline, especially concerning the US and the entire West.
 
Meryl Streep's role depicts the behavior of the political establishment in most of the Western world today, whether neoliberal or alt-right. The role is a mixture of these dominant political trends, a little bit of both. And it's the perfect exposure of establishment's games. Streep's persona is what the establishment (especially the liberal part of it) would like to have now, to satisfy all tastes and bury one more time any effort for real change. A woman in charge with a flavor of patriotism (reminds you anyone?) would  attract both liberal and progressive voters (through the weaponization of identity politics), but most of the conservatives too. 
 
Yet, perhaps the most successful real-life depiction, is that of the mainstream media anchors. The depiction of their arrogance, ignorance, stylistic choices and absolute determination not to let any of their guests (whether celebrities, or serious scientists), behave differently from their unwritten set of rules, is indeed impressively accurate.
 
In fact, it's so accurate that I can't see how any of the movie's participants and contributors (and especially Cate Blanchett and Tyler Perry who portray the media anchors), could be interviewed by top real-life mainstream media anchors, without making these anchors feel really uncomfortable.
 
And, of course, behind this glamorous facade, the movie gives us also the whole real picture: the corruption and the direct connections of the political establishment with the billionaire class.
 
Yet, still, there is perhaps an even more fundamental revelation about our modern culture in the movie. 
 
In a recent interview, David Sirota points out: 

                              There is a denialist set, which is probably the hardest to reach, and there is a climate-activism set, which already gets that we have to act. And there is a large number of people - sort of in the middle of that spectrum - that know that the climate change is happening, know that it's problematic, but may not sense the urgency and, or the possibility of warding off the worst parts of it. So, it's a mix of kind of defeatism 'yeah, I know it's bad, but there is nothing we can do, or, yeah I know it's bad, but it's fifty to hundred years in the future.'
 

So, that "defeatism" Sirota speaks about, is all over the movie. All key aspects of life - the people, the media, the politicians and the billionaires have something in common: one by one, sooner or later, they all give up. And that's perhaps the most important element of the movie. The depiction of the "resignation" of an entire society. Even people who understand the seriousness of the threat don't take any serious action to deal with it. They waste all their effort and energy in memes and silly messages in the social media.

In short, people from all aspects of life refuse to come together, join forces and seriously deal with the threat. Not just because they don't want to abandon an almost meaningless way of life, but mostly because they don't know how to do it, and they don't have any alternative in their minds.
 
This is what the modern cultural totalitarianism looks like. Lobotomized societies have no idea what to do, even when a big threat is so close to wipe out the human race. Because they were born and raised inside this cultural Matrix, and never learned how to act collectively and effectively.
 
So, in the end, perhaps a more suitable and complete title for the movie would be Don't Look Up, Just Give Up.
 
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Comments

  1. Don't look up is a reactionary film, as it tells the people instead of looking up, to look at the president, look at the anchor, look at the internet infuencer, they are all afoul according to the good old American values. But even those depicted as the bad ones, the only way to get rid of them is to ship them to another dimension. No politics, no organization, no popular mobilization is possible. TINA! Of course, the big culprit which is capitalism itself, remains unaffected. To them, capitalism is bad only if it ain't done right.

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