Daily Speculations

The Web Site of Victor Niederhoffer & Laurel Kenner

Dedicated to the scientific method, free markets, deflating ballyhoo, creating value, and laughter;  a forum for us to use our meager abilities to make the world of specinvestments a better place.

 

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7/1/04
Hollywood to America: Bring Back the Dark Ages.

Film Reviews by Laurel Kenner

Having seen "Spiderman 2," "The Day After Tomorrow" and the latest Harry Potter flick in the space of a week, I must conclude that Hollywood is devoting its considerable propaganda powers to convincing viewers that occult powers and junk science are better than empiricism, achievement, technology and enterprise.

I'm not going to talk about production values, the special effects, the stunt men, the winsomeness of the actors, or the merits of the music scores by John Williams and Danny Elfman. Form has ruled over content for well over 100 years now in culture.  It's time to get back to content. And the content in these films is ... dreadful.

Start with the unsubtle propaganda dump of "The Day After Tomorrow. "As the melting of polar ice sets off a new ice age, the film's characters immediately conclude that it's happening because man  has been consuming natural resources. The painfully obvious question -- but what caused the last Ice Age? -- is not even raised.

But this only mirrors the environmentalist mental gymnastics at the United Nations' "sustainable development" bureaucracy, the Democratic Party and schools for every income class.

"Spiderman" features an ugly, evil mad scientist, a rich man who backs his efforts, and a kid who's a complete loser without his spider suit. The film ends with the pretty girl leaving her astronaut fiance for the fantasy hero. Chalk up one against real achievement. Just a story, right? OK, but when's the last time you saw a film that presents an honest, non-grotesque businessman, or a scientist, or an engineer in a positive light? (To its credit, "The Day After Tomorrow" stars are brilliant students involved in a scholastic competition.)

Practically everybody likes "Harry Potter," just like everybody seems to like the fantasy-novel "The Da Vinci Code." But to call a spade a spade, both of these represent nothing more than reversions to the age of myth, fantasy and enforced ignorance.

 

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