Imagine the movie script: in some post-apocalyptic world, civilization as we know it has been obliterated, buried under millennia of sand and dust. And then, after humanity has reestablished itself and built a new, independent tradition of science, art and philosophy, some archeologist stumbles upon an artifact from the distant past. Our present.
What used to be “entertainment” has become background noise. It’s everywhere, it’s plentiful, and it’s effortless. Instead of being something to do that adds value to our scarce free time, entertainment is becoming a generic mind-filler when we’ve got nothing better to do.
In my home, there are paraphernalia that are of no worth whatsoever to anyone but me. They take up space in my house and in my mind, and offer precious little practical value in return. But throw them away I will not.
The film clearly oozes attention to detail and is well-crafted and intelligent, with outstanding special effects and excellent performances all round. But once the end credits started rolling, my sons’ gut reaction was, “What the hell kind of weirdo movie was that?!”
There is a whole host of perfectly acceptable dead people whom you never knew and who can still be of service. They are the artists and philosophers, scientists and visionaries whose presence is still felt long past their due date.
Humans are not the only animals to use tools, but we are the one species that has come to rely on technology more than any other. But the fruits of our progress towards ever more advanced technologies have been a double-edged sword.