Sunday, November 15, 2009

2012 Survivors and We the Living (surviving on DVD)

Having now seen 2012, which was everything I’d anticipated (stupid and spectacular), I’m reminded that a lot of us probably had the very same cultural artifact spring to mind the first time we heard stupid mystical predictions about the world ending in 2012: the Rush album 2112.

The Rush album, however, was not inspired by doomsday prophecies of the pseudo-Mayan sort. It was inspired by the novel Anthem by Ayn Rand (in hers, a man living in a statist future rediscovers the lightbulb, though, not the guitar).

You could see some of Rand’s works as tales of people surviving disasters, though. The economy of a future U.S. collapses in Atlas Shrugged, and a handful of people escape to Galt’s Gulch. In perhaps her most human and conventional (and slightly autobiographical) story, We the Living, a woman struggles to escape the politicized culture of the Soviet Union (in which Rand grew up).

I will believe the Atlas Shrugged miniseries is happening when I perceive the objective fact of its existence on my TV screen. We the Living, by contrast, has been issued on DVD at long last by Duncan Scott in association with Henry Mark Holzer and Erika Holzer, with forty-five minutes of deleted scenes, documentary material, and an explanation of Rand’s alternate ending.

My free copy is also a weapon against both Communism and Fascism, since Italian censors notoriously failed to realize at first, when this unauthorized film was created in that country, that the fanatical and bald Communist bureaucrat depicted in the film bore just a bit too much resemblance to a certain bald then-leader of Italy prone to fulminating on balconies. It’s freedom and morality vs. slavery and violence throughout human history, whatever the political labels used in an attempt to excuse the latter pair, and most people instinctively flee toward freedom, as refugee and migration patterns attest time and again, whenever they are given the chance, as surely as John Cusack flees a big fireball when Yellowstone erupts.


Gerard said...

I don’t know whether this falls under the rubric of your “month of” theme, but I thought it worth noting:

Israeli Biometric Data Bill

Jacob T. Levy said...

“I will believe the Atlas Shrugged miniseries is happening when I perceive the objective fact of its existence on my TV screen. ”

Skepticism is warranted, but IIRC you no longer have a functioning television, so that might be setting the epistemic bar a tiny bit too high.

Todd Seavey said...

I’m assuming the confirming incident likely takes place in 2034 A.D., when TV is free with the purchase of a pack of gum.