Sure – there are experts on epidemiology and immunology. There’s the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control. All these people with vast degrees and knowledge that humbles us all. But there was one group that beats them all in a vision of the future and we should have been paying attention. Hollywood!
Think back to the 60’s and 70’s when we watched Star Trek. And those ‘communicators’ were so incredible we couldn’t believe it would EVER be possible to open up this marvel of technology and speak – on a wireless device (didn’t even have that term back then) no less! That’s so cool it could NEVER happen,, we said to ourselves.
Lieutenant O’Hora who was a black woman in a leadership position – so that was fiction back then – who spoke into a Bluetooth ear piece (again, not even a term we understood), and could speak a zillion universal languages using it.
And robots? No way. R2D2 in Star Wars was pure fantasy! But here’s the thing. All that stuff has come – and in some cases gone already. I have a robot that vacuums my house. My Apple earbuds are barely worth a mention, and if you gave me a flip phone I’d give it back as an antique. So lame. So if we look to Hollywood to predict our future it’s not hard to see how we got to sheltering in our homes, hoarding food, and fearing for our lives.
Fast forward starting in the 2000’s, dystopian films – and I’ll include Harry Potter in those – have been all the rage.
Hunger Games – where the state enslaves millions; a select few in ‘Sector 1’ have all the resources and treat the other working class sectors as animals used for entertainment and slaughter. The rich v poor divde we’re living through now.
Divergent – where people are sorted by their ‘special abilities’, or shunned when they’re deemed unworthy, and used by those in Leadership too further their own nefarious agendas.
Harry Potter – in a world where magic is everything – except not so magical – and dark forces and powerful people want it all for themselves.
Human beings are not that interesting, we create art for the world we see. And the world we’ve been seeing apparently is dystopian
Hero’s emerge, sure, but that’s after society has collapsed and chaos has rained down upon the populous. Jeff and I were just discussing this and there’s an interesting argument to be made that perhaps we can see our future. We’ve been seeing it on the screen all along. I’ve always said ‘Energy flows where attention goes.’
But Jeff says he’s not worried.
‘For the last 10 years there’s been nothing but Super Hero movies. Tony Stark will save us. Or Batman. So we’re all gonna be fine!’
Wouldn’t be great if we stopped imaging we needed movie super hero’s? Either way, I think we can’t rely on the Super Hero’s in the movies for this. Our super hero’s today need to be people in lab coats, police uniforms and grocery store clerks. Maybe they’ve been the real hero’s all along. Because its crystal clear in the cool light of this pandemic that so many of our leaders have failed us, intentionally or through incompetence, hubris and/or greed.. And its time to write a story of the brighter future we are all so desperate to see.