"The world is not a lodging-house at Brighton, which we are to leave because it is miserable. It is the fortress of our family, with the flag flying on the turret, and the more miserable it is the less we should leave it."
-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.
On Saturday, seeking to escape the oppressive heat that mysteriously attacked our fair land, the very-nearly-missus and I ducked into a blissfully air conditioned movie theater and watched I, Robot. I like me a good sci-fi here and there, but I've never read any Asimov, so I had no real expectations going in, other than a fun action flick where we humans take down the Matrix robots before they have a chance to copper-top us all. And I got that... but I also got one of the most stunningly conservative movies I've ever seen on the big screen.
Most of the conservatism comes near the end, so if you've not seen it yet, go do so before reading on.
Seriously, go do so!
I'm not kidding. It's enjoyable enough, with good action sequences, but if you read the next paragraphs without seeing it, your enjoyment will be severely impaired.
On a slightly related note, why is Blogger so inept about letting me hide posts? Ok, here are my thoughts:
From the previews and the first 7/8ths of the movie, this looks to be a pretty standard corporate-villain type movie. It's certainly a tiring cliche, but not fatally so. So, when the villain turns out to be (ok, seriously, if you haven's seen the movie, stop right here--I'm very much not kidding) VIKI, I was very pleased. And when VIKI started talking like Hillary Clinton, I was even moreso.
First, she revealed that the problem with the robots was that they were loose constructionists, that their understanding of the Rules had evolved. And, just like in real life, this lead to deadly consequences.
Then, she revealed that what the robots were doing was essentially the goal of the Democratic Party, and of governments all across the world: to take away our freedom so that we don't hurt ourselves. And beyond that, she was a pacifist environmentalist, citing environmental degredation and war as two of her chief complaints against this pesky human freedom. Sound like anyone you know? She may as well have said "we'll have to take things away from you for the common good," and she came darn close to doing so.
And the best thing is, she was portrayed exactly as she was, a villain who had to be destroyed: Sure, we understand your logic. It's just evil, and we're not going to waste time sympathizing with your good motives. We're too busy trying to live free or die.
So you can have your Fahrenheit 9-11's. As long as we get Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 for foreign policy, and I, Robot for domestic policy, I think we'll do just fine.