aNewDomain — I took the boy to see “Jurassic World” today. I’m jaded, but he thought it was pretty cool. I appreciated the meta-narrative through the film about the demands of the economy, the self-conscious jabs about how everything needs to be bigger and scarier to cater to increasingly cynical, overexposed consumers. Consumers like me.
Someone in the movie even mentions that the whole dino thing has been reduced to a petting zoo with seven-dollar sodas – and this in front of an audience with movie-theater Coke-buckets in their laps. Gutsy.
As for the special effects, they were impressive enough. The dinosaurs in “Jurassic World” are plenty scary. But you know me by now: I don’t just care about digital effects. I care about something more. And “Jurassic World” does make an effort to be about something more.
It tries, but it doesn’t entirely succeed in this respect. There are allusions to militarism and the dissolution of the family, to our overworked lives leading to our kids missing us. That stuff probably doesn’t belong in this movie, because it leads us towards some spurious conclusions. Like, leaving the kids with the babysitter will lead to them being eaten by dinosaurs.
No, the theme is this: Don’t screw around with nature.
“Godzilla” made that point following the unforgivable application of nuclear weapons to Japanese cities that brought about the end of the Pacific theater conflict. To this day, “Godzilla” epitomizes our fears of science run amok, weaponized knowledge, the cracking open of the base elements of reality.
The old Japanese body-suit version are about nuclear war, while the newest one seems to have more to do with nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima meltdown.
“The Fly” does the same, but with a twist. When you screw around with science, its message goes, then bad things can happen to you. Or is the moral of that one that if you cheat on Geena Davis, your dork will fall off?
In any event, there are things we aren’t supposed to know. Humans are not gods and not set up to decide what species should live and which should stay extinct.That stuff all died out for good reason, and we have to stay respectful of nature.
That’s what happened to Aron Ralston: he lost his respect for nature. We don’t have to be scared, we just have to stay aware that nature is bigger than us, and sometimes it has teeth.
If you’re hiking, don’t go alone, take a signal whistle, and for gods’ sakes leave a post-it note where you’re headed and when to expect you back.
But wait. This is a muddy message in “Jurassic World” because (spoiler alert!) the problem of the technologically enhanced de-extincted super-dinosaur is solved by progressively larger dinosaurs. The raptors try to kill it. The T-Rex tries to kill it.
Eventually, well, let’s just say there’s always a bigger fish. You might remember that little bit of wisdom from Qui Gon Jin.
At its core, you see, “Jurassic World” is really a story about global warming and the commercialization that makes it possible.
We’re getting a warmer, deadlier world by burning fossil fuels. Fossils give us power, make us money. All through “Jurassic World,” the entire setup is profits: profit margins at the park, profits in other divisions of the company, military applications. The message is that we’re destroying the world and even buying into ridiculous fictions (as if there is such a thing as clean coal) in service to profits.
In “Jurassic World,” the tourists all go to the park voluntarily. They are aware that the previous version of the park turned into a human-flesh-buffet. They even wear Jurassic Park T-shirts as ironic fashion statements, paying hundred for them on eBay. They have to get them on eBay because the articles are so hard to find in mint condition — one imagines because most of the people who wore them before got munched.
In the fictional universe, they keep making Jurassic Park movies because people will always go to them, provided they’re sufficiently dangerous to threaten the existence of the human species.
The back story to all this is that we keep doing nothing at all about global warming.We know it’s happening. Only trolls, by now, dispute the facts of the matter: industry-affiliated trolls getting rich exploiting the slivers of uncertainty in the scientific process.
The only way it could be worse is if they were able to sell us seven-dollar sodas along the way. But stay tuned. Maybe that’s next.
For aNewDomain, I’m Jason Dias’s amber-encased DNA.
Image one: YouTube
Image two: iMDB.com
Image three: Chud, All Rights Reserved.
Image four: WisdomWebzine, All Rights Reserved.
Image five: Sando Aqua Monster, via StarWars.Wikia.com, All Rights Reserved.