Monday, November 26, 2018

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD



This SUITABLY ABSURD 2015 release, directed by George Miller and starring Tom Hardy (chuckle) and Charlize Theron, is a PRICELESS JEWEL for the Discordian home film library. Once the film is stripped of its distracting elements, I find SO MANY THINGS TO LIKE!

>> Mad Max, t/n apparently Max Rockatansky, is played by Tom Hardy, for Pete's sake.  Thomas Hardy (author of Discordian classics like The Return Of The Native and Life's Little Ironies) is a Discordian saint in good standing.  And check this out.  Change the couture and the facial hair and they could pass for father and son:


Tom Hardy


Thomas Hardy


>> Charlize Theron, who appears in nearly every scene in the movie, plays a character who is pretty much channeling the Goddess of Chaos.  More than usual, even; she appears to understand and ACTIVELY MANIPULATE the complex interplay between Chaos and Order, and I'm here to tell you she plays it like a violin.  

>> Her name is pretty conflictual-sounding, even: Furiosa.  Remember that Eris is the twin sister of Ares, God of War.  And hey, how did she lose that left arm?   Probably not playing tiddlywinks.

>> The whole movie is about trying to find peace and safety -- what most people would call Order -- in an environment that is basically about TOTAL WAR, which most people equate with Chaos.  But the story is a delightful study in how Chaos and Order interpenetrate until you can hardly tell one from the other.  

>> Interestingly, Mad Max is trying, not to live with any of these people -- or rebuild society after the unnamed apocalyptic event that made the world like this -- but to go off by himself to resolve some internal issues.  He's haunted by the ghosts of people he wasn't able to save from WE KNOW NOT WHAT.  They hector and distract him constantly while he's trying to fight off the people trying to steal his car and his guns in the here and now.  All he wants is Order.  And all he has to contend with in order to get it is constant explosions, being kidnapped, tortured, drained of blood and dragged all over Hell's half acre, fighting for people he doesn't know and allying himself with people who keep trying to kill him.  As he puts it, he's the guy who fights the living AND the dead.

>>  Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne in a fright wig and scary-looking breathing equipment), despite his fearsome appearance, is the guy who's achieved some Order in this ultra-violent world. He has all kinds of complex arrangements in place to pump water from deep underground for drinking, bathing and trading, and he's organized his sick, starving constituents into productive units: breeding harems, armies of "war boys" who look like trainee Uncle Festers, bureaucrats, mechanics to keep the pumps running, lookouts and so forth.  They need all this organization to get through the day.  The Bullet Farmers and the inhabitants of Gas Town trade with the people living under the rulership of Immortan Joe, who controls most of the fresh water in the area, but the suppliers approach each other ARMED TO THE TEETH and are as likely to loot and pillage each other as they are to broker deals. 

>> Just about everyone else in the movie looks like groups of nomads on motorbikes dressed in what boil down to extreme gang colors.  The main difference between them and the Immortan Joe camp is that Joe's people have a permanent place to live and much bigger, better-armed vehicles.  Furiosa drives an enormous tanker truck variously loaded with water, gasoline, or mother's milk depending on the job.  In this series of events, she's packed the truck with Joe's favorite wives so they can all go to the Green Place of Many Mothers, which sounds like a fairytale but which may really exist.  Furiosa says it's so she can find "redemption."  For what?  She never says.  Hey, the living representative of the Goddess of Chaos, looking for Order?  Peace and plenty?  Safety and support?  The heck???  That's what I mean about her.  She gets that it's not a simple all-or-nothing choice.

>> Oh, the distracting elements I mentioned?  There's the fact that the whole movie is essentially a 2-hour fight-to-the-death funnycar show.  The crazy costumes.  The constant explosions.  When we finally get to a scene that isn't violent and crazy, it's a little startling.

>> I won't give away the ending, but it's a real shocker.  Total destruction of Order in order to create Order woven on the loom of Chaos.  A real kick in the teeth.

...And Then There's The Other Side Of The Everything War...

By "the other side" I refer to the nifty lefties, not always (but often) registered Democrats, who are FIGHTING TOOTH AND NAIL with the roaring righties, often (but not always) registered Republicans (lampooned in the previous blog post).



This is a clip from Land Of The Dead, once again showing the zombies mesmerized by the fireworks launched by looters, who take advantage of the distraction to carry off everything of value, shooting zoms as they go.  In this post I want you to think of the zoms as nifty lefties.  But wait, you're saying!  I thought when you were talking about mesmerized zombies in the previous post, you meant the Deplorables!  Those sphincters who believe in chemtrails and white supremacy and the idea that Barack Obama took away the 2nd Amendment right after he made us into a communist country by signing Obamacare into law!

Well, yeah, I did.  But that was the last post, and this is today's fresh pondering.  The zombie metaphor applies just as well to their opponents.  A few examples:

>> I refer to those people who live FAR MORE ENLIGHTENED lives than the rest of the population, but who also reason that if some people have celiac disease or gluten allergies, NOBODY should ever eat anything containing gluten again, even though it's a valuable nutrient for most people on the planet.  

>>  I refer to those people who deal in identity politics in a FAR MORE ENLIGHTENED way than the Deplorables, splitting the population up into oppressed microtribes clamoring for special attention.  They seem NEVER TO NOTICE that they see themselves in the same light as the white supremacists:  a small group terrorized by All Those Other People.  Nobody on either side appears to notice that is everyone is busy feeling oppressed and scared they're not getting much else done.  OK, you're oppressed.  Now what?  Is this America where everyone can potentially find a solution, or are you all here to COMPLAIN?  This is not as un-American as having a KKK-friendly candidate win the presidency, but it still reflects TOTAL CLUELESSNESS about what America stands for.




>> I refer to those people who see that there are inequalities of all kinds out there, but who REFUSE TO DO THE BASICS TO STRAIGHTEN THINGS OUT.  Voting.  Writing bills to put in front of Congress. Changing policies at work.  Starting a business that doesn't run the usual way, or produce just the usual goods and services.  Running for office.  Finding resources for people who need them.   What do they do instead of any of these things?  THEY "OCCUPY."  Protest is all well and good, but you need to back it up with something.  NONE OF YOU ARE DOING ANYTHING.  I CAN'T EVEN TELL WHAT YOU WANT except that you want all that oppression to stop.  How will you know when it's stopped?  What will be different?  What will you have that you didn't have before?  HOW DO YOU GET THERE FROM HERE?

>> Then, when you COULD be protesting profitably -- whipping up support, cash donations, legal representation, whatever it is you need -- we get a lot of 


>> I'm not going to say NOBODY's in there pitching.  But for every Colin Kaepernick taking a knee to protest the treatment of black men in American society, there are HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of nifty lefties smirking into their phones instead of DOING SOMETHING.  When 45 calls the active protesters SOBs and says they should be kicked off the field, what's the response?  Does America storm the White House and call him an SOB who should be kicked out of the Oval Office for his un-American politics?  



In a country where slightly more than half of the voters cast their ballots against 45, and many of his supporters have ABANDONED SHIP since then, nearly everyone -- his supporters, his opponents, his enemies -- are acting as if they're going to be dragged away in handcuffs if they say too much.  Did I wake up in the USSR this morning?

Speaking from a purely Discordian viewpoint, I WANT TO SEE SOME ACTION.  

LIGHT A FIRE UNDER YOUR ASS.


Sunday, November 25, 2018

The Second Year Of The Trump Administration Is Coming To A Close...

...and WHAT HAVE WE FOUND?  


>> We've found that some people genuinely want to TURN BACK THE CLOCK to what is often mistakenly called a simpler, more innocent time.  They seem to want the KKK running things the way they did in the 1920s, when, for instance, 1 out of every 4 people in Indiana was a member of the Klan, and a Klansman ran for governor to wild applause from his supporters before he was busted for murder.  I even heard about a U.S. Senator, in office as I type this, who not only attended a private school called a "segregation academy" in the 70s -- they flew the Confederate flag and everything -- but who also sent her own daughter to another such academy 20 or 30 years later.  Consequences?  What consequences?  It's only a Senator spitting in the face of everything America stands for.

>>  Other voters for 45, who still support him angrily, include people who want the rich to get richer without regulation, without embarrassing criminal investigations, without consequences even if they are STONE COLD BUSTED doing something reprehensible.  Have you heard anyone really griping about what Mark Zuckerberg is doing with their data, for instance?  Has anyone called for him to get arrested? 



>>  Oh, and the nationalists.  People who want to build the Great Wall of Texas to keep out the furriners who are TAKING OUR JOBS.  Because they really think people without their paperwork in order, who have no working knowledge of English even, can waltz into any place, any time, and take a highly-paid job that rightfully belongs to a white guy who has a voter's registration slip and a Social Security number.  These are the same people who chortle contentedly when they hear their president calling other countries shitholes, and don't have anything to say about it when he's kissing the asses of dictators that any other president would be slapping with sanctions.  

WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?  

>> We've learned that after all the decades of yammering about wanting PEACE and HARMONY in the world, hey, some people want the OPPOSITE.  This is GREAT NEWS for us Discordians.  Americans want culture war, race war, or plain old-fashioned war war.  They want a nice, simple divide between US and THEM and they will go to any length to make THEM look bad so we can feel good about US.  This is tearing apart families and communities as I type this.  It certainly isn't improving our relationships with any other countries.   Does anyone object?  No, because...

>> We've learned that like the zombies mesmerized by fireworks in the Romero movie Land Of The Dead -- which allowed zom hunters to ice them and loot their towns -- Americans are willing to gaze excitedly at the spectacle of 45's latest Twitter tantrum or diplomatic slugfest without noticing that they are being robbed, and even killed, by the stupidity of 45's minions.  God only knows what Pence and Company are doing behind the scenes while Americans watch the fireworks and even John McCain -- a right-winger's right-winger -- turns over in his grave.



>> We've learned that the GOP has absolutely no useful ideas about anything.  Which is fair, I guess, because neither do the Democrats.  But where does that leave the rest of us?  I know where it leaves the Discordians:  AT THE GATES OF PARADISE.