The Terrifying Metaphor of Tomorrowland!

tomorrowland

Hey Guys,

So the other day I watched the film, Tomorrowland, Directed by Brad Bird.  It starred George Clooney, Brit Robertson and Hugh Laurie–an interesting combo to say the least.  The best actor in the film though was surprisingly Raffey Cassidy, who played an ageless robot girl.  Interesting indeed.  But I digress, this is not going to be a review of the film, though some aspects of this article may hint at my opinions of the film or contain SPOILERS.  That being said, Tomorrowland is like a twisted mirror for today’s society and culture and in many ways a warning sign to show us where we are headed if we continue down the dark path on which we walk.  “How is that?”  You may ask.  “It is just a science fiction film for kids,”.  Yes, it is a children’s movie and equally disappointing to an adult mind with the ability to comprehend complex storytelling and pinpoint all of the gaping holes, flaws and unsupported details in the script.  Critically speaking before we delve into the knit and grit, I hate–excuse me.. I “strongly dislike” when a film creates a set of laws and rules for the story to follow–even if it is fictional, then proceeds to veer off course and break them one by one throughout the movie in ghastly and nonsensical methods.  My though is, if you are going to create a new way of thinking, distinct character attributes, a strict society or a ravaged dystopia, or even a new physics system, at least make sure that it stays consistent.  Tomorrowland broke all of its rules all the time, but there were still 5 interesting applicable connections between Tomorrowland and Today’s world as a whole that we can take away from the film.

#1: Upgrading into Oblivion!

The phrase “Your Eyes are Bigger than your Stomach” pertains to food, but the reality is that our world has the curse of that same mentality towards improvements whether it be Technologically, Diets, Workouts, Creativity, Science, Literature.  We always bring it to the extreme or over extend our visions for things, which can be good, but also have its downfalls.  I was watching Jurassic Park (1993) the other day in preparation for Jurassic World coming out this weekend and Dr. Ian Malcolm states “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should,”–talking about bringing back dinosaurs to the new generation.  Just because we can create something, doesn’t necessarily make it right.  Every field of life can be upgraded and people all over the world are fighting and pushing to get ahead in life.  Why?  We all strive to achieve that impossible goal of having the perfect life–the perfect world.  It is never going to happen!  “Oh, well look who is being the pessimist here!” you are probably thinking right now.  But really, I believe that the secret to happiness, the so called perfect life, and making the world a better place, is to slow down and enjoy what we have around us instead of poking holes in people’s “balloons” and watching them struggle.  Just because we are stronger or faster than someone, doesn’t mean we should always win the race.  There is something called positive reinforcement.  Take the fall so someone else can rise.  Society is incredibly good at motivation people to move forward with negative feedback whether it be from the Media, harsh critics, customers that will never be satisfied even if they love a new machine or system that is put in place in society.  If we keep trying to create the newest, best, greatest, most spectacular thing all the time without taking the time appreciating what we have done, are doing, and what is around us, then we are kind of missing the point!  We will never be satisfied.  Not with this “Me, me, me” attitude that is going around.  And we won’t be satisfied by earthly things or posessions.  If we are to be upgrading anything, I think we should be focusing on what really matters–People!  Upgrade methods to help people not just go after that stupid mentality that “I don’t care” mentality “As long as I am happy”.  Caring is the point.  There ARE organizations out there trying to make a difference in people’s well being, yes.  I am not trying to side step all of their progress and hard work.  But, just think–What if the news spent more time talking about those great things that are happening in the world instead of just spouting out propaganda of hate, disputes, crime, and anything negative they can get their hands on.

#2: Focus: Media and the Monitor!

In the physical place–Tomorrowland, there is this giant program that is broadcasting images of the end of the world to everyone on earth.  It is called the monitor and it is supposed to be a warning that demise is coming, but it turns out to be more of a brain washing tool that cycles itself back around and leads the world towards that future.  In the film, it is connected through the Media.  This is interesting because that is already happening.  Instead of boasting of the wonderful things that are happening in the world, we get something totally different from the Media.  I sat down last night with my family to watch the news and was horrified by what I saw.  I am so glad that I don’t have cable because the negative influence and darkness of the Media was so thick I could almost touch it and I felt heavy-hearted as a result.  The news anchors talked about police brutality, rape, murders, prejudice against other people who didn’t care to understand each other, Road rage, War, Death, and Silly videos–just so they have an excuse that they are at least “trying” to lighten the mood at the end of the program.  Now, terrible things like this have been happening for generations and will continue to happen.  That is just a part of having free will.  The problem is that we are focusing on it more now with the media.  When I was young, my parents would tell me that if “I believed” I could be anything I wanted to be.  Years later, a good friend of mine said “Just focus on what you want to be and you will get there in time”.  Focusing on something is giving it power.  Think carefully though as to what you are giving power to.  For a simple example, If I say “I will not become a drunk”, and I know it is a vice for me, but I still hang around people who peer pressure me into drinking, or  I am more in danger of it becoming a reality than if I say “I will focus on running and improving my health every day”.  Not putting yourself in situations like that is one way to prevent it, but with the Media, it is everywhere.  The main theme of the film, Tomorrowland, peruses through the metaphorical story of two wolves.  One is good and one is evil.  They get into a fight and the question asked in the film is this “Which one wins?”.  Moral of the story is the answer…. The wolf that you feed wins!  So we have to ask ourselves.

Which wolf are we feeding in the world of today?

#3:出る釘打たれる (deru kugi wa utareru)!

This Japanese saying is a classic metaphor of life in their eccentric and distinguished culture.  (ENG Translation: A Nail That Sticks Out Will Be Hammered)  But it applies to other cultures as well.  Apparently standing up for or representing anything is offensive or even penalized and looked down upon these days.  People who stand firm and take action to actually make this world a better place or work things out, at least in my experience, are prodded, beaten, criticized or discouraged into giving up their dreams and visions.  And if that doesn’t stop them, then they have to go to battle, as their rights are at risk of being taken away if they stand out.  People are free to believe in, choose, love, live however or whatever they want.  That is why free will exists, but there is a disturbing truth hidden in the world that no one wants to address.  Everyone wants to be different and special, yes, but no one wants to break from the minority in order to attain it.  And what is worse is that no one wants to support someone who stands for something that they might disagree with.  No one wants to truly think for themselves.  Everyone wants to be respected, but no one wants to give respect.  Something happens and it is easier to just jump in with the raging crowd of haters just because we can instead of logically thinking through the situation and asking ourselves “What do I believe to be RIGHT in this situation?”.  That, piggybacking on the fact that the entire world wants to avoid confrontation (This does not mean avoid fighting.  People love to fight–confrontation refers to debating and discussing or having to back up their opinions in a respectful manner). Apparently confrontation and discomfort are the big taboos of this world.  The phrase “Agree to disagree,” is like a forgotten language now.  Respect is a ancient code that few even search for.  I have many friends that believe or value drastically different ideals or concepts than me, but that doesn’t deter me from building my relationships with them, nor does it diminish their value as a human being.  Doesn’t stop me from listening to their side of the story either.  We are so quick to jump onto someone’s back if they disagree instead of allowing them to even finish their sentence.  If you want respect, you have to give it.  If you want to understand someone, you have to listen to their story and be unbiased.  Be the example, don’t sit around complaining and do nothing about the issues you face, waiting for someone else to do it for you.  It is a very easy way to find yourself without friends.

#4: Too Connected, Yet Totally Alone…

It is interesting that Media pushes the communication and connection button to get people interested and make sales.  Commercials of a family in the Provinces of a 3rd world country or somewhere blessed with limited technology are talking on Skype on their iPad to extended relatives in the USA.  Oh, it is so amazing!  The power of technology!  Yes, there are benefits to technology and the vast connection that it brings, but..  There is a point where it starts to become a problem.  Anything really can become a problem if we perceive it that way.  Manipulation.  It happens.  I believe that Social Media is in truth a cry for help.  A deep yearning for connection that can only go so far via text, IM, or Facebook.  Our society is screaming for some level of intimacy with other human beings.  Especially the younger generation.  No, this doesn’t mean sex or anything along those lines.  It is referring to heartfelt, deeply rooted conversations that are ALIVE and both parties are fully engaged in what is happening and being talked about by the other person.  To know that someone actually cares about your life is a powerful thing.  Very inspirational as well.   And showing someone that you genuinely care about their life is equally rewarding.  You feel like you are a part of their successes.  You don’t need to be the one on top in order to feel effective.  Someone inspired every great speaker or movement leader to stand up and do something about their world.  Instead of encouragement and positive thinking, our day is filled with browsing hateful banter between so called “friends” on facebook or other social media sites.  Since when did having access to someone’s stat sheet, or public information online or clicking a button that says “Like” on someone’s photos or posts from time to time become a “Friendship”.  The term Friend is vastly more complex and more valuable, but it seems to have been degraded in the rise of the internet.  Few people truly know what that word means, and in this generation, I am not off the mark to say that I guarantee there are a some who have NEVER experienced a true friendship at all.  You can see a sad world, or you can make a great world!

WE CAN CHANGE IT!  

YOU can change it!

#5: There is Always Hope!

Ultimately, Tomorrowland has a theme that we can change the world if we try and it has that part right.  Nothing is ever too far gone.  Psychologists, I am sure, never say “Well, this person is too far gone so I can’t help them,”.  Or speaking as a Christian, Christ never said “Well, this beautiful creation that I have created isn’t worth dying for!”.  We all have a purpose and a plan, and we all have a part in the future.  Though Tomorrowland turned out to be just as flawed as earth was in the film, the idea that we can create a better world in the small aspects of life that we can control is a good start to turning the world around.  Feeding the good wolf so to speak.  Personally, I try to do something to bless someone in my life that I know or don’t know every month and I have found that it is contagious and very addictive.  It feels great to give to others and to be a part of someone else’s life and impact them with positivity…To help them get better rather than break them down in attempts to make me feel better about myself.  So, I challenge you.  Do something Unexpectedly Generous for someone!  Just try it.  Just once.  See what happens.  No, it doesn’t have to be giving money.  That is actually the easiest and least connecting option anyways.  Give of yourself, your time, your valued resources, your heart, your mind, your compassion.  Be willing to be uncomfortable for a while to make someone else’s day.  “Be” a part of the world around you, not just a consumer of what this world has to offer.  Allow yourself to unplug from the negativity that Media can present and EMBRACE what is happening around you.  So many people are “Afraid” to make a difference because change is never comfortable.  We insist that we stay idle in our lives and then wonder why nothing ever happens or is different.

Do not be afraid to Be the Difference!!!

For those of you thinking that I am saying to get rid of technology, that is not what I am saying.  I am saying– find your balance.  Be connected, don’t just wait to connect (Dial-up joke).  I watched a Tedx talk from a guy who spent a Year without the internet.  There was a very interesting statement that he said in the seminar…  “When I was not distracted by all the connections I had at my fingertips on the internet, I was able to see the potential for deeper and more meaningful connections with the people around me, I was able to be fully immersed in what the other person sitting across the table from me was saying almost to a scary level,”.  Interesting isn’t it?  Be connected, be alive!  Don’t be the one watching family home videos because you don’t remember what happened.  Be the one IN the videos enjoying your life and making those memories with the people you care about.

I am not telling you to give up technology for a year, but find a balance and find ways to make an impact on the people you care about.  What can you do today to make a difference in our Tomorrowland.

Thanks for reading!  Hope you enjoyed it!

~GearcraftTV