Monday, October 30, 2006

Do You Fear The Government? and Quick Thoughts on Two Movies


Sure I'm covering ground that has been tread over and over again... but I think it's a thing you can't talk about enough.

Do you fear the government, or, in other words, do you trust your representatives? I think we all need to be watchful and informed, but then again, lives are so hectic these days that such a thing is easier said than done.

I just saw two movies that are pretty cynical on government, or at least worried about growing surveillance methods and the curbing of civil liberties. One was V for Vendetta and the other was Enemy of the State. Both were pretty decent, although I thought Enemy of the State was extremely good, I especially liked the fact that Jack Black, Seth Green, and Gene Hackman were in it. The suspense was perfectly orchestrated, you're on tenterhooks the whole time (and I love that!). I also loved the fact that Seth Green and Jack Black were working for the NSA in a covert op unit, I think that's hilarious. If it's guys like that spying and doing surveillance on us, I wouldn't sweat it too much. Oh, and sprinkled throughout the movie, a couple explosions here, a couple of car chases there, even a bit of gun play, and a finale punctuated by a marvelous bloodbath. As this movie further proves, for a good movie to reach the next level, it always needs a certain amount of ridiculous explosions and fiery gun play.

On to the thought provoking questions these two movies made me think about...

It's true that as technology gets more powerful, one individual can do more good and also exponentially more harm in one fell swoop than ever before. A lot will argue that civil liberties have to be curbed at least slightly to hedge our bets and decrease the likelihood that someone will be able to execute the use of increasingly powerful technologies against us. And by technologies I mean a variety of things, including nukes, diseases, stuff we haven't even thought of and don't want to think about!!

But of course, if the government is going to be in charge of our security, it is also very easy for the government to manipulate us with false information and fear, really something similar to all those future dystopias you read about in books and see in movies, like the two I mentioned above. So the question, to a large extent, is how much do you trust your government and its representatives, and how honest do you think they are in relaying information to the people. Do they manipulate us to gain more power? Are they assessing real threats and telling us the truth about the things we need to give up in order to be safer? Do some representatives have their head in the clouds, and not out of greed or egotism (or maybe because of those things), but just plain naivety not understand the extent of the threats?

What do you think? Are you cynical about how the government operates and uses its power?

Ok, I guess those are vague questions, I'll give you free pass to post any sort of wacky cracked out comment you want.

16 comments:

DB Cooper said...

Here are the answers to the questions you pose in your final two paragraphs: 0%. 0%. Absolutely. Absolutely not. I'm sure some do and some don't, that's too generalized a question. I'm cynical about everything, but you knew that.

I fear you more than my government though. And what exactly is a straight movie?

Sebastien said...

That's true, I did already know of your crazy cynicism! Haha, you are so right in fearing me, I'm creating many super evil villains as we speak!

Yeah, about that 'straight' movie, I meant two movies in a row. I have now edited that because you made me realize how ridiculous that sounded!

MrManuel said...

Two good movies that I own. I actually saw Enemy of the State in the theaters so many years ago and thought to myself, this is how it will be one day. Then 9/11 happened and I think we are getting close to what that movie shows....if we aren't like that already.

Reel Fanatic said...

I am thoroughly terrified of my government, so I was surely the perfect audisnce for V for Vendetta .. what I liked most was that you could bring to it whatever politics into it you wanted to and still get something from this kick in the pants of complacency

Sebastien said...

Mrmanuel: Amazing how prescient Enemy of the State was! I know it's crazy to think it, but I tend to be a cynical optimist, does that exist?

Reel Fanatic: Just hearing you say you are terrified of your government makes me terrified. I'm starting to feel hysterical... Ahhhhhhhh!!! They're watching me! and the sad thing is they probably are!!!
That's true about V for Vendetta, it doesn't really matter your political leanings, its message is all encompassing.

imhelendt said...

I LOVE WILL SMITH! I LOVE WILL SMITH! HE IS AT THE TOP OF MY LAMINATED LIST! I LOVE WILL SMITH! ISN'T THIS THE ONE WHERE HE GETS NAKED?! I LOVE WILL SMITH! Were you talking about something else?

imhelendt said...

OMG You took off the word verify! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

nicole said...

Definitely the cynic when it comes to our government and representatives. I'm sure there are a handful that actually mean well and aren't consumed with covering their own ass. But five is way too small a number to do the entire country any good.

And I loved "V". :)

Shaymus said...

Seen the bottom one 5/10...havent seen the other yet.....I'll see if it avaiable at the hire place on Saturday....Did you like One Hour Photo?

Sebastien said...

Imhlenedt: You are hilarious!!! Will Smith does get partially nude and climbs down from a building, I imagine you would like that scene! And yeah, I took off the word verify, life does seem a bit easier now!!!

Nicole: Yeah it's true, politicians spend so much time on damage control and on trying to attack each other that important issues don't get resolved. Seems like a lot of people really liked V, I read the comic a while back and was always so impressed by it. The movie was good, but it was a bit hard to love it as much as I would have if I hadn't read the comic.

Shaymus: I haven't seen One Hour Photo, did you like it? Is that the one with Robin Williams in it?

Babs said...

I loved both those movies. I don't trust the government at all. But I still vote for what I think is the lesser of two or three evils.
Another good political movie to get you thinking is "Wag the Dog."
But watch out... the gov't is tracking the movies you rent. muwhahahaha

Sebastien said...

Babs: Oh, I haven't seen Wag the Dog, I will make a mental note of seeing it. Maybe I'll have my dad rent that one, muwahhahahahaha! Let him deal with the waterboarding and crazy gov't interrogations.

shaymus said...

yes it is that one...I hired it and didnt get to see it though

Sebastien said...

Shaymus, I've never heard anyone use that expression, 'hire' a movie, but I think I'm going to have to start using it.

frenchyflower said...

I've seen both those movies, and I thought that Enemy of the State hit closer to home than did V for Vendetta, though they both raise similar points about government surveillance. In the world today, people look increasingly to the government for security, so it's not suprising that there are movies on what direction increasing trust in governments can lead to.
I just hope we never get to that point...

Sebastien said...

Frenchy... It is pretty scary, but hopefully we never let things get too out of control, but I don't know how much control we actually have other these things! Only to a certain degree.