June 18, 2007

Terrorism Goes To The Movies

I don't have a "Beautiful Sarcasm" category, so this will go under "Cult Flicks" and "Links".

The title is "Terrorism Goes to the Movies" (yep, I stole it for the title above), and it was written last September. Here's a snippet about the movies Alien and the sequel Aliens:

...I have to point out that I was repelled by the socio-political message this movie sends. A team of US Colonial Marines is dispatched to a colony to kill illegal alien beings there. No one mentioned obtaining approval from the United Nations for unilaterally attacking these illegal aliens. And the diplomatic factor was absolutely non-existent, no effort whatever was made to deal reasonably with these illegal aliens, to give them a chance to stand down and cease their hostilities. At no point did the US characters ever ask, "Why do they hate us?"

While it's true an illegal alien killed every member of Ripley's original Nostromo space ship crew without any warning whatever, a stunning surprise attack that terrorized the crew during a meal, there were no follow-up efforts to negotiate any sort of peace with the freedom-fighter -- they just unilaterally decided to kill it, as was the case with a group of these alien beings in the sequel. After the first attack on the Nostromo, everyone should have simply turned the page and moved on. After all, what's passed is past, it's old news. In the sequel, there was no patience or diplomacy whatever in dealings with the illegal aliens, the crew simply attacked and attempted to kill all of them they could.

What if the illegal aliens were driven by an ancient religion that required them to kill all the members of any other species they encountered? Who were these Marines, to question that cultural ideal? The message this sends about such creatures is that the only way to stop them is to kill them, or they will always be striving to kill you. The Marines should have done some yoga instead, and asked themselves again and again, "Why do they hate us?" They at least should have sent in some inspectors -- and if that failed, they should have given the inspections more time to work. Nothing in the world will deter terrorism more effectively than giving inspectors more time.

There is so much more there, funny and oh-so-true.

Posted by Ted at June 18, 2007 05:23 AM | TrackBack
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