Thursday, August 26, 2004

Movie Review and political commentary

I watched "The day the earth stood still" about a two months ago.

It is a very interesting, tense movie. It was made during the good ole days when the ladies looked real and the movie special effects looked fake. Now the ladies look fake, and the special effects look real. I like our movies better much better.

The plot is fairly simple. Around the late 1940's or early 1950's a space ship lands right beside the Washington monument. It appears after carefully studying our planet the Aliens choose to land in the United States, instead of Russia (What a surprise!?!?). The space ship receives the normal greeting offered to strange people when they come to America, the US military. The ship contains one robot and one alien that looks like a man. Michael Rennie plays Carpenter (the man look alike alien. If I could make myself look like any human for this movie. I would have chosen Marilyn Monroe. It would keep you from getting shot and make the movie more interesting.) who tries to bring a message to the entire world, but ends up struggling with the world's politics in order to present his message.

I loved this movie, it is classic sci-fi at its best, as far as I am concerned. If you have not seen this movie and you are tired of the violence, sex, drugs, bad rap music, weak plotlines, week messages, and foul language -- this movie is a must see.

I was interested enough in it's political message to do a little research on the current state of affairs when the movie came out. The movie was released in 1951, here is a timeline of that period. As you can see the United Nations and the Cold war were just starting. The ending speech of the movie carried powerful political overtones then and even stronger ones now.

Here is a link to the entire last section of the script.

I would like to point out one section that has stuck into my brain for the last few months.

The Universe grows smaller every day -- and the threat of aggression by any group -- anywhere -- can no longer be tolerated.

There must be security for all -- or no one is secure...

This does not mean giving up any freedom except the freedom to act irresponsibly.

Your ancestors knew this when they made laws to govern themselves -- and hired policemen to enforce them.

The script goes on to relate how the alien race along with other races has achieved peace in the universe.

The line that was most important to me was: There must be security for all -- or no one is secure...

That line points out interlinking, communal nature of security. America might be secure from attack, but a country,which maybe separated by water and a few other countries, is not secure. America's (or any other country for that matter) security is only as good as our neighbors security. Our neighbors security is only as good as their neighbors security. So on and so forth that pattern goes until every country in the world is affected. We might be more secure than other countries (ie. South Korea), but a loss of security for one country is a loss (even if it is a small loss) for all.

Security shares the same interlocking, communal nature with freedom. Freedom gained spreads outward. Freedom lost ripples through the collective body of the world.

In fact, you may not realize that the security or freedom was lost. For example, you are free to go to most parts of America, and roam it's highways until you die. What if civil unrest threatened Iowa? I have never been to Iowa, but I have lost the ability to travel securely (or to exercise my freedom to travel) through the state of Iowa. Their security and freedom loss was a loss to me (even if it does not directly affect me).

Increasing the freedom of others, increases my freedom. If am willing to die for my own freedom, I should be willing to die for the freedom of others.


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