Monday, July 14, 2008

The Trash will come back tomorrow...

I cannot believe that I just attended a workshop at work on headline writing that implored me to not, I repeat NOT to make allusions in headlines, to not be cute, to not split infinitives (ok, I'm being a little cute intentionally and knowingly invoking bad grammar) but hell with it, I'm doing it anyway. Because this is art not journalism today.

This weekend I had the pleasure of watching Pixar's "Wall-E" and it was better than I expected. "Wall-E" is a redux of the original Pixar movie "Luxo Jr." which gave personality to inanimate objects. However this movie came with a sledgehammer to hit home its message. Conservative critics have been condemning the movie as some sort of environmental propaganda. Well yes, it's propaganda, but in literature we have another name for it -- a parable.

** Spoiler Alert - If you don't want to know any plot elements of the movie, stop reading now, and after you have seen it you can come back. I'm pretty sure the post will be here. ***

The movie takes place in the future, where Earth has become an uninhabitable place overrun by the garbage of our lives. Unable to escape from the garbage of earth humanity leaves. Left behind on earth is a little robot "Wall-E" who spends his life compacting garbage and stacking it, and stacking it. Eventually, through the power of love Wall-E gets reunited with "human beings" who slowly realize that they had a past.

The thing about the movie is that it's about trash, and the notion that you can run away from it. But reality is that you cannot hide it away or runaway from it since eventually the trash will come out tomorrow, just like the sun. Eventually there will be nowhere else to hide it and it'll be in your face despite your best efforts.

So we can't stop producing garbage, as being part of a society that's what we can make. But we can think about how we make our garbage and what we can make our garbage out of. Nature know that the laws of physics better than we do, and that you cannot create or destroy matter. But you can cycle it in different forms. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. This we do is a must. There is a developing field called biomicry that explores biological systems as a template for man made systems. Perhaps that's the model for our goods of the future, otherwise everything just ends up as trash until all that's left is trash.


At 4:51 AM , Blogger Heather @ SGF said...

I would definitely recommend this movie. There were a lot of good messages in it! We loved it!


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