Fahrenheit 451 (2018): An Underrated Gem

A lot of critics really didn’t care for this updated version of Ray Bradberry’s masterpiece. They felt it didn’t stick close enough to the original material. On the other hand,  I thought this updated take on the suppression of knowledge by an advance technological fascist state to be very timely. Michael Shannon’s character, the lead book burner, knows a bunch of Shakespeare. So why does he want to burn all the copies? I find this very intriguing.  It has to do with controlling the masses, and keeping the population dumbed down. It has to do with not questioning anything…

Of course, the idea of street bums dying to protect great pieces of literature is somewhat laughable, since the homeless have seemed to care more about rioting against liquor stores in recent years. But lets get past that.

On the internet it has become harder and harder to get information, especially for free. Try and get sheet music for any song to print up and you cannot find it anymore. Just a few years ago you could. Technological information is becoming scarce. Meanwhile libraries have not always that great an inventory anymore, from my experience, unless you count rich Asian areas like Cupertino. People are becoming less well rounded. As a result , all the inventions we get are along the same lines. For instance just a cell phone with a bigger screen, or just a faster wireless connection. Meanwhile, stuff like blockchain and Bitcoin has gone nowhere lately, since the banking and investment community got involved. Society basically is stagnating , much in the same way that this film illustrates. Thus, this film is very timely.

Some of the updates which have been made to the story include a super virus the rebel book savers have created in order to insert the encyclopedia of all books into nature, via a bird virus. Michael B. Jordan, from Black Panther and Creed, plays the conflicted book-burner worker. Shannon plays his boss and father figure. There is genuine feeling of them as comrades torn apart by time and circumstance.

So basically the filmmakers decided that since Francois Truffaut already made a faithful movie of the book in 1969, this new adaptation should focus on how the novel came true.   The movie shows how we have become an angry mob happy to destroy art in the name of political correctness.  We pat ourselves on the back for not reading while the world burns. The movie manages to follow the basic plot of the book while portraying this message.  It also manages to be action-packed with great special effects.  The decision not to follow every part of the book slavishly allows for greater suspense and the ending is a surprise of sorts.

So no, this is not your father’s (or grandfather’s) “Fahrenheit 451” but it is a very entertaining and relevant film that deserves to be seen and discussed.  Catch it on HBO, Blu-ray, and DVD.

 

Salvaged Part 2

 

Journal Entry:
December 2045:

I have been stuck in this camp for far too long. Many of my comrades succumbed to death by being Jazzercized to severe exhaustion and dehydration in scorching 106 degree and very humid weather (for weeks on end straight). Rumor has it that armies of our mindless, brainwashed seed have conquered the majority of the globe. Most of those who have been interned have gone mad, and as a result, have been lobotomized. Meanwhile, the bums and people on the outside parade around in Armani suits, eating lobster and caviar, while listening to cheesy South American tango. Simultaneously, the entire prison population has fully mutated.

The guards made the mistake of having an idealist in their midst. Irwin Nikolai Jones decided to dress as Santa Claus and descend down the mega incubator one night. He possessed an algo-rhythm key code, designed by another defector, a top NASA scientist. It not only jammed the incubator, it also electromagnetically released the locks on every cell in every prison.

The mutants immediately began to slaughter the neo-fascists, while in a state of mindless synchronized dance.

I knew this was my chance to escape the God forsaken planet.

 

Water Witch

What the hell is Water Witch? You might be thinking something like that. It is a 1970s sci fi pocket novel, written by two female authors:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_Witch_(novel)

You may remember that last year we covered a similar book by another female sci-fi author Andre Norton from the same period. Ooops I meant (time) period. This book revolves around a female main character, who is a con -artist who pretends to be able to locate water using her psychic abilities. Her deceased father comes along for the adventure, and takes on a funky new life form. He serves as her advisor, as she plots to overthrow Red City. Red City is in the grips of some Asshole Lizard Lord tycoon type. This plot is a big mess, but it is fun at the same time. It is neat that the plot is dystopian science fiction , like a Lions Gate film, but with much more fantasy. It was way ahead of its time.

It turns out the Tycoon asshole has been secretly hoarding all the water from the residents of Red City. The Water Witch lady stumbles into deep state complicity in Tycoon’s monopoly over everything. Eventually, Red City goes from being a desert wasteland, to being totally flooded with the hoarded water. Water Witches reincarnated dad somehow drowns in the flooding which occurs. This book is basically an inside look at how the elites and the deep state conspire to hoard all the land and resources from the people, by exploiting crony capitalism. Small businesses and the common man never stand a chance against the FANG conspiracy , which movies like Waterworld and Dune had foreshadowed (decades in advance). Besides the born elite and the indoctrinated deep state, the psychic con artist mystic water witch lady represents the politician. The politician is the false hope of the people, who stumbles upon a great con, but accidentally leads her people into great fortune, partly due to her tenacity and ambition.

Netflix Roundup: May 2018

Well you have two choices at AMC: Star Wars #20, or Avengers #15. Or you can do what other dudes do: Buy quality beer and watch Netflix. Personally, I am drinking Guinness Stout, since that’s what us ‘real men’ drink. There is some good shit on Netflix these days. I will watch it even though its part of the FANG monopoly, since it is bringing me indie movies to watch – as in OPTIONS, something the major studios don’t care about anymore, now that we are all programmed as Illuminati consumerist robots.

Netflix has been making some really good movies lately, and “Cargo” is a perfect example of how they are beating Hollywood at their own game. The film is about a pandemic that turns people into zombies within 48 hours of infection. A family, led by Andy (from “Black Panther” and Bilbo in “The Hobbit” series) and Kay, and little infant child Rosie, are living safely on their houseboat. Unfortunately, they cannot stay safe for long, and soon Andy and Rosie
are on a long trek through the Australian desert, with Andy sick and needing to find a place where his daughter can stay, He soon comes into contact with Aborigines, and it becomes clear that they are better at dealing with the pandemic than he is. The film turns into an action-packed allegory for Australian-Aboriginal relations, and the suspense escalates as Freeman fights to save his daughter while the Aborigines have a more mystical approach to the problem.

This film is a candidate for best horror film of the year. The acting, by Freeman and everyone else, is great; you feel for the characters. The suspense is real and not contrived. The setting of the Australian outback is fresh, and the inclusion of the conflict between mainland Australians and Aborigines introduces a fresh element. The jump scares are scary, the plot twists are surprising, and the make=up effects are first-rate. If you’re looking for a good
horror film on Netflix, don’t miss “Cargo”!

Once you’ve watched “Cargo” on Netflix, you might want to see their new $20 million sci-fi thriller “Anon.” It is about a future dystopia in which no one has any privacy anymore, and in which all our info goes into something called “the Ether” and in which everyone has brain implants that subject them to endless streams of information called “The Mind’s Eye.” This is supposed to eliminate crime and make for a more docile populace. Clive Owen plays a cop baffled by a string of unsolved murders which show flaws and gaps in the government surveillance. His attempts to figure out whodunit lead to a beautiful
young woman (played by Amanda Seyfried) who desires complete anonymity. She is irresistible and dangerous so of course he falls in love with her. Did she commit the murders and does she love Clive Owen back? Tune in to find out!

The film is from Andrew Niccol, the director of “In Time” and “Gattaca,” who specializes in provocative dystopian science fiction. This time, he opts not to use any real expensive visual effects and instead focuses on the big questions. Will total surveillance eliminate crime? Is it possible for love to exist in this future world? Is “dangerous” anonymity preferable to submission to the state? The film, then, is really about the present and the Deep
State. We have already reached the future that “Anon” posits; we just don’t acknowledge it yet. If you’re looking for great sci-fi on Netflix, check out “Anon.”

Sherlockda Holme$ : P.I.

In 2099, the world has flooded. Elites on the two coasts, survived in sky-scrapers, but all those in the plains perished. The societies in NY City and L.A. had a new terrain, where they used tiny compact submarines to get around town underwater. And a series of ski lift type transports were used above ground. The current state was likely the result of weather manipulation. In all of the land, when a murder occurred, there was only one chick capable of solving the crime for the people. She was a P.I., and a vigilante. Her name was Sherlockda Holme$, P.I.

“Another day, same shit,” she commented, chewing on an oxygen bar. “This fucking bra is killing me, hardly even fits the nerve agent compartment,” she complained.

Most of the world was now aware that chaos was the norm, not order. Because of this, nobody wanted to listen to bubble gum music anymore. In the year 3000, most music had been completely forgotten about, except for death metal and classical music. Beatles records and rap cd’s had all been burned in piles. Classic death metal was back in style and the top ten billboards looked like this:

1) Grave – You Will Never See Heaven
2) Morbid Angel – World of Shit
and so forth…

By this time you got the songs through an implant behind the ear.

Because Sherlockda had never forgotten her roots, she had a hidden stash of DMX cd’s that her great-great-grandmother had hidden under a bunch of bricks in the wall in the living room. She drew upon these for inspiration.

These days her underwater compartment was only 10×10. Home was mostly just to sleep. You ate what you netted while you were out.

“You’re complaining about your lethal bra? How do you think it feels to have to wear a steel cup all day? You know they make these jock straps in China right?”

Her sidekick Throatsmasher was a hesher. He wore a battle vest jacket with various DM bands on it and a bandana. He weighed 220 or so and had lots of spikes on. Plus, he was 6’4 and knew Kajukenbo. He mostly worked with Sherlocka because he needed money to buy vintage metal cds. That and steroids. Which formed a cycle. He was chewing wild mushrooms, which grew all over now that things were permanently damp.

Their submarine was a double person one, by Harley Davidson, modeled after the old motorcycles which had a third wheel and second compartment. It had custom skulls and dollar signs painted on it.

“Bitch, I’m gonna drive this time,” asserted Throatcrusher. He set down his net, taking a break from catching the mutant fish.

“Not if you wanna get that bread dog,” replied Sherlocka.

“Where we headed then?”

“To Club Drown, now get your bitch ass in the shotgun.”

And they wrestled over the situation. Trying to see who could get the submission. Throatcrusher shot in for the double-let takedown. Shelocka gave him da business though, feeding him a forearm sandwich, cross facing him, while over hooking the other arm. Throatcrusher pressed on, ducking under and wrapping his 18″ bicep under her leg for the fire-man’s carry. But Sherlocka wrapped her arm around his and her other leg on his other arm, and choked him with his own lapel in a crucifix. Throatcrusher begrudgingly tapped out.

“Ok. You drive. Whatever. See if I care,” he said, getting in. “Where the hell are we going anyways?”

“We’re going to club Drown. There was a mass shooting at that metal club last night. Some kind of neutron gun. There is a bounty on the killer. Ten year supply of oxygen.”

“Well I get to pick the music if you are driving,” commanded Throatcrusher.

And they sped off under the filthy green current, listening remotely to some Pungent Stench.

 

 

Bladerunner 2049 Review

As a sequel to perhaps the greatest science-fiction film of all time, “Blade Runner 2049” has a lot to live up to. And, surprisingly, it does, in one of the year’s best films. Ryan Gosling plays Agent K, a replicant blade runner who is assigned to track down and kill Deckard (Harrison Ford, returning from the original). He soon discovers that, through Deckard, he may hold the key to a secret that could change history forever.

This film cost $150 million and looks it. Society on Earth is barely surviving an environmental onslaught, but it is still recognizably a “Blade Runner” world. There is a big Sony presence in the future, and a gigantic hologram of a naked woman (which must look great in 3D). The line between human and androids has further blurred.

Harrison Ford is much better in this film than he was in the first one, exuding warmth, humanity, and purpose. I also really liked Jared Leto as the sinister, blind android manufacturer, and Robin Wright as K’s understanding superior. Besides being excellent science fiction, the film is also a mystery and a film noir. As with the first one, the ending is surprisingly moving and provides a real emotional catharsis. Hans Zimmer’s score (with an assist from Vangelis) is his best in years.

If I have a complaint, it is that the film, photographed by Roger Deakins, is not as aesthetically pleasing as the original. That’s a small gripe, though, for a film that accomplishes so much. “Blade Runner 2049” is a must-see.

Heinlein’s Technological Messiah

Robert A. Heinlein’s masterpiece the Sixth Column, written in the 1950’s regards a future eerily similar to the reality of events in the world today. In the future the US and the rest of the free world has fallen to Pan-Asian Red Dawn style invasion. A corrupt regime based on graft and bribery takes over, and the population is enslaved to work camps. A few ex-military dudes are holed up in a mountainside. They develop new technologies – body armor force-fields and cutting edge laser weapons. They also develop an electronic halo, which they use for religious significance. They start calling the rebel leader Lord Mota. He has an Obi-Wan type quality to him.

Basically these guys use their technologies to convince many of the enslaved people to follow them. The Pan-Asian guards are bribed with gold. Also the guards do not report the strange technology because they don’t want to get in trouble with their bosses. So they always report every thing as status quo, so as not to draw attention to themselves. Meanwhile, the halo ex military dudes build up this giant following. It gets to where they are too big for the enemy government to really handle. The religious group is finally rounded up in a public park for execution. However, the rebel dudes depose the Prince using the technology. Finally, they impose their own military dictatorship based on reason and science. This is done under the premise of preserving the union , though in reality it is opposed to restoring the democratic republic.

“It seems obvious. We have here a unique opportunity to break with the stupidities of the past and substitute a truly scientific rule, headed by a man chosen for his intelligence and scientific training rather than for his skill in catering to the preferences of the mob.” (page 222)

Some of the strange things in this book I should mention are the author’s use of Mormons to effect the religious rebellion. The mention of a church massacre in Charleston, SC is a weird coincidence. Also the church strongholds in the story occur in Salt Lake City and Denver, often considered by conspiracy theorists to be centers of FBI and Illuminati, respectively. The use of a gigantic religious hologram by the rebels to cause rebellion also mirrors some newer technologies which we have discussed on the site before.

The Girl Factory: Futuristic Vestige

Another far out book from the 70’s that I found at a used book store recently is called The Girl Factory. “Any shape! Any size! The sexiest and deadliest agents in the world are made in…” yadda yadda yadda. What trips me out about it is that its basically about sexbot assassins. This book was way ahead of its time and was somewhat visionary, albeit very low brow and short attention spanned. Its 45 years since this book got published. Alas! Sexbot assassins are in the news, as experts think they could get hacked to do harm. http://nypost.com/2017/09/11/hackers-could-program-sex-robots-to-kill/

However, how about the scenario in the book, where one was created so close to human (from actual human DNA cloning) for that one could not tell the difference? And then (what if) the intelligence agencies were to use them for clandestine activities?

Here is the plot: A really hot Asian chick, named Sun-Lin, who was trained her whole life in the erotic arts (and stuff like that) gets her DNA cloned by an intelligence agency. The agent is some funny Hawaiian dude. Her clone gets targeted assassination assignments. What makes the book so unique is that Sun-Lin gets aroused while fighting her opponents, and often makes love to them in the middle of the fight, and then kills them inevitably at the climax. It gets really sleazy. She judges their manhood and so forth. Think Kill Bill crossed with Blood Rayne and Cherry 2000! One crazy part is where she applies a poison onto her vagina and then gets eaten out, which kills the target she is seducing.

The plot doesn’t progress a whole lot. Its mostly killing and lovemaking, with a few lesbo sexbot romps to fill any voids. There is also a women in prison component towards the end of the book, which is a nice touch. Some of the racial stuff is outdated by now. Who cares though. This remains a very intriguing and fast paced pocket sized novel that you can take on your lunch break, I highly recommend this futuristically retro and obscure book.