That’s a rhetorical question, btw.
But take my word for it, Lefsetz “movie review” of Snowpiercer – may be incredibly long – but it’s a journalistic train trip that won’t disappoint.
Greetings from sunny Southern California where it isn’t. That’s right, unlike in that old Albert Hammond song, today it’s RAINING! Something seen once every decade. Which is why if you bring up board games Angelenos are flummoxed, they know not about rainy days and Mondays where you stay inside and try to entertain yourself. Then again, everybody’s staying inside these days. Because of TELEVISION!
Ah, the idiot box that’s now a flat screen, that is your window to the world, upon which you can view not only cable and network fare, but movies on demand.
That’s the new thing. Who wants to go to the theatre anyway?
Certainly not me. Because the time is never convenient, and the people keep talking and I need to study the flick, it’s my lifeblood. So when I read that you could pull up “Snowpiercer” on your cable system…
I was wavering, I was thinking about going to the multiplex. But reviews were not stellar enough to push me over. But to spend $6.99 to watch at home?
So we pulled the curtains, dropped the lights, clicked the remote, and saw an allegory about America, even though Americans don’t know it.
Well, let me change that, they’re not stupid, they’re UNEDUCATED! They might know how to use YouTube, but they know nothing about the news, nothing about economics or the human condition other than what’s in front of their very eyes.
And the self-satisfied smarties are just as bad, especially the Republicans. They read the Wall Street Journal and think they know everything, when the truth is a very small sliver of people know what’s going on, and they’re running the train.
Forget all the ink about inheritances, how bozos are living on the untaxed assets of their parents. As Bob Dylan said, “he not busy being born is busy dying,” and if you think money is enough, you don’t know that Mike Tyson went broke. Sure, you’ve got to have cash, even better you’ve got to know the score. And almost nobody in America does, otherwise there’d be revolution.
Like Sam Brownback lowering taxes in Kansas but the aforementioned WSJ not mentioning the consequences, continuing to parade the fiction that lower taxes drive business development, when in this case not only did revenues go down, but jobs.
But that’s the way the rich wanted it. The rich want so much. And they convince the poor if they just play nice and follow in their footsteps, they’ll get a few crumbs.
Then again, the unwashed lefties keep clamoring to bring manufacturing back, which is pure insanity, and the poor are clueless and auditioning for reality TV.
So it’s after the apocalypse, and everybody left is circling the frozen earth on a train. And the poor are afraid to speak up. But someone does…
Who’s going to speak up in America? We used to count on middle class college students, like Mark Rudd. But now all the middle class kids at good schools want to be upper class, they don’t want to rock the boat, they just want to make sure they’re not down there with the hoi polloi.
Starving artist my ass. Used to be, but now they’re just starving. Because it’s a full time job putting food on the table, you’ve got no time to be an artist.
And the poor have no awareness, they don’t know their food is made from bugs. They’ve never eaten at Chez Panisse, they think McDonald’s is good, as they get fatter and fatter and die of heart disease and the rich eat vegetables while their women become x-rays. If you think being skinny is the end all and be all, I pity you. That just means you don’t understand the game. It’s not what you look like, it’s what’s inside your brain.
That’s the mantra of Silicon Valley. Of Monsanto. Read this BusinessWeek article to make your head spin. You may think Monsanto is the genetically modified seed maker but that’s just a tiny sliver of their business, they’re selling insurance and software and they’re so far ahead of the game that if you think labeling genetically modified food is the answer, you don’t know that most of their products come from breeding and that’s been done for a hundred years!
Yup, that’s the problem with the lefties, always speaking from their emotions, facts are irrelevant.
While the rich right wingers tilt the facts in their favor, to keep the ignorant down.
So we need a leader. But no one wants to lead. And the battle is long and the rewards aren’t clearly defined. And the truth is those at the top are not as evil as we believe them to be. They’ve got good qualities, it’s just that these people are myopic, believing they know what’s good for everybody when they know nobody other than themselves.
And this is all in “Snowpiercer,” which everyone would know about except a major studio doesn’t want to risk dollars promoting it, so it only opened in eight theatres and is now on VOD. Maybe it’ll have an impact on Netflix, when it finally reaches there. You see art lives on forever, but very little is art.
I thought “Snowpiercer” was an action flick. And it was for the first third, but then it raised the big questions, the ones the musicians used to ask in the sixties, before selling out became the mantra and the rich kept eviscerating the safety net and we saw poor on poor crime. Yup, while you’re battling each other, the rich are unreachable, behind walls, flying private.
But no one will tell you this, because otherwise you’ll lose hope.
But what we need is true hope. Leaders we can believe in.
And artists and leaders always go side by side.
But only in the movies. That’s right, a Korean director adapted “Snowpiercer” from a graphic novel and all we know about that far-away country is Samsung, as if our mobile phones will save the world.
But they won’t. We’ve got to save ourselves.
Which is why all those Ivy League graduates are not becoming ski bums, are not becoming teachers, but are going into finance so they can not only get ahead, but interact with others who understand the game.
The game? It’s rigged against you. The American Dream is kaput. You cannot get ahead, that’s just a fiction those who’ve already got theirs are spreading, having you believe if you just push a little harder, you’ll break through.
But the truth is we live in an information age. And he who knows most wins.
So surf all the porn you want, read the gossip columns. That’s exactly how the owners of this country want you, distracted. Because if you understood what was really going on, you’d rally the troops and start moving forward, start battling the resistance, move your way from the back to the front.
But you’ve got no idea where the front is.
Never mind how to get there.
P.S. “Snowpiercer” got a limited release because the director wouldn’t agree to Harvey Weinstein‘s edict that 20 minutes be cut and opening and closing monologues be added. But unlike the musicians, director Bong Joon-ho said no. Art is not about compromising, that’s BUSINESS!”