Mar 15, 2012

Aliens say: "Take us to your money"

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent and the first choice of Caleb $charf. And $tephen Hawking. And Hollywood ($tar War$). And video games like Ma$$ Effect.

In ‘Mass Effect’ Solves The Fermi Paradox?, $charf adopts a popular approach to the Femi Paradox which suggests that our fate is "a huge planet-destroying, species-wrecking, epic finale". Is utter de$truction inevitable in Hollywood and video games just because violence $ell$?

Could anyone be surprised by the violence-filled plots of games like Ma$$ Effect and big $$$ makers like $tar War$? I'm only surprised when I find science fiction that is not built on death and destruction. $charf says "you have been warned" before discussing the plot....just so that the revelation does not $urpri$e anyone?

But why are $pace alien$ "out there", patiently waiting to destroy us? $o they can "use the genetic slurry of millions, billions of individuals from a species [humans] to create new versions of themselves". Duh! Of course, why didn't I think of that? It i$ all $o $imple.

Yes, in case you did not notice, the fate of humanity is in the [hands?] of "a hyper-advanced machine race" that has spent the past 37 million years systematically destroying every advanced organic civilization in our galaxy. I guess this is why the Mayans built an end into their calendar....they got advanced warning about the Reapers.

The first alien invasion story I ever saw was the 1953 movie version of War of the Worlds. That one story was more than enough for me. How can there be an endle$$ market for $torieS about alien inva$ion$ and $lime-dripping alien$ who could de$troy the human $pe$ieS in a flash of advanced weapons technology, but who almost always are so bumbling that a tribe of naked apes (or even Earthly bacteria) can defeat them? When I was 12 I was not buying this plot. Really, why does it continue to $ell? And $ell....and $ell.....and $ell... (if Hollywood can endlessly make movies with the same science fiction plot, then John can endlessly complain about it)

So what do other people have to say about the phenomenon of endless alien invasion movies?

"I hoped this movie would be a blockbuster. Something to make me believe Hollywood is generating creative, and innovative stories to take me away from reality for a couple of hours. This movie was a serious disappointment."

"I'd like my money back please. What a stinker!"

"It's as if Spielberg has sunk down under the weight of so much shoulder perching, and has been reduced to foraging for ideas in the mud."

"...the audience around me laughed derisively...."

"I hate to say just how disappointed I am in this film."

"Spielberg has made forgettable junk, cobbled together too quickly, with far too little imagination."

"Spielberg shouldn't be allowed to make science fiction films. I was more than disappointed by it. It made me angry."

"Ugh, what an awful movie!"

"Sucks. Now who do i see to get my money back."

"I think it was one of the worst movies ever, which would have passed unnoticed have not been directed by Spielberg, and played by Cruise, of course, that's the whole point of the Hollywood industry, to raise the expectations as high as you can, no matter what the cost, and then produce a really crappy product. From the economic point of view i understand it perfectly, is like putting your label on some crappy product and then making out a fortune, because of people's ignorance."

"Horrible, awful, embarrassing"

"This had to be one of the most GOD AWFUL PIECES OF CRAP I HAVE EVER SEEN!"

$pielberg and Crui$e laugh all the way to the bank and science fiction fans wait for something worth watching. The entertainment industry reminds me of R. J. Reynolds. As long as ca$h keeps flowing in, who cares about the product and what it does to people?

Related Reading: Protests over ending of Mass Effect 3 show fan investment in story control

One of the comments after the ars technica article: "you wouldn't try to protest the ending of a major work of film or literature if you didn't enjoy how it played out."

Why not? This is not 1912. Here in 2012 we are now in the era of global communications where consumers can come together on the internet and complain about a product that they paid money for.

"Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

I'd love to see 2012 be the start of a time of protest during which consumers refused to buy video games, see SciFi movies and buy science fiction novels that have the same tired plots. We can do better (is participatory cinema a path to a brighter and more creative SciFi future or just more of the same dreck?).

The Search for Interesting Hollywood Aliens
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