Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Penthouse Proletariat

One thing I've always been annoyed by is the tendency for liberals who are rich to promote policies that are completely contradictory with their lifestyles. While I understand that everyone has failings and elements of hypocrisy, if you believe that excessive consumption is harming the environment, you should reduce your excessive consumption. The lifestyle of a Hollywood star is not compatible with being an economic liberal or critic of conspicuous consumption, but no one seems to notice.

John Nolte's article hits the nail on the head:
Here is how McCarthy describes the world and plot of what is likely another box-office bomb from star Matt Damon:
"Blomkamp sets the dystopian juices flowing with images of future sprawling slums and urban ruin that one might initially take to be Mexico City or Sao Paulo but that are soon identified as belonging to Los Angeles in 2154. Most of the beleaguered inhabitants seem to speak Spanish and do menial labor if they do anything at all, while good health care is very difficult to come by.
By contrast, hovering far above Earth and appearing like a five-spoked wheel in the sky is Elysium, an enormous space station where the rich live in a stress-free country club environment enhanced by marvelous technology that can cure any ailment, meaning that life can theoretically go on indefinitely."
Dude, if McCarthy's description is accurate (I haven't seen the movie) that is not Los Angeles in the year 2154, that is Los Angeles today.
The only difference is that the "five-spoked wheel in the sky" called Elysium is really -- wait for it -- the Hollywood Hills.
While I have no doubt Blokamp and Damon snickered wildly as they went over the script (probably in the thousand-dollar-a-night Caligula Suite at the W on Sunset Boulevard), what these two left-wing rocket scientists probably missed is that their lofty metaphor (likely aimed at America and Republicans), isn't really a metaphor. The place in which they currently work, snicker, frolic, and make millions, is in fact Elysium.
If you want to experience "Elysium" today, just drive down Wilshire or Melrose. In just a couple of miles those famous boulevards turn from a gorgeous, mile-high, palm tree-lined gilded city where the Matt Damons shop, dine, exercise, enema, valet, facelift, chant, and enjoy the greatest healthcare in the world -- to shit-hole city: urban sprawl, graffiti, crime, filth, and grinding poverty. But no matter where you are -- even if you're hip-deep in the homeless -- all you need do is look up and there it is; that bright, shiny, magic gated place known as Elysi-- er, the Hollywood Hills.

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