“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
In 1969 we put a man on the moon. For a decade living up to that we thrived on anticipation. Our thoughts and hopes were all built up towards achieving that seemingly unreachable goal. Children of that era grew up on shows that played on the theme, shows such as Lost in Space and, of course, Star Trek. Our artists and authors wrote of space colonization, and exploring the galaxies. They warned against wars and nuclear weapons. Growth was encouraged, and creativity rewarded.
Now our movies all play upon the same themes; the glories of bygone days and the impending destruction of Earth. The films that everyone goes to see depict heroes fighting back against an alien invasion, or a handful of survivors living through the end of the world as we know it. If space exploration and colonization is an expression of hope and a desire to grow then the current trends in our science fiction entertainment shows portray only our fear.
Fear that our world is going to end. Fear of what our next enemy will be. Fear of change.
This fear is rampant throughout our society. Becoming more and more paranoid we give up our freedom for an empty promise of safety. No one talks about exploring or colonization; those dreams are long since lost. We implement birth control, and population control. Instead of reaching for new things, taking risks, and growing outwards we limit our technology. We hold back–out of fear.
We stick to what we know is safe even, or especially, in the entertainment industry. Every film we create is modelled off of the last blockbuster. We analyse things that were successful and figure out how to tap into that stream. Creativity is allowed only within certain molds and boundaries. Formulas must be strictly followed. The uniform must be worn at all times and those who dare to disobey are rejected, ridiculed, and dismissed. Art is allowed, but only as current society understands art. Scientific theories contradicting the current framework are dismissed without due process as heresy.
And in our paranoia and fear we become more and more controlling; not of our own lives, but of the lives of others. We fear the thief who lurks in the night so we suspect our neighbour of being a thief. Nations turn upon each other, government turn up on their own people and eventually we turn on ourselves. We’re suppressing the things that make us human–the urge to create, to grow, to reach out and take risks, to dare to do something different–to go where no man has gone before.
We see this reflected not just in the content of our films, but in the lack of originality, and our defensiveness of that lack. The world needs a renaissance–and it can only begin with you. Study the art of the golden age and implement those lessons in your life today. You’ll be ridiculed, you’ll be rejected, but you’ll make the world a better place. Break the rules that society has imposed, and violate the formulas that they dictate for success. You might fail–but you’ll succeed in a higher goal. Dare to entertain ideas that are forbidden and seen as heretical or crazy. Sometimes only the mad are truly sane.