Wednesday, July 13, 2016


Newness is an obsession in our world, at the direct expense and devaluation of the old.  In some ways, equating newness with superiority is practical.  New car runs better than old car.  Freshly baked bread tastes better than old bread.  New teacher replaces crusty retiree and brings needed positive energy to classroom.  

There are real downsides to fetishizing newness, and they are currently biting our society in the ass pretty hard.  Here are a few examples and their results:

New electronics!
Planned obsolescence and teeming landfills.
New clothes!
Child sweatshop labor in Bangladesh in collapsing buildings.
ZOMG kitties and puppies at the mall pet store!
Any shelter animal over 6 months of age dies there, usually by injection or gas.
Under new management!
New pantheon of grotesquely overpaid paperclip jockeys who assign you at least 3x more work at the same pay.
She’s a virgin!
License to commodify and rape because maleness is evolutionary suicide.
She’s pregnant!
Fetus alert!  Preserve the unborn’s life at all costs, including the woman’s autonomy, health, finances, and future.

If you want to understand the problems inherent with newness-obsession, rent or steal yourself a viewing of any big-budget American film made after the year 2000.  Preferably the film should be a SEQUEL or a REBOOT, but any crappy blockbuster that involves superheroes or aliens will do.  


 What you are looking for is a portrait of ‘Murica, a relatively new Empire that churns these crappy reboot/sequels out at a rate of at least 20 per month during peak moviegoing season.  Like the milksop children of a fervid Evangelical and his crispy-poodle haired, dead-eyed walking uterus of a wife, the offspring of American big-budget film directors is disturbingly homogenous, as if one giant super egg split off into various smaller eggs a la the asexual reproduction process described in Brave New World.  

There will be lots of car chases, explosions, and at least one unattractive yet funny sidekick. Exploration of human relationships will be limited to token happy heterosexual romance between a dominant male and a skinny woman, some beloved parent or mentor conveniently dying either on or off-script, and the rescue of a pregnant woman or young child in distress.  Plot?  There isn’t one, however, there are loose ramblings about Our Hero needing to protect the Earth from Apocalypse.  

Said Apocalypse is caused by whatever CGI supervillain can be conjured out of the psychological morass of manufactured Islamophobia and deindustrialization-anxiety zeitgeist that constitutes current thought. Now with more Earth-magma slurping prostheses

Notice how important newness is as a factor in the film.  It’s almost the starring role, isn’t it?  The explosions are bigger and brighter.  There are more of them than last year/decade.  The actors are either young or aggressively Photoshopped to look that way.  The hero has new powers, a new vehicle, a brighter, shinier costume.  The alien/villain adversary is a “NEW DIMENSION OF EVIL” and can perform new evil deeds with his large, enhanced, Earth-core sucking appendages. In which newness begins to SUCK  

What everyone fails to realize, let alone mention, is that newness can suck.  That first sexual experience?  It’s routinely awful, awkward, and weird for at least 50% of those involved.  The machines designed to keep grandma alive despite her kidneys and liver failing?  I wouldn’t call that form of subsistence a life.  All those new human “miracle” babies being born to the tune of 350,000 plus per day?  They’re leading us down the quick garden path to the possible near term extinction of life as we know it.  All that new technology that was supposed to save us from the consequences of human greed and reckless environmental omnicide?  Clearly not working.

That aging celebrity (maybe he was in the movie you watched!) who sired a child at age 68 and whose plastic surgery attempts to look younger have rendered him as a ghastly, perpetually-surprised burn victim version of his former self?  

Wouldn’t it be better if he just let himself GROW OLD?

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