Weekly Wonderings – May 3rd, 2021

We’re into May, which means a brand-new month of stuff on the blog. All throughout May, I’ll be reviewing Science Fiction Masterworks. Like I did with horror in October, these are science fiction films considered to be exemplars of the genre or movies I feel capture the essence of some science fiction element. I’ve already reviewed The Day the Earth Stood Still and Terminator 2. Coming up will be Akira, Solaris, Fantastic Planet, Videodrome, Predator, They Live, Gattaca, Aliens, Robocop, Forbidden Planet, Planet of the Apes, The Man Who Fell To Earth, and Moon.

Additionally, I have a round-up post planned of all the Science Fiction Masterworks I’ve previously watched and reviewed on the blog. Top 5 Science Fiction Movies will also be a segment on the upcoming episode of the PopCult Podcast. Patrons over on Patreon have already gotten early access to that segment over the previous weekend.

Here’s our Spotify playlist for the week:

I’ve been thinking recently about the way others perceive us. For me personally, it is weird when someone says they were talking about me to someone else. I have never understood why any would find me as a person of note. Admittedly, this probably has more to do with my confidence issues growing up and the parts of them that still linger. When I was working in schools, it was odd to me when someone would say my name came up as a person that would be great at a particular idea the school wanted to do. I find it complimentary but also baffling. I was genuinely stunned when I was voted our equivalent of Teacher of the Year back in 2019-2020. My brain knows I am good at teaching, yet part of me has trouble accepting acknowledgment from others.

For some reason, many images and articles related to houselessness have come across my feeds this last week. I was reminded of those horrible benches with spikes to prevent houseless people from sleeping on them or. as the New York City subway has done, removing benches from stations entirely. There’s the image of the spikes under an overpass painted rainbow color for Pride which is a perfect encapsulation of the vapid nature of diversity in American society. That particular disgusting display fails to acknowledge the large LGBTQ houseless population, especially among trans youth.

This reminds me, Kaitlin Jenner, currently running for governor of California, came out against same-sex marriage and trans youth participating in school sports. All of this cognitive dissonance just sums up America so perfectly in my mind. Now, when I hear someone talk about “This isn’t who we are,” imploring us to look to our better angels, I laugh. America has always been this shallow and hateful. We are a stupid people, like deep down to the bone stupid. The fact we have people who are houseless while there are more than 17 million vacant homes in the country is a perfect example of that.

I was very disheartened to see Jacobin, a socialist publication, having one of their web series hosts agree with James Carville’s malicious sentiment that “Wokeness is a problem.” This inane panic over “cancel culture” and wokeness has got to be one of the most false fervors since the Satanic Panic of the 1980s. What’s actually happening is that young people and those who genuinely listen are becoming more culturally & historically literate. I admire the youth for leading the way last summer through shows of protest against a system that is decaying at a rapid rate. I can’t help but be a pessimist, though, because I think the American propaganda machine is effective in a frightening efficient manner.

People have been so brainwashed against their own self-interests into believing that what benefits a multinational corporation is good for them. The propaganda machine has also managed to co-opt the language of the vulnerable. If you saw that galling CIA social media post featuring a Latina woman last week, you’ll know what I’m talking about. They literally are talking about the power of a Latina girl boss while being responsible for the destabilization of Central & South American governments and the deaths of so many Latinx people. Imperialism should never be underestimated; it is a snake in the grass. I think the United States is destined to fall apart. I’m not sure when but nothing about our direction since the founding seems sustainable. My plan is to escape hatch out of here and hopefully never have to return.

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