Welcome to the Future

Welcome to the Future

Coming Soon ...

I'm really looking forward to this!

Gaspar Noé's new film CLIMAX, starring Sofia Boutella:



IndieWire wrote "This story of a dance party gone very wrong is possibly Noé's best movie, but it’s certainly the best snapshot of a talented filmmaker committed to fucking with your head."

Also "... a concise package of sizzling dance sequences and jolting developments that play like a slick mashup of the Step Up franchise and Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom ..." I am there!

CLIMAX supposedly tells the tale of a group of talented young urban dancers having a party at some remote location in the woods. There is much music and dancing and at some point the dancers realize that their punch-bowl has been spiked with a potent hallucinogen. This kind of thing sometimes happens in Real Life, and usually by dawn everyone is sitting in a circle and clapping their hands and singing "Kumbaya". But when Gaspar Noé is running the show, things are going to get dark.

Serious, it should be interesting. I've seen several of Noé's other films (Irreversible, Enter the Void, and Love) and while he's clearly not for everyone, he's definitely original. Not sure of the US release date - maybe sometime in September 2018.

SMI2LE

"A lot of people really don't appreciate Timothy Leary" is probably not the best way to start an article about the man. All that stuff about LSD and a cameo appearance in a Cheech & Chong movie make it difficult to take him seriously.

But he had at least one good idea, which he referred to as SMI2LE (aka SMIILE). It's an acronym for:

  1. Space Migration
  2. Intelligence Increase
  3. Life Extension

Unfortunately, he dressed it all up in some psychedelic bullshit about aliens, which lessens its impact. For the moment, let's try to consider SMI2LE without thinking about Leary at all.

The thing is, it's actually a great idea (or, if you prefer, three great ideas), and (sadly) more evidence that the collective human race is a bunch of fucking idiots.

It's a trope in science fiction and other narrative forms that the human race is Just Fucking Awesome and we deserve to expand into outer space and someday take our rightful place as the dominant, ruling lifeform in the Universe. If there are indeed aliens out there listening to our EM transmissions, they're probably afraid of us. Or - another trope - they're confident that we're self-limiting. We'll kill ourselves off before we can become a genuine problem for any of our extraterrestrial neighbors.

Trope or not, I have sadly concluded that the human race is not destined to survive, long-term.

If humans truly had their shit together - if we cared about each other, and our future, our long-term survival, and our legacy - we'd work together to embrace some kind of long-term goals, of which SMI2LE is a pretty good starting set.

But we don't. And I'm not trying to be holier-than-thou: I'm as irascible and crabby as anyone.

I tend to view the solar system - Earth, Sol, the various planets and moons and etc - as a system that is intended to manufacture a certain kind of intelligent life. It's a system that works by generation and test. That is, a lifeform is generated and then subjected to various tests over time. If a lifeform can expand beyond the Earth to the rest of the solar system - it has passed a significant test[1].

How are these lifeforms generated? Beats me. My best guess is that there's a lot of randomness involved. An inherent aspect of the system is that not every lifeform passes all of the tests. It saddens me, but I think humanity is one of these failures. We just don't get along well enough with each other to make the grade. It's like, everyone in the world would have to drop everything, right this minute, and attempt to restructure civilization to embrace something like SMI2LE. I don't see it happening.

Ignoring for the moment the sadness of being one of the rejects, it is interesting to speculate that the successful lifeforms in the universe probably function on timescales that are incomprehensible to us. And that truly intelligent "successful" lifeforms may be rare in the universe at large.

[1] Yes, this a generalization of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The thing is, not all science fiction is bullshit, and Arthur C. Clarke in particular is very good at writing speculative fiction that stays within the boundaries of reality.

♅ ☺

A society's boundaries say a lot about that society.


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George Carlin (long)


Tig Notaro