Welcome to Thankful Tuesday!
Neither of them were all that great, but that’s not the point of this post anyway.
What each of them did offer, though, was a story compelling enough to shatter my status quo. That is, each of them provided enough of a disruption that I was compelled to think through my inherited assumptions about the way things are.
Man of Steel and World War Z both offered visions of the reality that do not correspond to my own vision. The idea of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, or the possibility of a virus that could wipe humanity off of the planet (or at least seriously restructure the geo-political arrangement), is not something I have absorbed into my anthropocentric vision.
Both of these movies challenge the reigning assumption that humanity is the pinnacle of creation. Man of Steel offers the thought that far more powerful beings than us can lose their civilization, and these same beings may want our space. World War Z offers that evolutionary biology doesn’t give a rat’s ass about our supposed dominance. As one character in the film noted, “Mother Nature? She’s a bitch.”
* * *
Did you know that humans didn’t start cultivating the land until about 10,000 years ago? Did you know that humans were not the only intelligent hominids wandering the earth back in the depths of time?
You feel like Jesus or even the Old Testament was a long time ago? Hominids have wandered the earth for millions of years. We diverged from the common ancestor we share with the Chimpanzees about 3 million years ago.
We have been making tools for 2.5 million years.
Indeed, it appears that “civilization” is a small blip on the timeline of human evolution.
* * *
What movies like World War Z or Man of Steel offer is that we may very well return to a time that has long forgotten “civilization.”
And for that stimulation, that opening of my mind, that expansion of my universe, I am thankful today.