Extreme cynicism

This evening, I made the mistake of turning on the television while eating dinner, or more precisely put, I made the mistake of not turning off the television after I was done eating dinner. So instead of working on the bibliography for my dissertation, I watched the Jodie Foster movie Contact. I have of course seen it before, but not all that often. I mostly like the fact that Matthew McConaugey's character in the film is named Palmer.

But the story is really too cynical for my taste. Despite having the assistance of Carl Sagan to write a few hopeful and flowery speeches about us not being alone in the universe, the film itself presents a very uninspiring vision of contact with beings out in the universe. After billions of dollar's being spent, Foster's character meets someone who looks like her father on a beach that looks like earth, and that is it. The aliens explain this kind of noncommittal first step is how contact works. I understand the reasoning to be that if mankind is ready for contact with alien species, they will believe in her experience, and embrace it. And if they are not ready, they will cynically undermine her message of hope and love and connection. And of course mankind is not ready.

But at least Palmer believes in her.


Anonymous said…
You should definitely have reeturned to your study, because you definitely did not grasp the idea that it was romanced on purpose... Aha !

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