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Myopic Society

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By chris642
Words 1709
Pages 7
Chris Martinelli
Dr. Cross
English 100
5/9/12
Myopic Society We saw him, the man, as he entered our shrouded, isolated corridor. He is different than we are and that enraged something in us; but, we could change him by force. With a single drop of blood we could rip the man from all he believes is rational, condemning him to a sheltered life of darkness. We ran after him with devastating force, but he was fast. He was not as fast as us collectively, but something about his movements startled us. He threw down obstacles for us and maneuvered almost as if he had a mind of his own. Even more disturbing for us was the fact that he was alone, able to think and move on his own outside of a group. We smelled his fear, his struggle to escape and this dragged us further in rage. He ran out of a door into the light of day and we realized at this point, for now, he was out of reach. We got a better glimpse of him once he entered the light: he was the cause, one of the creators of what we are. We are the Dark Seekers and we are a creation of man’s greed. We are the monstrous creation of his kind and we must destroy that from which we are created. Through film, directors can show us a world in which mankind is only surviving on a thread of hope. They can show us a society that only lived to further progress today, condemning the future to the aftermath of their carelessness. They can warn us, visually, of what we as human kind are capable of producing in a way that no other media can. Film itself is a product of human advancement in technology; furthermore, a monster in itself. With this advancement we as society are instilled with visual aids and special effects depicting the horrors that come from taking technology or medicine too far. Film makers show viewers that delving too deeply into technology in order to satisfy our immediate desires without considering the future outcomes will lead to an apocalyptic world due to the failures of human kind. Film maker Francis Lawrence shows us a possible outcome of human kind through the film I am Legend. A post-apocalyptic world created through man’s desire to play god and an unexpected twist of events that lead to the destruction of 90% of the human race. The stage is set In September 2012; military virologist Lieutenant Colonel Robert Neville is the last healthy human in New York City. In December 2009, Neville had lost his wife Zoe and daughter Marley during helicopter accident during a chaotic quarantine in Manhattan. A genetically-engineered variant of the measles virus created by Dr. Alice Krippin, meant as a cure for cancer, had mutated into a lethal strain. Most survivors became predatory, vampire like beings referred to as "Dark seekers," preying on those immune to the virus. The virus came to be known as the “Krippin virus”, named after its original creator. The virus created, unintentionally, is a result of man biting off far more than it can chew and ended up doing more damage than the initial problem it was trying to fix. The film shows us that the Krippin virus cannot very well be the monster or what people should fear; in other words, what the film makers are trying to instill in their viewers is not the fear a possible apocalyptic word caused by an outbreak of disease. With I am Legend, Francis Lawrence shows us that we are our own demons and as the most intelligent form of life on our planet we want to thrive for as long as possible. We advance further into technology with attempts to make our lives easier and longer as every generation passes; but, at the same time making each generation weaker as they rely on science to have all their answers. Just as the “Dark Seekers” move in packs only at night, we are shown that as a society we are blind to the light that illuminates the chaos that we ourselves have created. In the 21st century, man’s biggest anxiety is the fear of what we have already created or what we know we are now capable of ultimately destroying us. We have not always possessed the tools capable of our own destruction but we as a society feared the possibility of one day creating these tools. The film Omega Man directed by Boris Sagal is the first undertaking of filming the story of I am Legend, originally a horror novel written by Richard Matheson and then later recreated in 2007. Filmed in 1971, Omega Man portrays an entirely different set of anxieties that the 2007 version does not. Whereas the “Dark Seekers” in the 2007 version seek to destroy their creator and the seemingly last survivor of the Krippin virus, the Dark Seekers in the 1971 version of the film have a different target. The “Dark Seekers” in Omega Man seek to destroy not only Neville but mainly all forms of technology. The creatures subconsciously blame technology for what they have become and not man for creating the technology that changed them. During the 1970’s there was a biological warfare scare throughout the world causing world leaders to try and find a way to prevent biological tactics all together which they succeeded in doing. In Omega Man the “Dark Seekers” are a product of the use of biological warfare between China and Russia; whereas, in the 2007 version of “I am Legend” the “Dark Seekers” are a result of medicine gone wrong. Through film we are able to see the worst case scenario, a completely overly exaggerated warning; furthermore, the film makers play games with our fears in a way that could drastically change a person’s view on the matter. The variation in time period is the key to understanding a film maker’s goal when they create a “monster” for a film because in different periods of history mankind possess different sets of anxieties, fears and different forms of advancement. Something that remains true for all monsters throughout history is the fact that they are all made as a result of man’s carelessness, greed or lack of consideration for tomorrow. We as a collective society have always been warned to be wary of tomorrow. Whether it’s through forms of media telling us to cut back on fuel emissions or simply our parents telling us to save our allowance for something we really want in the future. We as a nation are a child, unable to think that far ahead or to think of the long term consequences for what we choose to accomplish today. James Kunstler and author of “The Long Emergency” explains to his readers the dangers of only living in the now and not considering what our actions will do to our future. Although he doesn’t discuss how advancing in medicine could lead to an outbreak of flesh eating, night walking creatures he does make a point of talking about how we will cause our own downfall due to carelessness. Kunstler states “The Long Emergency is going to be a tremendous trauma for the human race. We will not believe that this is happening to us, that 200 years of modernity can be brought to its knees by a worldwide power shortage.” (Kunstler 540). With this statement Kunstler is telling us about our inconsiderate over use of fossil fuels used to power all of our luxuries in the 21st century; furthermore, how we will all be caught with our pants down once our supply disappears. Comparatively to Kunstler’s idea of the long emergency Francis Lawrence creates his own idea of what the “Long Emergency” is. Through his film I am Legend we are shown as an audience that we are losing control of our creations; society is focusing more on creating a vast array of technological advancements and less time learning how to utilize or control it. The image of the “Long Emergency” that Lawrence is trying to create is not one of man-kind carelessly over utilizing what we have as Kunstler explains but one of man-kind utilizing what we create in all the wrong ways. We are shown a world in which the created is in control of the creator.
We have no one to blame but ourselves for any disaster that befalls us over time. Where many see the film I am Legend as baring witness to monstrosities that walk the night with the goal of mindlessly destroying humanity, the audience loses sight of the fact that these monsters are a direct reflection of ourselves. They share an exaggerated form of our most basic anxieties much like the monster Victor Frankenstein created in the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. One of the monsters biggest anxieties was the fear of being alone, much like that of Neville in I am Legend. Frankenstein’s monster is one of the earliest representations of man losing control of its own technology; furthermore, shown when the monster, out of spite for his creator, kills Victor Frankenstein’s own brother. All of this begs the question, is it our creations that are monsters or are we monsters for not only creating these beasts of technology but being incapable of controlling them? Such as the long debated question of our second amendment right to bear arms: do guns kill people or does the person holding the gun kill people? Film shows its viewers the human race depicted as the true monster, being at the front lines of a world over run by technologies true nature. No matter how far we come in science or technology our medicine will never be powerful enough to cure all disease. It is inevitable that through experimentation we will cause our worries to expand rather than diminish. Such as the leaves fall off the trees we as an advanced race could find a way to stop the leaves from falling so we no longer have a need to rake them. But in the end, we will end up upsetting the balance of what is inevitably and naturally occurring.

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