Yesterday I watched Fast Food Nation, which is being touted as one of the most important political films in recent years. It's a story with a variety of different characters (from Mexican immigrant workers, to board room execs) who illustrate the drama and ethics of living in modern America. I had no expectations before watching it, but I found it quite amusing and can certainly recommend it.
But what is the message of the film? It seemed a little mixed. Is it seriously a big-budget attempt to get people to stop eating hamburgers (or destroying the planet)? The film is being distributed by Fox Searchlight, a subsidiary of News Corp - Rupert Murdoch's media empire. Hardly counterculture! The film contains a variety of A-list celebs (like Avril Lavigne and Bruce Willis) who trot out a range of left-wing, right-wing slogans: and the Mexicans and cattle are just fodder.
I came away with the feeling that really, what is the point? If people want to eat shit, work for shit, get paid shit, get treated like shit, and have a shit life - isn't that up to them? When I first understood that everything is pointless, I was struck by a hateful apathy for the rest of the world (mostly due to personal circumstances). It took me a while to gather any enthusiasm for anything, but soon I became convinced that since there is no god, only human action can achieve what I desire: happiness.
But since starting this blog, I'm slowly understanding the sheer insurmountability of the task ahead. Fast Food Nation seemed to me, to be a perfect illustration of the grip of the modern world. Wells' utopia is very far from being achieved. And so some people ignore it. Others lament it. Others try to change things, whilst others just want to use and abuse. The rich get richer. The poor stay poor. And the middle classes like it exactly where they are, thank you very much.
For what it's worth, I still like hamburgers (and if cows weren't so tasty I'm sure we would have driven them extinct long ago). Is it better to live as a hamburger in waiting, or not be born at all?Go Top