When school returns this fall and students everywhere stand in front of their class to relate their adventures, Steven Spielberg could tell tales of scaring the living reason out of America.
It is apparent that the most famous American filmmaker of all time has decided to spend his summer convincing the planet that we need to be afraid of an alien invasion. How many movies showcasing aggressive takeover campaigns by extraterrestrials is this esteemed filmmaker behind? Not 1, not 2, but 3. A trinity of exoteric xenophobia-inducing propaganda pieces. In short, a summer full of shit.
The crapstravaganza begins June 10 with the release of Super 8. This one is particularly painful for me because it's directed by J.J. Abrams, creator of The Show Television Was Invented For, a.k.a. LOST. This may be the tamest, if not the lamest, of the 3 for the simple reason that it's based on a true story from 1979. That's right, kids. Aliens are REAL. Don't get your panties in a bunch. They've always been real, and still here we are...invasionless. Real story or not, the synopsis indicates that this true story is "terrifying". Goddammit, J.J. Et tu?
The next fear fest is Transformers: Dark of the Moon, set for release on June 29. I've seen the trailer for this in 3D on the world's largest digital IMAX screen (just minutes from my house), and the visuals will be astounding. That's the only good thing I have to say about it. This will probably be the best of the three at inducing sleepless nights as it features a complete planetary invasion by extraterrestrial war machines. It's also the only film of the three to be set in the present day.
Finally (I hope), Cowboys & Aliens opens July 29. As the title would indicate, it's set in the wild wild west of 1973. There are some big names going up on the marquis beside this title: Harrison Ford plays the cavalry, the most recent James Bond Daniel Craig plays the dangerous stranger turned hero-of-the-day once the invasion starts (of course), and the lovely "13" from House, Olivia Wilde plays The Hot Chick You're Supposed to Care About. Clancy Brown and Keith Carradine also join the cast. Would that I cared. I don't. I've seen the trailer for this, and kudos to Spielberg for using craft that look like actual extraterrestrial ships to instill fear of aliens who are already here NOT invading us. To add to the shame of this piece of propaganda, it's co-written by Damon Lindelhof of LOST fame. Et tu, Damon? Fuck.
What happened to the Steven Spielberg I grew up with? What happened to the man behind Close Encounters and E.T.? Neither of those flicks inspired fear, at least not after the movie's resolution. They inspired wonder. The aliens were not malevolent. They were curious, communicative, cooperative, even playful.
So I have to ask myself why Spielberg might be dedicating an entire summer blockbuster season to inducing negative emotions like fear and xenophobia. I hate to do it, but I gotta play the Jew card here. Steven Spielberg comes from the Jewish culture. How does that pertain here? Well, I would think someone who has explored crimes of xenophobia against his own culture on film (Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers) would be reticent to turn around and perpetrate fear-based propaganda against people from another culture. And ultimately, that's what our extraterrestrial brethren are. They're people. From another culture.
And let's not forget that Spielberg is also behind Falling Skies, a coming television series about...you guessed it...ALIEN INVASION!
Could it be that Steven Spielberg is just bored of making people feel good? Or could it be that he's being paid like a high dollar call girl to bring these fear-mongering messages to the masses? Personally, I suspect the latter is more likely. I don't think it's his idea. I think he's being led, if not coerced. Who knows what skeletons a rich man has in his closet? Richer men. More powerful men. Men with the power to start wars and profit from them.
Ultimately, they why of it all doesn't matter. That it's happening is just a truly sad state of affairs. But that doesn't mean you have to go see the movies. I know I can say unequivocally that here are 3 summer flicks I will NOT be paying good money to see this summer. And I might just sit out any Spielberg fare down the line on principle. Judging from some of the titles, I'm guessing they're more of the same shameful shit: Robopocalypse? Men in Black III? When Worlds Collide? Spielberg is turning into a one trick pony with a lame leg. Perhaps it's time to put him out to pasture.
Whether you see any of these psy ops projects or not, I leave you with the message of encouragement delivered by angels and the Son of Man:
BE NOT AFRAID!