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Reply To: Don’t Look Up: The Doomsday Dilettante,” with mythologist Norland Téllez”


Love the conversation! Such a great forum!

My view is that an author or artist’s statements about their conscious intentions regarding the symbolism or lack thereof in their works is valuable for a discussion of just that; their conscious intentions. If the work creates waves of response on different levels than the artist intended then the artist has touched some collective fibre, deliberately or not.

Regarding the billionaire  in “Don’t Look Up”, I found Mark Rylance’s portrayal of Isherwell an almost direct take-off of Elon Musk.

Elon Musk himself is sign or analog of our madly off-tilt capitalism, a system that swirls around selling fantasy products to cover existential holes, products that in our drive to attain them and in their consumption only alienate us more and more from our own being and each other and the living planet. Round and round and deeper into the hole we go.

Elon Musk is also a symbol of a far darker mystery, the human gift of rationality without the brakes of human feeling, a 21st century Dr. Frankenstein and his monster. Musk incarnates something that is willing to host a terrifying symbol.  There’s something tremendous and fascinating about the panic to get in a metal capsule, escape our tortured earthly souls with crushing speed and punish those who don’t us understand by leaving them behind in flames. Musk is producing thousands of Starlink satellites, nearly 2,000 have already been launched. This space ballet looks like an overture, a study for an Apsberger’s rocket to some sci-fi planet where only billionaires on the spectrum can be members.

If they could just go off in peace together, there’d be no problem. The trouble is, they won’t go until they’ve mined and ravaged everything on this beautiful planet.

At the end of “Don’t Look Up” the young scientist says she’s grateful they tried to stop the madness and save the planet. We have to keep on trying.