Personal Parables #7

Wall E: The bit where we see that humans have evolved into senseless consumer lumps on automatic chairs and FaceTime*.

This bit is so dark. It’s done so nicely though (an effective utopian dystopia) and yes it all turns out OK in the end, but only after humans have ruined the entire planet and evolved into helpless beings, flying around on self induced life support machines.

While the messages here and in the whole movie aren’t exactly hidden, the thing that made it stick was how well the scene articulated my long held deep-seated fear that so much of modern design (by which I mean almost everything since the likes of the combustion engine, reinforced concrete, sewerage systems and penicillin) is making us helpless and lazy. I’m not saying ‘stop all new design’, or that it’s all bad. More just that the ratio of design that enhances and progresses humanity, to design that indulges our vices is getting more and more off kilter.

* Note that the name FaceTime wasn’t actually released until 2010, and Wall E came out in 2008. Was this an early leak from Apple, owners of Pixar!? Add that to the fact that Wall E himself makes the Mac OS star up sound, suggesting that he’s an Apple computer. Was the narrative of Wall E actually an unconscious cry for help from Apple/Jobs/Pixar, highlighting worst future fears of where their technical roadmap could lead us?! Heck, those self driving electric chairs… maybe that’s the end game of their rumoured car project! It’s all falling into place!