July 24, 2012
I still have surprisingly vivid memories of my elementary school years, back in the mid-to late 80’s, and I often wonder why they have stuck with me in such a way. It was not as if my public school education was especially exciting or invigorating. On the contrary, it was dismal, restrictive, and mostly pointless. However, that time period was rich with something that does indeed tend to latch onto a child’s psyche; the propaganda of doom.
The 1980’s was a decade overflowing with a newly established conditioning campaign. As children, we were relentlessly taught the overwhelming evils of humanity, and our vicious crimes against “mother earth”. We were taught that the ozone layer would be depleted by the time we reached adulthood, and that the earth’s temperature would rise until normal methods of sustainment became futile. We were taught that global warming was a scientific fact, that ocean levels would rise due to the melting of polar ice caps and by the year 2000 (they always claimed all disasters would occur by the year 2000), considerable portions of the U.S. would be buried under the seas. We were told that fresh drinking water would be depleted within two decades, that Blue Whales would be extinct, that oil would disappear causing an energy crisis, and that in the near future we would not be able to walk in bad weather because of the threat of “acid rain”. This propaganda became so sickly prevalent it was like being drowned in fatalistic molasses. It was even introduced into our Saturday morning cartoons in 1990 with the hilarious gut churning globalist brainwash-fest ‘Captain Planet’:
Captain Planet was created by none other than openly admitted population reductionist and all around sleaze-bag, Ted Turner. Episodes expounded the evils of oil drilling, coal power, “carbon pollution”, energy waste, sovereign nationalism, etc. Being young, you just assume that what the schools teach and what the cartoons claim is entirely and utterly true.
Needless to say, much of what we were conditioned to believe by the establishment supported environmental lobby in those days ended up being a farce. Regardless of the widely acknowledged absurdities of the globalist ideal from decades ago, Green Religion has not subsided. Though their rhetoric has grown much more complex and subversive over time, their choice of mediums remains largely the same. As an unsettling example, I give you, ‘Electric City’:
[iframe http://www.youtube.com/embed/41M5z6G2mo8 560 315]
Electric City is being labeled a “groundbreaking web animation series” destined to change the way in which Americans and the world experience entertainment. It has also been praised as a harbinger of purely internet driven big budget content. The series is being funded by Yahoo and Reliance Entertainment, a company closely tied to the projects of Steven Spielberg. Watching the series myself, though, I wasn’t quite sure what the fuss was about.
Just from a storytelling standard, the characters are terribly contrived. The plot is basically nonexistent for most of the episodes. The hero is boring, one dimensional, and disturbingly brutal in his methods; not in an interesting Dirty Harry kind of way, more in a guy who strangles cats for no reason kind of way. The intrigue is half-hearted and predictable.
There is little redeeming value in the show for viewers unless you are a thirteen-year-old adolescent that only expects some exploding heads, and melodramatic dialogue (I’m not sure which one is worse). That said, I did notice almost immediately one aspect of the show that Hanks, Reliance, and Yahoo obviously put a lot of effort into: the collectivist tone of environmental fascism in Electric City.
Now, one could argue that this is the “point” of the series. That perhaps Tom Hanks is telling yet another dystopian fable meant to warn us of the horrors of technocracy. After watching the first season release of the animated show, I did not come away with that feeling…
The main character and “hero” of Electric City, Cleveland Carr, is yet another anti-hero in a long line of moral relativist anti-hero’s that American entertainment has been awash in the past decade. He is, for all intents and purposes, a cartoon version of Jack Bauer. Cleveland serves as a “Grid Operative” (government funded hit-man) for a matriarchal leadership caste that secretly governs Electric City, a post-collapse refuge for humanity which operates strictly on green electricity and dominates citizens through energy dependency.
Mankind has been wiped out by war and mismanagement of resources. Electric City rises from the ashes and attempts to “save human beings from themselves” by instituting strict rules over the day to day lives of its residents. In the very first episode, we see a prisoner who is sentenced to peddle an electricity generating bicycle until he earns enough “green points” to pay off his release. After being freed, a matriarch by the name of Ruth Orwell (oh boy…) decides the man will never be a truly productive member of the city, and orders his death. The moral quandary of this order is never discussed in the episode. Hanks simply attempts to make the rationalization easier by writing the character as a wife beater.
The series begins with a mantra for Electric City which is repeated over and over again throughout the first season:
In Electric City, it’s best to ask no questions and be told no lies…
The rallying cry of the people of this new and “sustainable” civilization is:
All in service to all…
Civilians who break the laws of this centralized nightmare society are dealt with in gory detail. Cleveland dispatches numerous free thinkers including groups who dare to go off the grid and generate their own power. Independence is forbidden. Communication and information is strictly controlled and regulated. And not surprisingly, everything a person does requires permission from the establishment, including having a child.
Some of my favorite Green Fascist moments include:
Episode 2: Barter networks are illegal, and must operate underground using radios and a form of Morse Code. The radios and barter are facilitated by slimy opportunists looking to make an easy profit, instead of liberty loving men who wish to see free markets return.
Episode 3: We are shown a glimpse of how horrible the world was before the Electric City and its environmental totalitarianism. Cleveland uses a power monitoring device to sniff out a man using illegal radios, then forces him to become an informant.
Episode 4: Ruth Orwell remembers back to her childhood to the time before Electric City, when the “God Nation” ruled over the land. The God Nation turns out to be a group of Christians who go around hanging innocent people and apparently molesting children. Ruth goes to bed with one of the leaders and then decapitates him with what looks to be a pair of crochet needles. Whatever your personal feelings are on the subject of religion and specifically Christianity, it is hard to ignore the constant representation of Christians in green propaganda pieces as ghouls out to subjugate and kill. Apparently, in the minds of environmentalists, this behavior is not ok in the name of religion, but it is perfectly acceptable in the name of sustainability. Go figure…
Episode 5: Ruth Orwell preaches the crime of power usage, and the selfish nature of people who wish to use “more than their fair share”. This is the collectivist ideal animated. For a collectivist there are no “victimless crimes”, because everyone is interdependent. “All in service to all”. Therefore, everything an individual does becomes the business of the group, and thus, must be regulated by the state.
Episode 7: More death by crochet needle in the name of controlling sustainable power.
Episode 8: Cleveland electrocutes two men in gruesome fashion for building a new illegal radio communication source. Eva Jacobs a recurring character that is unknowingly married to a grid operative, applies for a baby license using her saved up green points. If this sounds familiar, it is because extreme environmental groups, especially those that promote carbon taxation, have for years been calling for permit requirements and single child policies on a global scale. This is not sci-fi fantasy, it is a philosophy that exists today. Just ask Barack Obama’s own Science Czar, John Holdren, who has openly supported policies of compulsory sterilization, forced abortion, and depopulation:
Electric City portrays this philosophy in an ambiguous manner. It does not overtly promote the idea, but it does not point out its unconscionable nature either. It is as if Tom Hanks is trying to say, “hey, lets be “objective” and look at both sides of this.” Of course, there is no such thing as true objectivity. Everyone has an agenda. That is why inherent conscience is so valuable; it steers us away from our fake objectivity and our agendas if they are fundamentally destructive. But this guidance occurs only if we actually listen to our moral compass. Many do not…
Episode 10: Cleveland kills another Grid Operative on the orders of the matriarchy for wanting to leave the circle and start a family. This actually reminds me of the treatment of whistleblowers by many agencies in the U.S. today, including the FDA, the DHS, and the DOD in the name of “national security”. They don’t kill deserters who try to do the right thing yet (at least not officially), but they do crucify them legally, financially, and in the media. If you think about the details of the story that lead up to the murder at the end, it becomes especially creepy. I’m still not sure what the message of this episode was, except to portray a kind of “shades of grey” worldview that grows with each 5 minute segment of Electric City. The entire production reeks of the “all for the greater good” rationalism that all collectivist systems require to survive. Individuals must be forced or fooled into abandoning their sovereignty, and what better way than to convince them that this sacrifice will make their environment a better place.
The world of Electric City is not derived from the imagination of Tom Hanks, or any other entertainment entity for that matter. Sustainable development, green cities, population controls, energy and carbon credits, are all a part of the UN’s Agenda 21, a program which has been under development for years and whose proponents would see ‘Electric City’ as a dream come true. There are in fact far too many correlations between Tom Hanks’ new series and Agenda 21 to be considered “coincidental”. Either Hanks has been unconsciously influenced by the spread of sustainable development rhetoric, or, he is knowingly injecting this rhetoric into his animation. It is not as if this has not been done before…
Film, media, television, even web cartoons, are a kind of technological alchemy. They use light, sound, and symbol to mesmerize us, to implant feelings, passions, desires, and even entire belief systems if we are not fully cognizant of our own personal character. Sometimes this alchemy is used for good, sometimes it is used for evil. As Electric City progresses, it may end up surprising us with a message of hope and freedom, but so far, it appears only to be another mechanism for conditioning the young masses towards accepting tyranny through a medium they enjoy: animation. Through predictive programming, we are manipulated to expect the future that is written upon our movie, TV, and computer screens. We are even asked to yearn for it. Until the public rediscovers its own power to imagine its own future outside of the establishment mold, what else will they have to look forward to?