Jurassic World of Genetically Modified Simulacra
Jurassic World is the sometime sequel to whatever the last Jurassic film was. In Jurassic Park, a ill-conceived theme park based on genetic resurrecting of the dinosaur all-star team. Now, Hollywood shows it’s gone fully green in recycling the same plot for a new audience of zombies with Frankensaurus Rex. While the JurassicPlot (that’s a joke) is only a sliver different from the first, this time around genetic modification has transformed the resurrected dinos into GMdinO hybrids despite the chaos unleashed in the original park: In this respect the human inability to learn from the past is accurate. As such, the heights of absurdity cannot be over emphasized, as the descent of Hollywood into a simulacra of a simulation takes meta to a new level of entertainment irrelevance and non-being.
Think of it – a theme park is a synthetic reality. In it, humans escape “reality” for a period of a few days in a false world of entertainment, hedonistic abandon, guttural consumption, and the latest in smoke and mirrors stagecraft wizardry. And following this week of escape, Amerikans (especially) return to the real world – of entertainment, hedonistic abandon, guttural consumption and the latest in smoke and mirrors stagecraft sports spectacles. On top of this, Jurassic World is a film (synthetic reality) about a synthetic reality, and for much of the film, we are watching the surveillance team of Jurassic World watch the fake world of Jurassic World. So, to recap for those lost in the meta, a fake Amerikan populace is watching a false reality about a false reality within a false reality. Onion rings of false realities! Would you like any CGI fries with those illusory onion rings?
Discussing the subject of synthetic reality and celebrity Hollywood “culture,” Chris Hedges writes:
“Celebrity culture encourages everyone to think of themselves as potential celebrities, as possessing unique if unacknowledged gifts. It is, as Christopher Lasch diagnosed a culture of narcissism. Faith in ourselves, in a world of make-believe, is more important than reality. Reality, in fact, is dismissed as an impediment to success, a form of negativity. The New Age mysticism and pop psychology of television personalities, evangelical pastors, along with the array of self-help bestsellers penned by motivational speakers, psychiatrists, and business tycoons, all peddle a fantasy. Reality is condemned in this popular belief system as the work of Satan, as defeatist, as negativity…” (Empire of Illusion, pg. 49).
In this redone re-do of Island of Dr. Moreau, teens across Amerika return to the coffin of Isla Nublar that claimed so many fictional 90’s lives. I won’t spend too much time on the plot since, as I mentioned, it’s the same as the first, with a new hybrid terror of mixing the velociraptor with the T Rex into “Verizon Wireless presents, the Indominus Rex.” Splicing DNA into a new test hybrid to see the effects, as predictably, the dinos go bonkers and feast on teens and fat Amerikans (and some other choice race morsels). I am reminded here of Baudrillard:
“These two forms no longer concern us except in part, or not at all. The nihilism of transparency is no longer either aesthetic or political, no longer borrows from either the extermination of appearances, nor from extinguishing the embers of meaning, nor from the last nuances of an apocalypse. There is no longer an apocalypse (only aleatory terrorism still tries to reflect it, but it is certainly no longer political, and it only has one mode of manifestation left that is at the same time a mode of disappearance: the media – now the media are not a stage where something is played, they are a strip, a track, a perforated map of which we are no longer even spectators: receivers). The apocalypse is finished, today it is the precession of the neutral, of forms of the neutral and of indifference.
I will leave it to be considered whether there can be a romanticism, an aesthetic of the neutral therein. I don’t think so – all that remains, is the fascination for desert-like and indifferent forms, for the very operation of the system that annihilates us. Now, fascination (in contrast to seduction, which was attached to appearances, and to dialectical reason, which was attached to meaning) is a nihilistic passion par excellence, it is the passion proper to the mode of disappearance. We are fascinated by all forms of disappearance, of our disappearance. Melancholic and fascinated, such is our general situation in an era of involuntary transparency.”
So on the famous Jay’s Analysis esoteric perception level, what do we see worth elucidating in Jurassic World? A fictional world, that is huge theme park with a giant ziggurat in the middle, fully surveilled in total panoptic glory, where a technocratic elite test out genetically modified chimaeras. Jurassic World is Amerika – and by extension, the world, and the title of film itself gives away what it’s really about. This island earth is become the island of Dr. Moreau, where the technocrats use theme parks and the real world for mass social engineering and biosphere modification programs. Monsters under our bed, like a Lovecraft tale.
As I wrote previously:
“From Bertrand Russell to Dr. Edward Teller, the plan that is blossoming in our day is showing itself to be a unified one – a plan that spans the last century in particular as the century of the “final revolution” (in Russell’s words), where scientific process would reveal the secrets to technological imperialism. Teller himself, as I have written, was not only a key figure in the development of the hydrogen bomb and the Manhattan Project, but also the father of aerosol spraying and atmospheric geoengineering. This period is thus concurrent with the alchemical atomic and nuclear tests done igniting bombs in the atmosphere, beginning at the Trinity Site in New Mexico.”
While the film did present a pro male and pro family perspective with Christ Pratt garnering some livid social justice warrior hate for being a male hero, the overall message of the film is crucial: there is a technocratic elite that view the world as a giant science experiment. From the time of the Manhattan Project, this experiment expanded to include the alteration of the entire biosphere through geoengineering and genetic modification. This program includes mass vaccinations, radiation experimentation, food modification, animal cloning and interspecies gene splicing, nanotech, and God knows what else. Amerika is Disneyland and Jurassic World all at once.
“Forget about God and any other life but the present; remove from your life the fear of God and reverence for holy things; regard those who still believe in God in the “old-fashioned’ way as enemies who must be exterminated. One might take, as a symbol of our carefree, fun-loving, self-worshipping times, our American “Disneyland”; if so, we should not neglect to see behind it the more sinister symbol that shows where the “me generation” is really heading: the Soviet Gulag, the chain of concentration camps that already governs the life of nearly half the world’s population.”
As this “progress” continues on course, Pratt’s character in the film is correct to object that “maybe progress should lose for once.” When man’s quest to dominate the natural world results in the inversion of nature and the wrecking of the entire biosphere (as is happening), man begins to lose himself, as well as the most fundamental aspects of human interrelation, between male and female. By the climax of the film, Bryce Dallas Howard’s bitchy CEO persona has been humbled, and Pratt’s masculinity vindicated. While technology is capable of vast wonders, our actual technocratic elite are busy altering the biosphere and watching our response through Internet algorithmic tracking to better predict our Pavlovian responses. Meanwhile, we are losing our own identity as man and woman, transfixed by the glare of the real monster, our Cthulhonic screen.
“An image-based culture communicates through narratives, pictures and pseudo-drama. Scandalous affairs, hurricanes, untimely deaths, train wrecks – these events play well on computer screens and televisions…. Kings and queens once used their court conspiracies to divert their subjects. Today, cinematic, political and journalistic celebrities distract us with their foibles and scandals. They create our pubic mythology. Acting, politics and sports have become, as they were in Nero’s reign, interchangeable. In an age of images and entertainment, in an age of instant emotional gratification, we neither seek nor want reality.”
Can Michael Crichton be genetically resuscitated and cloned, and if so, would he watch Jurassic World?
About the Author
Jay Dyer is the author of the excellent site Jay’s Analysis, where this article was originally featured.
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