Reviewing the film “Avengers: Endgame” A. O. Scott said “What this ‘Avengers’ proved itself to be is an allegory of the global elite.” (1) An allegory is an expression by means of symbolic fictional figures and actions of truths or generalizations about human existence. Film, like all art forms can reveal a truth often more profound than even the artist who is creating it realizes. If this film is foreshadowing the future of human existence for the elite and or the rest of us, we are in deep doo doo y’all.
Many of us suspect that formidable problems are accumulating but hope that the scientists or our favorite politician can come up with solutions. Alas, our allegory will disabuse us of that hope. As Scott observes: “the most appealing parts of ‘Endgame’ were the scenes where the heroes weren’t thinking about how to save the world because they had already tried and failed.”
Why have we failed to create a sustainable human community? Scott and other reviewers of the film have revealed significant flaws in our beliefs, attitudes and values. For example, Manohla Dargis expresses a belief common to most of us. “And now, the frontier, as ‘Star Trek’ told us so long ago, is out there.” (1) Not only is the frontier not found “out there,” but heaven (a peaceful community) and reality itself are found “within.” We have known this for a long time but choose not to grapple with its implications.
Failure to take responsibility for our decisions has led to allowing others to decide our fate for us. Demagogues are particularly adept at exploiting our insecurities. “Avengers: Endgame” might seem to be telling us “forewarned is forearmed.” “The ethic and the aesthetic is fundamentally authoritarian. There’s an interesting correlation in the rise of these movies—which are within their worlds fundamentally uninterested in anything democratic, that promote super-elite Ayn Randian idea of what authority and heroism looks like—and the rise in the real world of anti-democratic politics.” (1)
We have taken a glimpse into the future via Hollywood entertainment. Can we walk out of the theatre into the sunlight and breathe a sigh of relief that what we saw was only entertainment, a fictional world. We don’t think so! Click on the link below to find out why.
Insight # 104:
We would rather be ruined than changed
we would rather die in our dread
than climb the cross of the moment
and let our illusion die.
— Epilogue: The Age of Anxiety (Pulitzer Prize, 1948)
W. H. Auden (1901-1973), British-born American poet
- The Seven Deadly Habits of Self-destructive People on this blog and in print in Where Am I? The First Great Question Concerning the Nature of Reality (2012), Chapter 2, pages 47-49, by Roy Charles Henry.
- Goodman, Stephanie. “The End Is Nigh: Time to Tale It Over.” The New York Times Sunday. May 5, 2019, page 22.