The day after the day after

The day after the day after

: Bored of sitting in my own little big of global warming — see post below on the malfunctioning airconditioning at the Skokie DoubleStump — I went across the street to see The Day After Tomorrow.

I don’t want to be the last person on this warm earth to give it the pan it deserves. It’s filled with career-crushing (read: Quaid-crushing) performances. It’s chocked full of laughable lines (“break out the snow shoes!”). It’s built on bad science as flimsy as the Arctic ice pack. It’s The Poseidon Adventure — but with an agenda.

But it’s more than another crappy movie. It enrages me. And here’s why:

It’s bad enough that they picked on New York to destroy. It’s bad enough that I had to watch our city being torn apart — again. But it’s worse that The Day After Tomorrow makes it our fault. This extends the horrid and offensive thinking of the age: That we brought terrorism on ourselves. This is the sick side effect of the age of victimhood: When it’s not enough to enjoy the masochistic state of being the victim it’s better to blame it on yourself. It’s Fiskthink.

  • Apex

    All right! It is such a bad movie and does not even have the saving grace of Independence Day, which was just goofy fun.
    There seems to be such a hateful pleasure in the movie that we destroy ourselves…

  • Michael Zimmer

    Apocolyptic and disaster movies focusing on NYC are a common part of our culture. They are, in many ways, both pornographic and cleansing. We can fantasize about the destruction of a great American city (part of the the “Look, there’s my building!” ecxitment of disaster films), and at the same time satisfy the need to purge ourselves of what many consider a (fill in your own adjective: capitalist, greedy, urban, amoral) culture reeling out of control.

  • Franky

    “It’s bad enough that I had to watch our city being torn apart — again.”
    Jeff, you didn’t have to watch anything. In fact, having seen the adverts you knew full well what you were going to see, you walked over to a cinema and then you paid money to see this. Sounds like a little bit of self-generated indignation.
    Then you complain that it blames us. Have not seen it, and don’t plan on seeing it, but as I understand it, the film deals with the dangers of global warming and other manmade environmental damage (I’m really not interested in another conversation of how inaccurate the science behind the film is, I would simply note that I didn’t hear the French complaining that nuclear testing would never create a large green lizard that would attack NYC). Who exactly should the film blame for these catastrophes? If anything is worse than the culture of victimhood, it’s the culture of neglect of responsiblity: “I’m not fat, it’s genetic” the voluntary abdication of control over your own life.
    We are doing possibly irreparable damage to the planet everyday and the level of damage appears to be steadily growing (espeically as the Chinese economy is booming). As long as none of us take responsibility for that, the inaction will continue in the face of ever growing destruction.

  • Wow.
    I think that’s the first pan of “Day after…” that panned it from a perspective of terrorism, 9/11, and “who’s to blame”.
    I don’t argee with the agenda of the film, but… I’d have thought that with the global warming debate, the idea that it’s our “fault” would be a legitimate one for that side of the argument.
    Then again, having a skyscraped damn near dropped on your head does color one’s perspective a bit. So Jeff’s take is understandable, albeit unexpected.

  • skyscraped = skyscraper
    (I really ought not to post before finishing my coffee)

  • Um, the movie has nothing to do with terrorism unless you want to throw mother nature into the axis of evil. The science is loopy and the movie is pretty terrible, agreed, but the notion that our choices as a society can bring along problems is not entirely illegitimate either. Your reaction reminds me of Matt Yglesias ludicrously comparing the Sopranos finale to the incompetence of the Bush administration.

  • pele

    Did anyone hear what James Lovelock had to say ( about nuclear power being our only way to solve the climate change problem.
    What do you think?

  • Chris Lemon

    The agenda the movie pushes is pretty obvious, but I think they tripped themselves up on it badly. See, to give the science an air of legitimacy, they noted several times that there was historical precedence for Quiad’s theory – it happened once before, thousands of years ago. They go so far as to sticking ina shlock scene in the natural history museum with a stuffed Wooly Mammoth – thanks, got it, guys! But there’s never any connection to the cause of the two Ice Ages. The first one is propped up a tool to show the veracity of the second, but unlike the first one, which was somehow natural, this second one was a freaky man-made disaster. Pshaw.

  • Franky

    I saw that now some environmentalists are saying that the only solution is nuclear power. Wow, what a turn around, remember the marches even a decade ago? (I’ll plead ignorance on the pros and cons of nuclear power).
    I think the problem is that the level of people on this planet is unsustainable. We’re a virus on the organism of the planet; whereever we’ve set up society on the planet has been devastating for the local environment (for further depressing nihilism, check out John Grey’s Straw Dogs)

  • Bob

    TDAT may be a sucky movie, but it has nothing to do with 9/11 or victimhood.
    The science may be–strike that–is bad in the flick, but the it’s not exaggeration that we *are* ruining the environment, and though catastrophe may not come the day after tomorrow, do we really want to shrug off the things we do which may affect our children’s children?
    Of course, none of this matters if you’re of the “Jesus is coming soon, so none of this matters anyway” variety. For the more enlightened majority of, however, some closer attention to our affects on the environment is well overdue.
    And has nothing remotely to do with victimhood.

  • Franky

    Following on from Bob’s comments….I remember years ago reading (dead wood, sorry no link) that some in Reagan’s government lived by the philosphy that because the end of days was coming it was a sin not use all the earth’s resources as quickly as possible.
    Could be apochraphal…..

  • syn

    I agree with Jeff, this is the sick side effect of the age of victimhood.
    Thirty years ago I was brainwashed into believing I would be dead by now as the result of the ice age caused by our own human influence.
    Mother Nature has her own agenda and does not need man to protect her. The rhythm of life (ice age/global warming) will occur whether or not humans are in the picture.
    Science should be concentrating on how best to survive the impact of Mother Nature upon humans, not the other way around.
    Ironically, over the past twenty-four years I was told that Islamic fascist hated me because I interfered with their way of life, their religion and that I should placate them with peace.
    Islamic fascism has been attempting to kill me regardless of whether I placate them or not. We would be better off finding ways to miminize the impact of, not the prevention of, Islamic fascism.

  • Bob

    syn, the fact that you were being brainwashed by one extreme doesn’t mean your not being brainwashed by another now

  • Jim

    The problem with global warming is that it is not terribly dramatic. After all, global warming really means the addition of energy to the system. And, while over a long period of time it will result in world-wide temps increasing, the primary effect will be an increasingly unstable weather pattern with more violent storms. Sure, over time the mean sea level will rise if there is significant melting of either polar ice cap. Unfortunately for Hollywood, in a person’s lifetime the change would barely be noticeable. It’s not like you go to sleep one night with the ocean a comfortable 100 yards away only to wake up in the morning with it lapping at the pilings of your beachhouse.
    People, get a grip. This is Hollywood we’re talking about. This is big budget disaster film we’re looking at. Sheesh! It’s like discussing the science behind Spiderman or Star Wars. 90% of the people who walk into such movies are looking for the big special effects…they couldn’t care less about all that boring talk that might precede said special effects.

  • pele

    So we just carry on as we are?

  • Mike

    Gee, I was in NYC on 9.11 and still think we should the threat of global warming more seriously.
    And I thought Quaid was quite good considering the crap he was being forced to say.

  • I loved how they kept showing shots of the UN.
    More so, I enjoyed how “Cheney” was hostile to Quaid’s theory at the conference, but YET the SAUDI wanted to “learn more” and ask questions to seek the truth.
    Absolutely ridiculous.
    But alas, the Americans running across the Mexican border did give me quite a few laughs.

  • Bob

    the Americans running across the Mexican border did give me quite a few laughs.
    It really was a dumb movie, but I found the idea that U.S. citizens had to find refuge in the same countries we’re resisting refugees coming from right now (forgive the mangled grammar) pretty funny/ironic, too – if a little heavy-handed and obvious in its point