The Nihilism of Don't Look Up
I guess abject hopelessness and the limits of human nature and trust can be a laugh riot.
Before I start: funny, well-acted, amused with itself and amusing, and a lovely call out to my hero, Carl Sagan. Worth a watch as a movie; however, it’s been sold as a dire climate change warning, which is it not. It can’t be because all roads lead to an apocalyptic armageddon with a side of human extinction. Not just humans, maybe, but possibly close to everything save roaches, crocodiles, small mammals, and some tenacious plants.
Otherwise, taken as a platform to fight climate change, the movie is 100% cynical with no redemption at all except getting good with your God and loving the people around you.
It's basically a movie form of the serenity prayer:
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."
I hope Don't Look Up doesn't drive climate activists away since the movie just proves that human nature will never care a wit about either cataclysm (imminent) or climate collapse (mañana, mañana).
So, I guess, better to become an investment banker coming out of University. I mean, if nobody cares, get as rich as possible from banking and then just buy a utopian compound in Costa Rica and lots of guards and walls and also a Urus for the fire roads.
Also, I don't see much of an analog between the movie's scenario and climate change or Coronavirus. One is "too far away" for humans to prioritize unless you're already rich and set—even if they believe it's an existential threat at all, which is never a given; the other has been way more divisive then the Don't Look Up scenario was because nobody was locking down anyone or forcing anyone to do anything against their wills or, really, messing with anyone's rights as they perceive them: everyone was equally fucked. I guess that's a sort of global egalitarianism of sorts.