Enviro Look What My Kid Got at Wall•E
posted by June 30 at 10:12 AMon
I took my son to see Wall•E this weekend.
The latest from Pixar, a hit with critics and audiences, is set a eight or nine centuries in the future. Wall•E paints a picture of a planet destroyed by a thoughtless humanity in the thrall of a consumer culture that eventually overwhelms the earth with… junk. Garbage, refuse, crap—everywhere. Humans are forced to abandon the planet and blast off into space, where humanity survives on spaceships that look and function like cruise ships or, um, Disney resorts. There’s not much to do out there in space but sit on lounge chairs (floating space lounge chairs), and eat, eat, eat. Meanwhile on earth huge garbage ziggurats tower over abandoned skyscrapers, container ships full of crap sit on dried up ocean beds, and dust-and-garbage storms blow scour the surface of the earth.
Depressing—all that garbage, all that thoughtless over-consumption, all that environmental devastation. But look what we got on the way into the theater…
That’s a watch. A cheap plastic watch. According to the instruction card that comes with it, my son’s Wall•E watch was made in China, it’s not water resistant, and it’s batteries are not replaceable. So basically it’s a disposable watch brought to us by a movie about the dire consequences of thoughtless over-consumption, a watch that is just one of many—tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands—that will be coming soon to landfills near you.
UPDATE: In Wall•E the world appears to be governed by a huge corporation called Buy ‘N Large, which at first encourages over-consumption and then, when the environmental consequences become clear, tries to find ways for humanity to consume its way out of the environmental crisis that over-consumption caused in the first place. Eventually the planet has to be abandoned—via Buy ‘N Large space ships. Slog tipper Pop Tart draws our attention to a Buy ‘N Large website, where you can… buy movie merchandise…