There’s a real danger in writing posts on a subject like this one of feeling like a killjoy. But here goes anyway.
I’m still a sucker for a big Hollywood movie but increasingly I try to remind myself that my enjoyment is really part of an addiction that has been encouraged in me by big business. The purpose of what I call “rollercoaster movies” is to distract us from real life and cultivate values that will enslave us to ideologies that are good for the corporations. Think Big Macs for the mind.
These thoughts are prompted by a press release masquerading as a story in the Guardian for the latest blockbuster movie, Batman vs Superman. The fact that I clicked on the headline to read the story is a sign of the depth of my own sickness. But at least I am starting to develop enough critical distance to sense I am ill. As with a recovering alcoholic, the first step is to admit one has a problem.
African writers once talked about “decolonising the mind” – erasing the assumptions of inferiority placed in the minds of black people by colonising white people to keep black populations resigned to their low-caste status.
I think we need to do something similar with Hollywood. It colonises our minds to keep us docile and deferential to the political elites, and to shore up the values of consumerism and instant gratification that make it seem plausible to us that the corporations have our best interests at heart.