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Left Behind….

July 29, 2013

The Egyptians have the pyramids. The Romans left the Colosseum. The Chinese built a great wall. Civilizations the world over have left landmarks as monuments to their tremendous power, their ability to control the people and land around them. These colossal structures require the coordination of thousands of people and millions of man hours. Job specific expertise, creativity, impressive mathematics, and technological innovations made each of these awe inspiring sights possible. In reflecting on today’s world, what some might call the technological apex of the human race,  one can’t help but wonder what is it we’re leaving behind (aside, perhaps, from extreme environmental changes) for future generations to marvel at.

As a reader and a writer I hesitate to say it but it seems to me that our legacy lives on in movies. Much like the Great Lighthouse they require vision, planning, expertise, and millions of man hours. And much like the Parthenon generation after generation has flocked to see them. I think it’s worth considering then, how we make and culturally value these monuments to our own legacy.

We’ve seen that the movie industry overworks and underpays the visual effects studios that make Hollywood blockbusters such beautiful and exciting spectacles. This is, in some ways, reminiscent of the way slaves were worked to their death to produce the pyramids. Furthermore, it doesn’t take too long to find successful YouTube channels like Honest Trailers and CinemaSins that poke holes in basic plot and continuity errors in million dollar productions. That is like going to see the Great Wall and finding out it has massive, mile long gaps in it because “That terrain was REALLY hard to build on”.

Perhaps, if feature length films (FBI warning and all) are going to be what we leave behind to remind future generations of our accomplishments, we should leave something that doesn’t share the bloody history of the pyramids or contain obvious errors. Don’t get me wrong, I love movies. I’m the same guy who came out of the Avengers, a decidedly imperfect film, going, “WOW THAT WAS AWESOME!” I’m just suggesting that we value them more, hold them to higher standards, and celebrate the people that make them as the cultural directors that they are.

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