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 Category:  General Non-Fiction
  Posted: December 31, 2019      Views: 84

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This work has reached the exceptional level
A long overdue review
"The Diagnosis" by Wabigoon

It seems curious to me that no one, as far as I know, has "read" Steven Spielberg's 2001 film, AI, Artificial Intelligence as one long flashback; as say, the "dream" that little David supposedly lies down beside his mother, Monica, to have, to be born, at the end of the film.

Although it does not begin with that last scene where Little David, the "mecha" boy who has just spent 2000 years praying to the blue fairy to "become real" so his mother will "love him," is discovered, dug up by the super advanced "mechas," the silicon based beings, digging up the New York City buried beneath the earth of an ecocatastrophe, that is what this film is really about -- the roots of the ecocatastrophe that buries the world in ice.

So, it could be proposed that, in little David, the super advanced cyborgs, presumably self evolved from silicon computer circuitry, have discovered...the reason for that ecocatastrophe, or a source as close to a reason as they have so far found. They do claim little David is as close as they have come to understanding their makers, their creators, we human beings, so they "wine and dine" little David, even agree to resurrect his mother for one, last perfect day for him, because he is so valuable in providing them with some clues regarding their mysterious origin by these beings who have somehow managed to end themselves in a world swallowing ice age.

But that's not how we see the movie, is it?

As an, after the fact analysis of what caused the end of human life on earth made by mechas, cyborgs, super advanced machines that cannot feel. We see it as a kind of "sunny" science fiction movie, Spielberg slightly blue, don't we?

It's as if we could make the various mechanical factors, oh, let's call them scientific factors, involved in a fatal car crash, the velocity vectors, the G forces, the impact resistance of the various materials, the condition of the engine and all the other variables like the weather into a...robot, a mecha, and then ask it, without knowing anything about the driver involved, without the mecha knowing anything about the driver involved, "Why did you crash, ending the world?" AI is, a largely unconscious analysis of those factors.

I think Roger Ebert tries to address this problem. He spends a whole lot of words in his review trying to get at something that bothers him, but cannot quite get to it. He does note something important, machines do not feel. They do not feel and they do not love. Nor, in fact, do they dream or sleep. So, in a way, Spielberg's whole movie is a lie in which he spends all of this time trying to convince us of the opposite -- that little David, does, yes, feel. That he feels something for Monica and that Monica feels something for him, and that at the end of all this deception Little David goes to sleep, which machines cannot do, and dreams a dream, which machines cannot do, that will be born. This is interesting and it is fun to think about but, ultimately, it misses the point.

In Scientology (I can hear many of you groan) there is something called an "engram." An engram is, more or less, the equivalent of a psychiatric trauma. I think maybe the only difference between "engram" and "trauma" is an engram is viewed as a kind of machine, a stuck psychological wound with machine-like responses to the world developed around it.

In "AI" little David's abandonment by his mother would be an "engram," I think, or maybe a trauma, and the end of the world the machine-like responses developed around it.

If that engram or trauma is so deeply buried, like beneath 2000 years of ice, that it cannot be expressed, if the only way to deal with it given to the sufferer, is prayer to a blue fairy, then it is very likely what Scientology calls "reactive behaviors" will form around it and wind up driving the behavior of the person in a repetitive, mechanical fashion, like a robot, a mecha. In this case these behaviors drive the world. If, for instance, prayer does not relieve or clear the primary engram then, because the person is stuck in repetitive, mechanical behaviors, he or she will...pray harder as the world ends. The belief mechanical, machine behavior will solve the problem will be maintained rather than solve or clear the original engram, trauma, abandonment by mom, say.

So, it seems possible to me that what we have in "AI" if we look at it...backwards, as a kind of psychological or psychiatric excavation-analysis is an attempt by a future destroyed by an eco-catastrophe to understand the roots of that catastrophe while there is still time, and hopefully liberate us from mechanical, machine behaviors, from the stranglehold of engrams or traumas that turn us into machines resulting in the death or, murder of the planet.

That is NOT how the film presents itself, nor does it present itself as an analysis of reactive behaviors developed around a trauma that, if not cleared, will result in a nightmare of a future that destroys all human life...except those all but eternal machines, reactive behaviors developed to avoid that central...wound, that central rejection that hurts so much it cannot be faced. Machines do not feel so they cannot feel this trauma, this engram. This gets at why they would be excavating the frozen under the ice site of New York.

It's time to face it. Fix it.

We see our problem with the environment, with global warming, with pollution, etc., in mechanical, mecha terms. We are wonderful at creating machines, robots, computer programs that predict precisely the results of certain reactive behaviors. If we continue to pour greenhouse gases into the atmosphere such and such will happen. We are Little David masters of this form of analysis. Unfortunately this analysis of the car crash tells us nothing about the drunken or sleeping or cell phone distracted driver at the wheel of the vehicle. Tells us nothing about the soul wrenching engram the poor bastard has -- that he's TO BLAME!

This does not work, does not reform the drivers.

Is their a single film maker of any sort from D. W. Griffith, to Stanley Kubrick, to Steven Spielberg who has solved little David's problem -- made him real? Isn't that the real message of AI, that Mom, Mother Earth, rejects us because we are not real? Rather we're mechas with 7 word love programs praying to the Blue Fairy at Coney Island to become real? How can we possibly become real when there is only one real son and one real father allowed? The plague at Thebes that Oedipus does not solve is one of childlessness -- not that mothers do not have kids but that they cannot have that one kid that counts, that solves the problem and no male, not a single one can father such a child.

Fix that, Spielberg!

Little David is a very angry fellow. I mean all of us little Davids, not the character in the film. He represents the analysis of what is wrong leading to global ecocatastrophe. Men, women, human beings turned into machines because they cannot be real are angry. His anger, our anger at our fallen condition, our unreality, that Mom, Mother Church does not like us because we're not real, that the only way to become real is through prayer to the blue fairy, is, in my opinion the true diagnosis of the cause of an ecocatastrophe that will end the world and the true meaning of Spielberg's incredibly dystopian movie.

This is the "dream," the end of the world by ice, Little David, a robot, a machine, takes into that place where dreams become real, to be born.

Author Notes
A long overdue movie review.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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