Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Snowpiercer Lessons

I've been watching season two of Snowpiercer over the last week.  The show is a great vehicle for an example of human society, especially in our time but in all times.  Why?  Because humans are humans.   I thought I'd go through several lessons we can glean from the show.

People have been trying to own other people for thousands of years.  There is the literal examples of slavery over the centuries, but apart from that we still see examples.  It usually begins with something like... I am paying for things or I own something that provides or I am keeping you safe.  Therefore, the story goes, you owe me.  You can see examples in parents, spouses, bosses, religious dieties, and more.  Authority in their mind is due, and those that refuse to acknowledge it are evil for failing to suck up and praise rhem.  That... is Mr Wilford, played by Sean Bean.  Its not enough for him to seek to control the train... that's just a machine.  He must be worshiped by those within it.

I realized this years ago about the rich and charity.  They love to give to the poor that begs of them, because what is wealth good for if there's no one below you from which they are different...better.  looking down on some makes them feel more prosperous, because hanging in rich circles will inevitably mean others with more to make them feel...poor.  So, they don't give in private... what would be the point of that?  They also can't stand the government helping the poor with their tax dollars instead of donations, because now the poor can't thank them and make them feel superior.

The train on the show is separated by class.  Those in power live well and those in poor cars have to live by the good graces of those in charge. As the leader of hospitality warned one woman, the way to survive Wilford is to become something he wants.  Indeed, the whole state of Florida has sold their soul to dedicate its entire economy on that very fact.  It's an entertainment state, but it's entertaining at a steep price, and the rich doesn't mind paying it, because they know others can't.. and thus they are special... again.

Bur, an important lesson to remember is that there are more of those being used than those using, and after a while they get tired of being used.  After a while, they say why should they get to hoard much and keep others poor... controllable.  After a while, they say freedom and opportunity is worth fighting for.  And, that fire of self respect is power, itself, to change lives and the future.

So, play along.  Do your part to pay for life as you need and rise to make yourself... something they like.  But, don't lose track of the goal.  As you take control of your own life, use it to move towards a better world for others that doesn't have to kiss your ring to have it.

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