Wednesday, January 18, 2012

One good movie

In my case, I picked The Descendants. The movie had good reviews, I really like most of the actors. And the subject interests me: as I understand it, ultimately, the movie deals with the fallout from colonialism. In this case, colonialism meant the American missionaries who brought God and the Stars and Stripes to Hawaii, and whose children and grandchildren stayed and did very well for themselves. I had heard a little about this story, and I would have liked to see a movie about it.

But I did not. I haven't gone to see The Descendants. I almost certainly won't go. I may well not even rent the DVD.

I did not see this movie because I wanted to see it. I refuse go on buying cultural products from the bankers who finance films, and the artists who make them, even as those bankers and some of the artists undermine the freedom of the Internet that I depend on. So I picked one film and stayed away from it.

The Internet matters to me. It matters as a symbol of a new way of doing things, and as proof we can do things in a new way. It matters as an engine of commerce, and an engine of change. It matters as a repository of a vast array of beautiful, wonderful, brilliant, strange art and science and knowledge. It matters because this storehouse offers everyone on this planet, from the wealthiest to the most humble, access to the heritage of knowledge and beauty that belongs to every person as their birthright. For eons through our history, great men and women made art, and discoveries and innovations, and only a few people had access to their work. The Internet has changed that. I do not want to see this tool damaged or destroyed at the behest of the minority that make a living, often a very very good living, performing and promoting and selling the arts.

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