Over on spiked, Brendan O’Neill reviews The Age of Stupid.
Last month, Chris Horner predicted, sight unseen, that the film would be a cross between The Omega Man and An Inconvenient Truth — “rather, Omega Man meets South Park’s treatment of An Inconvenient Truth. (the whole ’we didn’t listen’ hysteria cum flagellation, ad absurdum).”
Brendan’s review provides the eye-rolling details from the London premiere, populated by the usual suspects among the green elite. An excerpt below, but read it all here.
Played by Pete Postlethwhaite (why, Pete, why?), the Archivist looks back on 2008 and 2009, a time when the world was populated by half-wits and morons like you and me who flat-out refused to fly less or recycle our waste despite all the dire warnings of future doom. . . .
In the factual bits (well, I say factual), it is instantly striking who gets idolised and who gets demonised. After The Archivist’s pondering over the crazed state of mind in 2009, the film cuts straight to Jeh Wadia, the founder of GoAir, a low-budget airline based in Mumbai. He’s the bad guy of the movie. Plump and with a toothy grin, he talks about creating a one-rupee flight so that everyone in India — ‘even rickshaw drivers and servants’ — can take to the skies. His ultimate aim is to get the 15million people who use India’s railways everyday on to aeroplanes. Preferably his. In the only sensible comment in the entire two-hour movie, he says: ‘Aviation contributes less than 1.6 per cent of total greenhouse gases. So why don’t people go and talk to the business or the industries that contribute more than 1.6 per cent and come talk to us after they’ve spoken to the rest?’
It’s a good question. Why is Wadia made into the ugly face of contemporary consumerism, which is presented in The Age of Stupid as being even more successful than fascism in invading and warping our brains? It’s because — never mind those CO2 tallies! — everyone just knows that flying is unnecessary and destructive and evil. Especially cheap flying. Especially cheap flying in India, where people are perfectly happy (or at least they should be) riding bikes and clinging to the window railings of jampacked trains. The moral of the Wadia section of the film is that the last thing the world needs is for those Indians to become as recklessly consumerist and travel-happy as we Westerners. In one scene, Wadia is shown walking up a very short red carpet to board a jet. The message is clear: he has ideas above his station; he is ridiculous. The audience dutifully laughed, but it reminded me of when old colonialists looked down their noses at newly independent Indians and Africans indulging in pomp and ceremony, trying to be like us. In contrast, the celebrity environmentalists attending the premiere of The Age of Stupid — far higher up the eco-caste system than the untouchable Wadia — walked up a green carpet.