Craig Childs - House of Rain
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Field Notebook

January 02, 2022
My review of Don't Look Up

While watching "Don't Look Up," my wife asked if I was shivering. I think my soul was shivering. I've heard the film broadly pegged as a metaphor for climate change and, sure, that's clear as day. It's also a metaphor for all we're going through where it feels impossible to get damn near anything consequential done, from reversing extinction trends to resolving an insurance bill. It's a picture of us living inside the infrastructure needed to support, or I should say process, nearly 8 billion people.


The movie was funny and terribly realistic in the worst ways, and I highly recommend it. I was relieved to laugh at our collective folly, while I also wondered if it left us feeling more helpless. The gist is that nobody is listening, nobody cares, and everyone is too deep in the weeds of their own personal issues to do anything but take care of themselves, often at cross purposes to everyone else. Even a planet-killing comet aimed directly at Earth can't bring us together. The movie is a parody, a comedy, and it is, I believe, not the real world. Not entirely. Climate scientists are bonding with it, but not all I know feel this way. There are allies, stellar work is being done, and not everything is corrupt. We're all screwed is not the sentiment I want to take away from the movie, rather, what an unholy mess, let's see what we can do. In the face of rapid global annihilation we might do nothing but add fuel, running and screaming. It is also true that many -- millions, maybe billions --would bring art, science, wisdom, and love to the table, which, I believe, greatly stacks the odds.


Overall, four stars from the nomadic Norwood critic.

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