As Legend Has It - The Jose Vilson

As Legend Has It

December 17, 2007

Will Smith I Am Legend

Everyone’s abuzz over the latest Will Smith world-savior flick I Am Legend, and I’m pretty sure if America had to pick 3 people to save the world, he’d be on the ballot a good 75% of the time. The movie itself played well with Will’s ability to characterize paranoia and courage all at once. Of course, others want to pontificate about the racial components of the movie like how the main character’s a Black man even though in the book it’s a white man, and how it’s a Black man saving the world from a white woman’s ruin, or even how the first person on Earth was of African descent, and it’s a Black man that starts the world over again. OK, maybe I thought that covertly, but that’s only because they played Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” at the end of the movie.

I think the more important message in the movie was that we need to be careful with these newfound technologies. I recently wrote about how computers might take over the human race as the supreme beings on this Earth, but if we make small mistakes in this mad rush to find the next great placebo or get on the cover of Time / Life, then somewhere along the line, someone will mess up on a cataclysmic level. With all the social ills we have already, I can’t imagine the steep price we pay for the short term suppresants. Even throughout this year, the constant recalls of specific medications and other manufactured items should make us raise an eyebrow: we might get cured of one problem, but get a new set of problems we didn’t expect.

And of course, this is more than just thought based on movies like I Am Legend and I-Robot, but something I’ve contemplated since I even started getting meds for everything from the common cold to acne. Everything keeps changing and they give these complicated chemicals pretty, easily-pronounced, and commercial names, but are they real improvements or just another way for the medical industry to cash in on human beings’ natural fear of death? Sometimes, I fear it’s the former, and we’re in an irreversible course towards that doom.

Then again, when you have opinions this radical, you tend to feel very isolated and ostracized. Making connections and inferences based on what you observe and the facts presented to you can often lead you to stay in your office for days trying to find a cure to these ills. It can drive you insane, and keep your inner circle really tight. You’ll lose your mind before you lose some of the other important things in your life. You may even experience a sense of G_dlessness, and that’s where you might find your true sense of duty. And that’s when you find the cure, but only then. By then, it’s a little late to return to normalcy.

Then again, that might mean that you’re legend, too …

jose, who wonders why this movie took over 13 years to get into theatres …

This post was written by...

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

For more about me, read here.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Shelly December 18, 2007 at 4:24 pm

I’m really looking forward to seeing the movie when it’s released in the UK. Will be sometime in early January, I think. I’ve always been kind of ambivalent about Will Smith; he ticks all the right boxes on paper and he is obviously a very intlelligent and business-savvy guy but… nothing he’s done has ever really touched me on a personal level. Ah, well.

I agree with you as far as being cautious about technological & (allopathic) medical “advances”… To much of a reliance on these kinds of measures are often at best a distraction, at worst, a path to further sicknesses. Obviously not to say that one should reject technology or medicine but careful thought must be paid to what we are actually looking for through these mechanisms.

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Jose December 18, 2007 at 11:07 pm

Well tell me what you think in January. Maybe we’ll have the same conversation when we get to that point. As far as Will Smith, that’s been my dude since the damn 80s.

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bygbaby December 19, 2007 at 4:16 pm

We share the same sentiments on the movie and the implications on a social front!

Bygbaby

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Shelly December 20, 2007 at 5:07 pm

Actually thinking about it, I take back what I wrote about never being moved by anything Will Smith has done; he was absolutely fantastic in “Six Degrees of Separation”.

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LuzMaria December 29, 2007 at 1:22 pm

While watching this movie, it made me think too much. It evoked mvarious reactions from me and left me thinking for days. I guess you can say that it was a very good movie since it had so many subliminal themes that questions our mortality and dependency on others to cure our “social” illnesses. We live in a society in which everything has become a quick fix and companies are making money out of this practice. No longer are people interested in studying the facts and going back to the roots of the problem but rather accept quick band-aid fixers because it is easier to do so.

Will Smith has been an incredible surprise since back in the 80s and his metamorphosis is astounding.

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