Monday, November 18, 2013

Our World: A Clockwork Orange

I was watching A Clockwork Orange yesterday when it occurred to me that the film is exactly where we (as a society) are heading.  If you haven't seen the film or read the book: what the fuck is wrong with you?!  The book was written by Anthony Burgess and the film was directed by Stanley Kubrick.  Its about a guy named Alex who is the leader of a gang.  He eventually kills a lady and gets sent to jail.  There's an experimental "cure all", in regards to crime, and Alex gladly volunteers so he can get out of jail sooner.  Most people will tell you that this is a story of nature vs. nurture, a social commentary on youth violence, and a commentary on justice and psychology.  I'm going to tell you that I think its a prediction of where we're heading.

Here's Alex, a kid who is still in school (we know because he misses some school) who has no concept of consequences for his actions.  He drinks spiked milk at the Korova Milk Bar (spiked with drugs) with his "droogs" (his gang members) before going out for some "of the old ultra-violence".  He's quite familiar with fighting, rape, assault, car jacking, stealing, breaking and entering, and being sadistic.  Alex and his droogs simply shrug off what they do as being fun and normal.

Lets think about people today.  There is a growing element of thug culture spurring up in America.  I blame shitty rap music, tv shows/movies by racial groups for racial groups (Tyler Perry is not funny to anyone I know - understand?), the promotion of thugs/gangsters being cool, and tv shows that are "risque" like Breaking Bad or Weeds.  This shit makes people dull to violence and crime (unless it happens to them of course, then the whole world comes apart).  They need to start re-playing The Cosby Show and The Andy Griffith Show.  At least there would be something good-natured on tv.

Back to A Clockwork Orange...The next aspect of this movie that I want to address are the people around Alex.  At home, his parents are there physically, but they could really care less.  They go through the motions, but have no actual connection to him.  He doesn't go to school because he has a headache.  His mom is so passive about it, she just kind of goes "okay" and leaves the house.  Both of his parents work, but they do not enforce any punishment for bad actions.  The one man who seems a little crazy is Alex's counselor.  He comes off as being crazy because he's ready to whoop Alex for his bad decisions.  He actually wants Alex to know that there are consequences for his actions.  The other people are just "the masses" and are not significant.

Alex's parents remind me of my cousin and her husband.  They don't punish their kids and their two boys run wild most of the time.  Sometimes all it takes is one good swat to make kids rethink their future actions.  Sometimes it also takes saying "No" and sticking to your word to make a point.  The thing about all of this is that I know there are a lot of people out there like my cousin and her family.  They'd rather try to reason with these little kids (who haven't developed those skills yet) than deliver a single swat.

The worst part in this movie, by worst I mean terrifying, is when Alex is being beaten by some homeless people and the cops come over to help him.  Once the cops push the homeless people away, its revealed that they're none other than Georgie and Dim, two of Alex's droogs.  They basically tell Alex that they had to find a way to fit into society and make some money, so they became cops.  My brain just screams "Corruption of the system!"

While not everyone will turn out to be an Alex, its more likely that they'll become Georgie's and Dim's.  Isn't that a scary thought?