photo manipulation by nacrowe
i revisited the SCI-FI classic LOGAN's RUN (MGM, 1976) the other day and was again intrigued by its depiction of a future dystopia where all inhabitants are genetically modified to maximize pleasure, only to be discarded in public once they turn 30. what hit me about this film was its critique of ritual and the dislodging effects of free love culture.
to mark the end of a class of the population, there was an elaborate sports-like spectacle called "carousel" in an arena where participants where systematically killed off in hopes of being reincarnated. the implications of such a display are obviously barbarous, but the fact that such had been normalized via its status as an embedded ritual in society made it easy to gloss over on behalf of its inhabitants. reminds me in a way of how we choose to perceive pugilistic sports (MMA, NFL, boxing) and war as competitions rather than life-altering experiences that forever change the mental, emotional and physical capacities of its participants.
the other interesting bit about this film is how everyone is supposedly engineered to be equally desirable and sexually available for all takers, male or female. ironically, a world free of sexual prudishness and boundaries has lost the ability to connect. a world free of adults and children is rudderless, guilt-free world with no responsibility. perhaps this was a critique of the free love and commune movements of the late 60s where unconventional living and partnering relationships were experimented with for a time. i dont know how i feel about that one. i have friends from childhood who participated in kibutzim in ISRAEL and others in NIGERIA that had extended families via their father's other wives. they all seemed to be well-adjusted despite having multiple "parents." interesting thought none the less.
last thing i'll say about this film is that the youth-obsessive nature of the narrative made me immediately think of my experiences KOREA and JAPAN, where KAWAII culture has infantilized the population and really devalued people once they moved past puberty. its unhealthy and their suicide rates among teens and depreciating birth rates among adults proves such.
why cant we just value the whole spectrum of human development. where does that come from?