Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Bee Movie, or, Lessons in not rocking the boat

OK, I admit it; sometimes my critical brain simply WON'T TURN OFF. I try, but sometimes, I just have to read my world critically.

So, last week I went to see Bee Movie as an escape from the pressures of academic life and the real world. I figured, cute kids' movie, Jerry Seinfeld... what could be bad? Gee, I was wrong.

For those of you haven't seen the movie, you might not want to read on. I am going to ruin the movie for you right now. For those of you who have seen the movie, I'm probably going to ruin it for you, too.

The movie is about Barry Bee who fights 27 millions years of evolution to break out of the bee mold in order to do something different with his life. After graduating school (after three days!), he is told he needs to pick a job that he will have for the rest of his life. Not satisfied with the idea of doing one thing until the day he dies, he decides to take a risk and go out with the pollen jocks. Unlike the pollen jocks, who resemble the archetypal WWII fly boys, Barry is, shall we say, rather puny. But, he goes out with them, and discovers a whole world beyond the hive. And here is where the trouble really begins.

It was bad enough that he couldn't decide what he wanted to do with the rest of his life, he actually went out and met a human girl. That's right, he was dating outside the species (and a big deal is made about this). After all, humans are not supposed to know that bees can talk, and there is a long standing history of bees dying at the hands of humans, what with the swatting and all. What makes it worse (or at least, how I read the message in the remainder of the movie) was the fact the he continued to fly in the face of 27 millions years of doing things the same way. Barry discovered that humans were exploiting bees by smoking them and stealing their honey. So what does Barry do? He sues the human race... and wins.

Everything goes south of course, because the bees get back all the honey that was taken from them. There was so much honey, in fact, that they had to suspend production. As a result, the formerly industrious bees, became lazy and slothful, because they no longer had to work. As a result, no pollination, and the world's flowers, trees, and crops started die off.

Of course, with the help of his human girlfriend, Barry learned the error of his ways, and saved the world by convincing the bees he'd made a mistake, and it really was a bad idea to fight 27 million years of evolution. So, they pollinated and the bees went back to producing honey, etc. And Barry became a civil rights lawyer for animals.

The message? Everyone has their place, and we can't disrupt the natural order of things, particularly when it comes to workers, production, and consumption. Workers can't be trusted to know what's best for them or for society, and one uppity individual who fights for workers' rights and justice can undo the entire order of things. And that, is far more dangerous.

4 comments:

Alexis said...

If I were a smart, dead playwright I just might comfort you with the following words:

"The resonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

--George Bernard Shaw

sandyfootprints said...

After reading your blog, I asked myself, how does this relate to education and if this is so, can there be any changes in education to make things better? Maybe I'm at the point in the semester where my brain has finally turned the power btton off in order to recharge, and so I apologize for my random thoughts. Regardless, I related your theory to the NCLB act and how it has been more of a disruption to the education system. We can try as much as possible to get everyone to the same level, but it's just not the way in which people are meant to learn. Some are not great in math, but they may be brilliant in another subject that will be beneficial to themselves and others. They can lose that desire or those opportunities however if all emphasis is placed on something that they struggle in. This also makes me question how much of an impact I can really have on students. Some say that with perserverance, you can move mountians, but sometimes mountains are too much to move. I strongly believe that everyone has potential, however I also think it's it vital to understand that not everyone is cut out to be President, study rocket science, or be the MVP of a sports team; however I also believe that those ideals should not limit anyone from their goals.

Bien-aime said...

Ha, I had the same reaction when I saw the movie. I was there with my little sister who had to listen to my comments the entire time. As soon as the movie was over I believe my exact words were..." Thats right bee get back in your place!" I was so frustrated with this backwards movie. I didn't encourage anyone to stand up for themselves or try to make things better for themselves. Oh, and don't forget to never date out of your race or you will be disowned. I spent a good hour talking to my sister to undo what the movie did.

Bien-aime said...

Ha, I had the same reaction when I saw the movie. I was there with my little sister who had to listen to my comments the entire time. As soon as the movie was over I believe my exact words were..." Thats right bee get back in your place!" I was so frustrated with this backwards movie. I didn't encourage anyone to stand up for themselves or try to make things better for themselves. Oh, and don't forget to never date out of your race or you will be disowned. I spent a good hour talking to my sister to undo what the movie did.