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.