Shut Up! They Explained

by Robert Gear (September 2018)

Insekten auf Weiß, Alfred Kornberger, 1992


The recently released motion picture A Quiet Place was lauded by many, but derided or just plain ignored by some reviewers of a left-wing disposition. The movie depicts a post-apocalyptic scenario in which alien creatures have wiped out most of humanity. These creatures (the film is unclear about their origins) are hypersensitive to sounds, and when sounds are produced by animate beings, the attention of the monsters is roused, and they viciously attack and consume the noise makers.


The dominance of the left in the cultural sphere and the blacklisting tendency of the movie industry lead one to wonder how this story was permitted to be screened. For the rectifiers of societies “ills,” the film must have checked all the wrong boxes. For example, the family was, God forbid, white, nuclear and cis. Wasn’t that a song? Uhmm . . . No, perhaps not. But surely the writers could have portrayed a “diverse” family facing terrible adversity. Worse, the people possessed guns to defend themselves against the monsters. This utterly unregenerate family also prayed before eating and neglected to spout gratuitous vulgarities (usually inserted to indicate when scriptwriters have come to the end of their already simplified lexicon). What is more, the female lead character is pregnant and fails to terminate the pregnancy. For those who engage in duckspeak (as Orwell put it) what is not to hate?


Comparisons with John Wyndam’s science-fiction best seller, The Day of the Triffids, are unavoidable. In A Quiet Place, the monsters strike with an alacrity that would have made any self-respecting triffid green with envy (no pun intended). People cannot outpace these new Hollywood monsters, but the invading species of both the 1951 book and the 2018 movie accomplish the same dire results. They reduce the world’s population to a few resilient stragglers clinging like samphire onto the cliffs at Dover.


The triffids, in contrast to these updated monsters, walk clumsily, “rather like a man on crutches” but nevertheless manage to cover ground at “something like an average walking pace.”  The evident disadvantage of this cumbrous gait is more than compensated for by the fact that most of humanity had been blinded through the synchronous misfortune of having stared at a heavenly light show. Triffids are equipped with deadly long stingers, and when these are flailed across the bare skin of humans, the result is almost instant death. According to Wyndam (who incidentally, could not have foreseen the parallels with a now urgent and certainly non-fictional human invasion), the carelessness of bureaucrats, scientists and the public at large allowed this invasive species to proliferate and spread from the tropics to the entire inhabited world. Any bells ringing?


But beyond all the badthink points mentioned above, is the underlying theme of this new cultural product. Whether intended or not, the movie makers here provided a perfect metaphor for the ongoing attempts to prevent “disagreeable” speech or writing. Wrong “sounds” will not be tolerated by the triumvirate of the media, academy and government. Such views must be stamped on speedily to enforce a silent time for their ruling purposes. The apparatchiks’ seeming goal is to create a real quiet place, not a fictional one.


A thousand years ago your heroic forebears subjugated the whole of planet Earth to the power of OneState . . . . It is for you to place the beneficial yoke of reason round the necks of the unknown beings who inhabit other planets—still living, it may be, in the primitive state known as freedom.


Ok, ignore the bit about “other planets.” Still, OneState seems to be the goal of totalitarians everywhere. Examples of the sequacious left’s routine output of omission and commission in pursuit of muzzling thought and speech are too numerous to enumerate. The ocean of media silencing surrounds all of us, lapping willfully at our reasoning faculties. The Political Correctness industry growing out of Frankfurt School’s polysyllabic tedium theorizing silences people by shaming them to hold their tongues. Naturally, when shaming fails, outright vilification is tried. And always, violence is never far behind. We are apparently still fighting the same battles, ceteris paribus, as Milton was in 1644 when he published his polemic against state censorship. “Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”


As the monsters in A Quiet Place locate their dietary sources and thereby nourish themselves by tuning into sounds made by humans (and presumably animals), so too do the controllers try to rid the earth of those who would speak or write words that annoy them. Many of the quackspeakers nourish themselves through the banishment of unpalatable views. They perhaps hope that when wrongspeak and wrongthink are banished from their dreamland, they will be masters in OneState. If that happens, of course, the statists will prolong the banquet by eating their own.  But that is another story.


A particularly egregious recent episode is that of a newly-hired wunderkind at an influential New York organ of information, whose new motto must now be “All the racism that’s fit to print.” This harpy’s eliminationist rhetoric leaves no doubt as to one of the goals of many of the ruling class. She has tweeted and tweeted and tweeted pettily from day to day. For example:



It’s the ‘live underground’ bit that is so telling of the elitist mindset. And it is not just white people that are so scorned. Such casual racism is easily and commonly extended to all those who hold disagreeable opinions. “You, shut up and go and live underground.”


Almost certainly, a sequel to A Quiet Place is on the cards. Perhaps then, the writers/ producers will get a chance to “rectify” their heresy of not conforming to the ecclesiology of guilt. Time will tell.



Robert Gear now lives in the American Southwest. He is a retired English teacher and has co-authored with his wife several texts in the field of ESL.

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