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?
 
These points have been raised by reviewers who suggest that the writers and actors (being Hollywood “liberals”) did not understand that they were making (broadly speaking at least) a conservative-value movie. They could have altered any of the above aspects of the film to conform to boiler-plate, left-wing prejudice. The family could have been ethnically “diverse” or in “an unconventional marriage arrangement.” The female lead should not have given birth. After all, who would dare bring a child into such a fallen world? Furthermore, these survivors could have tried to defend themselves against the creatures without the benefit of modern weaponry; perhaps by sticking out their tongues and flapping their finger-splayed hands as children at play conduct themselves, and as unarmed citizens are supposed to behave when faced with deadly force in some constituencies.
 
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.
 
The reliably dishonest elites constantly try to enforce conformity of viewpoints, notably, but not exclusively, among newly minted high-school graduates; an intentional spreading of a “virgin soil epidemic” among those with little immunity against thought control. Meme warfare, then. Much of the provender the elites deliver is like backcountry clabber, a victual from which guests to the Appalachian region once recoiled in revulsion. Perhaps this monstrous regiment longs for the future as worded by the State Gazette in Zamyatin’s We.
 
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.
 
Attempts to silence speech are usually self-evident. They are practiced against college speakers with the wrong viewpoint, or committed by monolithic tech companies through demonetizing or delisting; or just think of the Canadian Government’s attempt to compel speech in support of something called “progressive gender theory.” In the United States, the Internal Revenue Service has been used to silence those whom the government opposes. The list goes on and on. Now we have the example of the zeal with which the UK State arrested, tried and imprisoned Tommy Robinson for livestreaming outside a court in which alleged rape-gang members were being tried. And the treatment of Robinson whilst he was in custody is alarming in its implications. As a former President of the United States put it, “the world must not belong to those who slander the religion of peace.”
 
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.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast
 
Comments
5 Sep 2018
Cliff Emerson
Also very apropos for the current state of freedom of expression in Germany where a vicious, titanic battle is being waged, especially after a migrant stabbing murder of a German citizen in (the former East German city of) Chemnitz.


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