Hello my fellow doomsday-ers. I’m sorry I haven’t written in a while, but I have become enveloped in Her, and no, not my girlfriend, the Spike Jonze movie about a man’s quite odd relationship with an operating system. For those of you who haven’t seen it, Theodore, a recent divorcee desperate for love, finds his new soul mate in his computer’s operating system.
However, what I found interesting about Theodore was not his character, per se, but his job as a love-letter-writer. Yep, his job was to write a letter for some pathetic soul, for whom Theodore is supposed to poetically describe what must only be the most depressing relationship ever. To give the man some credit, he does his job very well, but that’s beside the point. The worst part about his job is that it isn’t some underground, black-market operation. No, Beautiful Handwritten Letters operates in a high-rise in Los Angeles, and proudly displays its name all over the reception area. It seems like this type of business is some sort of norm in society.
I forgot to mention that the movie takes place in the future. How far in the future no one knows, but every scene in the movie seems somewhat recognizable despite every set seemingly inspired by an Apple store. There isn’t some magical teleportation pod that everyone is using, just a Bluetooth headset, and that’s about it. If I were to guess what year the movie takes place, I would probably say somewhere between 35 and 50 years from now, but I’m no expert.
Getting back to Theo’s job, I think that it perfectly encapsulates the time that Theo lives in. As he sits in front of that computer screen, Theodore can write beautiful prose, but in real life, he struggles to articulate even the simplest of feelings. In this futuristic world, technology is the only interface in which people can have any real type of communication. Common interaction with others looks and feels unnatural. Whether it’s the misplaced pauses in a conversation, the lack of eye contact, or the general lack of celebration of the human spirit, the characters in the movie are more removed from the real world than I believe we are now.
I’m sure right now, you are all wondering why I am telling you all about this movie that has nothing to with this doomsday group; and I don’t blame you for that. But I want you to think about what I wrote above, because what Her basically tells us is that our future is bleak. We are moving faster and faster towards a point where life has no meaning. We will live our lives through operations. We will become more comfortable with our computers than our brothers and sisters, our husbands and wives. I don’t want to live like that. I don’t want my life to me a monotonous tick after monotonous tick. I don’t want exist as a 1 or a 0. I just can’t stop thinking: wouldn’t the world be better if it just ended now?
Her. Dir. Spike Jonze. By Spike Jonze. Perf. Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson. 2013. Itunes Rental.