“The Martian” and our age of facile heroics.
This morning, in one of my many email accounts’ inboxes, I found this sweet little prompt from Amazon.
I don’t know. The amount of time and energy spent critiquing this book is not worth the effort.
I needed something light, something easy, something entertaining, especially after having finished reading Nausea. I wanted something I could read with half a mind.
And boy, I was’t disappointed.
The Martian, unbeknownst to me, has already been molded into a screenplay. The movie has been shot and made. The Matt Damon flick is simply awaiting its upcoming American release date of October 2.
The novel is written at a subterranean level that screams “make me a movie!” Uncritical, lacking nuance, but immensely entertaining and reprehensibly snarky in a very 2015 manner, the book is easy to read and easier to put down. Like all forms of pop entertainment, it only asks for your spare attention while eschewing complex discernment.
It’s a book written in the novelese of the 21st Century. It is blueprinted around a movie script and disqualifies the human psyche in favor of unlikely wit and facile heroics.
In fact, I’m thinking of jumping over to Amazon and making that my simple review: Facile Heroics.
Facile heroics are all we ask of pop entertainment and mass culture in today’s world.
Books and movies like The Martian are the sort of activity that you engage in, and once complete, you feel hollow and unmet. The stimulus centers in your brain were activated and titillated for a few minutes, but when the engagement is over, your body and mind have nothing to show for it. It’s a very “virtual” sense of attainment that the masters are designing to shut us up and calm us down. If we can experience fulfillment and catharsis in VW, what need is there for it in reality?
Facile heroics are the intellectual drug of the digital age. Repeated dosages soothe your doubts and lift your sense of accomplishment without changing a thing.