Logan's Run

29/Dec/2023 18:16:22 • Audio • 05:05

I had it in mind to record something about democracy and how the people who are crowing loudest about how they desire to defend democracy from all threats are the ones most intent on preventing a certain candidate from appearing on Republican primary ballots in states that are controlled by Democrats. But instead of that, and instead of the other topic I was thinking of, which was news of Mark Zuckerberg's, I think, $250 million bunker complex in Hawaii, and the fact that the very same people who tell us that artificial intelligence and advanced technology are about to usher in utopia are all preparing for Mad Max, you know, collapse. But instead I think I'll talk about the novel and the movie, Logan's Run. I believe the novel is from 1967, the year before I was born. I read it as a teenager. I saw the film as a child, but I think I was too young to really remember the film that well. I do remember watching the TV series. I then saw the film again as an adult, and it does not hold up. It's not all that good. But, you know, I've read a whole lot of science fiction novels, and the science fiction novel of Logan's Run is interesting, but it's not a classic. It's not amazing. If you haven't read it, you're, you know, you're not missing out on all that much. But you know, it is a film that made a lot of money in the 1970s. It's a film that has iconic imagery that is still recognizable to this day. And so, of course, it is an obvious candidate for a remake or a reboot of some sort. And people have been trying to do that throughout the 20-teens. And yet, it can't get made. Now, in the novel, it's a society that seems to be either run by AI or just sort of, it's just kind of automated. Most of the people, I mean, all of the people in it are under the age of 21. When you hit 21 years of age, you're done. You are put to death. In the movie, they bumped that up to age 30 so that they could have popular stars in the film who, you know, would not pass for teenagers. And the novel centers around a sandman who is a police officer or bounty hunter who is assigned to make sure that everybody who has lived their full 21 years goes quietly or, you know, goes in one way or another. But he himself, you know, when his time comes, he decides to run. That is an interesting premise. In the novel, it's not executed all that well. There's a sequel novel as well, which is, again, not all that great. I listened to that on audiobook just a couple years ago. And then the movie, it's got some iconic images in it, but it's also kind of dumb. Now, when the Hunger Games movies were hitting big, and then that other series starts with Divergent, I think, which as far as I know, like the last film got broken up into two installments in the second installment, like never hit theaters. Or if it did, it hit with such a whimper that it was like a straight to streaming sort of thing. But, you know, there was a hot minute where it seemed like, yeah, a film about how, you know, a dystopian film starring all young people could work. And particularly with the success of the Hunger Games, they decided they were going to, you know, gender swap the lead and make Logan a woman. So it would be a female-led, young adults, dystopian sci-fi novel. But it didn't happen. And, you know, a lot of why it didn't happen is just Hollywood politics and just the sort of quirky functioning of the Hollywood system. But I think part of it is the zeitgeist. The idea that the world is only for kids and that as soon as you hit 21 or 30, depending on which version of the original Logan's Run you want to go with, the novel or the movie, by the time you hit 30, you know, it's all over for you. That just doesn't resonate today. Because today, the kids are the ones who've got it rough. The kids are the ones who can't really get their lives started because they can't make enough money to get houses and cars and get married and basically do what their parents did. And so they're kind of stalled out. So, you know, a movie that says, yeah, the old people are being kicked off and everything's about the youth, it just does not resonate with our current moment. Our current moment, it's the old people who are living large and it is the young people who are scrounging. And so Logan's Run in 2023 or 2024, I just don't see it. Not without some conceptual transformation that would make it relevant. All right. That is all. Happy New Year.

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so at first i thought i'd have a very difficult time commenting on this post because i haven't watched the movie i haven't read the novel and nothing really spoke to me as far as you know its plot or characters but then i actually went and read your substack article on this topic and i realized that the things that puzzled you the things with the decor and the sort of overall aesthetics of the movie they were really familiar to me and the reason why they're familiar is because i spent roughly a quarter of my life or at least more than a decade in a city called montreal a city that incorporated a lot of that very same aesthetic that you're describing and i think it's not a coincidence that montreal hosted the 1976 olympic games for which it embarked on on a massive project of urban development and many of the buildings that were constructed during that time seem to incorporate exactly the look that you're describing and you seem to be baffled by if you're curious just look up montreal olympic stadium and or the habitat building by Moshe Safdie and you'll probably recognize the parallels