Dec 18, 2008
Earth Standing Still

In the 1950s the conflict between East and West often played out in metaphors. In The Ten Commandments the Egyptians stood for Soviet totalitarianism, and the Jews for the Western democracies. In Ben-Hur the Roman Empire stood in for the oppressive East. In a Western, such as High Noon, you might not have the East-West conflict, but you got the incoming gunslingers as HUAC (House Unamerican Activites Committee) or Joe McCarthy, and the frightened townspeople as intimidated liberals. Gary Cooper stood in for the heroic ACLU. Howard Hawks responded to High Noon with Rio Bravo. The quote below is from Hawks IMDB bio page, but I believe it occurs in the Hawks episode of The Men Who Made the Movies.

"Rio Bravo (1959) was made because I didn't like a picture called High Noon (1952). I saw High Noon (1952) at about the same time I saw another western picture, and we were talking about western pictures and they asked me if I liked it, and I said, 'Not particularly.' I didn't think a good sheriff was going to go running around town like a chicken with his head off asking for help, and finally his Quaker wife had to save him. That isn't my idea of a good western sheriff. I said that a good sheriff would turn around and say, 'How good are you? Are you good enough to take the best man they've got?' The fellow would probably say no, and he'd say, 'Well, then I'd just have to take care of you.' And that scene was in Rio Bravo (1959).”
"” Hawks also made The Thing, which stands in sharp contrast to both the earlier and later films of The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Wikipedia points out that both the producer (Julian Balustein) and the director (Robert Wise) of the original were liberals who believed in a strong United Nations. In other words, they were tranzis. What are tranzis? Transnational progressives. The core belief of tranzis is the abolition of nationhood, and the universal dominion of multinational groups. Aside from the UN, a good example of a tranzi group is the European Union. See this article for a definition of tranzi doctrines.

What emerges in the original film is not that we’re all going to unite and live in kumbayaland, but that if we don’t submit to a galactic imperialism, give up our sovereignty, and surrender our weapons, we will be wiped out. Now I don’t know about the rest of you, but where I come from we have names like intimidation, and extortion for things like that. So Wise and Blaustein are actually advocating submission to imperialism, and possible slavery, under the guise of liberation and international brotherhood.

I haven’t seen the latest version. If I do see it, I’ll wait till it comes to HBO or Showtime so that I don’t have to pay to see it. However, my understanding is that rather than weaponry, this one focuses on the environment. Another example of tranzi politics. The Kyoto treaty, global warming, and other environmental causes are beloved by tranzis. The moral of the latest version is that if we don’t shape up and meet the standards of some galactic EPA we’re toast.

Here’s the way the plot should go. The president confers with the leading military powers (Britain, Russia, India, China) and deploys a multi-national force with the main forces led by the Anglo-American alliance, and other countries, such as France, which would supply quartermaster and commissary services, acting in support. They would assemble a team of scientists who would devise superweapons and interstellar drives. We would then proceed to the bloody imperial systems, and wipe out every last one of them. Peace is restored to the galaxy, and the liberated planets are free to develop on their own without interference from a bunch of snotty, imperialist overlords.