Monday, September 21, 2015

Sing the Rising Wind

"All the world's history gradually dying of shock"

The Dresden Dolls - Sing

Though artistically accomplished as befits the great Hayao Miyazaki's last hurrah, The Wind Rises will likely be remembered in the long run more as "controversial" thanks to its choice of subject matter - or will not be remembered at all. We social apes are after all so skilled at ignoring any dissonance which might complicate our claims of tribal allegiance. So what's your poison? Liberal or conservative? Warmonger or appeaser? Intellectual or emotional?
The human ape, by default, neither wants nor understands fairness and pop-culture reflects this in its mindless, sequential lionization of one viewpoint after another, never hitting an impartial balance. Correctness is not political. Pandering will never lead to equality or justice. Pop-culture incarnations like the Star Trek episode I discussed two days ago remain so ridiculous in hindsight, fail so miserably in promoting high-minded ideals, because they mistake favor-currying for idealism. In contrast, Miyazaki managed to piss off pretty much every segment of his intended audience by refusing to yoke improvement to any particular dogma.

"Sing for the president, sing for the terrorists, sing"

Some complain that Horikoshi is portrayed inaccurately. Others complain about the unfairness of the doomed love story and would have sought a deus ex machina. Others resent the machina of war, or that the epitome of machismo, tribal conflict, should be criticized by a nerdy character. Some despise the neglectful husband, others the subversive consorting with spies, others would have had the character subvert the war effort in the name of peace. All willfully ignore the hint Miyazaki practically screamed at them through the oft-repeated quote "il faut tenter de vivre."

"Sing 'cause it's obvious, sing for the astronauts, sing"

Audiences find it very hard to swallow any story lacking a true denouement, without being handed a conclusion to accept, a faction with which to align themselves. This was not a biography or a love story or a war story, but a beatification of progress itself. Most importantly, in the main character's ultimately unrepentant stance, it refuses to align itself with the Luddites who decry every new advancement for its possible perversions without never admitting that the problem lies in the perverters. It's a story about creation, both on the interpersonal and societal levels, not about the end products but about the process itself, the making of a soul, of an ideal. Progress. A few months or years of happiness cut short, a beautiful machine used for murder - regardless of their endings, of the disease rotting them from within, happiness and beauty were pursued. We must remember the intrinsic value of creativity, that force which in a scattered few out of the reeking mass of apes is synonymous with life itself. Il faut tenter de vivre.

"You motherfuckers, you'll sing someday!"

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