“God help us, we have fallen into the hands of engineers.”
Jurassic Park (Spielberg, 1993).
The gurus of the new technological capitalism, media stars and millionaires at an early age, are far beyond the classic businessmen. As they promise futures straight out of a sci-fi movie, these gifted minds display global power. Until now. Suddenly, they are no longer the darlings of the marketsand because of their bad practices they are even forced to pay fines of stratospheric figures and even testify before courts and investigative commissions.
Despite all this, they continue to be revered by legions of admirers, especially those who distrust democracies, deniers of all kinds, ultra-liberals or just plain ultras. The same citizens of the aspirational class who in the 90s had the biography of Mario Conde on their bare shelves, now read with rapture the Twitter quotes of these Paulo Coelhos of goosebumps. They have in common that they are men, white and heterosexual. The resemblance ends there: the super-gifted CEO profile is a sinister mix between the James Bond villain bent on world domination and actual billionaires like Howard Hughes and WR Hearst. Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941), that truly immortal yes, has served as a model for a whole cinematographic cliché: the genius of incalculable fortune, evil and crazy.
Twitter was Rosebud.
Super Villains? Spectra? Do you think we exaggerate? Well watch the documentary Elon Musk vs. Jeff Bezos: The New Star Wars (Agnés Hubschmann, 2022) and will immediately remember the adventures of Roger Moore’s Bond in moonraker (Gilbert, 1979).
For some strange reason, the scriptwriters of half the world -complainers, pessimists and precarious wage earners- show great animosity towards these technological messiahs and have joined forces to discredit them through the worst propaganda: cinema and television. Those affected should launch their armies of lawyers against them, because the evidence of the crime is there: the creators of don’t look up (McKay, 2021) publicly acknowledged that they had been inspired by Elon Musk to laugh at the character of the millionaire who will (not) save the world from the apocalypse, but also by Zuckerberg, Bezos and Steve Jobs… The entire pantheon of cool CEOs.
The one in the middle was the smart one: what peace of mind!
Marvel is also clear about it, see if not the bad guy venom (Fleischer, 2018). Despite the racial beauty of the actor Riz Ahmed, the truth is that the character is a psychopathological copy of the CEO of Tesla, whom we see as very capable of populating the world with voracious aliens if he gets up wanting to mess it up. And in the DC universe, three quarters of the same: it does not seem coincidental that Jesse Eisenberg, always with the face of Mark Zuckerberg in the biopic The social network (Fincher, 2010), was signed to play Lex Luthor in the new DC remittances. Although it’s always difficult to replace a giant like Gene Hackman – bless him – Eisenberg is well cast: villain castings these days have to be done at Harvard Engineering School. Or without studies but with a garage in the style of Steve Jobs, as Tom Hanks recognized for the role of his contemporary devil in The circle (Ponsoldt, 2017): boss of the most important internet company in the world, owner of a technological monopoly that dominates lives, minds and pockets. Come on, the usual.
Tom Jobs and almost an apple in the cup.
Believe it or not, there is a Forbes List for the richest fictional characters. Here, too, the majority are white men and only two women appear: Lara Croft and Cruella de Vil –rich good, rich bad–. The others touch or directly fall into insanity: the great Gatsby and his fortune linked to organized crime; Bruce Wayne, as a millionaire paramilitary moron; Willy Wonka, psychopathically greedy and even the wealthy abuser of heat, deed, word and omission from 50 Shades of Grey. Also the owner of Jurassic Park; His crazy phrases seem copied by emulators like Elon Musk, especially that of: “We have spared no expense” before the total disaster.
If the references seem few to you, we have the complete mamonazo of Glass Onion (Johnson, 2022), a parodic comedy of detective novels with a certain Benoit Blanc who turns Bond into Poirot –gay–. A film that owes a lot to the top of the genre, that is, A corpse to desserts (Moore, 1976) and in which Edward Norton –more restrained than usual, thank goodness– embodies the billionaire CEO or what is the same: a manipulator, swindler, unbearable and misogynist. Regarding that, Norton makes a direct reference to the character of Tom Cruise in Magnolia (Anderson, 1999); a pre-tiktoker anti-Greta stuffed in leather, with a deranged personality. It seems that these anti-feminist televangelists were already pointing ways at the end of the 90s: something to do with the rise of Trumpism twenty years later? chi sá?.
Halloween costume “wounded macho”.
But long before the appearance of Elon and the other alpha boys in the crowd, the character of the rich man, technological genius and misogynist appears in the different versions of the perfect women (The Stepford wives). Novel by Ira Levin (1929-2007), playwright, screenwriter for film and television, and novelist of best-sellers of terror, dystopias and varied intrigues. His best adaptation to the screen is, without a doubt, Rosemary’s baby (1968) –in Spain The seed of the deviltitle with spoilers inside– a milestone in horror cinema signed by a great director of darkness: Roman Polansky. The Pole has been playing cat and mouse with the devil since he was a boy and escaped from the Warsaw ghetto; The rest… You already know. In this film, the unforgettable actor and director John Cassavetes masterfully interpreted one of the most repeated male typologies in Levin’s work: the husband who sells or murders his wife to gain power and success. In the perfect women, blockbuster in sales, adaptations and sequels, all the men in the town of Stepford, from the lawyer married to the leading lady to the visionary engineer raised as the leader of the posh neighborhood, hate their women and want to turn them into robotic housewives and hotties that give the mop as possessed and, also as possessed, gustirrinín to the owner of their destinies. The first film adaptation of the perfect women (Forbes, 1975) the firm William Goldman, but the master scriptwriter is not fine this time and the film has become more rancid than the Castilian furniture. For a good, very good version, that of Frank Oz. The British director, actor and puppeteer –and as Jewish as Levin– who made millions of children happy in the eighties along with Jim Henson and his muppets, and even lent his voice to Yoda from Star Wars, he has to his credit the funniest parody of the “cinema within a cinema” subgenre: Bowfinger (1999). Also, who better than a puppet specialist to understand the ultimate intention of the perfect women and turn it into hilarious comedy, with Jewish jokes against the wild Republicans long before Trump – priceless the gay couple. As if that were not enough, the manic engineer and leader of the masculine band is played by a specialist in not very endearing types: his Darkness Christopher Walken. But in a brilliant twist, it is revealed that the true local genius is the wife, Glenn Close –another enormity–, a brilliant biomechanical engineer, who, cuckolded and get rid of à la Shakira – they do have the right to sing “Hey, don’t go showing off around there” – she has taken revenge by inventing a kind of technological Women’s Section and transforming her machirulo husband into a robot, after killing him. The expression “Stepford wife” became popular after Levin’s success to define the wife-maid-sex slave content to be. That is to say, the wet dream of the Incel movement, Pilar Primo de Rivera and all self-respecting ultra-right.
The ideal women according to the canons of the 50s also appear in the failed and clumsy film as a science fiction or feminist dystopia Do not worry dear (Olivia Wilde, 2022). Everything looks too much like the original, and yet we don’t find a single mention of the creature’s father: Ira Levin. In the past, a credit title was shown “loosely based on…” Come on, that seems like a shameless plagiarism. This new non-version recounts the vicissitudes of an exploited doctor –everywhere they cook sanitary beans– with an unemployed husband, who finds herself kidnapped in a kind of app that makes her iron and fuck triscapellejo for the solace of the maromo from she. Once again science in its deranged version at the service of alienation, although without femaleized robots involved. And it doesn’t even need to be done, that’s why we are in the 21st century and everything that happens is by the work and grace of another engineer CEO, very smart and cool, more false than the feminism of Macarena Olona and Giorgia Meloni tutte insieme.
From what we have seen, so many outraged scriptwriters have a point and certain enlightened people are capable of destroying the world, be it manipulating elections, inciting against democratic rights or cloning dinosaurs. It’s not to be alarmist. but maybe the meteorite is on its way.
“God help us, we have fallen into the hands of engineers.”
Jurassic Park (Spielberg, 1993).
The gurus of the new technological capitalism, media stars and millionaires at an early age, are far beyond the classic businessmen. While…
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Mark, Jeff, Elon and other common kids