The World O' Crap Archive

Welcome to the Collected World O' Crap, a comprehensive library of posts from the original Salon Blog, and our successor site, (2006 to 2010).

Current posts can be found here.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mitt Has No Platform Yet, But Like The Psychlos, He Does Have Platform Shoes

Sensible conservative Jon Swift has a nice compedium of the Mitt “Goodboy” Romney kerfuffle, and notes how amazingly prescient Hubbard’s novel proved to be:
Unfortunately, Battlefield Earth does not end with a Psychlo being elected President. In fact, the Earthlings never make them feel welcome at all. Instead, they become terrorists. Here the parallels between the book and our current situation are uncanny. The Psychlos want to fight the terrorists on Earth so that they don’t have to fight them at home. And they are not above using enhanced interrogation techniques to stop them. The terrorists, however, plan to send radioactive dirty bombs to the Psychlos’ home world. Can the Psychlos defeat the terrorists on Earth before they follow the Psychlos home? Or will traitorous Psychlos give up and declare the war is lost like Harry Reid, who also happens to be a Mormon, though for some reason he has not been excommunicated yet. I’m afraid I couldn’t tell you what happens at the very end of Battlefield Earth because I couldn’t make it through the movie or the summary.
Well, as longtime readers know, we did make it through the movie, and lived to write our own summary.  And while I know many of you have already seen this, either in the post-apocalypse chapter of Better Living Through Bad Movies, or as part of Sunday Cinema, we thought we’d repost it for the benefit of all those confused supporters Googling “Mitt Romney + Battlefield Earth,” because frankly, we’d like some of that sweet, sweet Romentum for ourselves.

Battlefield Earth (2000)
Directed by Roger Christian
Written by L. Ron Hubbard (novel), Corey Mandell and J.D. Shapiro
A crawl informs us that it’s the Year 3000, and for the past thousand years, Earth has been ruled by Psychlos.  How did such an advanced race of space-faring beings wind up with such a stupid name?  Well, they’re obviously a nutty bunch, judging by John Travolta’s performance, and they seem to have wiped out every trailer park on the planet, so I’m guessing  that author and Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard just combined the words “psycho” and “cyclone,” hoping to terrify his readers with a name that conjured images of an emotionally unstable amusement park attraction.  Anyway, they’re big-assed aliens from a planet where George Clinton is the dominant life form.

The Psychlos have been mining Earth’s natural resources for the past millennium (apparently, they get paid by the hour) and teleporting the ore back to the Planet Psychlo.  Amazingly, the film predicts that in the future, the most valuable metal will actually be gold!  (Unlike now, when its use is largely confined to electroplating the fixtures in Ivana Trump’s bathroom, or decorating the incisors of rap artists.)Humans (represented by pasty white people dressed like Vikings) are confined to pockets of wasteland, where they are rapidly becoming extinct–so I guess all those dead 19th century Indians are having a bit of a laugh.  Just so we get the point, the director pans the pristine, snow-capped Rocky Mountains (giving us a glimmer of hope that even in the bleak, post-apocalyptic future, there will still be beer commercials) and a subtitle reads: “Man is an endangered species.”  Despite this, the Bush Administration still wants to drill in the Arctic National Man Refuge. More...The survivors of humanity have adopted the usual trappings of barbarism–furs and buckskin clothing, polytheism, and French braids.  One courageous lad (Barry Pepper) defies the anger of the gods and boldly ventures forth alone to find his destiny.  Within thirty seconds he gets thrown from his horse, and panicked by a miniature golf course.  Fortunately, he runs into a pair of hunters, and offers them snacks in exchange for exposition.They take shelter in the Apocalypse Galleria and huddle around a cook fire.  But one of the Psychlos turns out to be a mall walker, and he takes exception to their careless use of an open flame so close to Lane Bryant.  The alien stuns the two hunters with its ray gun, but Barry is too fast for it, perhaps because the alien isn’t entirely at ease clomping around in Gene Simmons’ platform boots from KISS.

Eventually, Barry and the hunters are put in a cage built into the belly of an alien jet.  Yes, even though it’s a thousand years in the future, and the aliens can instantly teleport across the galaxy, they still use internal combustion engines.  Take that, Al Gore!

The jet flies to the Psychlo’s capital, Biosphere 2.  The humans are issued those little anti-snoring patches for their noses, which somehow helps them to survive the extraterrestrial environment inside the dome.  But it’s not only the air that’s different; the entire domed city is perpetually bathed in a dim blue glow, making it clear that the Psychlos can only exist in the atmosphere of a soft-core porn film.

The jet lands at the “Human Processing Center–Denver,” and we look forward to watching Barry get rendered into a form of alien Velveeta.  Instead, he startles his captors by shooting one of the Psychlos with its own gun, and making a break for it.  Almost immediately, he slips and falls, for along with man’s loss of art, science, and medicine, he has also forgotten the ancient admonition not to run on linoleum in your socks.  Barry slides to a stop at the platformed feet of Psychlos John Travolta and Forrest Whittaker, who were in the middle of discussing how beeswax will help to keep down the fuzz on your dreadlocks.

Travolta, it seems, has fallen from favor with the Home Office, and has been condemned to serve as security chief of Earth for another 50 years.  All the other Psychlos laugh at John, except for his immediate supervisor, who’s too busy cultivating the largest dewlap in the galaxy.

Cut to Planet Psychlo.  It’s a grim, inhospitable world; dark urban landscapes stretch to the horizon, studded with towers belching fire and pollution into the perpetual twilight of a purple sky, and inhabited by cruel beings thirsting for wealth and power.  So basically, it’s Houston.

Cut right back to Earth, where John is getting drunk and working himself into a thick, creamy lather of overacting, which is later harvested, and dispensed as food to the humans with the help of a sour cream gun from Taco Bell.

John plans to buy his way off the planet by secretly training “man-animals” to mine a newly discovered vein of gold.  First, however, he sets the humans to remodeling his office with pickaxes.  But Barry, who is evolving faster than the apes in 2001, turns on John’s stereo and boldly messes with his equalizer settings.  The outraged Travolta immediately straps Barry into a dentist’s chair and has a Portuguese Man O’ War teach him Conversational Psychlo.  Then they shoot some pollen in his eye, and suddenly, he’s The Computer Wore Moccasins.

John, realizing that Reading Is Fundamental, takes Barry on a field trip to the Denver Library, and tells him that “Man is an endangered species,” because Barry was ignorant when the film began, and couldn’t read the opening titles.

Later, John takes Barry and his friends out to the forest, and proves his technological superiority by shooting the legs off a cow.  Just as he’s about to win the plush toy, he’s jumped by a feral tribe wearing fox pelts on their heads, which menace him with spears.  John miraculously escapes, however, when the tribe itself is attacked by PETA.

Suddenly, Forrest arrives with Barry’s girlfriend, who they’ve identified because she was carrying a chamois with a face scratched into it.  The image looks remarkably like one of Red Skelton’s clown paintings, so the Psychlos immediately deduce that it must be Barry.  The Girlfriend is then accessorized with the latest in explosive collars.

Back at Biosphere II, John sexually harasses his new secretary, giving us the opportunity to see that female Psychlos have prehensile tongues and male pattern baldness, which I guess is somebody’s idea of a fun night in Vegas.  Suddenly, Travolta discovers that governor Dewlap has been skimming profits, and threatens to report him to the Nevada Gaming Commission unless he does something about that Elizabethan ruffle of loose skin hanging from his neck. Then John activates the first phase of his master plan by making Barry play “Asteroids.”

Cut to the Rockies, where Travolta forces Barry to fly the human miners up to the gold vein, since the thin atmosphere at high altitudes don’t supply enough oxygen to support the Psychlo’s spittle-flecked, mouth-breathing acting style.  Instead, Barry flies to Ft. Hood, where the illiterate, spear-wielding fox-head guys climb into the flight simulator and learn how to pilot F-16s, while Barry watches the How to Assemble an Atomic Bomb slide show that they always used to make us watch on rainy days in junior high.  Then they fly to Kentucky and rob Ft. Knox in a scene that’s not exactly the climax of Goldfinger.

Later, Barry manages to sow doubt and distrust between Forrest and Travolta, with the result that John decapitates a bartender, and shoots off Forrest’s hand.  Forrest looks confused, and considers reporting John to the EEOC for creating a hostile work environment.

Barry riles up all the human prisoners in the Planet of the Apes Memorial Cellblock, and sparks a revolt, but it doesn’t go very well.  Just in the nick of time, however, a tribe of primitive hunter-gatherers arrive, flying jet fighters which are in perfect working condition after a thousand years of neglect.  But let my car sit for more than a week, and I can just forget about getting it started again without begging one of the neighbors for a jump.  Anyway, face-painted, fur-wearing savages suddenly turn into Top Guns, shouting things like “I’m right on his tail!” as they dogfight the Psychlos.

The humans blow up Biosphere 2.  Then Barry uses his girlfriend’s explosive collar to blow off Travolta’s right arm, in a ruthless act of attempted irony.  Meanwhile, one of Barry’s posse teleports to the Planet Psychlo with an atomic weapon.  This is where the aliens really pay for basing their entire economy on the petrochemical industry, since the bomb causes their atmosphere to catch on fire.  And even though the film isn’t explicit about this, we sense that as every living thing on the surface of the planet is incinerated, certain cashiered whistleblowers from the Psychlo EPA enjoy a moment of smug vindication.

So what new truths have we gleaned from Battlefield Earth?  First, we have learned that spirituality is a fine thing, but it’s probably best to avoid joining denominations that make action movies (see Omega Code).  And while traditional faiths do not satisfy the soulful yearnings of every pilgrim, it still might be a good idea to shy away from any religion whose prophets write crappy sci-fi novels on the side.  Just a suggestion.

4 Responses to “Mitt Has No Platform Yet, But Like The Psychlos, He Does Have Platform Shoes”

Mittens actually considers this his favorite “novel?” Like the Bible isn’t a novel? Historical rather than futuristic, but still. And the Book of Mormon, so obviously a work of fiction.
Mittens, apparently, has been sucked into the most successful religion-based money grifting schemes of both the 19th & 20th centuries. What if he gets into office and combines the two? A con for the 21st century. We’d really be an endangered species then.
Uh-oh! Looks like that pesky margin problem is back! Darnit, now I won’t get to read about Mitt’s platform shoes, or whatever the hell this thing’s about. :( :( :(
I shrunk the picture, which is usually the problem. That any better?
I’m afraid not.

No comments:

Post a Comment