Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Odd Life of Timothy Green Trailer

Okay, this is the weird trailer I've seen in a long time.  Jennifer Gardner and her husband can't have children because her womb has been cursed ever since she slept with Ben Afflack in "Daredevil".  So she and her husband make a wish... and a mud-encrusted child is born, exactly how the parents' dreamed:

So the rest of the trailer is various scenes of people looking vaguely happy.  The kid comes out of his earthly womb recognizing his parents, assuring them that he is their son.  Now I guess Gardner and her husband have to prove to their neighbors that they didn't kidnap some kid.  Then... um... the kid raises his hands, and then apparently delivers the Sermon on the Mount.  The Hell?  What kind of movie is this?  I honestly have no idea what to make of this one.  Disney only wanted to make a vaguely pleasant movie to make people vaguely happy, but instead, they made a trailer that has to be the most thought-provoking thing I've seen in a very long time.

But I do have a couple of latter thoughts.  I'll ignore the Jesus thing for now, that's the least bizarre thing about this trailer:

Now first of all, I've never been a member of an infertile couple, but when you get bad news from the doctor, do real people actually write down a wish-list for the child they could have had?  Or do real people do something more constructive, like find a Surrogate mother, artificially inseminate, or you know, adopt?  Also, perspective parents, do you ever make up a laundry list of generic positive traits for your children like you're a preteen girl wondering about the perfect boy?  I don't know, but I feel the question must be asked.

Second:  In today's world of superscience, we now could live in a world where Jennifer Gardner and her husband's dream can come true, without any silly Disney magic.  As the genome becomes unlocked, eventually you can conceivably break into your unborn baby's genome and design him to be whatever you want, for example, a perfect specimen of human beauty.  They made a whole movie about this, its called "Gattaca".  Anybody else see a disturbing implication in how these parents have completely decided on this baby's personality?  Do we really want Designer Babies with prepackaged personalities?  Imagine if you decide that you want a daughter who will always laugh at your lame jokes... and then you create a daughter who will always laugh at your lame jokes.

All this personality-connection to the genome stuff is all theory really.  There are claims that scientists have found an "evil gene" or an "addiction gene", but its all still Nature vs. Nurture.  I've moved into wild SciFi right now, which is something that a silly family kid's movie shouldn't usually do.

I can't help but feel bad for Timothy Green there, because if he isn't some kind of Second Coming of Christ, that means he's the first of his kind:  a human made exactly how his parent's want him to be.  Think about your parent's plans for you, did you ever want to follow those plans exactly?  What if you don't have a choice?  Mom and Dad want you to be good at soccer, and you've been made to be good at soccer, you're scoring that goal.  Unlike the rest of humanity who have identities and personalities created by a mixture of biology, life experience, and personal choice*, Timothy is enslaved by his parents' whims.  Imagine if a short stupid man wanted a son just as short and stupid, forcing another human being to have his weaknesses.  Timothy has to be a warm and happy kid who teaches us all a good lesson because that's how he was designed.  He can't even want to be evil, because his mind was never designed to ever want those sort of things.  Can you actually count this plant-boy as a full human being now?

The more I think about this trailer, the darker the implications get.  I'm getting a John Calvin vibe from this story.  Jennifer Gardner and her bland hubby made a child who they knew would be good, but what if they picked one they knew would be evil?  God, who is omnipotent, made us all, and knows exactly how we'll turn out.  According to John Calvin, at least, all of our life's actions are according to God's needlessly complicated plan, so Free Will is an illusion at least.  We're all God's designer babies in the end.  So I was designed to be a snarky guy who needed an outlet of self-expression, so now I'm writing this blog, just like God intended at the start of the universe.  The Greens were depressed, they needed somebody to make them happy, so they made a boy who would.  He never had a say in the matter.  This may be the most disturbing movie ever made.  Calvinism's nightmare scenario of the universe brought to the big screen.

Finally, if Timothy Green eats his veggies at dinner, does that make him a cannibal?

* You do actually choose what kind of person you are.  Its hard to realize that, but you only really act that way you do because you want to be like that.  You only get angry at things because you want to be angry at them.  You only enjoy things because you want to enjoy them.  This isn't mind over matter, this is mind over mind.  Try to remember that sometime.


  1. Hmm, interesting. Very interesting. I love these sorts of things.
    You say, Blue, that we only act the way we do, because we want to. But Why do we want to do those things? Do we want to WANT to do those things? Or is that more inate, something build into us? For example, Blue, if there was, say, a child. The most adorable bundle of joy that has ever graced this earth. His tinckilng laughter is music bourne on the wings of angels, and that tinkle in his eye seems to banish all darkness from the world. He is, for all intents and purposes the most lovable thing on the planet

    My Question is this: Could you ever bring yourself to dislike this child, or even hate him?

    If it is truly a matter of mind over mind as you claim, would it not be possible to will yourself to feel the most venomous resentment to even your dearly descesed little cousin? Or is this very notion something so revolting, so fundamentaly alien to you that it goes against every fibre of your existance? Does this go against your programming?

    I say this, because neurologists, people who study the brain, are finding increasing evidence that every single aspect of the way we live our lives, from our emotions, to they way we interact with other people, to the way we interperet our experiances are all controlled by what is essentially our biological programming. According to them, we are little more than organic computers. C-3PO et al. Free will, in the the truest sense of the word, is an illusion. We are bound by our personalities. I cannot simply turn around and just start dry-humping old men any more than you can charge around setting babies on fire. Now, whether of not this true remains to be seen, but I find the whole notion to be very intreguing, if not slightly depressing.

  2. Wow, that is a long comment

    Good luck reading all that

  3. at least you are aware of god's purpose for you. some people aren't aware of the purpose of their design or never see it until, well they're old.

    the point of the list was, i hope to mourn the kid they'd never had and what it would never achieve or do. if not it appears they are transferring their missed oppurtunities and ambitions onto their non existent child, always a no-no. Scoring the winning goal? 'Rock'-ing, clearly they want a kid to do what they never managed. Parents are already fucking the child up before it's born.

    You're asking some very philosophical questions for what is essentially a disney film which will warm the cockles of your heart without adressing these controversial thoughts running through anyone's heads.

    Anyhoo that seems like the kind of film I would go out of my way to avoid. I'd thank you for introducing me to the latest of Disney's live action misadventures but it has just depressed me...

  4. I'm not going to make this relevant to the comments above, but the kid wasn't doing the Sermon on Mount or acting like the second coming, he was "becoming one with nature". You know, the hippie shit where you become the Earth because the kid literally came from the Earth and has to get in "touch with it" and the kid will hopefully die in the end because of that reason and that I hate people who consider plants as people and would rather save a plant from a fire rather then a 2-year old baby being scorched alive. Well anyways, this movie seems to Disney hippie for me and the kid looks like a little ass.

  5. @Tequila: I already knew that kid with the twinkle in his eye and the laughter that summons angels. His name was Michael.