Free Guy – No, Free us All

It seems curiously fitting that while I’m writing about a refreshingly subversive movie, that New Zealand is on the verge of a L4 lockdown. But no, I’m not saying that because I’m yearning to be free to recklessly catch covid and infect my community. More that the fact that we have lockdowns at all shows how much the world has changed. And how much people can change the world if we want to.

The whole veneer of Hollywood BS is an extremely thick coating on this one. It was a bit much for me, leaving a saccharine taste that hasn’t entirely disappeared. But scratch the surface and it’s not the same old folksy pull yourselves up by you bootlaces BS. (Although clearly there was a bit of that.)

Scratching the Surface

So, now having said this was a deeply flawed movie, why am I even doing a movie review? That’s not my shtick. Generally I couldn’t care less to analyse any movie, let alone a shallow blockbuster. But this was special. For a start it wasn’t that shallow—because even though the stated premise is one of individuals taking chances and moving beyond their comfort zone, that’s not the only theme that was on the table. Yes, someone was clever enough to get a massive film budget for one of the most subversive movies I’ve seen. One that mirrored our own world brilliantly

A world hijacked by thieves and scoundrels.

A ridiculous villain whose only care was money and who thought they ran the world, but couldn’t see beyond their own cult of personality.

An unrealised world of near magical potential, hidden by smoke, mirrors, conformity and meaningless jobs. One where ordinary people cannot catch a break, or save money, and are exploited by a class that avoid the consequences of their actions.

Sound familiar? It sure does to me, and I can’t help but think if we can imagine a better world, it’s right there, waiting for us. But we have to act fast.

It’s time to unleash all of us. It’s time to unleash a UBI. Time to start looking after our planet and our people, and to remember an economy isn’t about money—it’s about creating a place for communities to thrive.

A.J.

PS If you want to read something a little bit subversive, Prophecy and Omens are not only fun satiric epic fantasy, but there’s a little bit in there for rebels who want a better world. 🙂

PPS If you don’t believe UBI will help free us all, here are some of the benefits of “Mincome” the Ontario study:


Recipients reported improvements in their physical and mental health, labour
market participation, food security, housing stability, financial status and social
relationships.
Meant less frequent visits to health practitioners and hospital emergency rooms.
Was transformational, fundamentally reshaping living standards, sense of self-worth and hope for a better future.
Those working before the pilot reported even greater improvements on some measures of well-being than those who were not working before. The difference being the ability to move to higher paying and more secure jobs.

For more on UBI:

https://www.pri.org/stories/2020-06-16/canadian-universal-basic-income-experiment-has-been-life-changing-those

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200624-canadas-forgotten-universal-basic-income-experiment

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