The behind-the-scenes at the White House I found interesting also - seeing as you've given a spoiler warning! The blatent lies of the President, how the main characters were encouraged to leak to the press, and how the press didn't seem to care. Vapid puppets all of them.

I also want to bring to your attention the scene around the fire, with the skateboarders. Someone there said "I'll bet they have a spaceship hidden somewhere" and someone else said "that's a conspiracy theory" or words to that affect. And indeed, the conspiracy theory was proved correct. As is happening now. Enough said.

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I deeply appreciate the emphasis on death. Daily death contemplations have been my greatest source of presence and liberation.

One request Charles, try writing a post that does not include COVID in it. It doesn't fully define you or our world. Yes, it's a beautiful and complex manifestation of our current collective and fragmented consciousness. It's a great teacher. And I think we're reaching a point where everyone (from all perspectives) has gone to the well way too many times. The chances for using it as a tool for greater illumination are running dry. Each position and voice is now in "told you so" mode and isolating any fact that will support that objective. Perhaps Climate Change will run the same course. Instead of the vaccines, it's if you just buy an electric car and use biodegradable utensils for your next party, you're all set.

I would love to hear you speak about how we break this predictable chain of reactions in the mosaic of humanity.

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I agree with your analysis completely! I also liked how the BASH CEO had an algorithm that could predict how people died, and how he told professor Mindy that he would die alone and unremarkably, while the president would be eaten by a ‘bronteroc.’ He was wrong about prof Mindy because of precisely what you are discussing, Mindy was transformed by confronting death.

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This is great, Charles. The movie reveals the insanity passing for American civilization thereby asking the audience to look for ways out of our morass -- beginning with getting rid of deadly predatory capitalism represented by the billionaire character. BUT I was dismayed by a Netflix conversation with the director and main actors. Every one of them said how weird it was to be making this movie while elements in the public refused to accept Dr Fauci's message about the pandemic, the need to wait for experimental vaccines, etc. What a waste! Apparently great acting does not translate into any independence of mind.

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I have been reading your essays for years (way before Substack). Your writing almost always moves me and teaches me a truth. This essay, in its profound truth, moved me to subscribe.

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An astute and true review. Thank you for sharing your gifts of insight and wisdom through your writing.

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Dear brother Charles, I actually like this one. I rarely watch disaster films. I am highly sensitive. I like your early para on eating dinner with the family which you have mentioned before. I still do not get how ANYONE can draw conclusions about vaccines in the midst of chaos and change. I do dislike big pharma. Caught one typo perhaps. WAVER? Or WAIVER? I crusade mildly for sanity and recognizing domination, control, projection and mirroring, mimicking in ill will in order to feed fear and dominate. I like your tone here and I love movie reviews. Be well.

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Ive always been appreciative of how deeply you questioned your own responses to life. You seemed open to staying with an earnest response, irregardless of perhaps the status quo response.

I always liked that you didn't nail down a definition of what the more beautiful world would be, what it would look like, and instead encouraged us all to trust ourselves more, to learn to listen more deeply, and be courageous to that calling.

I think I and many perhaps hoped that something big would happen to shake the world up - an economic collapse - and then Covid came to slow everything down where no climate campaign could. That period of pause, of listening to the birds again, of seeing flightless skies unblemished by planes, or canals here in the UK full of fish that otherwise would be hidden. Nature asserted herself.

I find the covid and political chatter on social media too tiresome and anxiety provoking - from both sides. Im even finding some of your more assertive essays too much. Why? because I feel somehow the noise lacks depth, and vulnerability, which are precious gifts, esp as we try and explore new and undefined ways forward. I found myself in such turmoil about whether to get the third booster jab before christmas, it was an anxious place to be in. And then after my yoga practice one morning I realised, We are all going to die. One way or another I am going to die, and I couldn't stop it. None of us knows how or when. I realised whether I took the jab was immaterial - my body is strong so id be ok, but i wouldn't be in endless disagreements with my partner who has to travel in to London for her work for the NHS. She wouldn't have to worry. but below all of that, I felt a deep well of positivity that allowed me to see it just didn't matter. Life is stronger than all of that. Its not easy to stay connected to that place or that sense of being, but that essential quality of letting go lets me turn the radio off, turn the FB off, and connect more with the stars in the night sky, or to appreciate the huge twisty old oak trees and the wind rustling thru them; and provides space to stand and take it all in, letting it hit all of me and yet not have to know anything or do anything.

So I appreciate the second half of your new essay, where you bring the latest craze movie dont look up to the last 10 minutes and the dinner table scene. Because it seems the most salient truthful point of the movie. In those moments of humanity is where we need to meet first and foremost, in deep appreciation for friends, fresh real food, reverence perhaps for a greater power than ourselves, and deep gratitude for life. That place where Braiding sweetgrass author Robin Wall-Kimmerer would say is the beginning point to recognising and celebrating our responsibility for life/to life.

I know you have made forays into spirituality, speaking more about the topic. Im convinced ever more so lately that to wade through so much polarisation, climate anxiety, fear and anger, gender confusion and cancel culture, we need a deeper spiritual resource - how else will we have the trust to let go of what we know and move towards what we don't know but together we recognise? How do we earn and learn trust between one another so that we can have a dialogue outside of our rational heads or our deeply emotive selves?

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Thanks for the write-up Charles... as always you're able to put into words what I couldn't clearly articulate myself. I've been suggesting that we almost 'all' appreciated that movie, but probably for very different reasons. There could be a lot of 'confirmation bias' in a common laughter hiding deep differences... to me, just asking friends and/or family about why they liked was again reveling of the current divide/chasm.

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This was a beautiful essay. As a teacher of the Feminine I think about this often:

How different would the world be if we weren’t terrified of and constantly trying to defy death?

How many moments do we miss attempting to defy death?

How much harm is caused?

What would be different if we knew we really had zero and I mean zero control over death?

I loved this movie.

It was hilarious and also captured the subtle and profound.


Alternative ending: the aliens come and save us. That’s the one I’m personally banking on for Earth 👽

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On note 3 -- cases are high among vaxxed because they increasingly outnumber the unvaxxed. I gladly repeat that a respiratory virus will never be eradicated by vaccinations (viz. influenza). The omicron variant has adapted by settling less lethally in lung tissue and residing primarily in the nasopharynx -- from where it spreads that much more easily.

I wish everyone would recognize and stop spreading the notion that the vaccine is intended (or advertised) to stop transmission. Only the mitigation measures can do that; the vaccine safely and effectively prevents neither infection nor transmission but rather (wait for it) severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

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Beautiful. Brings to mind “the Tibetan book of living and dying”. When we live with death in mind as a practice we live more consciously and deliberately, more in touch and not as easily manipulated.

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Oy Charles. The movie is not about ego death at any level. It is literally about the extinction of life on earth due to the stupidity of some human beings to not believe what their own are eyes are simply showing them. It also brings to light the dangerous and vain manipulation by politicians, the media, and big tech, who themselves execute an escape plan even though they don’t publicly acknowledge it. It’s spot on satire. Don’t read too much into it.

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Actually turned this movie off once I detected yet another scolding of "climate change/we must listen now!" Then a good friend of mine said last week "No, there's more. Watch the whole thing." So I did.

Well alright then. Death is real, duh. Life is sweet & simple. Death is always with us. Either one accepts this or one goes mad with fear as it expands in depth from its' biologically necessary momentary occurrence into a painful state of "free-floating anxiety" (a fitting term that I've been seeing lately). From constant fear, hate soon follows and here we are preparing to re-visit upon our brethren the horrors of history.

Certainly understandable though, and very (tragically) human-- it's much easier to take steps against perceived "enemies out there" than to contend with & face down terror of death within oneself.

We look to each other and find no comfort. Everyone is afraid of dying. Some predatory human then arrives on the scene having noticed an open field of frightened gazelles and puts on a gazelle mask then charismatically shouts "Hey! Over here! I shall deliver thee from thy unrest! Follow me!"

What makes a person play "follow the leader"? Fear.

What makes a person want to harm those who refuse to play "follow the leader"? Hate.

What allows a "normal" person to harm others with a clear conscience? "Everybody is doing it."

Fear and hate are all the rage now. We will cancel you. Buck the tide at your peril. You dare sit down with your unfiltered fellow man at a dinner table and peacefully enjoy each others' company? You shall face the consequences!

Another metaphor in the movie is "those who deny reality at all costs have no choice but to leave the ground and float off somewhere into a toxic fantasy realm where they become food for monsters."

If it's not love

Then it's the bomb

Then it's the bomb that will bring us together

-- The Smiths "Ask Me"

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Jan 10, 2022·edited Jan 10, 2022

Brilliant, moving and relevant analysis of this film that I wish everyone could read.

Your essays consistently trigger an opening in my heart and soul and help me to reconnect to my own humanity. I become so numb that I can no longer cry at things that once brought me to tears. I can barely feel my body with or without pain. I can barely think straight and function in society and only manage to do so by being on autopilot. And then I see your essay arrive in my inbox and it's like an instant infusion of sense-making in a world that has lost its mind. I'm so very grateful for your words and your soulfulness, Charles. So grateful to have met you and to have learned from you all these years through your essays, books and videos. Big hugs from one human being to another. <3

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The manipulation we suffer I think finds its truth within the satire of the movie , I think it shows the devil in the machine is'nt necessarily Trump or Bill Gates , but sadly ourselves . Our supper reliance on a comfortable world in itself creates the problem . We have created a false oasis between the oceans which is not enjoyed by those outside of it . The truth of this relays concentrically maybe within this oasis itself as there are levels of divide to support its black heart , every city is serviced by those who live in its ghettos . This modelling of modern cultures and societies is not new just an age old model that established itself as we expressed and gave witness to the worse remnants of animal survival . This model needs to be changed now and its not a rebellion that calls for destruction and the 'guillotine ' , a change that is forged through expression of our most evolved human characteristcs of love , compassion and as Charles mentions our vulnerability by acceptance of death .

For those who remain unvaxxed is there real concern for the worlds that exist beyond our perimeters, is vaccine the real problem or will you stand tall for humanity and yet buy a new phone soon which uses cobalt in its design that children have died for in the third world . For those who are vaxxed ( i include myself ) when we que for the third booster or 4 th booster are we asking ourselves why those outside of the perimeter are not recieving even a first dose , if its a pandemic then indeed its world phenomenon and any vaccine efficency would have to be exacted internationally and beyond the comfortable .

In truth the films message could be a message which is a 'vaccine' to the virus of greed that vaccine is labelled " Shame on us " !!

Why cant our scientists come to an agreement around the divine ' scientific method ' , if we dot vaccinate then stop vaccinating the world and if we vaccinate lets make it fair . If either of these decision s were given a fair share to the whole world , then it may be like this two scenarios ; we watch the world die of vaccination mistake - together as one , or we watch the world die of COVID together as one . The beautiful world expression at the end of the film seems to express that our true evolved humanity is a beautiful thing and not a dark survival boxing match with anyone outside of our world . Thank goodness we have'nt found a rich mineral world inhabited by simple tribes of aliens otherwise we would have exploited them by now , did'nt we all the unvaxxed and the vaxxed do that in Africa already ??

The time really has come to value our evolution and come together

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