‘Jurassic Park’ or Laurel and Hardy?

Which movie is a more telling metaphor for the secular humanist enterprise–Jurassic Park or Laurel and Hardy in The Music Box?

In Jurassic Park we see what happens when very smart people with unlimited money behind them think that if they spend enough money, and employ powerful technology, they can do anything, no matter how impossible it seems. Says the park’s owner, John Hammond (played by Richard Attenborough), “Creation is an act of will!”

Well, yeah–if you’re God. Otherwise it’s just a bunch of idiots playing God and getting into trouble. Hammond’s motto is, “We spared no expense.” As if you could buy omnipotence.

In The Music Box–released in 1932, and going on to win an Oscar–Laurel and Hardy have to transport a piano to a house located atop a very long and very steep flight of concrete steps. Actually, this could have been done fairly easily. But Stan and Ollie continually create their own problems, defeating themselves at every turn. It’s only 30 minutes long, and if you haven’t seen it, you’ve missed one of the funniest half-hours ever filmed.

But the lesson is that problems that could be solved don’t get solved–not when the people handling those problems are nitwits. With God all things are possible. With the current leaders of the Western world, no things are possible.  Laurel and Hardy’s piano-moving business has expanded to branch offices in Washington, Brussels, Peking, and every other world capital. What they did to Billy Gilbert‘s living room, their descendants in Congress are doing to our national economy.

Every so often, the wheels fall off the humanist go-kart, and we get a world war or a depression. Sorta like the dinosaurs getting loose in Jurassic Park and eating everybody. And what do we hear from our leaders? The same as we hear from John Hammond: “Next time it’ll be perfect!”

And if that doesn’t work, they can always fall back on, “Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!”

11 comments on “‘Jurassic Park’ or Laurel and Hardy?

  1. Brilliant analysis, Lee. I did see the piano moving episode with the losers, and yep, it is funny, but it also frustrates me to see such idiocy in action, even though I know it is all in fun. Still aggravates me, silly me.
    The arrogance of the people of Jurassic Park, that aggravates me too.
    I guess I’m not that easily entertained. sigh…

    1. You’ve got to admit Stan Laurel was a genius at simulating idiocy. The ones we’ve got now aren’t simulating anything.

    2. You’re so right, Lee. Stan and Ollie were intentionally idiotic. It was their shtick. The morons in D.C. and beyond are trying to portray wisdom, while all the while, blatant idiocy is the result.

  2. The mention of Abbott and Costello brought to mind one of the funniest skits I think I’ve ever heard – and on of the cleverest too – “Who’s On First?”

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