Quoting another source semi-verbatim isn’t my style, but with the proper citation and it being only a little bit of quoting, we should be able to swing this by the legal department. If there’s a problem, please ask nicely and this post can be modified.
But there’s a reason it’s worth quoting, it’s great writing and speaking. The text is from Piers Bizony‘s book on the making of 2001 A Space Odyssey. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has any interest in aviation, space, movies, science fiction, science, anything technical, or anything having to do with behavior. I fall into 5 of those categories. You’ll want to buy it because it’s too good to share.
First, paraphrasing only slightly, we have Marvin Minsky, the expert from MIT advising Kubrick who had no problem understanding that the emptiness of 2001’s dialogue was intentional
” … And after the momentous statement that the monolith must have been deliberately buried, one of the astronauts says, “Well, how about a little coffee?” Kubrick’s idea is that the universe is too majestic for short sighted people.”
Now, here’s the good part where I’m trying to be as faithful to Bizony as I can; Kubrick’s wife, Christiane, speaking about her husband’s intentions.
“Stanley thought we are always falling behind our scientific and technical achievements. We are very good at making more and more things – but to do what with? We haven’t kept up, psychologically and philosophically. We are not profound. We are still getting away with the most boring entertainments. We are shallow, and we know it. We suffer from it. The choices we make are not satisfying. Our sins are all of omission – of not doing the more interesting things that we could do. There is a lethargy, a lack of energy and concentration that prevents us from reaching the key point where we are as creative and perceptive as we would really wish to be. We are in the terrible position of being smart enough to know that we are not smart enough. For instance, we still can’t imagine, “What is God?” So in 2001 we see fantastic tools of communication. People can speak over zillions of miles, but nobody has anything to say. So we pretend. We live in a little world of nonsense and send each other funny photos and cute stories, with this enormous technology. “Happy Birthday,” and so on, when nobody seems to care, or react. It’s very melancholy – although two things we really can do. War and pornography we’re good at.”
Bizony then distills much of Kubrick’s angst.
“2001, so optimistic on the surface, is in fact a morally complex movie. Either we will bore ourselves to death while our machines sneak in through the back door and take over; or else we will blow ourselves to hell, our modern minds still compromised by an instinctive taste for aggression. It seems we have to keep fighting to survive. And we have to stop fighting to survive.”
page 421, Piers Bizony, The Making of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey, published by Taschen, 2015
PS – For goodness sake, if you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, please do both of those first, and as soon as possible.