Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wall-E's heart

Love must be so potent that even a machine can feel it! Does it really matter if we have a human heart or an idea of a heart or just a concept of love?

Watching Wall-E made my heart swell. I felt the "kilig" feeling even if it was two machines falling in love. Love can even turn machines into loving beings ... some people have become machines in a sense. I don't know if that was the thrust of the movie as it tackled many issues - for one, ecological sustainability.

Wall-E is a robot with a "directive" to clean up the earth by compacting trash into manageable blocks and stacked to clear up the clutter. Meanwhile on the Axiom, a spaceship, the people of the earth had been "externally" displaced for 700 years because of an inhabitable earth. Another story of exodus and exile!

The earth had become a universe of garbage and the toxicity levels had reached critical height that life was no longer sustainable. Sounds familiar? Kyoto Protocol and global warming aside, look at the world you live in? Are you doing your part to throw that little piece of garbage? Do you recycle? Do you turn off the faucet when you brush your teeth? Do you care about the environment?

We are all responsible somehow for our environment. We don't live in a bubble thus our actions have ripple effects. I was so happy when I saw the sign (hehe ... like Ace of Base) in Manila "Munting basura, ibulsa muna" (Little piece of garbage, put it in your pocket). I was always so irritated by passengers on a jeep, people on the street and drivers who threw away their candy wrappers on the street yet sweep their front yards and get angry at people who throw things in their yard. We all have to do our part even if it's keeping that little piece of garbage in your pocket. Would it kill one to keep that garbage on one's person until one sees a garbage can? Because if you multiply that candy wrapper by the number of people that do it, it adds up, to a mountain of garbage.

I once went to a landfill and the stench was horrible. I also saw the mutation it caused on the animals around. What more for the humans!

Going back to Wall-E, he was a machine with a penchant for all that is human. He watched dances, tried to do them and also collected human artefacts like Ariel in Little Mermaid. And it was on earth that he met Eve, another robot with a "directive" to find a living thing to prove that once more the earth sustained life. When she finally sees the plant that Wall-E gives her, she shuts down and waits for the ship to get her to return on the Axiom. Wall-E wouldn't let her go that easily. It was so sweet. It could almost be a human love story. So he braves the galaxies to find Eve and he does and loses his life fighting for her directive. She then realizes the value of Wall-E and falls "in love" with him while at the same time becoming a fugitive of law and releasing the "misfits" of machines. It doesn't seem different from a modern-day drama!!!

So the whole Axiom is jeopardized as the autopilot mutinies! The captain learns of earth and decides to return at all costs. And then they land and start life anew on earth. And they lived happily ever after. :)

Going back to love and ecological sustainability. Wall-E and Eve shared a love for their purpose. They both accomplished it while the love growing between them blossomed. They helped each other achieve their purpose. This could be referenced in today's world too. We are called to help one another and to care for the environment that we live in. Not just the ecological environment but the environment of people we meet every day.

We not only face the material garbage but the many emotional dumping we subject ourselves too. Oftentimes, we are blinded, just like the people on Axiom by the things that appear to be the "norm" and never really looking beyond a certain "reality". But like Wall-E, I hope that something will cause each one of us to look beyond our comfort zones and to see what's really out there and to ask ourselves, what can we do to help maintain all that comprises our environment?

Wall-E in his human clumsiness awakened the senses of some humans on Axiom and this made them realize how beautiful life really is. I thought that was very moving. Life is beautiful. There's so much to love and enjoy. There's so many opportunities to destroy life as well as to help build and sustain it.

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