Alfred Hitchcock, the End of the World, and Climate Change Hucksters
When I am unable to fall asleep due to the stress of worrying about the state of our country’s politics, rising anti-Semitism, and global conflicts (for instance), I have found a respite allowing me to escape for a brief period – MeTV is now my late night go to channel as it takes me back to the good old days of simplicity, genius, and less divisive times.
I have found that Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone episodes were extremely prescient in predicting much of what causes us angst today and I wrote about that many years ago in an article I entitled The Obama Zone. But one episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents recently struck me as a timely and prophetic analysis of what the world could look like if Al Gore, Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez, and Greta Thunberg have their way.
In The Night the World Ended, a gullible old man named Johnny, finds himself the subject of a practical joke in which a mean-spirited newspaper man shares a fake paper with the blaring headline “WORLD ENDS TONIGHT – 11:45.” In the fake news article, Johnny learns that the “best astronomers agree” that Mars was pulled out of its orbit due to sudden gravitational pulls from the sun and the world has three hours left before it collides with Earth. As Johnny leaves the bar fretting that he only has a few hours left to live, the rest of the group laugh. “What the devil does he got to be scared about; his world ended years ago,” one replies.
Well, at least Earthlings today were given a bit more notice of our planet’s impending demise by the climate change jokesters. (And most of us still have something left to live for.) According to the “settled” scientific consensus of today’s leading “experts” (i.e., hucksters), we only have 11 years to get our act together. After that, well, all hell breaks loose and scenes from the movie Independence Day and the like will look like utopia based on what poor little Greta Thunberg stays up at night worrying about. (Note that there is one thing over which I did not mention losing sleep… climate change.)
But what makes Gore, et al so successful in their scam of the public is their infliction of a similar type of panic on people who may or may not have had lives before this charade began but who certainly lost them once they jumped on the panic wagon and found their new religion that has consumed their lives and psyches. Frighteningly, they have reached our young people who used to have optimism with their entire lives ahead of them. The hucksters yanked that away.
Look at Greta. At 16 years old, her parents and teachers have spent her entire life indoctrinating her with the belief that the world is ending and that the adults stole it from her. She is not alone. Thousands of children, the world over, took to the streets last month with similar beliefs and fears. This is no Chicken Little fable; this is the real deal and their adult-inflicted hysteria is criminal. While scientists and politicians make money and gain votes off of the climate change lies they propagate, they are literally stealing the life away from young people, old people, smart and ignorant people, rich and poor – across the world. No matter that every prediction since the early 1970’s has been wrong. They keep making more up and finding more gullible individuals to buy into their fearmongering.
What makes this Hitchcock episode so powerful in the context of today’s hysteria is the portrayal of human nature when people believe their days are numbered. Chaos and crime fill the void when certainty and the rule of law are no longer relevant. As Johnny begins to process the inevitable, he suggests that the owner of the local liquor store give him a free bottle of the good stuff because, “all of us ought to do something good for the little time we got left; something decent.”
Alas, if only the climate hysterics viewed their role in such a light, they might take their words a bit more seriously. Al Gore and his Hollywood minions hypocritically preaching to the rest of us would use their money, mansions, and private jets to the betterment of the indigent, despondent, disabled, wounded warriors, and a sundry of others less fortunate. And if only those in panic mode did the same; but that is not human nature. The hucksters who know the world is not ending go about their lives with abandonment. But for their marks, the stooges who believe they have limited days to live, hope and decency morph into desperation.
Which is what Johnny did as he goes on a crime spree stealing from the local liquor store, swigging out of a bottle as he attempts to numb the fear, frightening an innocent spinster who kindly took him in, and co-opting orphaned children into looting a local department store. Johnny scares away his new friend when he shares how happy he is to have someone to be with until the world blows up as it feels “kinda peaceful.” She calls Johnny insane, screaming for help as he flees. (Would that everyone recognize the insanity of Greta et al while throwing them out of civic and governmental enterprises and public squares.)
Perhaps Gore and the others find themselves in peace knowing that they’ve brainwashed so many sheeple to assist them in their practical joke on mankind. Unfortunately, their motivation is more sinister and selfish – like the nasty newspaper man who sent Johnny into a panic destroying what is left of his life with nary a thought other than sheer disdain for such a lowly worthless victim.
Johnny’s gullibility leads to the ultimate crime of murder for which he seemingly feels little remorse since what is life worth if the Earth is about to end? But the joke is ultimately on the huckster as Johnny makes his way to a newsstand, sees the morning papers reporting everything but the world coming to an end and realizes he has been tricked. Johnny returns to the bar – at 11:45 - gun in hand, “Every joke’s gotta have a payoff Mr. Halloran. This joke’s got a payoff too.”
Will Gore, AOC, and others in positions of power and influence have a payoff coming to them when the world doesn’t end in 11 years? Probably not. Gore successfully started a movement from which we cannot easily turn back as he has made tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars while living large. While no one really takes AOC seriously, she’ll probably be as old as Maxine Waters when she finally leaves public office – just as stupid (and self-righteous) as she is today. Greta may jump off a bridge before the 11 years are up given her hysterical displays, but she will more likely find herself a millionaire as she goes on speaking tours attempting to guilt us climate “deniers” into silence (she has already enjoyed a yacht ride to the U.S.). But everyone propagating these lies are mean-spirited hucksters who do not give a darn about the rest of us. We are simply here for their amusement -- and brainwashing as we hand over our money and our futures to feed their power-hungry aspirations.
I do hope Hitchcock’s moral to this story eventually comes true. Not the murder part, obviously. But a payoff for everyone who has destroyed the hopes and dreams of young people and wreaked havoc on the world’s economy, the scientific community, and entire industries that have impacted the lives of all of us fortunate enough to live in a world not even close to ending anytime soon let alone “years ago” like poor Johnny or years from now like poor Greta ignorantly fears.