Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Kimsgman Smashes Deep Green Ecology
For a guy who speaks with a lisp, Valentine is a scary dude.
Samuel L Jackson chews the scenery with the best of them and perhaps has more fun doing it than any of them. In Kingsman: The Secret Service he looks like he's having more fun doing it than he's ever had before.
In Kingsman Valentine essentially serves as the backdrop for the story of the transformation of Gary "Eggsy" Unwan (Taron Eggerton) from down-and-out urban lowlife into gentleman spy. Acting as his Fairy Godfather is Harry Hart (Colin Firth), known within the Kingsmen as Galahad.
Hart recruits Eggsy to replace Lancelot, a Kinsman killed by Valentine at the beginning of the film. By film's end Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong giving his most singularly awesome performance to date) are all that stands between Valentine and the destruction of nearly all human life on Earth.
Valentine, you see, is a deep green ecologist who believes that humanity is a virus, and that the planet can heal itself after humanity is mostly extinct.
Of course he doesn't plan to exterminate himself, his friends, or a very select group of international celebrities and dignitaries who are going along with his plan.
They never do.
And I say that because the premise of Valentine's role in the film is not entirely fictional. Deep green ecologists -- who literally believe that a decrease in the human population is necessary in order for the planet to flourish -- really do exist.
Not all of them believe in exterminating human life. Some of them do. Some observers have even adopted a separate term for people with such beliefs: dark ecologists. Dark ecologists exist as a deranged and violent subset of deep green ecologists, who venerate eco-terrorists such as Ted Kaczynski or Wiebo Ludwig.
What separates deep green ecologists from dark ecologists? In my opinion, one thing: deep green ecologists are willing to wait for human life to be reduced through attrition. I disagree with this, but I don't consider it especially threatening. Dark ecologists are not content to wait for such things, and are perfectly willing to kill.
There are only two things that separate dark ecologists from the villain of Kingsman. First, the obvious cartoonishness of the film -- something that characters in the film brilliantly remark about throughout the film. Secondly, dark ecologists are so far removed from any kind of power that a global mass slaughter is simply not plausible for them.
But if they were ever permitted to attain power, the results could be absolutely catastrophic.
The deep green ecology movement will always be a bunch of Malthusian whackjobs. They can at least earn themselves some moral and ethical capital by rooting out, isolating and expelling any dark ecologists in their midst.
If they instead shelter these dark ecologists, deep green ecologists should be treated as no less psychotic than their more murderous compatriots.
After all, it isn't Valentine's lisp that makes him scary.