You know, when you stop and look at it, one film in Pixar’s catalogue truly shows us the dangers of the rampant consumerism in today’s culture. It’s a statement on the human desire to accumulate more and more and more useless stuff that just becomes garbage, meaningless trash that eventually cycles back to becoming meaningless trash. And that movie is– [playing advertisements] Ka-chow!! Thunder Hollow challenge — quick fix Each sold separately– other cars each sold separately– each sold separately– batteries not included– Each sold separately– each sold separately. (seperately doesn’t look like a word at this point lol) Cars. Hello, internet! Welcome to Film Theory: the show that does the dirty work of sifting through mountains of detail with the efficiency of a Wall-E robot. Which is to say, not very efficiently at all, but hey, at least we try really hard. :3 You know, if there’s one thing to say about my favorite Pixar movie Wall-E, it’s that it’s not exactly subtle with its theme. The earth has been transformed into a post-apocalyptic wasteland; left in a ruined state by humanity’s wasteful consumerism. And not in a cool way like Sakaar in Thor: Ragnarok. Plastic sporks, Rubik’s cubes, leftover Twinkies, the kinds of trash that you and I produce on a daily basis litter every square inch of the planet. The message is beaten over our head: “We didn’t take care of our earth, and now you’ve inherited our problems. Other guy: ‘We didn’t listen!’ “We didn’t listen!” Every soup tin that you toss, every banana peel you give the slip, and every Diet Coke can that gets canned is part of the problem. You, you dear viewers sitting in the theater, eating your jumbo tub of popcorn and your mega sized Coke, have made this earth uninhabitable with your wanton lust for more. More stuff, more things, and now, humanity has been forced to take to the stars while these innocent little robots :3 have been forced to clean up our mess for the last 700 years. [BnL Starliner Ad] BnL Starliner, leaving each day. We’ll clean up the mess while you’re away! This movie wants to give us a wake-up call. To get us to go green and keep blue.™ To crush us with guilt every time we get an Amazon order and see all those little air pouches that come packaged with it that you just gotta pop, b– before you can throw them all away, ’cause they take up so much damn room in the garbage! And while I hope all the Theorists out there are for environmental responsibility, there’s one thing that I’ve learned from years of watching movies and TV shows, and that’s: You can’t believe everything you’re told at face value. (The Theorist’s Code) And Wall-E here, for as much as I love it, is no exception. 🙁 When you actually stop and question the events of the movie, you start to realize that something sinister is afoot. *muah-ha-ha* A planet covered in garbage is just one part of a larger conspiracy in the Pixar universe, and today I’m gonna prove to you that everything we’ve been led to believe about Wall-E and its trash-filled cities is complete and total GARBAGE. In the opening scenes of Wall-E, we see abandoned buildings, light poles, street signs and other indicators that this was once a thriving metropolis. This indicates the breakdown of one of the most basic things required for a modern city to function: a waste management system that transports waste out of the city towards landfills. I don’t know if you’ve ever stopped to think about it, but nearly all of a city’s trash is transported out of the city to landfills that could be hundreds to landfills that could be hundreds or even thousands of miles away from city limits. And though that might seem like a dirty business, both literally and figuratively, waste disposal is big money. Contractors get into bidding wars over the ability to take away a city’s trash. “And then, I start eating garbage. I’m the trash man.” Because not only does it allow you to collect on a city’s tax dollars – you know, all that stuff that’s taken out your paycheck for sanitation expenses – but landfill waste actually tends to produce methane gas, which many landfills are designed to capture and turn back into electricity. Just two landfill gas to energy facilities can generate enough electricity to power 16,000 homes. So basically, trash collectors are double dipping: payment to take out the garbage, and then extra payment for selling electricity made from that garbage back to the city. It’s a fantastic business. If, in Wall-E, humanity can afford to create rockets that transport everyone off the planet, then it can absolutely, very easily afford to have trucks deliver trash to landfills. As long as there is space literally anywhere in the world, we’re not gonna have the problem that’s depicted in Wall-E Which means that, for the situation to have gotten this bad, the world must have run out of space for landfills. Except, that one isn’t gonna be true either. You see, trash is a problem that people in science and business have been studying for a long time. One of those people was the self-proclaimed garbologist Dr William Rathje. An archaeologist professor at University of Arizona who turned his powers of archaeology not toward studying dinosaur bones or millennia old human remains, but studying the way that humans manage and treat trash. Hey, not all archaeologists are gonna be Indiana Jones, okay? [Indiana Jones] That belongs in a museum! According to an article by Dr. Rathje in Smithsonian Magazine, the total amount of land mass needed to contain all of our trash isn’t that large. A single landfill 120 feet deep and 44 miles square would be able to handle the US’ waste for the next hundred years. Now, granted, that’s a landfill the size of Delaware, which sounds like a lot, but remember that’s our second smallest state. It’s one twentieth of one percent of the US’ total landmass. Point-zero-zero-zero-five. And that’s to handle all of the waste created by the entire US for a hundred years. If we kept filling landfills at the same rate we do now, after ten thousand years we would still have only covered five percent of our total available area. TEN THOUSAND YEARS LATER! In short, the prospect of running out of space for all our trash any time near the future just isn’t realistic and certainly not realistic in the seven hundred year future of Wall-E. Not even in the ten thousand year hypothetical future. Besides, by the time humanity gets that far, we’ll probably have other ways of dealing with trash. More efficient ways. Or, you know, just launching it into space and sending it out into the Sun, but I know what you’re thinking. All of that is at our current rate, right? What about the future? We’re gonna get more and more wasteful and generate more and more garbage as the years go on, right? That’s what I was thinking too, but when you actually sit down and do the research, this assumption turns out to be incorrect. For as weird as it might seem, as time goes on and our society becomes more advanced, the amount of waste we produce goes downward. Every year, we’re figuring out ways to make our packaging more and more efficient. In the 1950s, we replaced heavy and dense glass bottles with plastic bottles. Then we replaced those plastic bottles with thinner bottles. You see it all the time on items like water bottles: this bottle is designed to use 20% less plastic. And this waste reduction is all thanks to companies being run under the idea that green is good. But, uh, not environmental green. huhaaehauah nohohohoho It’s not nearly that altruistic of a goal. MONEY! Money green is good. When a company figures out how to make a bottle with 20% less plastic, sure, it’s good for the environment, but it’s also good for the bottom line. It means they saved money by manufacturing 20% less plastic. Packaging foam gets slimmer every year. Why? Not because companies care about the environment, but because the less packaging material you use, the less it costs, and the more items that you can fit into a shipping container or a warehouse. This is one of the places where businesses driven by profit actually make the world more sustainable, even when they’re not intentionally trying to be environmentally friendly. “Being green” simply nets you more green. Our intuition would say that more development equals more consumption equals more waste, but in the world right now, less advanced societies tend to produce more waste because they don’t benefit from all the innovations that we have in producing more efficient packaging; food preservation techniques like refrigeration; and a transportation network that ensures that food is always getting to the people who are able to use it, rather than being unsold and left to rot. The average person living in New York City right now generates less waste than a person living in Mexico City. In short, as the world gets more and more technologically developed, we’re gonna produce less and less waste, not more. Even things like saving paper! We do things all digitally now, so we’ve saved tons and tons of paper! All of this: the obvious profit motives that companies have to deal with our city’s trash problem; the indirect profit motive of companies wanting to use less materials and make things more efficient and the relatively small amount of land mass it would take to create a landfill to deal with it all makes it seem like the futuristic dystopia that we see in Wall-E should be impossible. There is no way a city could fill up with garbage like this this quickly unless this was intentionally what you were trying to do, but that would be stupid, right? Who would intentionally want to fill up a planet with garbage? “BnL Starlighters, leaving each day! We’ll clean up the mess while you’re away!” “Too much garbage in your face? There’s plenty of space out in space!” “Because at BnL, space is the final frontier!” [garbled] “Too much garbage in your face?” “So, get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!” “The Axiom is waiting and the stars are calling.” “BnL!” That’s right, the company responsible for the Wall-E program that’s supposed to clean up the Earth’s trash problem was the one that intentionally created the Earth’s trash problem to begin with. Why? Well, it’s simple. By getting the Earth’s population Onto Buy n Large Starliners like the Axiom, Buy n Large has what marketers refer to as a captive audience people who have no choice but to consume your products and your advertisements. On board the Starliner, the company has an absolute monopoly over humanity with no opportunity for competition. Everything about these people’s lives, from the entertainment they’re viewing to the food they consume, is all managed by this one single mega corporation. Children are even indoctrinated from early childhood to consume Buy n Large products. [robotic voice] “B is for Buy n Large.” Everyone seems to think that humanity’s rampant consumerism inadvertently turned the earth into the uninhabitable wasteland that it is. That the BnL Starliners were the solution the company came up with to solve it. But look at the way the BnL Starliners are advertised: they show people living in luxury, almost like space is a getaway vacation. This doesn’t look like a disaster relief program at all. It looks like a space cruise that was designed as a way to siphon people’s cash away, but there’s just one problem with that. Not everyone is willing to go to space. A survey by the Manpower Research Agency found that only 32% of workers would be willing to permanently relocate overseas, even if it meant getting a better job and advancing their career. If only 32% of people are willing to cross the border for a better life, how many fewer people would be willing to leave the entire planet and everyone they know and love for the unknowns of outer space? No, it’s not enough to entice people off the planet. When no one was willing to go on their expensive space cruises, they needed to find a way to force people off of the planet, and what better way than to turn every city into a huge contamination zone. And not only did they have the motive, they have the means to do it. They’re the largest seller of goods in the Pixar forest So, they could very easily create less efficient products. Then, they would throttle the sanitation supply. I mean, you see it in Up. Buy n Large controls construction companies. So, chances are they could also control the waste disposal companies, too. Because what’s better than saving a couple bucks by being green? Well, stealing everyone’s lifetime income by keeping them captive on your space cruiser. In Wall-E, we see the world reduced to a desolate wasteland and all this time we’ve been led to believe that this was something that happened because of us. Because humanity was careless and wasteful and didn’t look after the environment, but the truth is far more sinister. It was Buy n Large – corporate greed that caused this to happen. This, without a doubt, solidifies Buy n Large as the most sinister Pixar villain of all time. I mean, sure, Syndrome killed a few people, but Buy n Large killed an entire planet. Now go out and recycle a can – our fate hangs in the balance. But hey, that’s just a theory: a film theory! Aaaaaaaaand CUT! So, those are the awful things that Buy n Large did on planet earth. If you want to see the even more horrific things they did once they got humanity up in space, click the box to the left for the Wall-E cannibalism theory. Or, if you want to see my take on the Pixar connected universe theory, that box is to the right. And make sure you subscribe! 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