Remembering "Soylent Green"...
I don't know if any of you are old enough to remember a movie from 1973 starring Charlton Heston called Soylent Green, but I do. It has been finding it's way to the forefront of my mind lately and I think there is a good, if scary, reason why. I had to refresh my memory on the plot from Wikipedia to make sure I remember it correctly. The story takes place in the year 2022, The population has grown to forty million people in New York City alone. Most of the housing is dilapidated and overcrowded, and the homeless fill the streets and line the fire escapes and stairways of buildings. To try and deal with the population, the government has created assisted suicide clinics. Food as we know it in present times is a rare and expensive commodity. Most of the world's population survives on processed rations produced by the massive Soylent Corporation, including Soylent Red and Soylent Yellow, which are advertised as "high-energy vegetable concentrates." The newest product is Soylent Green, a small green wafer which is advertised as being produced from "high-energy plankton." It is much more nutritious and palatable than the red and yellow varieties, but, like most other food, it is in short supply, which often leads to food riots. Heston plays Robert Thorn a detective with the NYPD and is assigned to investigate a murder.
Does any of this sound just a little familiar? This movie was made 38 years ago, and it takes place 11 years from now. While Thorn is investigating the murder of one of the directors of the Soylent Comany, he starts getting too close and a hit is put out on him. His roommate, Roth, discovers that the worldwide oceans have died and can no longer produce the plankton from which Soylent Green is officially said to be made. Obviously the government has been lying. So where are they getting the stuff to make Soylent Green? Not wanting to spoil it for those who haven't seen the movie, I won't say any more.
Heston's last words in the movie are to spread the word about Soylent Green. He realized that the people needed to know. Secrets are deadly. This may be an old movie but it's still very relevant today. Our homeless and unemployed numbers are increasing. Food and gas prices continue to rise. They were talking about greenhouse gases even then. Look at the pollution of our lakes, rivers, and streams. Money for the poor, elderly, and disabled is constantly being cut, especially in California. Yet, you don't see those in office taking pay cuts. We are being squeezed to the max not only by the government and big business, but by our own greed and apathy.
It's not far-fetched at all, Soylent Green. The only ones who can change things are "we the people ". We have to speak up and start saying "NO! " We have to stop taking everything we are told, read in the paper, or see on television at face value. We have to start asking some serious questions. Yes, I am from that generation who's motto was "Question Authority". Absolute power DOES corrupt absolutely. No one should have carte blanche...no one. And while it's great to always be there to help others, we cannot forget our own who are suffering at home.
Remember Soylent Green...lest it become a reality.
Buy the movie
The is the year 2022. Overcrowding, pollution, and resource depletion have reduced society's leaders to finding food for the teeming masses. The answer is Soylent Green - an artificial nourishment whose actual ingredients are not known by the public. Thorn is the tough homicide detective who stumbles onto the secret so terrifying no one would dare believe him.