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Matt Damon Brings Elysium Nonsense to Letterman

Because nothing packs a theater like a guilt trip, right?

by
Walter Hudson

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August 2, 2013 - 12:00 pm
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Try as I may to give the upcoming Neill Blomkamp sci-fi actioner Elysium the benefit of the doubt, the more I hear from star Matt Damon, the more I stand convinced the film could have just as easily been titled Occupy Space Station. Promoting the project on the Late Show with David Letterman this week, Damon joked about his 2012 flop Promised Land, a film produced on the presumption that American audiences love a good yarn railing against oil fracking. “You and I are the only ones who saw it,” he told Letterman after the host claimed to have liked the environmental tale.

Naturally, when one movie preaching against the evils of capitalism and development fails, Hollywood tries and tries again. Damon describes the forthcoming Elysium as an attempt to cloak the social commentary of Promised Land in sci-fi garb. Truth be told, the tactic may work. The science fiction and fantasy genres boast a long history of controversial social and political themes going back to 1951′s The Day the Earth Stood Still. Stick forehead ridges or antennae on a painted head and you can recast real-life tensions with alien stakeholders, lowering audience resistance to embedded ideas through making the players unreal.

Letterman turned serious on the topic of fracking, making the ridiculous claim that “water is disappearing from the planet [because of fracking], we’ve poisoned and drained the great aquifers underneath the great plains.” Damon took the opportunity to tout his non-profit, which seeks “safe water and the dignity of a toilet for all, in our lifetime.” The hand-wringing commenced.

Every 21 seconds, a child under the age of 5 dies because they lack access to clean water and sanitation.

The irony of Damon’s concern takes shape when we consider his opposition to capitalism, development, and the free-market process. All of these things enable the world’s poor to rise and enjoy the benefits of modern civilization.

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Top Rated Comments   
"I stopped going to the bathroom, and I did that for about six months"

The explosion must've been a thing to behold; even a HazMat Team wouldn't touch it...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Damon didn't use a bathroom for six months. He must be awfully constipated. Or if he went outside, I hope he brought a plastic bag with him, like we do for our dog. I admit, it amuses me to think of Damon out there squatting with the neighborhood dogs. I don't think our homeowners association would approve.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I've had it with these loud-mouthed, brain-washed fools. Rather disappointing as I did think he was a pretty fair actor and enjoyed some of his movies. I guess it's time to add him to my growing list of entertainers I can no longer stomach and will not support. So, I'll throw Matt Damon in right after Jim Carrey, Tom Cruise, Ashley Judd, Darryl Hannah, Sean Penn, etc.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (50)
All Comments   (50)
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Boy, a third grade education isn't what it used to be.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This looks like Matt Damon's Howard Zinn movie like "Battlefield Earth" was John Travolta's Scientology movie. If we're lucky, the reviews will be similar.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"If an African wants a cell phone, he can save up and buy one. If he wants a toilet, he has to wait until the state pipes one out to him."

Yes, because, of course, generating microwave communication in a desert is much more difficult than providing a sustained, sanitized water source.

The blithering idiocy of the premise of this article is breathtaking.


1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Are you sure?

Toilet water does not have to be sanitized.
Romans had sewers two thousand years or so before anyone had cell phones.
Have you really looked at the costs?
How much does it cost to lay a water line, per mile, in Africa? Do you know?
For the Romans, it was fairly cheap: slaves with picks and shovels did most of the work, and some of the systems they built are still in use.
But...you can't build a cell phone network that way.

But if you don't have the costs, you've no basis to say one is easier than the other, do you?

So... what's the issue...

Aha. To provide the sewers you need security. Control over the land. Rule of Law. And there, in a place like Africa, lies the rub.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Exactly - which is why I find the author's premise so utterly laughable. Damon thinks water should be made available, but the free market he disparages is the best way to provide it, because cell phones. Idiotic.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
But you claimed it was a cost/feasibility issue, with absolutely no numbers to back up that claim, which puts you in the same "Good thought, based on faulty reasoning" category.
It is in fact a security issue.
So... is it Idiotic to make a case based on a poorly reasoned premise?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

"But you claimed it was a cost/feasibility issue, with absolutely no numbers to back up that claim, which puts you in the same "Good thought, based on faulty reasoning" category."

It is more difficult to fly to the moon than it is to fly cross country. I don't have any numbers on that for you, though. Subsequently, it is going to be harder to provide a sanitized water source than it is a cell site. Again, no numbers.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes, I see know. Drilling a well.. that's like flying to the moon.
I should check out all the Roman sites up there around the Sea of Tranquility.
The fact is, you're wrong. Very wrong. The well is cheaper than the cell tower, AND it can be built with a seriously low tech, low skill labor force. Most areas with water problems have it for one of several reasons, and "bad government" is generally one of them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"If an African wants a cell phone, he can save up and buy one. If he wants a toilet, he has to wait until the state pipes one out to him."

Could this possibly have anything to do with the basic physical reality that is exponentially easier to provide an African with cell service than it is with water?

The amusing thing is, the author has based his entire critique of Damon on a notion that a 3rd grader could shoot down without even thinking - and the bleating wingnut sycophants on this site just let the reality of the situation sail right over their (pin)heads.

Do any of you idiots really believe this imbecilic gibberish? Setting up a cell site for impoverished, landlocked Africans who inhabit a vast desert is comparable in logistical difficulty to providing them with a sanitized water source?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Do any of you idiots really believe this imbecilic gibberish? Setting up a cell site for impoverished, landlocked Africans who inhabit a vast desert is comparable in logistical difficulty to providing them with a sanitized water source?

How come you don't see that that makes Damon's statement imbecilic? That is, why does Damon think it's remarkable that more people have cell phones than have access to a toilet?

Hudson's statement has at least a little something going for it: Many governments have characteristically failed to provide things which we think governments ought to provide.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"How come you don't see that that makes Damon's statement imbecilic? That is, why does Damon think it's remarkable that more people have cell phones than have access to a toilet?"

He's referring to sanitized water sources ("...adequate sanitation"), not wells, and not just toilets. But, of course, providing that is comparable to installing prefabricated cell sites, which from professional experience I know can be done literally in a day. Ludicrous.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That doesn't change the fact that, by your own argument, Damon's statement is imbecilic.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
By "impoverished, landlocked Africans who inhabit a vast desert" you must be referring to the populations of Chad, Niger, Mali, South Sudan, and... well, we'll give you Mauritania and North Sudan too, since their coasts have no infrastructure to boast of. Those are your landlocked desert nations.

But Mr. Damon is talking about 2.5 billion people, and you've cherry picked just about 3% of that to make your case.

Brilliant!

Let me guess... you're one of those liberal types with an aversion to math, right?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"But Mr. Damon is talking about 2.5 billion people, and you've cherry picked just about 3% of that to make your case."

Nope. Merely stating that comparing providing a sanitized water source to providing cell service, where neither previously existed, and extrapolating from that that the free market could provide sanitized water better, is ridiculous. Microwave transmission requires the same level of infrastructure as providing sanitized water...hahahaha.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well that's a relief. I had you confused with the Joe Hedge who wrote "Setting up a cell site for impoverished, landlocked Africans who inhabit a vast desert..."
What a buffoon that guy was, right?
But the fact is, in most cases, the water source- well, or irrigation ditch or pipe, whatever... is easier than the cell tower.
The fact that a relative handful of people live in exceptional terrain where this is not true really has no bearing.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"If he wants a toilet, he has to wait until the state pipes one out to him."

Why can't he just buy and install a septic tank?

And does the author really believe that water is just as easy to provide as cell service?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You keep saying that.
I'm not disbelieving, but...
I'd like to see your numbers, please.
For the record, "Water Wells For Africa" says it costs just $3.50 to provide a villager in Mozambique with water for 20 years.
What is your cell phone bill this month?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So if Damon went on a self proclaimed "toilet strike" for six months, does that clarify that he's full of....but I digress.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I can nevermore hear Damon's voice nor see his visage without simultaneously freeze-framing a moment of boudoir exuberance involving Mr Damon and Liberace...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Are you saying Liberace did to Matt what Matt is doing to Elysium audiences?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Matt, there is a type of conversation that simple people think profound: Having gone to a party, you drink until anything you say sounds wise to you and the drunk girl you're with. Opinionate wildly on topics of politics, religion, alien life, ozone, conspiracy theories, weather, angels, or anything else that pops to mind. Just remember not to repeat these things to sober people, because they usually sound stupid. So now, I wonder—Is Letterman drunk, stupid, or both?
Being able to repeat what was said on TV news does not make you well-informed.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The trouble is my otherwise intelligent liberal friends spout such nonsense to me I can't believe they really think that way and they are sober when they are spouting.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's way easier to run a pressure group where there's nothing riding on it, than to run a business whose success can be measured. When Damon fails to make a dent, that's still a success, because he did what is measured for pressure groups: He exhorted and pointed to himself as a moral light and morally superior. He doesn't have to make a nickle or succeed in getting water or sanitation to anyone. Which is good, as he chose the most inefficient possible means of doing it: through governments.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There's a basic division of labor among liberal activists. A few of them actually do things. The majority just "raise awareness." Most actors are awareness-raisers.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Um, I happened to see this, which was odd, as I used to be a big Letterman fan but find he's become a bitter old "liberal" and haven't watched the show now for years, actively cringe if I see even a few minutes of it.

But I started exactly where your video does, and I thought it was hilarious - to sell Elysium he says "exactly the wrong thing" and relates it to fracking! I got the impression that not only was he embarrassed that the movie made no money, but he has since realized what a dumb-ass idea the whole thing was, INCLUDING being on the wrong side about fracking, that he was just bought and paid for by the Saudi oil ticks.

And it's the post-senile Letterman who associated the clean-water foundation and anything about fracking. Note that Damon kept talking about the exploding heads at Sony. If this appearance went off the deep end, I think it was the barely functional Letterman, not Damon, who was polluting the water.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have to agree. I used to like Letterman when he was on late. Now he seems to be a bitter old man. Very unpleasant and very strident in his leftist views. It's hilarious that as Leno winds down his numbers are kicking Lettermans.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You're giving Damon too much benefit of too little doubt. He makes the connection between Promised Land and Elysium. He calls the latter a sci-fi fracking movie. Elysium is clearly built around the anti-capitalist wealth redistribution themes of the Occupy movement. Most importantly, Damon's water.org non-profit is looking for statist solutions to a statist-created problem. He's learned nothing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think your comparison of water problems and cell phones is outstanding.

But I can respect Damon's water.org even if it treats the symptoms and not the causes. There's much, much worse out there.

Maybe I'm giving Damon too much benefit and too little doubt, the thought crossed my mind, but OTOH (giving yet more benefit) even if he did get his head straight he might feel the need to be coy about it in public, Hollyweird being what it is.

I pretty much ignore Hollywood product as best I can anyway these days, I'm sure if it improves I'll get the word. Most of the scifi is just a stack of FX these days anyway, any old plot to hold it together.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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