These movies are very likely moving out of the theaters as I type this, if not already moved aside for the next installment of inefficiency Hollywood propaganda.

The question that comes to mind for me is:  Which of these two movies is an accurate rendering of the apocalypse?

This Is It begins with an acknowledgment of Michael Jackson’s death.  We the audience enter this experience knowing the ending—that the man we are about to see is dead-man-walking.  He has passed on.  And yet, through the magic of the movie screen we get to see him in the days leading up to his end, rehearsing a mega-galactic show.  When we see him, he is alive, yet we know he is dead.  This is the condition of being a god—both alive and dead, in two places at once.

I suggested in a previous post that there was something of the vampire in MJ, and seeing him during the movie I cannot help but think how supernatural he looks.  How supernatural his interactions with the other dancers, musicians, choreographers, and so on are.  One thing for sure is that MJ has total mastery over his music, his moves, and the presentation of both.  It is a supernatural experience, if you forget that he is mortal, as the movie has already stated.

What I enjoyed most about this movie is how we catch a glimpse of the show as it might have been, and how the creative process occurs as the participants work out the kinks.  It’s two shows in one.  Very much like life, because it is life and we know there is death because the endgame is in front of us.

It’s a glorious spectacle to behold, and yet the imperfection of the show as MJ tries to perfect it brings a human, individualized quality to it.  At the end, the film freezes to announce him as the King of Pop.  The show is ended, a life is ended, the movie is over.

Meanwhile, 2012 slakes our thirst for everyone to perish at the hands of impersonal forces.  You have the inviolable average white family struggling against the challenge of doomsday, with father doing most of the work and ensuring everyone stays together, everyone survives, and all interlopers are removed.

The doomsday special effects are everything one might hope, with entire buildings collapsing as thousands fall screaming into the black pit of destruction.  It’s been done before, in the first superman movie.  The death of Krypton is at least honest as it sets up a story situation.

In 2012 you get to watch billions die, the rich ensure their survival, and lip-service get paid to human values—allowing a few laborers to live long enough to become the next generation of slaves. How exciting!

Fear not, all will proceed as it has always done, with nothing changed in the fundamental social class of things or how decisions are made for the human race.  Even better, the predominantly white survivors get to settle in the new Africa and say they are where the human race began after the flood.  How convenient!

The movie truly ends about two-thirds of the way in, when the protagonists reach the islands of Hawaii, which have burst into flames.  It’s a genuinely sober moment in the story, when one realizes luck or skill or preparation will only get you do far–a message the rich would do well to contemplate.  They won’t—paying the Mammon dues will ensure their survival, right?  Nope.  End of line, program.  All fall down.

The movie ceases to be interesting after that and we focus on the passing on of life all doomsday movies are required to depict.  Don’t worry, it’ll all come out in the wash.  Give the audience enough special effects to slake their thirst for blood and a salve to their misery, but then bring them back from actually reflecting on their own clocks ticking.

The devil loves the old standby of “tell them there’s no hurry.”  Paid for itself all the way back to the beginning.

But with This Is It, the endgame is irrevocable.  Life does not continue on.  No ark of any kind, metaphorically or medically, is letting MJ perform a single show he rehearsed.  What we see is all we get.  When the end comes, that’s it.  Your number is up, no matter how frighteningly genius you are.

I watched This Is It and I felt whole, as if a truth had been spoken.  Yes, I’m seeing an edited program which excludes anything which might be construed as negative.  Yet I still found a sublime peace and sorrow at the same time.  All of us are headed into the last curtain call, no exceptions.

I watched 2012 and enjoyed the special effects.  Woody Harrelson stole the show as a crazy apocalypse nut.  But the story was all so phony.  Propaganda reassuring the owned that all will be well in a catastrophe.  It says more about the fears of the rich than it does about what the end of life on earth might be like.  The movie fosters a profoundly bleak, one-sided view of human beings.  At the end we’re right back where we started—get back to work, drones.

But MJ, standing alone against the actual, physical bulldozer coming out of the trapdoor on stage.  Trying to stop what in all reality is probably too late to change.  It’s complete farce.  Yet in that moment of the fool’s end I understood the fans, I saw the other side.  He’s gone, and I’m still alive—but even in the heartless heart of a vampire I see the good.

That’s what is known as sublime.