My wife and I have been watching the television show, “Revolution.”
I am not sure how I feel about this show. At its premise it is about some sort of weapon that was created that would neutralize all the electrical power in the world. Somehow it worked and the world has been going on for many years without electricity. The United State government fell and regions are ruled by militias that are battling the populace and one another for national, if not world domination.
In many ways, the world has been turned upside down. We all remember the bullies in high school, those who were bigger and stronger and who ruled the roost. If one was a nerd, one was a loser in high school. However, real life tended to neutralize things. The nerds went to college, became professionals and suddenly the tables turned. In “Revolution,” the tables have turned back. In a wild, untamed society, intellectual know how isn’t as strong a commodity as brute force and violence.
The show is violent. The heros are a small band of people. The former militia leader, his niece who is the daughter of the man who created the device that eliminated electricity. There is also the classic nerd buy with them who has a pendant that holds the secret of power, and another young woman who is a rebel fighter and bomb making expert.
There are others. There is the head of the militia, the son of the man who created the device, his Mom, and the ongoing saga of the formerly nerdy insurance adjustor turned macho man interrogator and bad guy.
One thing I like about the show is that it is a reminder of how much we are slaves to the technology of our world and how it all depends on electricity. If the electricity goes out, we are in serious trouble. As the electricity in the show is completely out, cars can no longer run (they have batteries) and transportation is brought to a standstill. Steam trains, steam boats, and horses and carriages are the modes of transportation. And walking.
Communication is changed forever. There is no more Internet, no more radio, no television, no telephone communication. One’s smart phone can be used as a doorstop and little more. Chaos ensues and the show very clearly demonstrates this.
Whenever we see catastrophes in our nation, we recently have observed Hurricane Sandy, we realize just how important our electrical grid is and how fragile it is.
The underlying story of the militias is also interesting. They came to be as no one was safe and the militias began to give people safety; they were the only means of law enforcement. Of course, as they became more powerful they became corrupt and savage to the population they had sworn to protect.
There are lessons in the show about power: electrical power and human power. The tragedy is, as it so often is, that people’s failure to love one another begins to dictate how life is carried out.
When there is chaos people turn to brute force and violence and hatred begins to fill the day.
What disappoints me about the show is that the heros are not very likeable and have become every bit as violent as they people they oppose. They lack trust and they seem to have the inability to love and trust one another. Often, even at their best moments, they do not look to transform hearts to goodness, charity, and love, but to more violence.
I worry about us when we see violence as the solution to the problem. Perhaps we need to learn that violence is not a solution as much as it is a furthering of the problems of our world. I am reminded we have a long way to go, and a long way to fully embrace Jesus’ command of loving one another.