6 April 2020

Save Me Some Food You Selfish Bastards

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Look, I'm not saying that Netflix has intentionally started this coronavirus bullshit but it is all beginning to look a little suspicious. What better way to get us all watching their service by having us put under house arrest for fear of catching bat-AIDS? Not only that but they've just released a new film called The Platform that is so perfectly timed for right now that I reckon they probably fucked that flying rat themselves. The Platform is a Spanish language horror film about a man, Goreng, who wakes up to find himself trapped on a grotty random floor of a grotty random tower block. Unlike the rest of us who would only find ourselves in this environment if we decided to dabble in being a crack-head for a little while, Goreng is actually imprisoned here. There is a hole in both the floor and the ceiling of his room by which a table full of food is able to magically glide down once a day for him to eat from. The only catch is that the higher up the tower you are then the more food you'll have to choose from. Those nearer the bottom of the tower are obviously therefore only able to scavenge the scraps that they might have been left with. Any of this sounding familiar yet? Because right now I'm stuck in a small building in 'lockdown' with only the food I could find after you fucking bastards had grabbed everything off the fucking shop shelves first. The only difference between what's happening to Goreng and what's happening to us is that Goreng doesn't get offered a seven day free trial of PornHub's admittedly quite exciting-sounding premium service. 
The irony of the set-up is that there is enough food for everybody on every level if only those that got to it first were able to ration what they took. Unfortunately, you might have noticed that people are greedy fuckers and so those at the top of the tower are seen shovelling more than they need into their selfish piece of shit mouths. Kind of like that middle-aged woman I spotted at the supermarket the other day scrambling to put the last ten bottles of milk into her trolly. Who the fuck needs ten bottles of milk? Because unless she has some sort of cow-fetish and needed all of that milk as a prop in her dairy based sexual deviancy I suspect she was being a bit of an inconsiderate fucking bitch. Of course, I'm not the first person to point out that this film draws inspiration from the Allegory Of The Long Spoons but it's worth repeating none the less. Mostly so that I seem clever for knowing what that is. In case you don't know it's a parable in which a group of people in Heaven and a group of people in Hell are all given a bowl of food and a massive fuck off spoon to eat it. I guess that in this parable, both Heaven and Hell are presented as a kind of kids' game show that would have once been hosted by Dave Benson Philips. In Hell, the group go hungry because their spoons are too large to feed themselves but in Heaven, everybody gets their fill because they use their large spoons to feed the person next to them. I don't know if the people in Heaven made aeroplane noises whilst feeding each other but I'm going to imagine that they did. 

The point of this story is of course that by looking after their fellow neighbour, the individual was better able to serve the needs of the entire collective. You might argue that this isn't true in the film because in this system selfishness will always be more beneficial to the people at the top. Except that once a month the inmates are all moved to a different level at random, with those who were previously doing well from this cycle of selflessness potentially now find themselves a victim of it. By lacking consideration when they were in a more privileged position, they continued this pattern of 'only looking out for oneself' in the way that those that have been 'panic buying' during this pandemic have. If you were left to go hungry and then suddenly found yourself with more than you needed it'd be understandable that you might think, “well nobody left anything for me and so why the fuck should I leave anything for anybody else?” The last time I went to a shop for food there was so little on the shelves that I had to decide if flavoured sex lube might add a bit of taste to my single, bland bag of vegetables. If you're ever in this situation then I recommend the 'Cheeky Cherry' flavour but be aware that it'll feel a bit like you're going down on a cabbage patch doll. I'd argue though that this film is an even better metaphor for the perks of selflessness than The Allegory Of The Long Spoons because as kind as using over-sized utensils to feed the person next to you might be it isn't exactly a great example of social-distancing is it? Regardless of whether I was in Heaven or Hell, I'd just use my massive spoon to push the person next to me further away whilst I ate my food with my hands. Because I'm not a fucking idiot. 

The one other gimmick that the film adds to keep things interesting is that every person that's been locked into this tower has been allowed to take in one luxury item. I guess it's kind of like Desert Island Disks except that instead of being there to listen to ten of your favourite songs, you're there to starve to the point that your own dick might begin to look delicious. Which admittedly mine always does anyway. Each inmate is imprisoned on their floor with one other person and so you get an interesting insight into your cell-mate based on what they've decided to bring in with them. It also adds an extra level of interactivity for us as an audience as we ponder what we might take in with us. I've just had a quick Google and it turns out that you can buy a jetpack on eBay for about £1500 so I guess that? Or a fleshlight? I suppose it would depend on my mood when asked. Goreng takes the book Don Quixote in with him which is a pretty good idea. Don Quixote is the story of a man that has a noble determination to change the injustices around him whilst going about doing so in a way that many consider to be quite silly. I wonder if that is a little insight and foreshadowing in who Goreng is and what he might go on to do? I couldn't possibly say. It is. Don Quixote is a huge book too and so not only would it act as a long term source of inspiration but if John Wick 3 is anything to go by it'd probably make a pretty good weapon as well. During this coronavirus outbreak, it seems that most people have selected toilet roll as their luxury item to be locked in with which just goes to prove my long-standing theory that most people are full of shit. 

Unfortunately, Goreng's grouchy cell-mate thought ahead and brought a massive fuck-off knife as his item. He's also only been paired with Goreng thanks to his previous cell-mate having mysteriously died after the two spent a few weeks of living on one of the very lowest floors. “I wonder what happened to the previous cell-mate?” You ask yourself whilst suspecting you've already gotten it figured out. How hungry would you have to be before you considered cannibalism? It's another thing to think about as the film plays on. I'm a vegetarian in reality because of my love of animals, but I couldn't give a solitary shit about other people. If I go to the shop one more time and find them short of so much as a packet of fucking super-noodles then I'm going straight to the chianti aisle before going full Hannibal Lecter on the world. I'll take total ownership of my upcoming rampage too by the way. In the movie, nobody ever takes any personal responsibility for their situation by instead choosing to blame those above and below. It's not like their anger isn't justified but they all fail to see their own place in the system too. It's another obvious metaphor for the way that we treat each other based on class, but one that'll hopefully sink in as we sit locked in our houses and wonder if our behaviour might have contributed towards this pandemic. Did Netflix really plan this entire worldwide disaster to get a few more people watching their streaming service? No. Of course not. That would be ridiculous. Disney+ has just launched in the UK and so they're way more likely to be responsible. I'm sure that if we all found ourselves relating to a movie then we'd hope it was a hardcore porno. Although I do always find myself relating to that dead-behind-the-eyes-look of a porno actor. But as we're stuck right now and with nothing much to do, you could do much worse than decide to watch The Platform. Thanks for reading, motherfuckers, and see you next time.

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