Zero Days

I was so nervous the morning of the election that I could barely concentrate on anything else. I worried about voter intimidation at polling stations and about what would happen if Donald Trump and his supporters refused to accept a Hillary Clinton victory. I think my biggest fear  was a close enough race that would send the message to future candidates that, despite Trump’s loss, there was still a place for his brand of inflammatory rhetoric.

Well, most of you now know that I may have lacked imagination when dreaming up Donald Trump Holds Campaign Rally In Keene, New Hampshirethe 2016 American Election’s worst-case scenario. Misogyny and xenophobia  seem to have its place in American political discourse after all- the Oval Office on weekdays and Trump Tower on the weekends. A lot of people have said a lot of things to try to make me feel better. “Geez, give him a chance. If he succeeds, we succeed,” they say. “He’s not going to do any of the things he said,” seems like a popular response, which even if true seems to miss the point. One person even made the bizarre claim “Don’t worry. Orange people never do anything”.

zero-days“Sure, he’s unprepared and easily distracted but give him time,” would makes more sense if the world was a simple place where nothing all that important or complex were going on. Zero Days, the new documentary from Alex Gibney and the film I’m using as an excuse to talk about the feelings I can’t shake since the election, paints a scary picture of the complexity of the security threats that face the United States and the world. Specifically, Zero Days is focused on cyber security and the story of  the Stuxnet virus.

If you are as unfamiliar with Stuxnet as I was, I won’t spoil it for you. Even thoughzero-days-2 Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, The Armstrong Lie, Going Clear) takes his subject seriously, his documentary can’t help feeling like a Hollywood thriller and the twists can feel pretty exciting until you remember that this is real life. The director is wise to play up the suspense given that all this talk of worms and centrifuges can get a little technical and continually reminding us how high the stakes are is an excellent motivator to pay attention to all the tech talk. The interviews with the security company that discovered Stuxnet, the politicians who can neither confirm nor deny anything, and the NSA whistleblowers are all gripping.

Maybe it’s all these film festivals that have me so worried. If you’ve been watching the documentaries we’ve been watching lately, the future- even without Trump- can seem like a pretty uncertain and scary place. From cyber attacks to nuclear weapons, climate change to sexting scandals, the challenges facing our and future generations can seem overwhelming. Electing wise and level-headed world leaders would have seemed like a logical place to start.

 

 

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14 thoughts on “Zero Days

    1. Matt Post author

      I can only imagine. I feel it as a Canadian so I’d imagine it’s pretty nuts in the States.
      You should really check out Zero Days, by the way. It’s not exactly escapism but it was quite an effective and interesting documentary.

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  1. fragglerocking

    Ah Matt, the world is definitely a mad place to be, am thinking of digging a bunker in my garden, stocking it with Marvel & DC movies and not coming out til everyone’s finished being scary and stupid.

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  2. Liz A.

    The problem is those that voted for the idiot are idiots. And they like being idiots. They think that intellectual is a bad word, and they refuse to lift their head from their fake news to examine what’s real. Because if they did that, their world would implode.

    There’s a story circulating for the last day or so about fake news. I think it was on NPR. Anyway, the guy said that he tried to do fake news for liberals, but they wouldn’t take the bait. I found the story:

    http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/11/23/503146770/npr-finds-the-head-of-a-covert-fake-news-operation-in-the-suburbs

    If only the idiots didn’t have any power…

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  3. kmSalvatore

    Hi Matt… I think you know I am one of those people who live in the USA…. well for what its worth.. hes not my president!! I’m ashamed to let outsiders know I’m an American. theres is a growing Number of us..for solidarity. We wear a simple safety pin to let foreigners ,immigrants , know we are there to help in any way , even just to let them know they may go about their lives and religion.
    I cant even begin to think what 4 years from now will look like. on the other side of that coin…I believe the jerk will be impeached b4 his 4 years is up!!!! ugh I’m sorry ,but you opened up a scab, and now I’m ranting., theres another movement where we all sent post cards..saying not Bannon. to the trump towers. should all be delivered today and the rest of the week, I cant wait till the news picks up that story:)
    ok ok, ive said enough.. I think you get the jest..i despise the guy and I never in a million years would have thought id say that about the president of the US….sad sad times!!!!:(

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