Disney/Pixar movies are not social statements. They are cute. They are funny. They are preferable to children's films featuring characters with names like Huggles the Friendly Panda. They are not mirrors of the futility underlying the most seemingly functional of societies. At least, not intentionaly. Take, for example, the volcano scene in 'Finding Nemo'. Around a fiery, glowing, molded plastic mountain of lava, colorfully garbed tribesfish chant in some proto-polynesian language, the universal tongue of ritual. In a fishtank. In a dentist's office. We, the viewers, realize that the ceremony is a farcical attempt to mask the fish's lack of control over their reality and create order from Petco brand tank decorations. That's why we laugh. It's funny because it's meaningless. On such as small scale, the dissent of one fish would expose the frangible nature of the entire 'society.' Of course, the same thing works perfectly well on a larger (and more terrestrial) scale. When a human seeks validation for an accomplishment, they turn to a society that they themselves have constructed. Our civilization fulfills no more needs than its piscine equivalent. Instead, it creates them. However, because we pretend our society functions, it does. The needs of sleeping, eating, and staring at bubbles are replaced by the desire to make money, or get good grades, or earn XP. In an objective world, these things have no purpose, but in our artificial universe they are genuinely important and have real effects on daily life. For us tank-dwellers, the world beyond the glass is incomprehensible, vast and largely unknown. Even our own sun is no larger than a fist, and objectivity hardly matters if you miss the bus. And why should it? Civilization may have sprouted from humanity's collective refuse heap, but it has made advances otherwise unthinkable possible. Our fishbowl has negated Hobbes's war of all against all, and returned, well, essentially the same thing, but with neat, easy to read death counts. More importantly, it has engendered modern medicine and technology, Plato, Shakespeare, Chaucer. As well as pediatrician-supplied toys, 3-camera sitcoms, and 8th grade english class. Despite its drawbacks, our universe is more real than the one outside, an elaborate fantasy with colorful characters, boring characters and trivia for the geeks. Two brown pellets in the morning and afternoon, and, please, don't tap the glass.

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