Quite possibly one of the greatest movie lines ever uttered was spoken by Jeff Goldblum’s character, Dr. Ian Malcolm, in the 1993 blockbuster movie Jurassic Park. The sensation that Steven Spielberg adapted from the novels of Michael Crichton spawned broken theater box office records, several sequels, and entranced the world with the thought of dinosaurs returning to walk the earth alongside bipeds.
“That’s one big pile of shit”.
Dr. Malcolm, the deliciously sarcastic, erudite, and flirtatious brilliant scientist stated his observation directly and factually as he watched Laura Dern’s character, a paleontologist invited to visit the park with her colleague Grant (Sam Neill), pull a rubber glove up to her shoulder to dig through a gigantic pile of Triceratops dung to determine the creature’s apparent malady.
Present Day: We watch with baited breath as Facebook creator and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, comes under fire for the breech of data of millions and millions of users of his social media platform.
The similarities between the premise of the movie and all social media – not just Facebook – are disturbing at the very least.
Identical questions and preponderances can be applied all too easily to the concept of manipulating prehistoric DNA to recreate a previous species whose extinction remains a mystery to this day, and the predators and scam artists that troll the internet constantly looking for the weak.
As Jurassic Park developer and owner, John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), discusses a coupon day to entice intrigued customers to visit the park, Dr. Ian Malcolm expresses his concern.
“The lack of humility before nature that’s being displayed here is staggering”. He continues his ethical scolding of the scientific nature of the park: “It didn’t require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done and you took the next step…you stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as quick as you could.. you were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, you <sic> didn’t stop to think if you should”.
I’ll buy that.
Those scientists in the movie with insight, integrity, and common sense were those who voiced concerned opposition to the entire venture; while it was the money-grubbing lawyer who immediately took Hammond’s side in the delusional madness.
If you recall the story line, it was also said attorney who died halfway through the movie, shredded to bits by the Tyrannosaurus Rex that demolished the outhouse where the lawyer was perched in terror.
That was a poignant symbol.
Zuckerberg – not in his infinite engineering or technology experience – could have possibly fathomed the Tyrannosaurus Rex that he built and turned loose into the world. He shot the platform to its overnight success, a maneuver that made him a multi-billionaire while he was still in his 20s.
And now it has run rampant and amuck, out of control and the government is calling for his accountability, a mea culpa that no one will ever see.
Users of social media don their shoulder-high latex gloves on a daily basis to sift through the endless piles of shit that is online content. They seek hopelessly and endlessly for a cure or an answer to the origin of the illness of the strange and new Triceratops that is waning and lying before them – pathetic pleas to the frustrations and misery of daily life, a relationship, or something as minuscule as a broken fingernail.
And all the while, they are dodging the Velocoraptors that hide in the trees and the shadows, diligent and vigilant and eager for any opportunity they may find to attack and devour their online prey. Social media members are permanently disfigured, maimed, and destroyed by venom-spitting Dilophosauruses that hiss and shake like a nervous rattler.
John Hammond and Mark Zuckerberg are one in the same – power- and money-hungry geniuses seeking fame and fortune to line their pockets, to capture the glory, and to carve their anticipated places in history.
And they’ve done it at the cost of lives, of contentment, and of freedom of the masses.
Most recently, I’ve determined that I’ll no longer be classified as the dinosaur’s prey. I have always despised social media, and have made no effort to hide that fact. I have given it my best shot for no other reason than to promote my novels, but I can no longer justify the pain…it was simply never worth the pleasure.
I have grown weary of the venom being spit at me…and I am done digging through the piles of shit.