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Life’s A Beach: A Liberal Paradise Lost

Danny Boyle’s 2000 film ‘The Beach’ makes for interesting viewing from a Nationalist perspective because whether he intended his movie to be so or not, it’s the story of the failure of liberal minded Europeans to face reality while attempting to create utopia. It’s a brilliant meditation on liberal denial.

The Beach also serves as something of a nostalgia fest for those of us born at the tail end of ‘Generation X’ and that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, the main star of The Beach.  Set just before 9,11 and before beheading Europeans wherever they could be found outside of the West became a trend, The Beach harks back to a time when middle class ‘Gen Xers’ could trot around the world in search of the ‘authentic’, away from the consumerist tedium of high capitalism which had reduced their own cultures to shopping malls and warehouse space.

Enlightenment and spiritual fulfilment, they believed, was to be found within the jungles of India, the beaches of Thailand or the ruined Archaeology of central American native tribes rather than the pay as you go Cathedrals of Europe or the beer belly and tattoo’d idiocy of the Spanish resort.

DiCaprio’s ‘Richard’ fits perfectly into the stereotype of the early 20’s white middle class male in search of something more, something ”off the beaten track” and after some rather tedious plot points and story arcs he finds it, an island, a whole community of white middle class liberal types just like himself.

This, then, is the central pitch of Boyle’s film, based on a novel by Alex Garland, The Beach is actually a lagoon on a remote island off Thailand where a small, secretive community of European backpackers, and a token black male, have set out to create their very own paradise on earth.  Upon arrival with a young French couple he picked up along the way, Richard informs us via a voice over that the island did not have ”an ideology or shit like that”, the community on the island has no work ethic, no real moral code, no religion, no laws and no real compulsion to do anything except smoke dope, have sex and sunbathe.

However, the island actually does have an ideology, it is unbridled hedonism. The island is viewed upon as a paradise by these middle class whites because there’s literally nothing to do except ‘have fun’ to lounge around in their garden of Eden untroubled by work, taxes, family or the monotonous daily grind of keeping the hyper capitalist engine of the West ticking over.

The community was founded by the slightly older, slightly more upper class ‘Sal’ played by ice queen Tilda Swinton, yes, the island community is a matriarchy too. Sal seems to spend all of her time in hippy garb lounging on a raised sofa, eyeing the island community as a spider watches out from its web, any signs that somebody is not suitably euphoric, stoned, cheerful or sexually satisfied and she’s alerted to the tremble. And it’s here we begin to see where the flaws of this way of life appear, if you’ve set about creating a perfect society, where happiness is guaranteed and is the primary purpose of the community existing, then the threats to this society come from people not being in a permanent state of bliss.

The Beach gives us a fascinating glimpse into the mind of the liberal European and their utter incapability of even trying to process that the way they’re doing things might be monumentally wrong.

The first glimpse we get that things may not be ‘perfect’ is when a young man explains that sometimes it’s hard to catch fish, and all they have to eat is bags of rice, they have sun and sex and beach sports, but they’re going hungry. Another hint comes when Richard takes a rare trip to the mainland for supplies and is overwhelmed by the girls asking for tampons to be brought back.

Sal is obsessed with keeping the island a secret lest the Pepsi swigging slobs of the white tourist masses come along to trample and fart all over her dream. This means no help can ever come from outside…ever.

Conditions on the island gradually deteriorate but nobody can ever admit to it, the party cannot stop, so when three Swedish brothers are savaged by a shark while fishing they have a problem. Nature, reality, has a way of wriggling into any wonderland man (or woman), can create, sometimes it’s a Muslim terrorist, sometimes it’s a shark.

One of the Swedish brothers recovers, one dies immediately, it’s the third brother who poses the problem, as DiCaprio’s Richard explains ”You have to get better or die, it’s the bit in-between which pisses people off” and indeed, having a man writhe around howling in agony proves to be a major downer, a real drag man!.

As is so often the case in the West today, when the liberal mind is faced with an inconvenient truth their reaction is to bury it, and so just like the white girls of Rotherham, or the entire nation of Sweden today, the pain stricken Swedish lad is promptly dumped in the jungle so they no longer have to hear his torment and pain. Whereupon the community instantly go back to playing volley ball and smoking dope.

By this stage of the film DiCaprio’s Richard is the lonely sane man trying to point out the lunacy of the situation, Sal is borderline psychotic and the rest, having gone full European Eloi, merely wandering about in abject denial. Just like sane white men in the West today Richard is ostracised and cast into the jungle for speaking bubble bursting truths about the feminized madhouse we inhabit.

Both in The Beach and in our own society, speaking truth has become far more than simply ‘inconvenient’ it has become an existential threat to the system. The time for speaking truth on The Beach was when they were going hungry and the guy had to have his tooth pulled out with pliers.

The Beach reaches its climax when Richard returns to the village to confront Sal and demands she shoots him to shut him up, will she go that far? is it worth it? Sal, who’d make a great Guardian columnist, concludes yes, she should shoot him and pulls the trigger, but there’s no bullets in the gun. This, then, is the end of the community, everybody watched as Sal tried to shoot a guy in the face for the sake of creating heaven on earth, finally disillusioned the middle class whites trudge off home.

As I finish writing this article, another Muslim terrorist has been caught trying to carry out an attack on Westminster. We’re really, really not having fun anymore…can we go home yet?

  • BornAgain

    Even the fictitious utopian stories don’t end well.

  • guard4her

    Thank for the review of this movie. I wanted to share this exceptionally poignant movie that is such an insightful commentary on the liberal feminist dog lover. It is called The Wall.

    A woman along
    with an older couple arrive at a hunting lodge in a relatively remote
    forested area of Europe. The elderly couple have a dog with them. The
    elderly couple decide to take a walk back down the road to a nearby
    village. Their dog is not behaving well so they leave the dog behind
    with the woman.

    The woman is middle aged. She wears no wedding ring. The elderly couple
    do not come back to the lodge as expected so the woman walks down the
    road to look for them. She discovers an invisible and impenetrable wall
    in her path. She tries other directions and the
    wall seems to have enclosed her. The woman can see some other people
    through the wall on the other side but the people are not moving, as if frozen in time.
    The woman surmises that the people outside the wall are dead.

    The
    woman must eventually begin to provide for herself as she comes to
    realize there is no escape from her prison. Weeks pass. She begins to
    write a journal, pretending to talk to someone else to keep her sanity
    in the face of her extreme isolation and loneliness. The narrative of
    the movie is the woman’s writing in her journal.

    The dog at first is not friendly toward the woman but as months pass,
    the dog becomes more friendly and the woman loves the dog more and more. The
    wall encloses a large area of wilderness so that the woman never fully
    explores the entire area. The woman finds a hunting rifle at the lodge
    and eventually is forced to kill wild animals as a source of food. The
    woman does not like killing and says she will never enjoy it but is
    forced to do so to survive.

    Months
    and seasons pass. The woman finds a cow that happens to be
    pregnant. The woman cares for the cow and the cow provides the woman
    with milk. The cow eventually has a bull calf, thus the possibility of
    starting a herd.

    The woman writes about her attachment to the dog, but
    also writes about how different she is from animals. She has a
    conscience and morals. Only humans, she says, can show mercy, for
    example as she allows a wild animal to live instead of shooting it. The
    dog, by contrast simply lives on instinct.

    The woman spends two years in isolation, lamenting her loneliness.

    A
    man appears, also apparently isolated and starving. The man does not
    see the woman but finds the bull calf. The man has only an ax, not a
    gun, so he is not easily able to kill wild animals to feed himself. The man is able to
    kill the calf with the ax because it is tame. The dog attacks the man to
    protect the calf. The man has to kill the dog also.

    The woman hears the commotion, gets a gun and comes running. She shoots the man.
    She carefully buries her beloved dog. She drags the man’s body to the edge of a rock slide and rolls the body over the edge.

    The
    wall and the woman’s isolation are metaphorical. They are of her own
    making. Unable to develop and maintain relationships with other people,
    she turns the dog into a surrogate human. She can then pretend to have a
    relationship.

    I believe the pathological love of dogs is actually an expression of
    hatred for humanity. The woman can own the dog, control it, it will be
    whatever she wants it to be. This kind of person is incapable of having
    an honest relationship with another human being. Even in their
    relationships with other people, the other people are mere projections
    of themselves. They do not have relationships with others, only with
    their idea of others. This is the very definition of a sociopath. Their
    dogs are more important than people, always. Keep people awake barking
    all night, dog feces in your yard, scattered garbage, killing farm
    animals and even biting and killing people, and eating enough food to
    feed a third world family. In all this the dog lover is
    only militant in defense of her dog. Many of them openly admit that
    they would kill another human being to save their dog.

    Hate,
    as we now use the word, involves an emotional focus. Hate in the sense
    used in the Bible does not have this emotional content. It means to
    ignore, disregard, not acknowledge existence. This is why Saint John
    wrote that hating a brother is equivalent to murder: the brother ceases
    to exist as a human being for the hater so he is dead to the hater.

    The woman in the movie finds she cannot get along without other
    people. Without other people, she can no longer retain human reason,
    which she proves by murdering the only other human being. People are
    social and derive their identities from outside themselves: identities
    are not found, they are given and made. The woman has erected the wall
    and thereby killed all of humanity, including her own. The man, of
    course, represents all that was left of humanity in the woman.

    In the end, the woman runs out of paper and cannot continue writing her
    journal. She begins to succumb to delusions in her isolation and begins
    to imagine the dog still with her. Unable to even pretend to talk to
    someone anymore she slowly descends into bitter isolation and madness.

    The woman claims to
    love, she claims she wants companionship, she claims humans are
    superior, she claims to kill only to survive – but she denies it all by
    murdering and at the end has to face her own private hell all by
    herself. This is how the feminist proves she is independent of men.

  • Othmar Regin

    I remember watching this movie long before I was “Red Pilled” and from the very start of it, my inner voice said “this won’t end well” and with every stupid decision of the islanders the inevitable end was creeping in. I don’t exactly remember what I learned from this movie back then but your article would probably sum it up pretty well.

    But what this movie really teaches us is that even under the best of circumstances ie. as close to Paradise as you can get Leftist-Utopias don’t work, I am not saying Rightist-Utopias would just that there is no free lunch no matter your social/political/economic system. Nature isn’t Left or Right it’s unrelenting and it will punish your every mistake to keep the wheels of Evolution spinning.

    • VANITAS

      There is no such thing as a “rightist utopia”.

      Conservatives are not prone to creating unworkable fantasies.

      • guard4her

        Libertarians do. Their ideas are as fantastic and utopian as anything you can find on the left. Both imagine that people can be different.
        If people were different they wouldn’t be people.