July 23, 2009

Soylent Green

"Like Soylent Green, Second Life is made of people."
(Official Linden Blog, July 21, 2009)

The movie Soylent Green came out in 1973, and Charlton Heston - aged 50 by then - played a detective who unearthed a government conspiracy around the new and revolutionary food for the overpopulated Earth, called Soylent Green. The wicked twist of the plot was that this new food was generated out of the corpses of people who commited federally sanctioned (and facilitated) suicide. The population was fed with their own deceased.

It took some years until the movie got shown in my country, and my dad - an avid watcher of scifi movies at late night TV - happened to see it one day. Up until today I have never watched this movie - and probably never will. I don't know if it was some wicked sense of humor or simply thoughtlessness, but my dad told me what the movie was about. And for years to come teased me with the words "Soylent Green" whenever some food looked dubious or I did not want to eat it for whatever reason. Even today the words "Soylent Green" make a shiver run down my spine. And not a good shiver.

What did Torley Linden think when he compared Second Life with a food substitute a desperate government makes out of the corpses of deceased to feed their residents?

Yes, it is a clever pun on words. Yes, it touched a sensitive spot in me. But this is the most tasteless comparison I ever heard!
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