Thoughts on the Movie Arrival - Multiculturalism and Humanity's Future

I'm a sucker for a good Science Fiction movie, and I always have been. Arrival was not just good Science Fiction, but great Science Fiction. Language shapes who we are and how we think. It not only defines our culture, but it defines our species. What we communicate, and how we communicate it, defines who and what we are to those around us.

In Arrival, we see the use of the word 'weapon' change the entire nature of the conversation almost instantaneously. We see the world diving into chaos because of the arrival of these alien craft. We see a church setting itself ablaze, mass hysteria, looting, rioting, and wide-spread panic worldwide. Would we react this way to an actual event? Probably, and I imagine it would be even worse than what we see in the movie.


As Arrival points out, we're a divided species. We're divided along race, gender, nationality, religion, and a multitude of other divisions. We've seen these issues arise time and time again, and just when we think we're beginning to overcome some of them, we go diving back into that cesspool of divisive behavior. When will humanity wake up and realize that we are all one species, regardless of where we come from, what we look like, or what we believe? The average person seems so caught up in the race to 'have it all,' or at least see themselves as better than someone else, that no one stops to think about the fact that the person they are hating, reviling, or casting as the 'other' is a person too. That person has just as much right as anyone else to feel, to think, to dream, and to be.

Maybe it will take the arrival of another species, an alien race, to get humanity to see beyond geographic lines, beyond the color of someone's skin, beyond their gender or sexual orientation, and beyond their beliefs. Maybe it will take that kind of external stimulus to shift the thought processes away from division and on to the idea that we are the caretakers of this little planet that orbits a little star in a little solar system, and that we need to start thinking beyond how much money we can amass in our little bank accounts. Maybe, just maybe, it will stimulate humanity to grow beyond its adolescent attitude of me, me, me...or maybe they'll realize we're just too selfish to save and sit back to watch us destroy ourselves in our lust for money and power.

Royce Sears