illusion of the system as just, honest, ethical, etc. As Alonzo tells him, you must either be “a wolf or a sheep,” and Jake is just another patrolman in waiting (akin to the one helping a motorist change a tire on the side of the road midway through the film). Jake is the villain. He holds on to the dream that his service will lead to an honest, ethical, moral, peaceful society. He fights Alonzo the whole way, blinded by a false sense of justice that leads him to believe that multiple small acts (locking up a few petty thieves here, a few drug dealers there) actually make a difference in fighting the injustice of the system. Alonzo is awake, leading a team of men intent on destroying the dream of the system.
There's another great quote from one of my favorite horror films, The Cabin in the Woods, where Jules and Marty have the following exchange when they realize that thier adventure has taken them out of cell phone range:
Marty: That's the whole point! Get off the grid, right? No cell phone reception, no entrapment cameras. Go some place for one God damn weekend where you can't globally position my ass. Okay, this is the whole issue…
Jules: Is society crumbling, Marty?
Marty: “No, society is binding. Right? It's filling in the cracks with concrete. Everything's filed or reported, logged, right? Chips in our kids heads so they won't get lost. Society needs to crumble. We're all just too chicken shit to let it.”
Alonzo wants society to crumble, but Jake, and more importantly we (through our identification with Jake), are too chicken shit to let it. This is also why the community abandons him at the end of the film. They remain complicit in their own subordination, just like Jake. They don't really want to face the reality of the system, because it means giving up everything they have to combat it. We desire living a life outside of the system, patriarchy, the 1%, structure, ideology, authority, etc., but none of us want to truly give up the comforts of our lives and culture to achieve true freedom.
posted on 10/27/15 by apw