We comic book people had wondered for a while. In the movie to (literally?) end all Marvel movies, Avengers: Infinity War, would the Mad Titan Thanos have the same motivation he did in the seminal Infinity Gauntlet series, to woo the personification of death by wiping out half of all living beings? It was teased in the character’s first cinematic appearance, after all.
Apparently an anthropomorphized abstract concept was a little too weird for a franchise with an angry green guy and a talking raccoon, so we now know that Thanos wants to kill half of all sentient beings to “balance the universe.” Joe Russo, who co-directs Infinity War with his brother Anthony, explained further in an interview with Telegraph India, via CBR:
He’s from a planet called Titan. Many years prior to the film his planet was experiencing a cataclysmic shift. They were running out of resources, and they were overpopulated. Thanos made a recommendation that they exterminate half the population randomly in order to save the rest of the population. Of course, the Titans rejected his notion, branded him a mad man, exiled him, and the planet ended up dying. So he has taken it upon himself to go planet-by-planet throughout the universe and wipe out half of the population of each planet as a way to correct the planet and bring it back into balance.
Let’s face it — those aren’t the thoughts of a “mad man,” but of an outright moron.
That’s not How this Works
First of all, it’s a false dichotomy. “They didn’t do my plan and bad things happened, so my plan must be right!” Nah, man. If I said making geese blue would stop global warming, no one would be out painting birds after Fort Lauderdale submerges. Dumb is dumb.
And if a people are expending their resources … how about teaching them about renewable resources? Wind, solar, geothermal — and if those aren’t enough, you don’t think the smartest being in the history of Titan can build a Dyson Sphere to give a planet nearly unlimited energy?
But worst of all, this sorry excuse for a super-genius doesn’t even know there are already more effective ways of population control. Why don’t you use some of that high-powered science to reduce infant mortality, so parents don’t have to birth a whole clan in hopes that some of them will survive? What about making contraception widely available, or empowering the females so they’re not just brood mares? All proven methods in curbing population growth.
Okay, okay, Wrinkle-Chin, I hear what you’re saying — none of that changes the fact that there are too many people NOW. Fair enough. How about we split the difference between family planning and coin-flip genocide? Why not apply some wildlife management?
Yes, you can get an entire SCIENTIFIC DEGREE on how to deal with animal populations. Sorry if no one cares about those lizards on Titan. Here on Earth, we use math, chemistry, ecology and geography to carefully control numbers. We’ve been doing it for almost 200 years.
And yes, often a part of wildlife management is harvesting animals to prevent overpopulation. But we don’t do it all willy-nilly. We have hunting laws that usually prevent animals being taken during breeding season, or prevent females or immatures from being taken at all.
I guess what I’m saying is, the SCIENTIFIC and HUMANE thing to do would be to start selling hunting licenses to your interplanetary warlord buddies, set up some space stands in orbit (only during the fall, of course) and start sniping strapping young men from above. That, or put sterilizers in the fast food supplies. This finger-snapping thing? That’s reckless.
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