Thanos, the Villain in Infinity War, Is Just Another Environmentalist Worried About Overpopulation

The supervillain's master plan echoes the fears of "Population Bomb" author Paul Ehrlich.


Marvel Studios

After shattering box office records last weekend, Avengers: Infinity War is the biggest film in Hollywood. The movie pits a team of superheroes against a god-like supervillain named Thanos. Thanos' master plan? Kill half the universe out of fears of too many people and too few resources. That might sound like the sort of insane plan that could only come from a truly evil comic book supervillain. But it's not too far off from the worries of real-world environmentalists who have spread misguided fears about the dangers of overpopulation.

Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination of 18 previous movies and 10 years of work by Marvel Studios. The film revolves around dozens of heroes joining forces to prevent Thanos, the MCU's ultimate antagonist, from collecting all six of the "infinity stones." If Thanos gains possession of these stones, he can achieve his ultimate goal: destruction of "half of all life in the universe."

Thanos believes that there are finite resources in the universe—an appropriately illiterate idea, considering that the universe is infinite. Thus, if population growth is left unchecked, rising demand for resources will inevitably bring ruin to everyone. Halving the population of the universe is, in Thanos' mind, "not suffering, but salvation," for it is intended to avoid famine and poverty. The premise is misguided, but it's striking how many people here on Earth share it.

Thanos' concerns are identical to those of Stanford professor Paul Ehrlich, whose influential 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb predicted that rapid population growth would result in demand on Earth's finite resources outstripping supply, resulting in the breakdown of society. To this day Ehrlich continues to make doomsday predictions, and to this day reality continues to prove him wrong.

Just last month, Ehrlich stated that the "collapse of civilisation is a near certainty within decades." In a 1979 interview, Ehrlich predicted that 'sometime in the next 15 years, the end will come—and by 'the end,' I mean an utter breakdown of the capacity of the planet to support humanity." Most amusing, as I sit writing this article in a small café in central London, is his 1969 claim that he "would take even money that England would not exist in the year 2000."

Less amusing are the horrific real-life policies that have been implemented because of Ehrlich's doomsaying. To be sure, no policy has yet been on par with Thanos' plan to directly kill half of the population, but as Chelsea Follett has noted, "Ehrlich's jeremiad led to human rights abuses around the world, including millions of forced sterilizations in Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, Indonesia, Bangladesh and India—as well as China's draconian 'one child' policy. In 1975, officials sterilized 8 million men and women in India alone…To put that in perspective, Hitler's Germany forcibly sterilized 300,000 to 400,000 people."

Since Ehrlich wrote The Population Bomb in 1968, the world's population has more than doubled, from 3.5 billion to 7.5 billion. Since 1968, famines have all but disappeared outside of war zones, and daily per capita calorie consumption has increased by more than 30 percent. In Asia, the region that consumed the fewest calories and had the fastest-growing population in 1968, caloric intake has increased by 40 percent, faster than the global average. Since 1990, the overall number of hungry people in the world has decreased by 216 million, despite the fact that the population grew by more than 1.9 billion.

Some may argue that these happy trends do not address Thanos' and Ehrlich's main argument: Progress must come to a halt eventually, for we will eventually run out of resources. Missing from the conversation about resource depletion is one crucial consideration: human ingenuity.

University of Maryland economist Julian Simon noted in his 1981 book that the human brain is the "ultimate resource." Humans can innovate themselves out of scarcity by becoming more efficient, increasing supply, and developing substitutes.

New technologies and improved farming methods have led humanity to use less land, while producing more food, which is then sold at a cheaper price. In 2013, the world used 26 million fewer hectares of farmland than it did at the turn of the millennium. To take cereals as an example: A hectare today produces on average 118 percent more yield than it would have 50 years ago. If all farmers could reach the productivity of an average U.S. farmer, the world could return a land mass the size of India back to nature.

As for the finite resource that our modern world depends upon, consider fossil fuels. Thanks to improved detection and drilling technology, there are now far more oil and gas reserves than ever before. Since 1980, proven oil reserves have increased by over 151 percent; for gas this figure was 163 percent. To put these data into perspective, in 2015 we used 34 billion barrels of crude oil, while we discovered another 53.2 billion barrels each year between 2010 and 2015.

We're solving the problems of hunger, poverty, illiteracy, disease, infant mortality, food production and much more at an unprecedented rate. And instead of becoming more scarce, natural resources are actually declining in price.

When you're watching Avengers: Infinity War this week, enjoy what is expected to be the biggest film of all time. But remember: The legitimacy of Thanos' overpopulation fears are just as fictional as the character himself. Humanity continues to prosper.

NEXT: Trump's Economic Illiteracy Has Deep Roots

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  1. considering that the universe is infinite

    Yeah, I’m sure you know this for a fact.

    1. When you fucking love science, you know these things.

    2. The Marvel Cinematic Universe does seem to be both infinite and crowded.

      1. They’ve barely scratched the surface with the Kree and the Ch’Tari. Wait until Disney merges with Fox and they get the rights back to the Skrulls, the Shi’ar. Galactus, etc..

    3. It’s actually not that far off from our current understanding of cosmology. It’s more accurate to say that the visible Universe has no measurable large-scale curvature.

    4. Eh, for all intents and purposes to humans it is infinite, there are more resources than we could ever use up, and it will be here far longer than our species and our mudball. However, almost all current science points to it being huge, but certainly not infinite.

      1. to humans it is infinite

        There’s the problem. Thanos is not human.

        1. He is an offshoot of humanity though. He is a Titaniam Eternal. The Eternals are an off shoot of humanity that we’re genetically improved millions of years ago by the godlike cosmic Clestials. Thanos is the son of the founder of the Eternal’s colony on Sturn’s moon of a Titan. He is also a mutant. Although he is somewhat extra terrestrial, he has common roots with humanity.

          I read a lot of Jim Starlin’s stuff growing up.

          1. He is an offshoot of humanity though.

            So he’s not human.

            The point is, he’s way more powerful than any human and is not limited to thinking on a human scale.

            1. This thread has dried more vaginas than the Messinian Salinity Crisis.

            2. He is more powerful than any human. He’s also not an alien. In fact eternals look just like very attractive humans. Thanos looks different as he is a mutant teenage, in the same way the X-Men are mutant humans. Which is part of why Thanos is so powerful, (and that eternals long ago developed technology that imbued them with cosmic power similar to the Silver Surfer) and also why he vivisected his own mother as a child. To find out why he is so different than other eternals.

              Beyond that he is about as not human as a Neanderthal is relative to Homo Sapiens, but with added powers from being a cosmically imbued mutant.

          2. /Points


  2. Spoilers?

    1. Thanos doesn’t look much like a watermelon to me, but I don’t know any beet metaphors.

      1. Survivors
        Iron Man
        Captain America
        Black Widow
        War Machine
        Black Panther
        Winter Soldier
        Dr. Strange
        Scarlet Witch
        Nick Fury
        Maria Hill
        Definitely Dead
        The Collector
        Black Order
        Pretty much all the Asgardians

        1. You must be a blast at parties.

          1. I am, I shoo all the boring entitled fucks who bitch about spoilers right out so the normal non-crybaby guests can enjoy themselves in peace.

            1. “Oh thank God, those insufferable cunts who constantly whine about spoilers are gone!!!”

              I’ve heard it dozens of times.

              1. You obviously keep different company than I do.

                1. I see I’ve run you off from a party before

            2. Person: “I don’t rush to see movies as soon as they come out, although i do appreciate being surprised by my entertainment.”
              David Ingresso: “FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING FUCK.”

              1. It was the bitchy whining. Like yours there.

              2. And…you don’t actually think that’s me do you? Come the fuck on you’re not new at this you know better.

                1. I can’t Citizen was actually stupid enough to think that was actually me, and not a totally made up sick puppet handle. I knew it was burned the moment I did that, but how fucking stupid do you have to be to actually bother posting it? Lol

                  1. Frankly, I’m surprised you didn’t just use the Tulpa handle like you normally do when you want to play Miss Bitchy Cunt.

                    1. Hey look it’s the third tier loser!

                      Gotta make sure people know what you think!

                    2. Awww, sparkys upset because I reminded the world how HM used to make sport of him!!

                      You’re still third tier, little guy.

                    3. I always wondered how that felt, you desperately trying to get in the game, but not being serious or intelligent or insightful enough to even get responded to.

                      Is that why you’re always such a miserable fuck?

                    4. It’s so adorable sparky, you’re like that little dog who comes running when the big dogs go at it, yapping and growling, but all you do is get stepped on.

                  2. Oh, i see. I guess being unpopular at parties doesn’t matter all that much if your personality defects ensure you never get invited to them in the first place. You do you, muchacho.

                    1. “Oh, i see. I guess being unpopular at parties doesn’t matter all that much if your personality defects ensure you never get invited to them in the first place. ”

                      I’m not your therapist.

                    2. “You do you, muchacho”

                      When have I ever done anything else?

              3. Person: “I don’t rush to see movies as soon as they come out, although i do appreciate being surprised by my entertainment.”
                David Ingresso: But you read a story about them and don’t expect them to be discussed, except in that oblique way that one must in order to accommodate you and your desire to not read spoilers? FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING FUCK.

                1. Citizen is upset because that post actually makes sense.

            3. I boot the guys who insufferably bitch about the people who bitch about spoilers.

            4. What a coincidence. I take entitled fucks who think it’s their business to spoil everything and beat them til they shit their own teeth. It’s always a bonus when they beg like a wino for mercy.

              1. Like every Thanos story, Thanos will lose his omnipotent gizmo, every naughty thing he did will be reversed to never-happened, and we’re back in a universe with Thanos setting up another self-resolving crossovee.

                1. Nope. With this arc, there are going to be a few heroes in the discard pile permanently depending upon how they did it.

        2. The Collector is immortal.

    2. Movie literally starts off where the after credits from thor 3 ends up. The asgardain life boat is a wreck and seems like almost everyone is dead. Thanos is trying to get Loki to fess up the Tessaract. Thanos starts crushing Thor’s head and it’s slowly getting cracked by the power stone. Thanos already has the power stone, it’s mentioned he destroyed Zandar. In a ploy Loki stalls and the hulk comes in and battles Thanos. Ebony tells the others not to interfere and let Thanos have his fun. Eventually Thanos overpowers the hulk and levels him. Loki ends up giving the Tessaract to Thanos who in turn crushes it to reveal the space stone and puts it on his glove. Loki tries to trick thanos but is quickly killed. Before Thanos could kill the Hulk, Hemidal uses the power of the bifrost and sends Hulk to earth (where he lands in the NYC sanctum). Thanos before teleport himself and the black order from the ship sets the ship to destroy itself with the power of the power gem.

      1. Pepper potts and Tony have a scene talking about a dream tony had of her having a baby or w/e. Anyway Dr. Strange shows up in a portal and asks tony to join him. They have the whole interaction of about thanos and the infinity stones. Some of this is seen in the trailers. Wong also explains about the infinity stones and how they came to be etc. While they talking one of the rings shows up and wong, tony, banner and dr strange go outside and try to help the people in the area. Ebony and the big guy shows up. Banner for some reason can’t transform to the hulk. It’s almost like the Hulk is stopping him from transforming. (btw he never transforms again fully to the hulk since his encounter with thanos). Ebony has some telekenitc powers and faces off with Dr. Strange who at the end captures him and takes him to the ring ship. in a bus driven by stan lee, peter parker sees the ring and his friend creates a distraction so he can go. He suits up and gets into the battle and helps tony fight the big guy. Eventually the big guy gets teleport-ed away. Spiderman tries to save Dr. Strange but he ends up failing but is on the ring ship as it heads to space. Tony asks veronica to activate the iron spider suit and sends it to peter before he runs out of oxygen. shortly after he activates the parachute to force peter off the ship but he hangs on anyway.

        1. Pls don’t kill me if some stuff is out of order, it’s just so many stuff happens in the movie it’s hard to remember it all. At some point the guardians of the galaxy are following a distress becon that was from the asgardian ship. They literally see all the asgardian bodies floating in space. And the ship in pieces. They pick up thor. They are marveled that he’s alive and the mind girl revives him. It jumps where you hear Gamora talking about thanos (from the trailer). Thor is drinking soup or something, not sure what i was, but he becomes curious of how much Gamora knows about Thanos and even insinuates to try to harm her/mixed with jokes etc. Bottom line Gamora hints of something that Thanos doesn’t know but wont tell Star Lord. She makes him promise her to kill her if it comes to the point where she might tell THanos the big secret. Thor wants to go to Nidavellir to forge a new weapon, stormbreaker which can wield the bi-frost’s power. Rocket Racoon and Groot go with him in the small ship while the rest go to UNKOWN, the place where the collector is. Thor said that’s where the reality gem is.

          1. Forgot to mention that Banner took the cell phone Captain america left for tony. And said he would call him as wong said he will stay to protect the sanctum.
            Tony and peter try to figure out a way to save Dr. Strange who is being tortured by ebony. He’s using these needle like things to poke him (from the trailer) because Dr. Strange has a spell on the Eye of Agamoto to prevent him from taking the stone. (earlier on earth ebony’s hand was burned when he tried to touch the eye of agamto). Dr. Strange is resisting evntually peter mentions about the movie aliens so Tony blasts a hole in the wall of ship which sucks ebony out to space and kills him. Dr strange nearly gets sucked out all the way but spiderman saves him and his iron spider suit in the nick of time sprouts the legs and helps him pull dr strange out back to the ship. Tony uses a spray of some kind to seal the hole (maybe nano tech or he melts the surrounding metal, not sure). Anyway Dr. Strange mentions about gonig back to earth and Tony says they can’t, that they should go face Thanos head on.

            1. In Scotland Wanda and a flesh and blood looking vision discuss the future of their relationship and they see in a tv the news of New York being attack. Proxima midnight and Corvus attack them both. The vision gets stabbed by corvus and goes off while wanda faces off proxima. They get thrown into a train station. Corvus tries to remove the stone from vision but gets interrupted. Captain america shows up and catches proximas weapon. Black window wounds Corvus and Proxima and him retreat. They later meet up with Warmachine in the Avengers base, General Ross makes a breif cameo. Captain america, and the others show up and ross wants Warmachine to arrest them but he closes the hologram and meet the others. Banner shows up and they all eventually decide to go Wakanda.

              1. Drax, mantis, Gamora, and Star Lord reach UNKNOWN. They sneak around but every instance of Star Lord trying to lead gets subverted by the others. Thanos is already there questioning the Collector. The others get close and eventually Gamora goes and attacks Thanos and “kills him” but it was a lie. Thanos was using the reality Gem the whole time and was waiting for her to show up because she has a piece of information that only she knows. She tells star lord to kill her while Thanos has her in his grip (he has 3 stones now btw). Eventually Star lord caves and right when he pulls the trigger bubbles comes out, Thanos used the reality gem to change it. He also incapacitated Drax and mantis (can’t remember her name). And he teleport away.
                Vision, Captain America, Warmachine, Wanda, Falcon, black widow, and Banner get to wakanda. The plan is to try to seperate the stone from Vision while Shuri finds a way to save his mind. So that he doesn’t die from the separation. They are informed of the battle that will come via Thanos etc.

              2. Drax, mantis, Gamora, and Star Lord reach UNKNOWN. They sneak around but every instance of Star Lord trying to lead gets subverted by the others. Thanos is already there questioning the Collector. The others get close and eventually Gamora goes and attacks Thanos and “kills him” but it was a lie. Thanos was using the reality Gem the whole time and was waiting for her to show up because she has a piece of information that only she knows. She tells star lord to kill her while Thanos has her in his grip (he has 3 stones now btw). Eventually Star lord caves and right when he pulls the trigger bubbles comes out, Thanos used the reality gem to change it. He also incapacitated Drax and mantis (can’t remember her name). And he teleport away.
                Vision, Captain America, Warmachine, Wanda, Falcon, black widow, and Banner get to wakanda. The plan is to try to seperate the stone from Vision while Shuri finds a way to save his mind. So that he doesn’t die from the separation. They are informed of the battle that will come via Thanos etc.

                1. Thanos and Gamora are in his ship. There’s a brief sequence showing how he conquered her planet etc and killed half the population to save the planet from destroying itself. There’s this whole idea from Thanos that if you kill half the population of an overpopulated planet, you can save it from extinction etc. Gamora knows where the soul stone is, when she was working for him, she found its location, and destroyed the map. She tried to lie but Thanos took her to Nebula who is in suspended shattered state, being pulled apart. He activates a memory from her that shows that indeed Gamora was lying and knew the location of the soul stone. He proceeds to pull her apart torturing her trying to get Gamora to cave in. Which she eventually does. At some point Nebula escapes after thanos and gamora leave (thanos had a minion repiar her and she overpowered the repair guy).

                  1. Thanos and gamora go to the planet and a being shows up telling Thanos the way to get the soul stone. Bottom line he has to sacrifice a soul in order to get the soul stone. Someone he loves. Gamora gloats saying that he doesn’t love anything and she notices he’s tearing. Apparently he truely loves Gamora and ends up sacrificing her. She tried to kill her self before he could throw her off the ledge with a double dagger he gave her when she was a little girl. For some reason when she falls, they show her body broken and bleeding and all of a sudden he reappears with the soul stone in his hand.

                    1. Thor gets to the planet where the dwarves crafted the Mjonir. But notices there’s something wrong. The forge is off. The dwarf was the one who crafted the infinity gauntlet for thanos and promised to not kill him and his people. Eventually after crafting the gauntlet, thanos destroyed all his people except him. Btw he’s Peter Dinklage but cgied to be 10 feet tall +. Anyway the heart of the dying star is in the middle of this huge contraption and they have to restart it so they could forge stormbreaker. Thor manages to star the rings that powers everything. But the shutter closed itself. He has to go into the ring devices to open it so that a beam from the star can light the forge. This is the scene in the trailer where you see thor in the middle of a contraption with two levers etc. Anyway he’s getting hit by the power of the star and is even getting slight burned by it. Eventually the MEtal portions of Stormbreaker is forged. The dwarf asks for the handle which is created by Groot from his own arm that wraps the weapon. At this point, thor is still unconscious. Rocket raccon is in these scenes and helps. He’s also amazing by the whole contraption and by the lore surrounding the dwaves making all powerful weapons. Btw thor is convinced Stormbreaker will enough to defeat Thanos

                    2. Meanwhile in wakanda they detect a disturbance in the atmosphere, and these sort of drop ships. One drops right on top of the Wakanda shield and blows up, but the shield holds. They all drop and Proxima and the big guy shows up. Steve, black panther and black widow talk to Poxima and the other guy (btw the big guy lost one of his forarms after the portal closed on his arm back in manhattan). Proxima mentions to Black widow that she will pay for what she did to corvus (insiuates that he died but he didn’t). Anyway the alien creatures begin pounding the shield and die as they do so. Some start getting through. All of the wakanda army is assembled along with winter soilder, warmachine, falcon, black panther and banner in the hulk buster.
                      At the same time Shuri is working on Vision, and Wanda is there as well in the city. The battle starts and eventually they noticed the aliens are trying to outflank them around the shield so Black panther gives the order to open a small gap so that they can keep them in the front of them (captain america’s idea).

                    3. Meanwhile Tony, spiderman and doctor strange crash land on titan. The guardians show up and start attacking each other. Thor had mentioned earlier about the avengers and eventually they realize who they were and stop the misunderstanding. Tony talks about a plan to stop Thanos but Dr. Strange uses the eye of agamto to see virtually millions of outcomes and only saw one way to beat Thanos. Back in wakanda, the battle rages on and gets pretty intense, proxima joins the fray, Warmachine droping bombs, Winter soilder doing his thing etc. Captain america using his new shields etc. The hulk buster/banner goes in a battle with the big guy from the black order, eventually he gets shoved into the forcefield and gets killed.
                      Proxima is fighting Black widow and the other girl and gets splattered by these huge alien wheels with razor sharp saw. But they are all getting overpowered and more wheels are rolling and right at that moment, Thor shows up and crushes the aliens and pushes them back. He’s extremely powerful now with stormbreaker. He’s there with rocket racoon and groot doing their thing.

                    4. Thanos shows up in Titan and begins to fight Tony, Dr. strange and the rest of the guardians. The battle heats up and they are trying to prevent Thanos from closing his fist, so ton uses these appendages to stop him, and amongst them all they eventually get the mantis to hold thanos in a state where he can’t move. They are trying to remove the glove and are almost successful. The girl mentions that THanos is remorseful of something and Nebula asks where’s Gamora. Star lord loses control when he realizes that gamora is dead and wrecks the whole plan by mistake. He hits the mantis which frees thanos and just when spider man was able to remove the glove, thanos snaps out of it and goes full rage mode and slips the glove back. During the battle thanos gets ticked off and manipulates an orbiting moon sending meteors down to titan. He has some one off battles with Dr. Strange where dr strnage creates copies of himself and all do the lace thing to try to tie him up but Thanos easily frees himself. He also has a battle with tony and he bit by bit kept crushing bits of tonys armor and eventually overpowers tony and stabs him with a daggar tony fashioned with his nano tech. I actually thought tony was going to die as he was bleeding out of his mouth. But he doesn’t he seals his wound later. Anyway spider man gets hit really hard etc. Eventually Thanos just teleports himself away to earth.

                    5. Corvus shows up where Vision and SHurri are and tries to remove the stone again. Vision and him fight it out and end up in the forest. Captain america intervenes along with wanda. Eventually Corvus gets stabbed with his own weapon by vision and dies. Vision senses that Thanos is coming via the infinity stone. And tells wanda that she must detach the stone from him and destroy it. Wanda does not want to do but eventually does, shes able to shatter the stone and it creates a huge blast that kills vision as well. Thanos shows up behind her and faces off Captain america which (in the trailer) but quickly over powers him. He’s still alive. Thanos isn’t phased by Wanda’s actions in which he preceeds to use the time gem localized where vision had died and he undid what she had done and restored the gem. He defeats wanda quickly and puts the stone in his glove. Suddenly Thor shows up out of no where and stabs Thanos in the chest with Stormbreaker. Thanos looks like he’s seriously hurt but says you should have aim at my head. He snaps his fingers and disappears. Captain america rushes to Thor asking what happened. And Thor was speechless. All of a sudden people started to turn to ash and completely disappear.

                    6. Bucky walks to captain america and says he doesn’t know what’s going on and he crumbles into ask and disappears. Black panther as well. In titan, the mantis, drax and peter parker in tonys arms turns to ash and disappear. Dr. strange also turns to ash, also Star Lord disappears as well. Tony is there sobbing on titan (seen in one of the trailers) I might be missing some other people as well. The movie ends with Thanos (fully healed) on another planet. Massive cliff hanger.

                    7. Finally after a dreadfully long set of credits, there’s an after credit scene with Nick Fury and Maria Hill. They are somewhere in nyc i think and all of a sudden a car crashes in front of them. When they walk to the car theres no drive. Behind them a helicopter loses control and crashes into a building which a big explosion and people screaming and running away. Maria starts to disappear as Nick fury tries to activate a com, some code red thing. He also begins to disappear and even was about to say shit before he vanishes. The com drops on the floor and you see the Ms Marvel Insignia along with her red and blue colors on the led screen.

                    8. People who bitch about spoilers are literally the worst people on the planet. Your stupid fucking sense of entitlement should embarrass you

                    9. I bet you’re the most popular dude on Reddit.

                    10. I just wonder if he came here and found this, just to post all this. Or if he’s a regular user who changed his username to post all this.

                    11. So, I just talked to my Lawyer, and apparently this poster is actually Weigel.

                    12. Nah, I’m good. I don’t care about spoilers.

                    13. Frankly, homeboy here just saved me $40 and like 3 hours of my life.

                    14. You were going to see this film in the theater? Nerd.

                    15. It’s fuckin’ EPIC!

                    16. So you’re normal.

                    17. Honestly if this was supposed to anger me it fails. I don’t care about this film at all. Thank you for saving me the time.

                    18. You’re welcome, glad to sew I talked some sense into you, even if it still does obviously bother you some.

                    19. “Idle Hands|4.30.18 @ 12:29PM|#

                      Honestly if this was supposed to anger me it fails. I don’t care about this film at all. ”

                      Just to be clear, you propagated one of the whiniest most entitled behaviors in the history of humanity, the” Spoilers?” guy, for no reason?

                      That’s like liquidating Jews for the fun of it.

                      Knock it off.

                    20. “Knock it off.”

                      Go fuck yourself, dickhead. I’ll whine about what I want to whine about.

                    21. Cry more, spoiler guy.

                    22. “I’ll whine about what I want to whine about.”

                      Oh my God will he ever, it never stops, he even goes online to whine about spoi…

                      oh I see.

  3. Not sure how this one slipped past the minders in Hollywood, especially after the Kingsmen got through. There was a time when governments were the villains in most movies – whether it was the corrupt sheriff/mayor going after the Duke boys, the groups that necessitated calling in the A-Team (or ineptly pursued the A-Team due shoddy investigative techniques), evil Soviets during the Bond films, or the Empire in Star Wars. But we’ve been on a 20 year run where the villain is usually some Evuul KKKorporation, usually while ignoring that the KKKorporation is doing its evil with the consent or the assistance of the government.

    1. the first Kingsmen had the greatest villain of the last couple of years.

    2. I’m waiting for the Reason article detailing how the bad guys won in Ready Player One.

    3. There’s a surprising amount of individualist/quasi-libertarian sentiment running through the MCU movies.
      And there’s the unexpected twist in Big Hero 6 regarding the identity of the bad guy.
      Maybe the world and its players aren’t quite so neatly emeddable in simplistic narratives.

    4. “”But we’ve been on a 20 year run where the villain is usually some Evuul KKKorporation””

      Actually, it’s more like a thirty year run. Big business has always been a villain in Hollywood, but ever since the collapse of Communism, there’s been a big power vacuum in the villain seat that Hollywood has filled in with even more Evil Capitalists.

      Granted, they’ve upped the ante in recent years, but it’s really nothing new.

      1. Crooked land developers were often the villain on shows like ‘The A-Team”.

        1. Don’t forget “The Equalizer”.

          Or the old classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Eebil capitalist Potter.

        2. …ditto “Scooby-Doo”.

    5. I found it interesting that even though Joss Whedon is (AFAIK) pretty liberal, the villains in Buffy The Vampire Slayer were often government (or government-spawned). Then of course you have the Purple Bellies in Firefly.

  4. Have you been to the fucking beach lately?

    1. There’s a beach for fucking? Hot damn!

      1. Two words: sand everywhere.

        1. Not good. The one place you really don’t want sand. Especially if you’re not Jewish.

      2. Filled with nubile, sex-addicted cheerleaders no doubt.

        1. You ever been to a nudist colony, or even read about one? “Nubile” is not a word often used in descriptions thereof, and a fucking beach would no doubt attract exactly the same sorts of people.

          1. It never hurts to dream. Or make porno films based on those dreams. Maybe revive the Babewatch series of films or something.

          2. Very similar to what people think swinger’s clubs are like and what they’re actually like.

  5. When you’re watching Avengers Infinity War this week, enjoy what is expected to be the biggest film of all time, but just remember, the legitimacy of Thanos’ overpopulation fears are just as fictional as the character himself. Humanity continues to prosper.

    FFS, Buzz Killington, how about people just be allowed to enjoy a movie? If you think Thanos has a dumb premise in this movie then maybe you should read some of the comics these movies are based on from the last 20 years. Spoiler alert, in order for the good guys to have something to fight, bad guys have to regularly come up with ridiculous evil plans.

    1. Killing half the universe was Thanos’s motivation forty years ago in the comics too. He is in love with the cosmic embodiment of death. So this is done as a love offering.

      1. I don’t suppose he’s noble enough to put his name at the top of the list for us?

        1. He’s trying.

          That’s the point.

          Thanos is courting death.

          He is in love with Death. He wants Death.

        2. In the Marvel Universe, concepts such as Eternity, Infinity, Death, etc. have self aware humanoid -ish representations as cosmic entities.


  6. “Less amusing are the horrific real-life policies that have been implemented because of Ehrlich’s doomsaying.”

    Including legalized abortion, as indicated by the remarks of women’s-rights champion Robert Packwood and such other marginal figures as Justice Ginsburg, Paul Weddington, etc.

  7. First sentence of paragraph four is incoherent.

  8. I still hope in the next movie they pull in Thanos’ original motive for doing shit. He’s in love with the Goth chick personification of Death in the universe and is trying to show off for her.

    1. Did John Milton draw those issues, because I seem to recall something similar from Paradise Lost.

      1. (Insert joke about how some bad comics artist has as good an eye for drawing as John Milton)

    2. That’s the DC universe…

      1. No. That’s how Jim Starlin wrote Thanos for Marvel. Although he bares more than a passing resemblance to Darkseid.

      2. That’s a different Goth version of Death.

  9. If the universe is infinite, to the point that there are parallel worlds with multiple versions of the same superheroes, then it would stand to reason that there are multiple versions of the same resources, too.

    Anyway, it’s not supposed to be a true story.

    And what kind of Avengers/X-Men story would there be if there were enough adamantium and vibranium for everybody?

    Oh, and If there’s an extremely scarce resource of ultimate power in real life, it’s whatever’s inside Scarlett Johansson. Ogley mogley, that’s a zero sum game worth fighting to win.

    1. whatever’s inside Scarlett Johansson

      I wouldn’t mind being inside Scarlett Johansson.

      1. You beat me to it. Maybe a sandwich then? I see her as a triple input girl anyway.

  10. According to the accepted cosmological theories, the universe is not finite, but it is expanding. Which is a problem, because the amount of regular matter/energy is finite which means it is becoming more diffuse and unusable as time goes on. Look up “heat death of the universe”.

  11. an appropriately illiterate idea, considering that the universe is infinite.

    Talk about illiterate.

    1. Olber’s Paradox – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olbers‘_paradox

    2. The speed of light and the Hubble Law show that the amount of the universe that we could ever reach is only a portion of the currently visible universe – and that that portion is shrinking.

    1. Sadly, the part of the universe containing the Kardashians will always be within reach.

      /best joke I could come up with, sorry

      1. Maybe the Kardashians could be sent to live with the Cardassians.

  12. Yep. The key is not to kill people, but to educate them to the point that they voluntarily choose not to have more kids. This can’t happen with socialism, which is indoctrination into “have more kids and everyone else will pay for it”. Why? So they can abuse and exploit them for fun and profit.

    1. I’m not sure if we can claim that socialism leads to high birth rates.

  13. This is Hollywood wrecking the story.

    In the actual Infinity War story arc in the actual comic books…Thanos wants to destroy ALL life in the universe and he wants to do it because he is in love with Death, personified as a woman, and he figures if he kills all life in the universe, she’ll be into him.

    That Marvel signed off on letting one of their top 3 bad guys become nothing more than a really powerful environmental crusader is just simple virtue signaling from the industry. Just know the comic books had a much more succinct, properly evil plot for this story – destroy all life, period, for purely personal, insane reasons. A proper bad guy doing proper bad guy things.

    1. I am not sure being John Hinckley on a universal scale is much better.

      1. Understood. Just saying this environmental extremist plot is pure Hollywood and not from the comic book. In the book, he’s just a sociopath with tons of power, and the Infinity Gauntlet will let him have ultimate power…to indeed go all John Hinkley and impress a girl. No moral confusion, no deep thinking, just a really powerful insane dude doing insane dude stuff for insane reasons.

    2. I find it more interesting that Hollywood let an environmental crusader be the bad guy, given Hollywood’s usual environmental crusade.

    3. I preferred his original motivation, but, “That Marvel signed off on letting one of their top 3 bad guys become nothing more than a really powerful environmental crusader is just simple virtue signaling from the industry.”

      Seriously? They’re virtue signaling by making the biggest bad guy in the galaxy an environmentalist? Who are they signaling virtue to, do you suppose? Because industry virtue signaling doesn’t usually involve the bad guy being a Greenie.

    4. He’s more of a Malthusian than an environmentalist. He isn’t doing it out of concern for Gaia or an analogous concept on a universal scale. He just thinks societies will collapse without a culling.

    5. Thanos originally wanted to blow out the stars and kill everyone. Which he attempted to do during the Adam Warlock story arc from the early 80’s. After Thanos’ resurrection for The Infinity Guantlet storyline he decided death craved a steady harvest. Where he planned to kill about half the population of the universe and force the remaining population into a system of breeding and scheduled executions designed to maximize his tribute to death.

      In Silver Surfer 44, Thanos appears to have won and is showing the Surfer his vision for the universe on an alien world where his soldiers march the people on a schedule to a slaughterhouse to be culled. When asked if this is where everyone comes to die, a Thanos explains there are a thousand such places on that world alone.

      Essentially, Thanos turns the universe into a controlled system of tribute to the cosmic embodiment of Death.

  14. Spoiler alert: a woman comes to the universe’s rescue. No, it isn’t Hillary “Hildog” Clinton.

    1. I’m really looking forward to seeing what they do with that character. I like Brie Larson a lot and Captain Marvel is a good character.

      1. I wish they had done Mar-Vell first.

      2. That’s not the woman that comes to the rescue.

  15. Environmentalism when applied to a galactic scale across a billion years, makes no fricking sense. I haven’t seen this movie yet, but if that’s the villain’s motivation, I’m hoping the did the Marvel thing and overloaded the movie with cheap quips to mask it.

    Is he worried the universe will reach Peak Hydrogen?

    An old analogy to dwindling oil supplies is a mosquito drinking from a swimming pool full of blood. It’s finite but mosquito is not going to run out. On the galactic scale, just ramp it up so it’s a mosquito drinking from a pool of blood the size of the Pacific. Really, it’s not something to worry about.

    1. Yeah, but you’re thinking like a human.

  16. This has been the policy of environmentalists for the past 50 years or more. Some of the literature supporting that philosophy goes back to at least the 19th century.

    POP and Voluntary Human Extinction Movement aren’t outliers in the envirotard movement, just the publicly honest groups.

  17. The article is ludicrous. Thanos is a madman who took up a cause to eliminate half the life in the universe. He went nuts as a kid watching his world starve so he decided if he killed half of everything he’d make the universe a better place. I’ve yet to come across an environmentalist who wants to kill off half the world’s population. Sure there are the 0.001% of loonies out there with various ideas just like there are libertarian loonies who want to go back to no government and anarchy because it’s more “pure”. When people start using the word “pure” you better start putting on your skepticism spectacles.

    1. The funny thing is, eternals don’t need to eat food to live.

  18. I really want to talk about how rad this author’s name is.

    1. I don’t know. The name sort of insists on itself.

  19. Think the progs are better represented by Hugo Drax from James Bond’s Moonraker than Thanos here. They want to eliminate only those who don’t think/look like them.

  20. So the movie is saying Thanos is Ehrlich?

  21. There is probably a limit to human’s ability to overcome scarcity. Also, sometimes humans squander resources. People in Cape Town, South Africa have to gather water because they are out of water. Other parts of the world may face a similar fate. The rulers knew this could happen, but did nothing. With water scarcity comes food scarcity. So there is a point where there will be more people than we can supply with fresh water. Maybe we will be able to desalinize the ocean or something and keep on going. However, be a bit more intentional with our use of resources isn’t a bad thing.

    The Chinese one child policy had positive and negative effects. On the plus side, it dig increase overall economic well being of the Chinese. However, a cultural preference for boys, led to a serious gender imbalance. When creating policies, you have to consider the views and cultures of the individuals and how things are likely to play out.

    1. However, a cultural preference for boys, led to a serious gender imbalance.

      As well as murder of untold number of children. I mean, the gender imbalance is a thing, but it’s a consequence of a monstrous action, and we should always focus on the monstrous action first.

    2. Interestingly enough, we’re only half way through the consequences of this. Now those males are kidnapping women from other cultures. There are a lot of children going to be born in China that’ll only be half Chinese.

  22. Over the past 5-10 years there has been so many superhero movies, that I just don’t give a crap anymore. Marvel and DC can suck a nut, because American comic books are shit compared to almost anyone else especially Japanese Manga and Anime. It got so bad that 3 years ago I decided to simply not spend any money nor give a shit about anything being published or distributed in any way from either Marvel or DC. Basically if it involves a superhero, I will not see it.

    1. Good for you. I went and saw Avengers this afternoon. It was fun.

  23. Hey Alexander C. R. Hammond. Great read. I too am an inspiring writer and graphic novel enthusiast. What coffee shop do you frequent in London? I would love to share some words over a skinny caramel macchiato in your natural writing environment!

  24. “…considering that the universe is infinite.”
    Umm, where did you get that idea?

  25. The universe is really big, but not infinite.

    OTOH, the only real resource is energy. Everything else can be recycled.

  26. “Thanos is Paul Ehrlich”

    Too funny
    They probably thought they were making Thanos a more sympathetic character

    1. Thanos isn’t a totally villainous character. Over time it’s been revealed that he always fails at his grand schemes because subconsciously he doesn’t feel worthy to be ruler of the universe. In fact, after the first Infinity event, he was secretly made guardian of one of the infinity gems.

      1. Well, sure, but he’s still villainous enough for to make Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot look like Mr. Rogers.

        1. Only based on his ability to produce a more horrific end result. If any of the people you mentioned had Thanos’ power, they would do far worse than Thanos.

  27. You mentioned Hitler. Hitler was merely standing up for mother nature and the natural order of things by attempting to instigate international race war as a survival-of-the-fittest necessity for nature. This is clear from reading Mein Kampf and Timothy Snyder’s book Black Earth (see the Atlantic article about this book, Sept. 2015).
    Thanos is Hitler. Twin champions of nature.

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