At 9:47AM on June 19, 1987, the earth passed through the tail of comet Rhea-M. The result was pandemonium. Machines came to life and tried to destroy their human creators. Soda pop machines spit aluminum bullets of death at thirsty customers. Lawn mowers ran down their human drivers. Instead of children chasing the ice cream truck, the ice cream truck chased the children. If not for Emilio Estevez, human civilization may have been lost.
As Stephen King’s 1986 flop/film, Maximum Overdrive, drew to a close, the pulsing riffs of Angus Young’s guitar welcomed theater goers (both of them) back into reality.
But, was reality really that different than fiction? Were those theater goers returning to a world where humans really had control? What about today: are humans the masters of our world? Are machines or humans in control? Who is, in fact, in charge: the creator or the created?
Maximum Overdrive will not be remembered as a great movie–nor will it be remembered long (had you thought about it before reading this?). However, the soundtrack granted a legacy. It was performed solely by AC/DC, and driven by the release of the single “Who Made Who?”
Instead of the trailer or a clip of Maximum Overdrive being included here, the much more entertaining video for “Who Made Who?” has been included… because, dangit, it’s so much fun watching Angus Young (especially when there are hundreds of Anguses).
What do you hear this song asking? Is it really asking if human made machine or if machine made human? We know the answer to that, don’t we? But does humanity really have control of what we’ve created… or has the created somehow taken control of us?
The song challenges us: can we say “no” to the video games, or will they take our last dime (or last minute of time)? Do we own the numbers we see on the ATM or bank site, or do those numbers own us? The same satellites we built to watch others are also watching us… is that unsettling? Though we turned to the screws that created all these wonders, is it possible that the “wonders” are actually taking the screws to us?
In the relationship between humanity and technology, it is clearly revealed that there is no technology without humanity. Technology does not exist without humanity, nor is there purpose to it without us. Similarly, technology without the intervention and direction of humanity is dysfunctional–it doesn’t work. Left unchecked, it may prove ruinous (you’ve seen Terminator, right?).
Do you believe in a similar relationship between the Divine and humanity? Humanity without Divine direction and interventions seems pointless. Can we even sense a purpose without a God? Can humanity survive without God–or can humanity make it without the organizing principle of a Divine leader? Is the idea of God something needed to unite us?
This has been nothing but questions. But that’s where the song leads us, isn’t?
The final question is this: was faith created in you? Or do you create your own faith?