Wall•e might be a lot more contemporary than most robots in this column, there is one aspect of the feature-film easily overlooked – the Buy n Large Corporation.
The friendly mega-company that is destined to one day rule the world and launch the last vestiges of humanity into space already has already established a bastion on the World Wide Web – even if visiting means forfeiting your immortal soul.
As the legal disclaimer explains, visitors give up the right to things including, but not limited to “the users ‘soul’ (either real or imagined, regardless of spiritual or religious affiliation).”
Any company making a claim like that must be offering something good.
And indeed they are. Aside from Wall•e, Sall•e, Gar•e, Nanc•e, Wend•e and a host of other useful robots, BnL has purchased all the world’s media and replaced all world governments. A fiscally wise decision, clearly, but also indicative of the company’s presumed goal – make humanity happy no matter what the cost.
Even if the company might by the instrument of mankind’s demise, they have come put with some winning ideas.
Xanadou, an over-the-counter medication to alleviate shopper’s frustration – that is, the feeling one gets after making bad shopping choices. Quite helpfully, the pill creates a “euphoric shopping experience” even if a good deal was not made.
In another altruistic move, BnL has created a replacement for “fleshware teachers” sorely needed in public schools. The teaching bots who use corporal punishment and occasionally “a humiliating tone of voice” to keep students eager to learn.
The greatest BnL creation, still in the beta phase unfortunately, is the Roboti-Mate. Each mate has a personally based on the human partners needs (argumentative, dotting, polite, controlling, etc.) and is designed to make the perfect spouse. Sadly flaws remain in the product line, as one robo-hubby occasionally “bangs his head against the wall screaming, ‘Please kill me!’” Nothing that a quick reboot can’t fix.
Such problems, evident in Wall•e’s unpredictable personality, might be the result of unintended glitches in artificial intelligence programs. Even if something goes wrong of course, that’s what spin control is for.
Sure, Wall•e has an official site, but the BnL page goes leagues further in the realm of satire. It’s amazing to me Disney would approve such a dark and twisted tie-in to a kiddy movie franchise, but more power to ‘em.
Discuss BnL at the Wall•e Forum!