The Zero Theorem

The Zero Theorem

Sometimes in the lives of creative individuals, they produce something so extraordinary that it filters into the collective consciousness of entire generations. What if your name was Terry Gilliam and you did that early on in your career, and then everyone judged the rest of your creative output against that one thing? What if, even worse, it was two things? Consider this high bar:

I don’t want to forget a few other memorable films of his which entered the public consciousness:

Is it just that people can only take so much greatness before they turn away? If you did turn away you would have missed:

Does Terry Gilliam need an introduction? If so, I included a link so you could read about him. His films always touch on interesting subjects regarding our lives and our place in the pantheon of the universe. This one is no exception. This film was released in 2013 and it was very prescient. Post all the COVID B.S. is a perfect time to revisit this film.  Like a lot of people I enjoyed this film, but the movie didn’t enter consciousness like Brazil. Then I rewatched it last week. Good Lord. We are The Zero Theorem. In this film you will see work at home pathos, misuse of pronouns, nigh-useless therapy designed to identify problematic workers, corporations spying on workers even at home, and a government/corporate collaboration to control everything in everyone’s life.

It is far too easy to spill the beans over this movie so I will only tell you the basic plot summary, stolen shamelessly from IMDB:

“A hugely talented but socially isolated computer operator is tasked by Management to prove the Zero Theorem: that the universe ends as nothing, rendering life meaningless.”

I will say this will be difficult for some people to watch because you will see parts of your life reflected in this film. That’s good. Go out and make a change before you become The Zero Theorem.

Now watch! Or don’t! Everything is Voluntary! Next week I am down to One Film. An anniversary post!

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About The Author

R.J.

Hello. My name is R.J. and I am a Tulpa.

197 Comments

  1. Count Potato

    *hits play*

    • R.J.

      *kicks play for good measure*

  2. Scruffy Nerfherder

    Wow, forgot about this film.

    • R.J.

      It works very well for 2022.

  3. DEG

    I will dive in soon.

    • rhywun

      #metoo

      I hope it’s enjoyable with a couple highballs and not paying 100% attention.

      • Tonio

        R.J. is a serious cineaste. He expects your rapt attention to detail.

        • R.J.

          Haha! I am a raccoon, a trash panda who occasionally surfaces with something nice. Normally it’s a half eaten pizza slice, like ‘Bigfoot’s Night Out.’
          I guess the anniversary show will tell if I am a trash panda or not!

          • Chafed

            R. J., what the heck is your avatar?

  4. DEG

    The city with advertisements everywhere reminds me of bits from a Frederick Pohl book. “Merchant’s War” I think it was?

    • R.J.

      I’m curious what you think about his “work”

      • DEG

        It looks like someone built a theorem solver which looks like a game?

  5. DEG

    I think she likes him.

    • R.J.

      I’m such a dope. Sounds crazy but I typed this out freestyle straight from my head and I forgot 12 Monkeys.

      • rhywun

        I didn’t know or remember that was him.

        I absolutely adore that movie.

        • Nephilium

          12 Monkeys is a great one.

      • Zwak. And once again, the mall is his Waterloo

        That was running through my head “where are the 12 monkeys?”

        But he had so many great movies.

      • Ted S.

        And “The Fisher King”.

        • R.J.

          Yep. Another one.

  6. Nephilium

    Personally, I put Life of Brian above Holy Grail. But that may have more to do with hanging out with geeks for most of my life.

    Unrelated to these movies, but another art house one that is available on Pluto is Pi.

    • rhywun

      I’ve been meaning to watch that forever.

      • Nephilium

        I enjoy it, but I enjoy some disturbing films. Primer (not available for free streaming) is another one I enjoy a lot.

        • rhywun

          That one is also on my wishlist, with a note reading “Not sold by Amazon?”.

          • Nephilium

            This may help you understand Primer.

      • Count Potato

        Aranofsky’s Pi is great (I met him at a club I was working), but Primer is just fucking tedious.

      • Nephilium

        /double checks the link

        I blame Q.

        I’m currently forcing the girlfriend to a Browns video that Warty shared with me from 1986 that is a spoof of Lord of the Rings, and one of the most CLE things ever.

    • Stillhunter

      I’ve found I really need the right frame of mind for the Monty Python movies. A couple times I’ve started one and it seemed off, so I quit watching. I think being in a silly mood already is the best time. Maybe not so much if I’m looking to cheer up.

  7. rhywun

    *hits play*

    Oh, commercials. Yeah, I knew that.

    • rhywun

      Ugh I was trying to figure out how to turn on subtitles on my “smart” TV and now Tubi is a blank screen.

      Giving up. Will try another day.

      At least I enjoyed the first ten minutes or so.

  8. Tundra

    Apparently the cities are still crime-ridden shitholes.

    #eight locks

  9. Tonio

    Okay, owes a serious artistic debt to “Blade Runner” (1982).

    NTTAWWT, of course.

    • R.J.

      You kids and your interwebs slang!

    • Count Potato

      That tech noir over-commercialized sleaze look is older than that.

  10. DEG

    I gotta run. I’ll finish the movie tomorrow. Thanks RJ!

    • R.J.

      Thanks for coming!

  11. Tundra

    Furries.

    Why does it always have to be furries?

    • R.J.

      Soft furry, warm furry
      Little ball of…

  12. Tundra

    MANAGEMENT

    EVERYTHING IS UNDER CONTROL

    Sounds right

  13. The Late P Brooks

    My roku stick seems to be just barely clinging to life. It has been very flaky lately, and getting worse. I’ll have to wait ’til the replacement shows up.

    • R.J.

      This is sad. If you have it by next week you will have a huge choice of films.

  14. Stillhunter

    Example #634827 that education does not equal intelligence…

    https://www.mctavish4mn.org/

    My favorite policy plank:
    Name tag request. Replace the mask mandate with a name tag request, a request that we all wear name tags in public that say “Minnesota Nice” as a reminder to live up to that and be nice to one another and that say your first name or whatever name you want to put on it. My aim is to make it a little easier to meet and interact with people and maybe help you make a new friend.

    • R.J.

      HELLO MY NAME IS
      Hugh P. Ennis

    • rhywun

      Government by Seinfeld jokes? Yeesh, pass.

      • R.J.

        That site is a hot mess.

        • rhywun

          “Press Play ->”

          LOL yup

    • Stillhunter

      It gets much worse:

      Population: Acknowledging and making an official statement that Minnesota, the U.S., and the world are overpopulated, meaning that the population is above our optimum population for human welfare and the welfare of the natural world.

      “Perhaps the only politician ever to make overpopulation an issue.”

      I mean, there’s probably a reason for that…

      • rhywun

        Jeez I didn’t get that far.

        Death cultist.

        Run away…!

      • Gustave Lytton

        You first, mutherfucker.

        (The asshole, not you Stillhunter)

    • DrOtto

      Hilarious that he opposes the nickel/copper mines, but then right under that has a clean car initiative. The nickel/copper mine projects are specifically for automotive battery production. At least one of which has a signed contract with Tesla for a minimum of 50% of their production.

      • rhywun

        LOL that is funny. These types have no idea what actually goes into their “green” technology.

        • Rat on a train

          Unicorn farts?

      • Chafed

        All those nice batteries come out of the factory. We don’t need any dirty mines.

    • MikeS

      This guy is a fucking loon. No, not the state bird kind.

      Sharing the lands and waters of our state with nature and other species by converting 50% of our land to nature and wilderness.

    • MikeS

      I am pro-choice. I would introduce a bill to make Roe v. Wade the law in Minnesota to a jury and I am confident the jury would pass it.

      Another fucking moron who can’t discern the difference between a court opinion and a law.

      • Gender Traitor

        a bill to make Roe v. Wade the law in Minnesota to a jury and I am confident the jury would pass it.

        …and the moron likewise doesn’t know who passes laws. 🙄

        • MikeS

          Oh, yeah. The “jury” reference is another of his goofy ideas:

          Jury Democracy. Have statistically valid juries of 500+ randomly selected citizens make all important decisions of government after hearing full debate and information from all sides on a single issue or proposal.

          • Grumbletarian

            Wait, don’t we say we’d get a better government by randomly drawing names out of a hat? This guy seems to want to do that. Now if said jury shoots down the rest of his nutty positions I wonder if he’d change his stance on that.

            • MikeS

              Fair point.

  15. Tundra

    Naughty nurse.

    Solid.

    • R.J.

      Yes. Yes it is.

      • Tundra

        Tantric, bio-metric interface.

        Prolly would.

        • R.J.

          SUIT UP!

  16. Tundra

    LMNT ad!

    This stuff is gold.

    Expensive, but will make you GlibFit!

    • Stillhunter

      I got the starter pack. I can’t bring myself to try the mango chile or lemon habanero, but the others I enjoy.

      Also, I picked up the astral hemp loyaks. They came today and I like them so far.

      • Tundra

        Sweet!

        I love the hot LMNT best,

        • Tundra

          Please let me know how you like the Loyaks. They are on my list!

  17. Tundra

    Lollypop Guild!

  18. Gustave Lytton

    Goddamit. Roku, like most tech companies maybe most companies period, is filled with UX retards who think they’re smarter than they are. I wish I could shove that little box up their collective backsides. I’m convince their name is an inside joke on their customer satisfaction scores.

    • R.J.

      What broke?

      • Gustave Lytton

        Their hotel connect. Rather than waiting for the user to click ok, it’s setup, the device is constantly checking for a connection and as soon as it thinks it has one, it drops pass thru login. And can’t quite distinguish between actually being connected and still inside the hotel’s login walled garden.

        Feeling a bit testy. Wasn’t planning to be on the road tonight. Three nights in California on the Deschutes is enough for me. Wife actually wants me to keep my eyes open for places for sale. In the middle of this dried out muggy shithole.

        • Gustave Lytton

          Also, have a project call to join in four hours that I found out about this afternoon.

          • R.J.

            Oh that’s great.

  19. Tundra

    Radiohead?

  20. The Hyperbole

    There was discussion of Tung oil in the afternoon post, I just went to YouTube and This was ‘recommended’ could be creepy algorithms spying on me or could be I’ve watched a bunch of this guys stuff and this came up randomly, either way if you were wondering about tung oil it’s a solid explainer.

    • DEG

      Also on Tung Oil, the US military used it for finishing M1 Garand stocks when they ran low on raw Linseed Oil (not boiled Linseed Oil).

  21. Yusef drives a Kia

    WAG, The space force was set up because we Do know aliens exist

    • Gustave Lytton

      Counterpoint, it’s the Space Force, not the Surrender Force.

  22. Yusef drives a Kia

    Tall Cans!

    • rhywun

      tall tumblers 🥃

  23. Tundra

    We were always alone. Never lonely.

    • R.J.

      We feel nothing

  24. Count Potato

    Thanks RJ 🙂

    So I rewatched it. I still don’t think it’s that great. It’s very Terry Gilliam.

    So what is next week? Or is that a big secret?

    • Tundra

      The blonde is worth it.

      • Count Potato

        Dat ass in the the PVC nurses outfit.

    • R.J.

      It’s an anniversary show, written before the site update. And it has a shit to of links i have to fix.

      • Count Potato

        Is there a movie? I’d like to dl it first, as I don’t do streaming.

        • R.J.

          There are all 50 movies from the entire year. Not any specific one.

          • Count Potato

            Oh, OK.

            You should take all 50, splice them together, then over dub the dialogue like Godfrey Ho 😉

            • R.J.

              Good idea. As a consolation prize, I have the Three Stooges vs. The Incredible Hulk.

              https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=futXSi3u4uY

              What was the first movie post you watched?

              • Count Potato

                I have no idea!

              • R.J.

                Hmm… I was going to pass you the list of ones you never saw in the forums. What month did you start watching?

              • Count Potato

                Honestly, I don’t remember. I think I started pretty early.

    • R.J.

      I will tell you this: I don’t in any way agree that this was the final film in a trilogy including Brazil and 12 Monkeys. Gilliam himself denies it but the theory keeps cropping up. It is not worthy as a successor to those two films.

      • Count Potato

        I don’t see how it the three could be a trilogy.

        • Chafed

          You’re not high.

  25. Festus

    I’ve waited long enough to go OT, hopefully not so long that drugs fall from my fundament. Witness the glory of Furious Kermit taking it right back at the Globalists! It’s 26:00 minutes long but worth the listen. https://youtu.be/–QS_UyW2SY

    • one true athena

      FURIOUS KERMIT *chokes on drink*

      • Chafed

        Yeah, that’s a great name Festus.

    • MikeS

      I’ve never seen this “context” bullshit link under a video before. I guess it’s better than them all-out banning videos, but fuck.

      • Chafed

        You’re not watching enough of the right videos. It’s pretty common when someone challenges The Message™.

        • MikeS

          ‘Tis true. 99.9% of the time, YouTube one place I go to escape from current events.

          • Chafed

            Smart move.

            • Festus

              I dig Mark Felton and Razorfist. Whatever.

    • MikeS

      That was really, really, good.

    • Zwak. And once again, the mall is his Waterloo

      Glorious.

    • one true athena

      And AOC! lol

    • Brochettaward

      Trump occasionally Firsts like a second tier Firster. It’s somewhat admirable. He’s not me, but he’s got some game.

    • Chafed

      He finally pulled off some of that 4D chess.

  26. straffinrun

    Not much practice with landscapes so gave one a shot today.

    https://ibb.co/F0g5Kj5

    • Chafed

      That’s a nice black and white photo. Where did you find the film?

      • MikeS

        A select few Zoomy Glibs got to see the subject live last weekend. I can attest to the great job he did.

    • MikeS

      I recognize that! Very nice!

      • straffinrun

        That’s the one!

    • DEG

      Nice!

  27. straffinrun

    Took a break for an hour to do that beach. Main project is the wife looking at the jungle. I’ve never drawn her for a reason. Playing with fire, I think.

    https://ibb.co/vkxmmsP

    • MikeS

      Great start. Can’t wait to see the finished drawing.

      • straffinrun

        It’s the face I’m worried about. I can fudge the shape on everything else.

    • Gustave Lytton

      Holy cow you’ve gotten good! Even the rough sketching is top notch.

      • straffinrun

        Show the kid the first outline and she said, “Momma!”

        First hurdle cleared.

        • DEG

          Excellent

    • Don escaped Texas

      I’m better at mechanical sketches, but I’m known for the odd, quick caricature

      My grandboss of ten years ago figured this out and begged “do me!” I liked his openness and trust, but he’s your typical Toronto Jew, so I politely declined: I didn’t want to spend a month in HR. He would have been so easy, five minutes tops, but so not worth it.

      This is the world the woke have built. Part of me doesn’t mind: I shouldn’t be drawing caricatures at work anyway.

      • Festus

        I always drew them pretty much as they were. Little need for exaggeration. Turns out mean though if you’re not careful. I’ve always had a talent for cruel nick-names that stuck. It’s a power that should be tempered.

  28. Festus

    So I go out to my Adirondack chair, sip my beer and start looking skywards. Next thing I know the delivery guy shows up across the way and “Miss Torso” answers the door. I don’t want to be Jimmy Stewart!

    • Festus

      The sky was doing that weird day for night technicolor thing wherein it was a dark blue color. It only happens about this time every year. I should go outside more.

  29. Festus

    The Boy That Walks As a Zombie might finally be getting some help. Judi has been working on it for months. He’ll fuck it up. Festus is never wrong but at least they are trying. Sometimes I hate being me.

    • Don escaped Texas

      watch Premier League?

  30. hayeksplosives

    I just finished season 1 of Resident Alien. I will be purchasing season 2.

    I am caught up on all the other shows I’ve been watching lately (What We Do in the Shadows, The Orville, and Only Murders in the Building).

    Only Murders is still coming out with new episodes each Tuesday but the others have finished their seasons.

    • Sean

      You’re here too early.

        • Sean

          Ah. Sorry, dude.

      • Rat on a train

        promiscupox

    • Scruffy Nerfherder

      Seems like a perfect candidate for employment

    • Stinky Wizzleteats

      Alternative headline: Mentally Ill Man Needs Treatment

    • Scruffy Nerfherder

      “90% of the 203 cases “

      When they start talking percentages, I like to see absolute numbers and vice versa. They’re always trying to bury the significant figures.

      • UnCivilServant

        Or the insignificance of the figures.

    • Scruffy Nerfherder

      The child should have had their COVID vaccine

    • Stinky Wizzleteats

      Got to fit everything into a narrative.

  31. UnCivilServant

    Well, time to commute. Talk to you lot when I get to the office.

    • Rat on a train

      A recurring whine entered my head: “When will the VRE have free wifi?”

        • Rat on a train

          Virginia Railway Express
          They have a monthly rider forum. Every month at least one person asks for free wifi on the train. Buy your own data plan. The VRE has bigger problems.
          The other recurring whines are
          – weekend service
          – all day service
          – reverse service
          – change the train schedule to match my work schedule

  32. DEG

    Mornin’ all. Time for the gym.

  33. robodruid

    Good Morning Everyone. Up early.
    Looks like we have 2 more days of extremely hot weather, and maybe a longer term cooling spell. Rain Sunday -Tuesday.
    I hate to ask for a delay of a bit as a concrete floor is going to be poured in my barn.

    Lots of insurance drama as well.
    Supposedly BCBS-State has told a service provider that the treatment wife has been doing is experimental. We are in BCBS-Federal No one has explained why state rules trump federal rules. So we are “switching” to a more expensive treatment method.
    This world confuses me so.

    • Grosspatzer

      Here’s hoping that the “more expensive” treatment is as effective or superior to the “experimental” one. Is it more expensive for.you or BCBS?

      • Gender Traitor

        And good morning to you, too, ‘patzie! And once again, great minds… 😉

      • robodruid

        Complicated to describe. Drug was an infusion from a stock chemical that was $200 a vial. About 1$ for drug, $350 for monitoring, my copay was $175. It works.
        New treatment is an inhaler List price is between $200-$800 a dose. Office copay is $40. Less intrusive monitoring. Hopefully it works well for her.

    • Gender Traitor

      Good morning, ‘bodru, DEG, U, Stinky, Scruffy, and Sean!

      ‘bodru, I hope you’re able to get both your badly-needed rain AND your barn’s concrete floor ASAP. And good luck navigating the insurance racket. Just to make sure I understand – is the new treatment method (replacing the “experimental” one) more expensive for the insurance company or for you? (Or both?)

      • robodruid

        The approved drug is more expensive than the off-label non-approved drug.
        (Not ivermectin)

        • UnCivilServant

          What? You expect us to approve the cheap and effective solution instead of the one that makes us our friends and future co-workers money?

          /FDA

          • robodruid

            What is suspicious is that i cant get a letter from anybody about what happened or the abruptness of the change.
            I suspect this is either a suspected fraud thing or a personality clash between medical people and insurance people.

            • UnCivilServant

              I’d wager a “Rules uber alles” lower manager looked at the file and merely saw that it was an ‘unapproved’ treatment plan and acted rather than asking “would the approved treatment plan cost us more?”

    • UnCivilServant

      The treatment in question does not address the imbalance in the patient’s humours, we cannot approve payment for such a risky and experimental process.

      • Gender Traitor

        Unfortunately, there are supply chain issues with our leech inventory…

        • robodruid

          What is truly sad is that if I could find a “pure source” I could easily make a home remedy so should could self care at home. Pharmacology is interesting.

          What is truly amazing is that this treatment method is better than 20 + years of meds.

  34. Grosspatzer

    Mornin’, reprobates. Time to sadly wave goodbye to this little corner of paradise. At least work should be getting interesting when I return on Monday.

    https://nypost.com/2022/08/18/elon-musk-wants-ad-tech-firms-data-in-latest-twitter-battle/

    “Musk’s lawyers have subpoenaed both Integral Ad Science (IAS) and DoubleVerify for any documents or communications on their involvement to review accounts or participate in any audit process of Twitter’s user base.

    IAS and DoubleVerify, which are both based in New York, use technology to independently verify that digital ads are viewed by real people. Advertisers use the services to ensure the ads they pay for are seen by potential customers and not automated bots.”

    I work in adtech. I may or may not know something about such matters.

    • Gender Traitor

      Ooh! I know there are no ads here, but can you tell which Glibs are really bots??

        • robodruid

          I thought we were meat puppets.

      • Grosspatzer

        There was that guy on TOS who was always first, can’t recall his handle. Probably a bot. The Bro is a poseur by comparison.

        • Gender Traitor

          I seem to recall there was strong suspicion the always-first commenter was a TOS staffer.

          • UnCivilServant

            FoE lived in the server room.

            • Gender Traitor

              Is that the new residence of choice for trolls? “Living under bridges is SO last millennium!”

              • Grosspatzer

                There are trolls, and then there are trolls…

                Back in the Stone Age there were AV rooms in which were stored primitive media such as tapes, cassettes and the like. I had a consulting gig with the NYC Board of Education, and was assigned a desk adjacent to the AV room. Every 15 minutes, like clockwork, a blood-curdling shriek emanated from behind the closed door of said room. “WTF is that?” I inquired. “Oh, that’s Jim. He’s harmless.” Just another municipal employee kept on the books in deference to some union rule. And potentially a protagonist in a SF saga.

              • Gender Traitor

                😳

              • UnCivilServant

                I thought we’d deinstitutionalized the mentally ill. These days he’d be screaming on the streets.

    • Grosspatzer

      Greco-Roman wrestling, special emphasis on the Greco.

  35. Rat on a train

    How a vacation to Hawaii can be relaxing for tourists — and harmful to its residents

    Tourism is Hawaii’s largest single source of private capital, per the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Even amid the Covid-19 pandemic, it remains incredibly lucrative: In April alone, visitors to Hawaii spent over $1 billion in the islands, according to a state report marking the recovery of tourism since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    One way to support Native Hawaiians is to not visit at all, some say

    I fully support you. I will visit someplace that wants my money.

  36. UnCivilServant

    Listening to a book on the Aztecs, reached a section on the rededication of the grand temple (Aztecs claim a sacrifice of 80,400 people at the ceremony) and it included a rather ignorant claim. It rhetorically asked how much a sacrifice will bleed when his heart is cut out and suggested a gallon. Doubtful. When you remove the heart the pumping stops for most of the blood in the body, and the route to remove it (up from below the rib cage) doesn’t open the major vessels until the step of actually taking the heart out, in a process that takes from furst cut to extraction about seventeen seconds (source: a practical test by an australian surgeon with a flint knife on an anatomical dummy) So you might get a pint, or maybe two per sacrifice, since they had to be efficient to hit their metrics.

    • Yusef drives a Kia

      What is,
      Morbid trivia for 200$?

      • UnCivilServant

        You want morbid trivia? The extraction was so quick that the heart would still be beating as the priest offered it to the four cardinal directions, and the victim would still be alive to see it beating as it is presented.

        • Not Adahn

          How true is that? I’d think the blood pressure drop from the heart being completely removed would be almost total.