WATCH: iRobot Meme Blows The Jackboot Reaction To The Coronavirus Crisis Wide Open

Written by Wes Walker on April 16, 2020

It’s one thing to take the threat seriously, doing what we can to avoid mass casualties and the collapse of our healthcare system. Quite another to exploit that fear for a draconian agenda.

Some meme-makers gave us a slight rethinking of the iRobot movie. Honestly, it’s one that comes just a little bit too close to reality. It should (hopefully) give us all a reason to stop and reflect on what’s been unfolding around us.

Those who have seen Will Smith’s movie will remember the climactic scene where the robot servant-protectors concluded that we were a threat to ourselves, and the only way we could be kept safe was to strip us of our free will and mobility.

Remember this line?

“Please. Remain indoors. This is for your own protection.”

Wow. It’s funny how perfectly art can sometimes imitate life, isn’t it? And sometimes the other way around.

All of our modern conveniences, our systems, and even our experts are calibrated to keep us ‘safe’. But there are a lot of different understandings of what ‘safe’ can really mean, aren’t there?

For some — including a fresh crop of BernieBros — being a slavish servant of the government in exchange for ‘free’ food and shelter is about as expansive an idea of ‘safe’ as the imagination can allow.

Unfortunately, such a world leaves no room for the greater ‘safety’ to color outside the lines.

It leaves no room for what makes us truly human. To take a risk. To swing for the fences.

It leaves no room to invent something that could possibly bankrupt you — or change the world. To start a company that might crash and burn — or become a national brand, employing thousands who were unable and unwilling to take on that risk.

Some of us are just old enough to be on the trailing edge of a different generation. A generation who found role models in a different kind of hero.

Guys like Evel Kenevil rocketing his motorcycle over absolutely insane obstacles and distances — destroying his body in his many failed attempts only to try again.

‘Steely-eyed missile men’ who upgraded from being human guinea pigs testing the limits of fighter planes to being pioneers in the Apollo program.

People who knew that doing their job could mean — literally — going out in a blaze of glory. — Just ask anyone who knew the crewd of Challenger of Discovery, among some of the earlier tragic endings.

We grew up admiring a generation of leaders who knew that risk was just one more integrated aspect of this complicated thing we call ‘life’.

That admiration sent us, as kids, to head out on our bikes, teaching us the courage to take and manage risks.

But something changed when our heroes changed.

Movie stars. Athletes. Musicians. Instagram models. YouTubers. Silicon Valley Moneymakers.

They might have the lifestyle many of us would aspire to… but as role models, do they really call us to be the best versions of ourselves? To take on courage? Self-sacrifice? To trade away an easy today for a shot at a better tomorrow?

Or do they merely distract us, providing a sort of escapism from whatever it is we don’t like about our own ‘today’?

We are Americans. We’ve been down worse roads than this one before.

We know how to mitigate risk. We can, and should, care for those of us in harm’s way. But we cannot — MUST not — let our lives be dominated by that Bad Thing that might happen.

Bad things can happen. They do happen. They probably WILL happen.

And then… we will wake up the next morning.

We will adapt. We will carry on.

Question is — will we still like who we see looking back at us in the mirror tomorrow? It’s the choices we make today that will ultimately decide that.