Logistical Fictions


It shouldn’t be surprising that a movie whose premise rests on energy production offers a rich landscape for exploring alternative imaginations of a monstrous interpretation of logistics. Monsters, Inc. (2001) follows its protagonists through a nightmarish world where energy and economic infrastructures are primarily founded on fear (or more specifically, screams).

From the first view of the factory floor (the “scare floor”) we learn that the primary vehicles for harvesting scream are wooden doors, which are linked (through a never explained mechanism) to children’s rooms in the human world. While the process of production is undoubtedly industrialized, the work of the scarers takes on a sustainable and artisanal quality when put into comparison with the horrors (and efficiency) of the scare extractor. When the climax of the film reveals the vast expanses of the door warehouse (where, presumably, a door exists for every frightenable child in the world), we begin to get a sense of the scale for this operation—possibly one of the largest ever imagined.

Mike: Good morning, Roz, my succulent little garden snail. And who will we be scaring today?
Roz: Wazowski! You didn’t file your paperwork last night.
Mike: Oh, that darn paperwork! Wouldn’t it be easier if it all just blew away?
Roz: Don’t let it happen again.
Mike: Yes, well, I’ll try to be more careful next time.
Roz: I’m watching you, Wazowski. Always watching. Always.
Mike: Ooh, she’s nuts.

Submitted by @immanenceftw.