Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tell me Starbuck is that a Bradley Fighting Vehicle I spy out of the Corner of My Unglassed Eye?

I hate science fiction. I hate it the same way a former lover hates you. They know you in some ways better than you know yourself and know what makes you tick, your weaknesses and strengths. And if they are very insightful they may even realize that your strengths and your weaknesses make you the person that they loved. Knowing this may make your ex respect and like you even though they do not want to be with you. Well I feel that way about science fiction but with a dash of disfunction as a chaser since, as, a famous person once said; "Just when I thought I was out they pull me back in!" And patient readers Battlestar Galactica has pulled me back in.

The show drives me teeth grinding crazy in the way so many tellievision shows do and it makes the same mistake I see made in books and film. That mistake is being too closely tied to its' own time and place. For example in one of Philip K Dick would imagine futures where people would fly to the stars, killer androids roamed the earth while people fled from them in flying cars decked out with vinyl record players. Nowadys the original Buck Rodgers comic book & serial newsreel do not seem futuristic at all, instead in someways they are sad, played out ideas of a swashbuckling uber man who travelled halfway across the galaxy in 18th century riding boots, with a zap gun and saber. But enough about the past let us see how well BSG travasses the muddy shore of psyence fiction.

Well, five minutes into Season One Episode one of BSG I wondered why Commander Adorno was wearing glasses in a universes that had created faster than light travel, and where hundreds of thousands of folks could live in space ships full of gravity and all the joys of 21st century American Navy and more why the fuck did the captain have to wear glasses? "Anyway enjoy the show", I said to my self, "fuggedaboutit", but then the people following the newsman and his boom mike wielding soundman made me think of Space: 1999 and lousy 1970s fashions. As usual the people in the future are mainly caucasian with a token of African & Asian Americans. Where are the ethnic New Guineans, the Desis, Amerinds and the myriads of ethnicities?

Anyway the exhibition of atrocities continued with things like:

  • You would think that by then instead of having comms that look like phones everyone would have an implanted mike and receiver so that they could sub vocalize from anywhere in the ship.
  • How come funerals use the same type of caskets & elevators in BSG as we do now?
  • Anyone in our reality will feel right at home in a kitchen or restraunt in the Battle Star Galactica universe
  • All the audiobook, ebook users as well as environmentalists will be happy to know that books are made with dead trees. Antienvironmetalists and religous zealots will be sad to hear that the tress have been sad to know that the book pulping industry does no environmental harm to the pristine forests of Kobald since their pulp in produced by vats of GMO bacteria, pineoplastics and some kick ass biochemists who go round the tweleve colonies in geosynchronous orbit.
  • Lovers of military protocol will be happy to know that across the universe, thousands of years in time from us flags are folded the same way for fallen heroes.
  • Great War vets will be glad to see the Sam Browne belt making a comeback among the Kobol's soldiers, and pilots.
  • Lastly millions of women will be dissapointed that in the future their cigarette smoking doctor will give them shit for not doing their monthly breast exams.

I had been hoping that at the very least that humanity would be rid of cancer as a plot device in sci-fi but I guess I am naive. After all the skyscrapers in Kobald city should have told me that the future is already here just unevenly distributed in set designers & scriptwriters imaginations.

No comments: