Friday Night Galactica Vid (And Thread)

Flory sendsthis along:

“Battlestar Galactica” always finds ways to challenge the audience’s beliefs—it is no more an ode to pacifism than “24” is to “bring ’em on” warmongering. In the pilot, humanity is nearly eradicated by the Cylons, a race of robots that revolt against their human creators. The only survivors are stationed on a spacecraft called Battlestar Galactica; they’re spared because the ship’s commander, William Adama (Edward James Olmos), had refused to relax any wartime restrictions. Adama is a hard-liner, willing to sacrifice personal freedoms in order to provide safety from an abstract threat. And he was right: the moment the human race let its guard down, the Cylons attacked. As the show unfolds, though, the survivors must constantly reflect on the price of keeping their enemies at bay, and whether it’s worth paying. The show’s futuristic setting—hushed and grimy, not the metallic cool of stereotypical sci-fi—helps ground the writers’ ruminations in a nail-biting drama series. “Battlestar Galactica” achieves the ultimate in sci-fi: it presents a world that looks nothing like our own, and yet evokes it with chilling accuracy.

Which gets it wrong on a lot of levels, I think: Galactica looks a LOT like our world. Shit doesn’t work right, the vagaries of bureaucratic crap dictate a lot of lucky escapes, people talk on phones that look like the phones in our houses, I mean the whole appeal of the show, hot space chicks aside, is that we could be these people in 15 years (granted, it would mean increasing NASA funding like a kazillion percent), not 1,500.

And the Cylon threat, as it was, wasn’t abstract. Shit blew up in their actual faces, in the faces of everybody on all twenty-five sides of the argument, so it’s the wrong construction, concrete-abstract, “real” world vs. academia, it’s the cheap dispute: I have the right to my opinion and you’re a sheltered moron STFU. The conflict between personal freedom and personal safety was never a hypothetical in Crazy Space World any more than it was here, and to say it was is to fall into the same post-9/11 traps Galactica skewers so effectively, about civil liberties being for pussies who live in the city, who’ve never known fear. That you can know fear and still say hey, maybe not so much with the genocide, that’s the show’s grand statement. Abstract threat. Come the hell on.

Moreover, even in the most painfully earnest of the “issue” episodes where Lee fucks whores to improve them and Helo cures religious fanatics with only the power of his pecs, the people were still people, not cardboard cutouts of The Military and The ACLU giving each other paper cuts. This show has always brought it back, from the very very beginning, to the personal, to reminding us that pontificating on the idea of “who we are” is a dodge for figuring out “who I am.” If you don’t know whoyou are, we don’t stand a chance.

Plus I’m just kind of fucking annoyed at the mention of Galactica in the same pixel-space as the wingnutsphere’s Islamofacist spank bank, 24.


7 thoughts on “Friday Night Galactica Vid (And Thread)

  1. Wow. This is so completely wrong.Galactica survived because it was an old rustbucket minutes away from being decommissioned, and as such had old-timey computers that didn’t fall victim to the Cylon computer virus that shut down pretty much every other battlestar. Adama’s XO was a drunk, and he was most certainly not maintaining military discipline on his ship until the Cylon attack — at which point he found religion, kind of.
    That’s just the first of many points that article gets things wrong.
    In other news, I still cling to the belief that the Last Cylon is Starbuck, though I know I’m in the minority on that. 😛

  2. Galactica survived because it was an old rustbucket minutes away from being decommissioned, and as such had old-timey computers that didn’t fall victim to the Cylon computer virus that shut down pretty much every other battlestar.
    Galactica looks a LOT like our world
    If you don’t know who you are, we don’t stand a chance.
    The great asymmetry (as illustrated by Prop8 and Wingnuttia) is the constant projection that ifthey don’t understand you, it isyou who must be confused.
    This is an asymmetry that will not likely ever be fully resolved.
    It’s the historical cycle repeating, returning back to an Alpha-Omega point: The notion that self-evident truths/civil rights are not subject to a mob vote. Otherwise, the hordes can say that until they understand and accept you, you don’t get your rights. Until you assume a form/label we can understand, We are lost. Feh.
    To the bots, the rule of law is an abstract threat.
    The rule of law is who We are.
    The individual can know who he/she is and even if less than half of the other 24 ‘facets’ have a clue, it shouldn’t matter.

  3. Jeez, a comparison of 24 to Galactica is like comparing Lite Brite to the Sistine Chapel. It’s a really nice glowing clown, but SRSLY!!!!
    January 16 can’t come soon enough.
    Odd little side note: just saw one of the teasers that says “The truth will be revealed.” My first thought: Which truth? Yes, I know the final Cylon, but there’s a lot more. What happened to Earth? How has this all happened before? Are we doomed to have it all happen again, or can we stop it? Damn, I can’t frakkin’ wait.

  4. captures better than any other TV drama of the past eight years the fear, uncertainty and moral ambiguity of the post-9/11 world
    What fucking fear, uncertainty and moral ambiguity?
    You mean the fear of wingnuts crapping their pants at the sight of a brown person getting their bodily fluids on me?
    The moral ambiguity of a country that’s going to let an entire clown college of administration criminals go free?
    I haven’t been living in the same world as the Very Serious People for the last eight years, so I don’t interpret my teevee shows thru the same lens.

Comments are closed.