Mar. 31st, 2009

ali_wildgoose: (Default)
I seem to be in a foxhole of freaked-out productivity at the moment, which I will hopefully dig myself out of over the course of the day. HOWEVER! I wanted to toss out a couple links in the meantime that y'all might find interesting.

As you may have noticed, I had some issues with BSG and the things it chose to be and the way it generally conducted itself. A blogger named Abigail Nussbaum has quite conveniently articulated her own thoughts on the series, nearly all of which line up with my own but are far more elegantly stated, and I'd recommend in particular a couple of her posts I read this morning: Doomed to Repeat It: Battlestar Galactica, Thoughts at the End and Out of Focus: Thoughts on Battlestar Galactica's Mutiny Arc. The latter concentrates on one story arc but, within that, talks about the larger problems with the way the writers handled questions of ethics and human emotion; the former uses the failures of the series in general and the finale specifically as a springboard for talking about what BSG's widespread acclaim might mean for SF as a genre and how it will be handled in the future.

They're both of moderate length and worth reading, but there's one quote in particular that I wanted to pull out, as it touches on an issue that I just...COULD NOT get over, and was a large part of what ultimately made the show unwatchable to me.

I'm reminded of Fred Clarke's monumental, years-in-the-making takedown of the first Left Behind novel, and his oft-repeated complaint that this book posits the disappearance of a third of the planet's population, including every single child, as nothing but a starting point for its plot, with almost no acknowledgment of the awfulness of this event or the scale of grief and rage that should follow it. Battlestar Galactica isn't quite as bad as that, but its depictions of the reactions to the destruction of humanity are on too small a scale. People miss their spouses, their children, their dogs. They're angry at the discomfort and danger they live in every day. There's no sense of the magnitude of what they've lost--not just family and friends but culture, history, art, society--nothing on the level of this passage, from just a few chapters into The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

Nelson's Column had gone! Nelson's Column had gone and there would be no outcry, because there was no one left to make an outcry. From now on Nelson's Column only existed in his mind. England only existed in his mind--his mind, stuck here in this dank, smelly steel-lined spaceship. A wave of claustrophobia closed in on him.

England no longer existed. He'd got that--somehow he'd got it. He tried again. America, he thought, had gone. He couldn't grasp it. He decided to start smaller again. New York was gone. No reaction. He'd never seriously believed it existed anyway. The dollar, he thought, has sunk for ever. Slight tremor there. Every Bogart movie has been wiped, he said to himself, and that gave him a nasty knock. McDonalds, he thought. There is no longer any such thing as a McDonald's hamburger.

He passed out. When he came round a second time he found he was sobbing for his mother.


This is a comedy. It's played for laughs, and yet Douglas Adams comes closer in this passage to what it means to lose your entire world than Battlestar Galactica has done in three and a half seasons of misery and torment.


...

Yeah.

Kinda yeah.

(Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] sainfoin_fields for the link!)

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ali_wildgoose: (Default)
Go make some new disaster.

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