I completely forgot that yesterday was 9/11/08, until I was reminded at UCB Cage Match that night. I was in Ithaca on 9/11/01, and although I was shook up by the experience, I am aware that it didn’t affect me like it affected the people living in New York City on that day. I moved here only a few days before 9/11/06, to work in an office overlooking Ground Zero. Or, on an optimistic day, The Freedom Tower Construction Site. Sometimes I feel guilty about moving here five years after-the-fact, as if I haven’t earned it.
To be honest, my immediate concern is what the world will look like on 9/11/09, and how 11/4/08 will determine who takes a very important oath on 1/20/09.
Sarah Palin is refusing to schedule any interviews or press conferences where reporters will be able to ask her questions directly. This, more than anything else, will backfire for the McCain campaign, because it is irritating the media itself. Even Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday mentioned it several times, despite that it is pretty much his job to make the Republicans look good.
Jess and I are doing a thing where I loan her a compilation of Achewood comics and she loans me a DVD. Through this program I have watched the first season of Battlestar Galactica and, now, the first three episodes of Firefly.
BSG is OK. There’s a lot to like about it, but something about the overall feel doesn’t sit right with me. I figured it out when I watched some of the DVD extras: the producers used the behind-the-scenes material on the DVD to congratulate themselves for making a sci-fi show that was really about people and not about robots and lasers. I found this attitude kind of insulting, because every good story, sci-fi included, is about people.
If you only know Star Wars from the fans who attend conventions in costume, you might think the film is just about droids and spaceships. In truth, all that stuff is only background for the film. What makes Star Wars so great is that the background is so richly detailed you almost believe it’s a real place, which in turn makes the people in the story more interesting to watch.
Battlestar Galactica, on the other hand, has a subtle contempt for the background. For example, the colonial government’s parliament is called “The Quorum of Twelve.” It irritates me each time I hear that, because “quorum” has a specific meaning that doesn’t quite fit the way they are using it. It reeks of a writer who was picking an unusual word that sounded governmental. To me, it makes the government seem fake.
Also, when they recover the Cylon raider and discover that, instead of a traditional spaceship, it is actually a big organism with organs and blood inside, nobody seems to think much of it. But as far as I can tell, even within the BSG universe, that is incredibly weird. It seems like the writers thought it was better to avoid any dialogue about spaceships and technology (which would make the show seem nerdy) than to have the characters deal with this weird discovery. Again, it just makes the show seem fake.
Anyway, the point of this post is to discuss Firefly. All I wanted to say about it was:
- I didn’t know much about the show beforehand, so I was surprised to find it styled so much like the American Wild West. Cool!
- While it is technically true that sound doesn’t travel in space, it isn’t much fun to watch a spaceship zoom away silently.