Is science fiction mature enough to have a tradition?
I think so. And I think tonight I watched a traditional sci-fi morality tale.The key ingredients - a superior, aloof race of beings that never physically manifest themselves. They appear through avatars, often (for no good reason), these avatars have a kludgy interface - in tonight's movie, The Box, their utliising an avatar caused nosebleeds to the 'Employee' as they were called.
And as usual, the aloof beings are testing our race. To see if we are worthy of either:
a)admission to their level of existence (usually some kind of non-corporeal wafty life)
b)extinction - if we fail the test, we need to be wiped out.
Now you have to hand it to these aloof. Waiting several hundred thousands of years for their students to prep their race before administering the test? That's patient. But patience these guys have in bundles. Probably when you master space AND time you can afford to be patient - just go back and delete the waiting period if you want. But then, you'd think you could use these millennia upon millennia to iron out such an obvious nosebleed bug. Perhaps in avatar 1.0.1 they'll be trialling it (given that we pass their tests and are not wiped out).
But I enjoyed it. I kept expecting the story to derail and fall into nonsense. And I guess many watchers would think that it did. Maybe my standards are lower.
Certainly S got up from the sofa and said "That was silly."
"But not stupid" I retorted.
Damning with faint praise my mother would have said.
And yes, a recent (non sci-fi) movie I viewed, a simple tale of a year in the poet Keats' life, certainly played much heavier upon my emotions. Bright Star had me weeping in parts. But there's something about sci-fi, about proposing what may be that keeps me coming back. Maybe it's the same thing that keeps shonky fortune tellers with dull crystals and purple curtains earning a buck. The desire to be told the future without having to wait at that slow crawl of one second per second.
I am meant to be writing a cover piece for Clag's new album, and instead I do this. But I enjoyed The Box. There was a little riff in it on all the boxes we keep returning to - houses, cars, eventually coffins. And they mentioned that main box, the TV, that sucks our life out of us slowly.
The more this is pointed out to us the better. Any movie that underlines our lazy sacrifice of interaction for (poor) entertainment is worthy.
Oh, and Clag rock.
Reading - Incandescence, Greg Egan. So I can update the Shelfari catalogue as part of the sci-fi cleanup. Had dad order me the Ware tetralogy by Rucker online. I love that my dad (who still calls radios wireless') does the online ordering for me. He uses PayPal and i ship to most email scams! Ware will be released in twelve days in the US. Been looking for these texts for years .
Missing - Dinosaur Jr played at the Zoo tonight. I had the cash for a ticket ($49) this morning, but scored for myself and S instead.
Listening - some Radiohead, some Wolf Parade, the Knox tribute album Stroke
Love - S annoyed at me for not asking my dad to rent a ute on his credit card to move a bed for her. ("You're naughty" is her childish accusation. Junkies and emotional expression - not good). She's not annoyed at the lack of the ute or anything so materialistic, but because I told her (I think honestly) that my parents would not do this for her or I, given that she left me three years ago. I know that's an upsetting thing to be told, but it's my version of reality, and lying would not help(?)
Work - struggled through the day on my 12.5mg of metro. Should have taken a val. Knowing I was scoring post work had me itching to go home sick, but I don't do that sort of thing. Not sure if I could go a few days sans gear on this dosage, but that's the whole idea. Cannot focus on big tasks and projects whilst hanging out, mild as it is.
Watching - in addition to the above, been watching Sopranos from Season 1 again. Some TV station is doing the same, but one episode a night. I can do 5.