Saturday, March 26, 2005

It is Saturday morning in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and if you're not listening to the Reggae Roadblock on 88.3 KXUA right now, you're a fool. And they're playing my Prince Far I request right now. Which is totally cool.

In other news, last night's episode of Battlestar Galactica was great, despite whatever Mike has to say about the subject. I have some thoughts, and some hypotheses about what is going on in the series, following.

First of all, we learned last night that the BSGites had apparently found Kobol, the origin world of humans, within the Colonial worldview, at least. According to the Colonialists, about 2000 years ago 13 tribes left Kobol, 12 of them went to form the Colonies, and the 13th went off to found Earth.

First, let's deal with the origin myth. We know (or at least those of us who have seen the fossil evidence) that humans evolved here on Earth. We are indigenous to our planet. So, the creators of this series may choose to ignore this fact, in essence turning this into science fantasy, as far as I'm concerned, unless they come up with a satisfactory hypothesis as to why humans would evolve both on Earth and on Kobol. But, let's say for the sake of argument that the creators of the series are not ignoring this fact. Perhaps there's much more going on here under the surface than is apparent, at first.

Hypothesis One. Humans did evolve here on Earth. Around 12,000 years ago the last Ice Age ended. At that time, there were huge areas of the Earth that formerly were dry land (one area off the coast of India was about the size of modern day California) , and probably quite useful as farmland, which were inundated when the ice caps melted. Perhaps, the humans on Kobol actually originated here, on Earth, and then went to Kobol. After they were on Kobol, their origin myth got scrambled. They believed that humans were indigenous to Kobol, and Earth was a myth. Then, after the Exodus from Kobol, the myth of Earth got bound up into the stories about Kobol in the Colonial mythology. Hence the lost 13th colony.

So, this is all taking place in a roughly contemporary time period with our history.

Hypothesis Two. Earth is still the origin world. But, all of this, the ruined Kobol, the Colonies (13 Colonies? The reference to the early history of the United States can't be a coincidence), all are happening in our distant future. These are our descendents, not our contemporaries.

Hypothesis Three. A corrollary of Hypothesis Two. Same situation, it's our future. But they are ALL Cylons. (Thanks for the idea Nick) All the humans are extinct. Or playing the part of glorified rab lats in the Cylon experiments. (This has all happened before, and will all happen again.)

One of the things that intrigues me about this series is the discussions of and about divinity and divine providence. Let's examine this. The Colonialists are apparently polytheists, and refer to divinity as 'the gods' when they do refer to them. Last night, we learned to two gods by name. Athena (who was the Greek goddess of Wisdom, Strategy and War) and Apollo (a Greek god who was later conflated with Helios, the sun god. From Wikipedia: "Apollo is considered to have dominion over the plague, light, healing, colonists, medicine, archery, poetry, prophecy, dance reason, intellectualism, and the patron defender of herds and flocks." Bold marks are mine.) So, the president of the Colonies, who happens to be dying, believes that she is playing a part in prophecy, and that she will lead the Colonialists to Earth, or at least point the way. To do this, she apparently needs an artifact left on Caprica called 'The Arrow of Apollo.' Using this they will be able to gain access to the Temple of Athena and will learn where Earth is.

I find it very significant that the Colonialists are polytheists, pagans, if you will, but that the Cylons are monotheists. And both sides (or certain individuals within each side) believe that their gods or God are real. I find a very deep allegory here, about the conflict between the Judaeo-Christian world-view and the pagan Polytheistic world-view.

At any rate, there is much here that is food for thought. There are IDEAS here in this series, and, even if it's not perfectly executed, I find it well done most of the time. Despite what Mike says.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Kathleen said...

Speaking of BSG, when are we going to hear some funky-fresh effects with that kid's micro you bought? (Nice segue, huh?)

11:22 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Well, unfortunately, the soundquality from it is megacrappulonish. I'm thinking about building a proper effect unit with a built in amplifier and contact microphones on the spring coils(I'm thinking about using the small spring from the toy microphone and a larger metal slinky. That way I can get the same effect with less noise. But I need to find a suitable noise proof cabinet or wooden box to put it in.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Kathleen said...

Excellent. I'm off to submit "megacrappulonish" to the OED.

2:11 PM  

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