Monday, December 04, 2006

Just A Bit More On Battlestar

Just when I thought I was finished with the Battlestar Galactica blogging comes my discovery of the Battlestar Galctica Blog. As regular readers know, I'm an avid fan of the new show and I think it's one of the most thought provoking things ever put on television.And to have to read all this ... nonsense. Well, it just plain hurts my feelings.

My blogging buddy's opinion of the new show seems to be more than a bit biased by his love of the original Battlestar Galactica and his polarized political views. His primary complaints seem to be that the show supposedly bludgeons us with leftist politics every week and that the characters (and I guess the show's vision of humanity) are not worthy of redemption. See here: Why Season Three Sucks, and here: The politics of Battlestar Galactica.

First, as I've mentioned before, the show doesn't have a political axe to grind. If you're finding blatant partisan politics in the new Battlestar, their coming from your own worldview, not the show. The Cylons are Muslims- no wait, the humans have suicide bombers so they must be Muslims! My point has always been that the show is complex, filled with moral ambiguities, and provides no easy answers. From watching the show early this season, I didn't get the impression that the show was condoning suicide bombing- I just was able to understand where Duck (the character who blows up a graduation ceremony of the New Caprica police) was coming from. Of course, at the same time, I could understand where Jammer- who joins the New Caprica police- was coming from as well.

My blogging buddy Michael loved the original Battlestar because humanity was worthy of redemption- humanity was good and the Cylons were evil. I bet he loved Star Wars and Lord of the Rings too. Good versus evil is a classic theme, but that's just not what the new Battlestar is about. In the new Battlestar humanity is flawed, just as it is in the real world, but at least in my mind, those flaws don't make humanity any less worthy of redemption. People make bad choices, people do stupid things, and sometimes there are just no right answers. But just because a show deals with complex moral and political issues does not mean that there needs be parallels (either one way or the other) to the world today. Ultimately, Battlestar is about people, not about politics. Just ask Duck or Jammer.

Finally, case-in-point is this posting on Can Cylons be tortured? Without blinking, Michael says no. "I say the fact that they were genetically engineered to destroy humanity removes any “rights” that they might have." Of course, this ignores the fact that the human models that we know are unique individuals. Caprica Sharon and Caprica Six changed the course of Cylon policy in regards to humans at the end of season two. Without them, there would have been no occupation, only more genocide. And of course, Helo's Sharon rejected her allegiance to Cylons out of her love for Helo. Given that, and given what we've seen from the Cylon characters, is torture really okay? Would the genocide of the Cylons be an appropriate response for the Cylon's attack on humanity. I can't bring myself to say yes.

It's just troublesome to have my favorite show get such a bad rap. If you don't like the complex themes or the fact the show provides no easy answers and a more realistic view of humanity, that's fine, but don't accuse the show of biases that aren't there. And don't accuse the show of not making any sense when you just don't like the direction the show is taking.


Post a Comment

<< Home