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Saturday, March 21, 2009
BSG: rational civilization sucks


So BSG finale had two failings:

1) deus ex machina solution to all plot mysteries - ok fine, you can't be bothered resolving the plot points, whatever

2) Much more serious and disturbing to me, in the last two hours, a bizarre direction inconsistent with the entire theme of the show: all of a sudden it goes anti-science, anti-technology, anti-civilization

The message of BSG up to 4x20 was quite simple: the world is a dirty, real, flawed place. The war between Cylons and humans is because both sides have flaws of character and imagination. Technology is just a tool that you use.

Then I was reading Television Without Pity and thinking about this strange emphasis in the flashbacks to drinking and various sorts of debauchery, with people behaving out of character - and I saw the message, which is quite clear once you look for it: civilization itself, the modern technological world, is sinful, twisted, unclean, cruel.

Similarly, for committing the sin of being a doctor guy, and doing science stuff on Hera, and saying mathematics things, Simon gets his neck snapped. Doesn't he know that Hera is about faith and impulse and visions and prophecy and god's plan? How dare he be all rational.

Baltar's sin becomes not destroying the world through narcissism, his sin is that he was a scientist instead of a farmer. After four years of trying to hold together a technological civilization, the solution, the redemption is: fade away, abandon technology. The technology itself becomes the sin.

Redemption is: god is playing dice with the universe anyway, just accept fate, why bother with rational thought, god rewards only faith.


It is anti-science and anti-civilization, and I think it is reprehensible.

Do you know what life is like without the "terrible debauchery" of modern civilization? It's not some noble savage bullsh-t. It's a bunch of dirty people starving, dying of disease, spending lives in pain and ignorance and brutalizing each other unbelievably.

Civilization is good.

Ron Moore, I can't believe you changed the message of the show at the end from "we're all just flawed people in a gritty world" to "fear the Japanese robots". That's insulting. That's just plain wrong. Maybe you should try living with the clothes on your back on some island somewhere and see how awesomely redemptive the starvation, disease, loneliness and deprivation is.

Enlightenment does not come from suffering in ignorance.

Enlightenment IS civilization.

How dare you make the end of Battlestar a platform to suggest otherwise, inconsistent with the values of the previous four seasons.

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