Viewing posts tagged reductionism

"Being without becoming" - Disjointed Thoughts on Dialectics and the Third Doctor, Part 1

"Being without becoming [is] an ontological absurdity" says the Doctor in 'The Time Monster'.

He's talking about time, about the fact that time is - by definition - a process of change.  Time is what entropy looks like to those of us in the midst of it.  Entropy increases, thus time's arrow goes forward.  'Becoming' is just a way of saying 'change'.  Everything is always in the process of becoming something else.  Every apple is in the process of becoming a rotten apple, or an eaten apple, or seeds resown.  'Ontology' is the fancy name used by philosophers to mean the study of what it means for things to exist, to be real.  The Doctor is saying: "the idea of things being frozen in time is inherently absurd because things that don't change effectively don't exist".

Though, of course, in 'The Time Monster', things and people do get frozen in time.  The story shows us something happening which has already been established as impossible.  It's almost as if we are being explicitly invited to read the story metaphorically.

This is something that doesn't quite happen in 'The ...

Koba the Ape

Post-Spoilerocalyptic.


I went to see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  Banalities first:  A well-crafted film.  Cogent and coherent in terms of aesthetics and plot (though there is a pleasingly bathetic moment when, following lots of atmospheric shots of apes engaged in social interaction, one ape suddenly addresses another in sign language as "Maurice").  Nicely acted by the principles. 

Now.

In The Dark Ape Rises, the 'good' ape leader is Caesar and the 'bad' ape leader is Koba.

Caesar is the reasonable one, the compromiser, who wants peace with the humans.  Koba is the nasty one who can't let go of his resentment of humans, who doesn't trust them, who betrays Caesar and launches an all-out war against the humans.

Thing is, Koba is fucking awesome.  Because, unlike Caesar, he understands that when you have the oppressor on the floor, you don't help him up and dust him down.  No.  You stand on his neck.

Here's Koba, riding straight at the enemy (who are armed with rocket launchers by this point) while simultaneously holding (and firing) two machine guns instead of the reins of his horse ...

16

The Doctor is confusing an angel to death.

Light came to our world to count and quantify all life, to create a set and definitive catalogue.  Light sent its Survey out into the world to sample each form.  But our world corrupted the Survey with the delicious possibilities of evolution.  Light was locked away so the Survey could inherit the Earth.  It became a Victorian gentleman, a man of property.  It enacted a ruthless Darwinian takeover of the house above Light's ship.  A colonizing mission.  A merger and acquisition.  This being Victorian England, the wife and daughter and maids came with the house like fixtures and fitting.  The Survey locked its secrets away, just like any Victorian gentleman, and set about dreaming of empire.  It adopted the cultural logic of its new society and new position: the ideology of 'the survival of the fittest'... meaning, supposedly, the dominance of the best.  With its inbuilt assumptions about the place of 'lesser races' and 'lower orders' and women, Victorian social-Darwinism was perfect for the Survey's purposes, as it shed its insectile and reptilian skins and became Josiah, the pink ...

29

Midge walks into the Gym.  You get the sense that it's not the sort of place the old Midge would've visited.  The old Midge would've been scared of the self-defence crowd.

The new Midge is all swagger, in his shades and his shiny jacket.

"Waiting on the Sarge?" he asks the room full of silent, watching, bemused, singlet-and-sweatpants-wearing blokes.  "He's been held up. He asked me to have a little chat with you."

This is a lie.

"I learned a secret today. The secret of success. Thought I'd share it with you."

Midge has been learning all sorts of things.  He's been quarry in a quarry, hunted through a rocky wilderness on another world, stalked by carnivorous beasts.  He chose to survive at all costs.  He killed... not just to survive but for fun, for revenge, for a feeling of power that - one senses - is entirely new to him, a new experience in a stunted and powerless dead-end life.  Of course, in the process, he adopted the viewpoint of the beasts.  The logic of tooth and claw.  The logic of 'fuck you, I'm all ...

Recent Posts

Archive

Tags

Authors

Feeds

RSS / Atom