About a month ago, my friend and co-worker at Barnes & Noble turned me onto Battlestar Galactica. It took a while for me to be convinced that I should watch it because I do not have a lot of time and, let’s be honest, there is a lot of crap on TV. He spoke about the show, however, with a glimmer in his eye that spoke to more than his inner Sci-Fi geek. I decided to try it because I trusted his recommendation and needed some entertainment that was dichotomous with some of the drier philosophical readings I have had to work through lately. Last semester I started reading graphic novels again for that same reason, not the just any comics but quality storylines such as Identity Crisis by Brad Meltzer, The Watchmen by Alan Moore, Green Lantern: Rebirth by Geoff Johns, and Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War- Volume I also by Geoff Johns. I highly recommend these titles for quality of writing, artwork, and literary value. To Andy and Cousin Doug, I am indebted.
I am also indebted to both of them for turning me onto Battlestar Galactica. It is one the best shows I have had the privilege to watch. For those of you laughing at this point, check out the pilot/3-hour mini-series. If you are, like me and at least two others that read this blog, then you will agree and be hooked. I guess I picked the wrong show, however, if I wanted to shy away from deep philosophical and literary issues because it is packed with questions of this sort from moment one. However, enough with the advertising without pay. I intend to add Battlestar Galactica as another project of this blog and encourage your responses. I will attempt to address:
1. Religion – Cylons are monotheistic while the humans are polytheistic. There are signs of Christianity, Mormonism, and Greek mythology that warrant exploration.
2. Humanity under Pressure – I will not be giving much away when I say that the scenario of the show is based on the idea that 99.999% of humanity is wiped out and the remainder is being relentlessly pursued and under threat of being killed at any moment. How does social interaction and human value change under such conditions and what does it mean?
3. Morality – there are so many moral questions in this show I do not even know where to begin. Since I like to argue and nothing makes for an argument like controversy, I will at least tackle the issue of abortion that comes up in the show. If the morality of abortion is different when there are so few of us left then can that morality change when we are safe and plentiful? How does the issue of personal freedom play into all this?
4. Social Justice – when are freedoms and non-basic rights justifiably sacrificed? Are they ever even if those very freedoms somehow put the larger group at risk? When is it justified for the military to overthrow the civilian government and who gets to decide?
5. Genocide – what constitutes enough of a threat by one group to justify wiping out every man, women, and child of that group?
6. Human Essence – what does it mean to be human? Self-awareness or consciousness? The ability to love and hate? What will it mean if and when we either create or meet something else that has these qualities?
I'm sure there will be more but six questions seems like an appropriate number of topics to start with, especially since the character Six in the show is way hot in that Amazonian, super-naughty, wipe out your species kind of way. I hope you watch the show, read along here, and participate in the discussion.