Friday, March 02, 2007

Battlestar Galactica: Wow... almost.

This week's episode reiterated why Battlestar Galactica (BSG) is the best show on tv. A show that took my breath away. And then in the last 5 minutes, it suddenly let me down, just because the show is always like that. Imperfect.

But for the first 55 minutes, I was blown away. Without picking sides, it highlights the never discussed dirty side of a democracy in wartime. The marxist ideas, followed by Veblen and others, of how a capitalist system gets subverted by the military industrial complex during wartime, to perpetuate class lines. A necessity the best computer game ever--Civ II--highlighted, of switching to a "fundamentalist" (corporatist) system during wartime, since a Democracy will be out produced. And entirely consistent with the US during WWII and other major wars. And using a visual language reminiscent of the labor photography of Lewis Hine. Having Baltar be the Marx figure, the intellectual instigator. Genius. The show has the audacity to not pick sides. The Admiral's gambit at the end was even better.

And then, in the last 5 minutes, the show let me down. By picking the happy happy sit-com scooby-doo ending, it shuffled all the complexities (that a meritocracy and an aristocracy are not so far apart) under the rug, and made it all too easy to resolve, that allowing unions who aren't allowed to strike solves everything. And we can walk away, comfitted, at peace with the world, whereas what I really wanted was to walk away discomfitted by the world's complexities.

Ah well.
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