Thursday, August 27, 2009

So I been thinkin'...

I just watched a really good TV series from Great Britain, called “Torchwood.” For those of you who don't know, it's a spinoff of the venerable “Doctor Who” tv series, and plays a bit like a British version of “The X-Files” though is at times a bit more grown up, and certainly allows darker things to happen to its characters, which British SF is kind of famous for (Blake's 7 anyone?). It stars the delighful John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness, the indestructible leader of the extra-terrestrial-investigating group Torchwood, and Eve Myles (who has the best hair in television history) as Gwen Cooper, the former cop turned alien hunter (I might have written this entire posting as an excuse to post a picture of Eve Myles).

I specifically watched the third season, a special five part miniseries within the series called “Children of Earth.” I don't want to give away too much here, but the basic premise is what happens when an alien race comes and threatens to wipe us all out, unless we give them ten percent of every pre-pubescent child on Earth (I specifically won't spoil the 'why' part).

As the story plays out, the British leadership does some pretty heinous things, and eventually puts troops in the streets to gather up the undesirable children to give to the aliens. “Undesirable” pretty much equates to those who are eventually just end up on welfare or in prison, or those who were children of immigrants denied asylum. The scenes were the politicians are justifying this decision to themselves, while not offering up their own children are especially chilling.

The show is written by Russell T. Davies, who is also responsible for the Doctor Who revival, and the Showtime show “Queer as Folk.” The man is obviously a Liberal, and uses this venue as a method of pointing out how easily those who are supposed to serve us will offer us up to the wolves. He also makes a great show of pointing out how the Government, particularly in London, makes use of the “security cameras” to exploit or spy upon their citizens.

Now, this got me thinking about “V for Vendetta.” Decent film, but much better graphic novel about tyranny which takes hold while no one is looking, under the auspices of security and defending the people from terrorists. In the case of that film (pardon spoilers), a manufactured terror attack allows the powers that be to be those powers for life, and a despotic Orwellian nightmare ensues. Again though, this is a warning about the misintentions of government from a liberal source. Lots of that was really going on under the Bush administration for the last eight years, driven by things that even I have talked about: The Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, warrantless wire-tapping, willfully ignoring the FISA laws, etc. It goes back though; the original V for Vendetta was written in the late 1980s, and was specifically talking about Margaret Thatcher's government. Frank Miller did something similar in “The Dark Knight Returns” with a Ronald Reagan who had become President for life. Liberals don't want those damn Conservatives creating a police state.

Have you checked your e-mail lately? Conservatives don't want those damn Liberals creating a police state. President Obama is backing public health care to weed out the old white folks (majority conservatives), and wants you to report to his political officers the names of people who disagree with him. Apparently he is also prepping to declare all Christians to be extremists, and possibly has the secret cabal backing of the Hawaii state Records division. Think though- this didn't start here! Bill Clinton was in office when the ATF went after innocent Christians like David Koresh, and he stripped down our military to make us weak before the UN. Remember all the people he and Hillary had killed to ensure their place in the Oval Office? (I bet Al Gore wishes they'd killed a few for him.)

So what's my point?

Maybe it's the idea they are all actually out to get us, and secretly in cahoots. It wouldn't matter who you voted for, it's whoever THEY want to win to keep the people thinking they have a say in a Democracy which is long dead.

Maybe each side is vying for their own power, so THEY can rule without dispute. We The People would still be screwed, because by that reckoning, each side still wants to enslave us, just around different agendas.

Maybe it is the natural way of all governments to tend toward tyranny. Again we would be screwed, because it doesn't matter what the actual intentions are of any given politician, so long as we keep legislating we will eventually create a state with so many rules anything is a crime.

Maybe each side is just doing what they think is for the best, mostly based on honest intentions (always some bad apples), and we have all descended to this sorry point where it is easier to spout one side's rhetoric than to actually look for a solution which is mutually beneficial. It's easier to believe the other side is evil than to admit you may be wrong about something and the truth may lie somewhere between.

Maybe it's always been this way. Have you looked at old political cartoons calling FDR a Commie, or anything in the late 1800s by Thomas Nast (the Mormon/Roman churches as “Reptiles” slithering on America is my favorite), or the rhetoric from John Adams' enemies regarding the “Intolerable Acts.” (The fact we remember them as the “Intolerable Acts” I think demonstrates some pretty powerful swaying of public opinion!)

Maybe... hell, I don't know. I was just thinking in Word. I do wish I was hearing more reasoned arguments and less fear mongering. What have YOU done to make things better? Something positive, not stopping someone else from doing something, not neglecting to do something out of protest; what was the last thing you got out and DID for your country, your state, your town, or your neighborhood? If you have something good, cool. If you had to think through all the negative things you did, even for the right intentions, maybe you should rethink it. Maybe it's time for all of us to research before we vote, be active in the community, and actively try to find a middle ground.

Or don't. We'll just pass more laws until passing laws is illegal.

Not really gonna tie this one up neatly; I think it's just a rant.

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