Archive for March, 2007

h1

Things That Are Broke

March 30, 2007

My shoes
The car’s fuel line
The car’s brakes
The car’s window controls and door locks
My Xbox 360
My headphones
My awake
My other pair of shoes

h1

Dressed in Anchors and Skeletal Women

March 28, 2007

I’m wearing this shirt.

h1

Writing Like Lifting

March 27, 2007

You ever heard the expression “heavy lifting” used to describe certain kinds of writing? It’s exactly correct. Some kinds of writing is strenuous. When you write it, your muscles get all tense, your neck tightens up, you clench your teeth. For me, it’s the stuff I write in my own voice that’s meant to inspire. To find that line between glorifying the books I put out and sounding like a self-aggrandizing dipshit, I have to stretch my arm through a crack in the wall, groping with my fingers along the broken bricks until I can feel the water running down the outside of the building.

It’s tricky. I’m genuinely excited about the material I’m writing about (I’m not just being a shill), but I don’t want to gush. There’s pride and then there’s being obnoxious, and I’ve never been good at telling them apart.

My neck hurts.

Music: The Raconteurs, “Store Bought Bones”

h1

Cylons as Seraphim and Nephilim

March 27, 2007

Fortunately, I didn’t hate “Crossroads, Pt. 2,” the third season finale of Battlestar Galactica, as I expected to.

On the one hand, I like puzzling over the sorts of unresolved ideas brought forth in a show like this, but I’ve also been doubtful for the last two years that Ron Moore and company have had any real idea what the hell they were doing in the long run on this show. Ideas get brought up and then dropped so quickly on this show that it’s hard for me to stay invested. The end of the second season set-up a three-episode arc that essentially reset the show, with a new exodus, a new loss of life, and a new rush to seek out Earth with the Cylons hot on our trail, while scraping off stuff like the Battlestar Pegasus.

Then this Cylon virus happens, and is forgotten. This artifact of the 13th Tribe is found, but ignored. This ridiculous Mary Sue LARP character — the Irish lawyer who wears sunglasses indoors, knows every character better than they know themselves, wears black, has a cat in an attache case, and is a kleptomaniac — comes in and doesn’t have the common decency to die. Ugh.

I’m not going to spend a lot of time brainstorming on behalf of this show and refining the idea I’m putting forth here. I have too many other things to do, but for the sake of the Internet that loves half-baked theories, here you go.

Spoilers ahead:

The Cylons are old-school Zoroastrian angels. Not literally, but in the metaphor of the show. They’re celestial beings that look like us, but aren’t.

The Cylons, moreso through retconning but also potentially by design, are surrounded by mock numerology. Their names are numbers. They organize according to their rank and fashion. They refer to their cousins (of a different type) through their number — the Final Five.

The Five may evoke the Hamsa, the Hand of Fatima (or Miriam), an Islamic and Jewish protective image. They are the seraphim, protectors and guardians (“All Along the Watchtower”). Each of the four Cylons revealed in “Crossroads, Pt. 2” are guardians, supporters and aides to human characters. Saul Tigh has long been at Bill Adama’s side. Galen Tyrol’s kept the fleet’s fighters running (and built them a fancy new ship). Tory is the aide and advisor to President Roslin. Anders was the emotional support for Starbuck and source of morale for all the Caprican resistance fighters.

Meanwhile, the human-looking Cylon models we’re more familiar with — Boomer, Athena, Caprica Six — are, roughly, nephilim or fallen angels. Things get a little confused here, both for the metaphor and for the actual angelology, but a nephil is a creature (a giant, often) born of lusty fallen angels and human women, so this doesn’t quite work. (This would make Cally’s child and Hera the nephilim, if they are the offspring of fallen angels — Cylons — and humans.)

The point is that, in a lot of the early Jewish and Zoroastrian folklore surrounding these beings, they are drawn to Earth to mate with humans, just like the Cylons. This isn’t an exact fit, but of course neither is the idea of Exodus being instigated by a nuclear attack by a bunch of rebellious robots.

The Final Five models might be seen as the Grigori (the “Watchers,” hence the Dylan song chosen for this weekend’s episode), who were arguably the fathers of the nephilim and are fallen angels themselves, sent to watch over humans but swept up in human feelings and lust. The Grigori aren’t typically guardians and allies, like seraphim, though. Again, the analogy is rough.

Alternately, if we assume that the seven seemingly villainous Cylons really are doing the work of their god — that even though they are antagonizing mankind, they are not evil — then those seven models may be the seven archangels. The Final Five, of whom the seven do not speak, may be the fallen angels.

Or it may all just be parts of this angelology reorganized into new structures. It doesn’t have to jive with any of the Apocrypha any more than the show jives neatly with current politics (it doesn’t). Rather, it just echoes familiar things, with a bunch of distortion. But if Roslin (or Roslin and Adama together) is Moses, and the Twelve Colonies are (duh) the Twelve Tribes, then all this early angelology seems appropriate.

h1

My Wife Is Not A Vegetarian

March 26, 2007

My wife’s not a vegetarian. One sure-fire way you can tell is that she’s my wife. I don’t know how I could marry a woman who can’t appreciate the joys of a $2 bistec taco at 1am.

I remember it took my father a little while to commit that to memory. A few Thanksgivings in a row he asked me what we could do to make sure Sara had enough to eat, without turkey. Maybe it’s because she was an American woman who attended college after 1990. Maybe it’s because she’s from California. Whatever. My wife loves a good steak.

Still, sometimes I feel bad when I make fun of vegetarians (for the same reason I make fun of the Amish — the jokes are easy). Scratch that, I mean felt bad. I don’t feel bad anymore:

h1

CNN Gem #12,231

March 24, 2007

“Still, by the time the Limbaugh-Schwarzenegger radio chat had ended, the two had agreed to smoke a stogie together.”

I think, probably, what you mean is:

“By the time the Limbaugh-Schwarzenegger radio chat had ended, the two had agreed to smoke stogies together.”

Unless what you meant was that they were going to smoke opposite ends of a single stogie, like Lady and the Tramp with a fine Camaroon wrapper. Or unless “stogie” doesn’t mean what I think it means.

h1

You, My Therapist

March 24, 2007

People who use the poor sods reading their blogs as therapists are pretty pathetic, aren’t they?

That said, here’s my woe: You know that dude in the meeting who’s all difficult and antagonistic and makes everything take longer than it should and gets upset when people don’t tell him his ideas are great even though those ideas may just be shit and four out of five people in the room know it? But he’s the fifth? Yeah, yesterday I was That Guy. It’s been bugging me for 24 hours now.

Music: Dianogah, “Take Care, Olaf”