Thursday, January 17, 2008

"Come with me if you want to live!"

Simple Arithmetic

Lena Headey + Summer Glau + the Terminator mythos - Ahnold = why YOU should be watching The Sarah Connor Chronicles. It's a good show on the Fox network, which does mean invariable cancellation, but before it is -and this must be said - terminated, give it a whirl. Summer Glau is a lucid, mechanical badass this time around, stealing scenes like the unholily-talented acting bandit she is. Lena Headey steps boldly into the be-all and end-all of "yo mama wears army boots" jokes as the titular Sarah Connor, and she's a worthy successor to Linda Hamilton, I'd say. John Connor is present, and a major focus of the series, but as a 15-year-old, he's basically there to be angsty, provide motivation for his mom, as well as tender, heartfelt family moments for the viewers (and doubtless for the Fox people, neo-con bastards that they are).

While the acting is quality stuff, the show as an experience is so far operating like the Terminator movies: there's a good-guy robot, a host of bad-guy robots, and there are the police looking for an armed-and-dangerous nutjob mother (or so they think). This isn't a complaint as of yet, because I and the writers both know that something has to happen besides car chases and teary mother-son hugfests, but the pilot episodes have to be just that in order to sell. That's fine, that's what you do to sell TV... I mean, look at Drive: you try to do car chases AND intelligent storytelling AND character development ALL AT THE SAME TIME? That's madness! How is the average Fox-watching Yokel supposed to wrap his poor little noodle around all that com-plex-uh-teeee and new-aunce? Given time, I'm sure that all of these will make due appearances in The Sarah Connor Chronicles, so seriously, watch it so the writers have a chance to a) get a fair deal and write more episodes, and b) tell a part of the story with some kind of actual resolution, before Fox puts their mechanical, humanity-crushing boots to it!

Critical Thinking

It's just occurred to me how incredibly apt "Critical Thinking" is as a term. I wonder if there are words for phrases like that? I'll put forward "pseudo-autological", and leave it at that for now. It just so happens that I am taking a course on critical thinking at university now, and I realized in class today that I'm going to need some new words if I'm going to be able to express myself adequately. For example, one student raised a point in class, that defining "morally right actions" as "actions which maximize pleasure for those affected" (which was NOT the debate) was a functional (I think that was it) definition, in that it did not address what "morality" is itself, only what would constitute morality. I wanted to say that his objection was only valid if one acknowledged some kind of special meaning for "moral". For someone who does not believe in any special, independent existence of a moral code, couldn't a functional definition also be a definition of the word "moral" itself, in the absence of some greater significance? I don't think I had a word to indicate that I meant the phrase itself would define the very concept of what moral is in the non-presence of an absolute, but I think it would have greatly helped the clarity of my response. I also want words for "existence-that-isn't-actually-existence", as in "something that isn't NOT, but cannot be said to exist as you or I perceive reality and the universe to be present" (an entirely hypothetical conjecture that I used when hypothesizing about how God is the ultimate expression of the "freedom to..." philosophy. While I'm on that, I generally need words that define beyond our mortal ken. Real stuff is easy, science has been name-tagging matter and energy and their myriad dances for centuries, the physical is (naturally) well-documented...but how to define hypothetical conjectures? So, consider this a sort of "wanted words" request. Submissions via email, MSN, or the comments here, if you have a good word for any of these...(non?)things. Winners get my supreme appreciation, maybe some chocolate or $5 from my pocket, and I'll try to use the word in class or conversation, see if I can't get it to stick. I reserve the right to post and popularize my own submissions, but the $5 or chocolate (or equivalent something) is going to someone else because I said so, even if I think I win.

And, lest you think I forgot, it is 2008. Still no flying cars, so it's not that big a deal.

In personal news, I have all but abandoned the quest for the bare-bones notebook. I find it appalling that in a market that must consist entirely of picky, tech-savvy people, it's actually harder to get what you want! Defeated, I look to a heavy upgrade for my desktop, and perhaps a Smartphone purchase. One day, I will have my hardcore custom gaming laptop, but that day isn't coming with any great alacrity.


Laur said...

Personally, I like "metaexistence".

Then again, my existence is becoming solely based on cake :)

laur said...

PS I want my chocolate now please...

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