Archive for September, 2010
I have a deep, perhaps even traumatic, memory of the old Disney classic The Black Hole (1979). There are several reasons for this. It is generally creepy for a young adult sci-fi romp (hey, what can I say, I was a young adult once…), the weird ship the main characters find floating on the edge of a black hole is, in effect, manned by zombies, and the whole movie features cuts to this malevolent spinning doom that everything is inevitably plummeting towards.
But maybe most unsettling is the horrible fusion within the dead metal heart of a robot — a machine — that befalls the “villain”, Maximilian Schell, at the end of the film. This happens somehow — through no understanding of physics I have — when he’s sent hurtling beyond the event horizon to…The other side?
Feels like a metaphor for life right now. I sense that I am on the edge of a kind of event horizon. Beyond is everlasting darkness and, oddly, a sense of fusing with the machine. Whatever the hell that means.
But then there is this feeling of being outside of the black hole and its immediate effect. It’s there, you’re not getting away, but you’re not there yet, like the hapless characters in this damn twisted Disney movie. You, for lack of a better analogy, are Ernest Borgnine.
So that’s the deal. You’re on the precipice of a black hole…But not there yet. There’s probably some evil madman out there who thinks it’s a good idea to get there faster. And an army of zombies are ready to do his bidding. Again, metaphorically speaking.
There ya go. Not much to add. Sometimes you really, really pick the wrong movie to relate to at a certain point in your life. Or, perhaps, seen from another point of view, all this can make you (well, me) say: “Where there’s still light, there’s hope.”
Thanks, Uncle Walt, ya freakin’ weirdo.
A little kernel of wisdom (in min. 26) from the musing mind of cyberpunk high priest William Gibson, who is currently on a book tour for his newest, Zero History, set in the future that is today. Gibson’s oeuvre is weighty and brilliant, and it’s undisputed he’s a visionary. This interview (from Dangerous Minds) is a little naive, though through no fault of Mr. Gibson’s. Still, there are some lovely observations about media, the genius of Twitter as an aggregator (really?) and a future that had been imagined long ago by the c-punks. My apologies if you’ve already seen this, it has made the rounds a bit…
What more fascinating and perceptive perspective do you want on the state and transformation (I won’t say decline…) of civilization than a street-level bookseller in New York City. Makes you wonder where we have come to and where we are going. Not in any positive-negative normative judgmental way, just wonder…
By way of the NYT.