They’ve taken a break from rumor mongering in Nashville to concentrate on gluttony and debauchery. And why not? These are rich people, and what’s the good of entitlement if you can’t overindulge?
Into this crass colloid of slave marketing and burping, The Weather Channel suddenly intruded a trailer for next week’s premier of the SyFy channel’s three part production of their film of Arthur C. Clarke’s immortal (literally) 1953 novel Childhood’s End, about a race of all-powerful aliens who bring utopia to Earth. This was one of my first great reading experiences as an adolescent and it gave me nightmares for years – occasionally, my unconscious still belches bubbles of fantasy about it through the swamp bottom of my sleeping brain. I have been so obsessively horrified by the impending “remake” of Forbidden Planet that I guess I never saw this one coming. Maybe I repressed it until this evening’s trailer administered a slap to my diversionary impulses and forced me to gaze upon it. I tried to make a joke out of it, like Kurt Vonnegut Jr. addressing the graduating class at Cornell University snarking “but it is doubtful that any such exalted destiny awaits the likes of you.” I could hear Indiana Jones screaming from my Id “Don’t look at it Gator! Close your eyes! Don’t look at it!” But it was no use. I looked anyway, and melted down like a knuckledragger at a Trump rally.
This was a story that I always prayed would be tackled by a Kubrick or a Kurosawa or maybe at least someone like Peter Greenaway or Jean-Pierre Jeunet or, Buddha help us, Alejandro Jodorowski. I mostly associate the SyFy channel with, oh, the Feesh front orifice when in pennypinching mode, makers of cheapo films with terrible special effects and even worse dialogue. They’ll give you a bluescreened rhinoceros iguana and call it a Carnotaurus, or, worse, they’ll give you a Steller’s sea cow and call it an elasmosaur. Pheh.
But it’s coming, no matter what we do – as the divine Margo sings in “Bea’s Song,” you can always see it coming but you can never stop it. So the thing to do, I guess, is to accept it and question it. If the premise of the story is that we’re going to have Utopia bestowed upon us without being eaten (as in, say, the Twilight Zone classic To Serve Man), the pressing inquisition would be, is there really any further need for designatedhitterball? Utopia, one would expect, would be pretty boring as it is. Do we really need a game that would bore us even further?
Sobering questions, even for those of us without Karellan’s problems with his wardrobe.
Ack. I am not dealing well with this.