So I broke down and subscribed to Netflix again, after I guess a couple of years. I just got bored with all the glitzy ditzy Hollywood plotlines.
Not to say that was all they offer, and I remember I did enjoy it, at first. But it wained, as the content that interests me is often thin on the ground on mainstream ‘TV’.
Though, certainly mom, the whole current meaning of what constitutes ‘TV’ is somewhat different from what you would remember. Let’s just say it gives you infinitely more choice of crap that you have absolutely no interest in.
Anywho, instead, I went on a British crime drama spree, and they are delicious – Midsomer Murders, Vera, Broadchurch, etal.
Eventually though, the British TV services, good as they are, they eventually outlived their usefulness, and my interests became more history documentaries and lectures I found free of charge online.
However, the cerebral binging became tiresome, alienating actually, so I decided to indulge again as I have become bored blawdy stiff and needed something more, as I found myself sinking into this sort of wallowing indifference and devoid of all contact with the outside world I figured I might gain something from understanding of what everyone else likes, loves and thinks is entertaining.
I by no means MEAN to be a snob… em. Ya, no, I do mean to be a snob, cause I am a snob, or maybe an elitest snob.
Yet… I’m not really. To be honest, aside from historical docs and lectures, British crime dramas, and Time Team, I also have a soft spot for cheesy ensemble sci-fi/fantasy adventures.
None of the lofty progs, critically acclaimed, or the like. Nope. Pure, unadulterated cheese is my preference, and somewhat embarrassingly sometimes when I look in the details often they are tagged ‘teen’, but anywho.
Such dichotomies I suppose are what make me who I am.
Yet, I guess when storylines are engaging, the actors good, though often completely unknown, and if I get drawn in that first episode… I get hooked… and I binge… like a starving wolf… er… werewolf. Vampire. Delicious.
So, when I came across a show featuring a group of time travelers sent back hundreds of years to the 21st century to save humanity? Ya, let’s just say I was intrigued, and locked in till I finished the 3rd season this morning, barely taking time for sleep, or food.
Travelers is like a fine 12-year-old cheddar cheese. Maybe cheese for snobs?
“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.”C.S. Lewis
It was more than just about good fighting evil, which many of those sorts of shows use as the vehicle.
Instead, underlying the story is the belief in this remote entity that people almost sort of worship, will die for, fight for, and believe in with their whole heart. The thinly veiled allusions to Christianity are what intrigued me (such as the storyline that reminds me of the split that took place in the 16th century that started off a battle of supremacy between protestants and Roman Catholics across Europe).
This benign entity that knows all and sees all, a morality play of a sort, questioning the ethics of our noble causes, and the cost of unquestioning devotion, regardless of the human costs, here and now.
“And Lot’s wife, of course, was told not to look back where all those people and their homes had been. But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human. So she was turned into a pillar of salt. So it goes.”Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
Also, it speaks of the politics of Western culture, of unfettered capitalism that has taken over the 21st century, and the actual future price humanity may have to pay for our greed and indifference, our destruction of vital ecosystems, water supplies, the damage our wasteful culture inflicts on the natural capital that surrounds us, that we ignore.
Filmed in locations across the Pacific Northwest, a series like me that straddles that border, with scenes from both Washington State and British Columbia. This natural capital takes centre stage, with wide sweeps of majestic landscapes, to quaint main streets and the back alleyways and high rises of a city.
With each episode the main team of 5 travelers draws you further in to their world, as they are given missions, goals to achieve in order to change the future catastrophe that our indifference and greed bestowed to the future. Volunteers, they use our social media footprints, traffic cameras, death notices, and all the myriad of bits and pieces we leave behind online.
Each of these pieces of our lives are mined by this computer known as ‘The Director’, the god-like entity that decides the missions they will take on in order to save humanity.
Built by programmers and specialists of all sorts to create this big giant artificial intelligence, this all knowing all seeing entity they create to save humanity from itself.
And the philosophical moral question at the core of the series – if you could go back in time and murder the infant Hitler… would you? Could you? Should you?
“Compassion is the basis of morality.”Arthur Schopenhauer
Also, too, there is a thread of complicated politics behind the idea of the good of the many outweighing the good of the few, and the unforeseen realities and unintended outcomes, blind allegiance, selfish motives, etc.
I mean, after all, real life is not so black and white, it is all gray.
Lots to think on, that sometimes our blind loyalty to our righteous causes turn us into mindless drones unable to think for ourselves, at the mercy of an entity whose purpose may not be what we imagine it to be.
Hard not to see those parallels to what is going on down yonder, with all the political chaos and corruption, and that ego driven malicious fool some believe infallible, think is their ‘chosen one’.
Yes, it is full of all that juicy stuff, philosophy, religion, politics, history, and the powerful repercussions seemingly inconsequential events can have on the future… you know… the gentle flutter of butterfly wings reverberating out into the web of life causing a storm thousands of miles away.
Now, after being so absorbed in this series, I kind almost understand how so many with their dreary uneventful lives, after binging on these conspiracy-like fantasy epics, how easily they fall for all the entangled BS theories making the rounds right now throughout social media – like secret pedophile rings run out of some pizza shop by leftist elitist snobs out to destroy America (or whatever the current Qanon convoluted batshyt crazy plot entails).
“For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?”George Orwell, 1984
I mean, certainly more comforting to suppose there is some rhyme and reason to the random nature of circumstance, to believe there is some higher purpose, some great plot.
Instead, there is the reality, the many grey zones of our lives, the deaths, births, the losses, the griefs, the unfortunate circumstances beyond our control that have power over us, change us, hurt us, leave us jobless, maybe destitute, and mess up all the plans we may have had.
Eh, don’t I know it!
Kind of like that quote… (hu)man plans and god laughs… and this year I know ALL about that.
I really do wish this were just some convoluted dystopian nightmare and that I will wake up, toss back the covers, and I will have my pretty smile back, my job back, and all be right with my world.
Certainly, I sympathize with those who would rather believe some convoluted conspiracy of evil bastards out to destroy all that they hold sacred… rather than the hard cold reality of it all.
Though, almost soothing as the tales and twists and secret societies may be, I understand the comfort that lies may offer, reality cares not… and what will be will just be.
“People who try hard to do the right thing always seem mad.”Stephen King, The Stand
In the end, I suppose one thing I can say about our current timeline, after seeing some realities of 2020 playing out as fiction for 3 seasons on that show… perhaps for the first time in recorded history most of us on the planet would dearly like this dystopian reality to go back to being fiction, almost wish maybe there were some grand heroic plot to save the world, that some great and all knowing entity created to save humanity existed, not to worry, all will be right… very comforting.
I do almost wish I could believe in it… that I alone know the truth, all a big plot, and some chosen one has our back.
Alas, I am not able to believe in any soothing lullaby of lies, that is not the daughter you raised, not my path.
No, my way is the more difficult way, the way of facts, not fiction, of truth not lies, of complicated realities, not convoluted conspiracies, no pablum can sooth my anxieties, I will swallow that bitter medicine of this life, this time.
Well mom, other than that, I am getting by. Bored I may be, often uninspired, worried, but I’m fed and watered, have more than some, if less in teeth.
Pika shakes me from the wallowing doldrums with the pitter-patter of her feisty little dog nature, drags me out the door, to laugh, to smile, to soak in the reality of my little oasis, and regardless of whatever dystopian nightmare lies outside my little nook, a dreamer perhaps I may be, but at least a realistic dreamer. Usually.