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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Ghost in the Shell

Boy, I'm tellin' you, a rousing sci fi matinee (with female type hero!), followed by a half mile lap swim at the Y really chilled me right the fuck out. Totally TREmendous! Maybe I should be doing this more regular like. I feel like I can take on the world or, at least, today's surgery.

Ghost in the Shell – I def enjoyed the livin’ hell out of it and look forward to seeing it again with Jen and Oni. On top of that, I found it thought provoking on a few levels.

1) I've been seeing a lot of sci fi lately where the female lead (or one of the leads) is enhanced. Either they're a mega advanced 'droid or a human with a shit-ton of bells a whistles. Bionic women – Kiva, known primarily as The Android on Dark Matter, Bo on Lost Girl, Cameron on the TV Terminator show The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Ava in Ex Machina (ok, not a hero for the dudes but def her own damn hero) Athena in Tomorrowland, BUFFY! (not a robot or a 'droid but def enhanced), Jean Grey in the X-Men.
And those are just the ones I've seen and can think of at the moment.

Sheesh! I know this is sci fi so extras are a given but could we have more chick heroes like Jyn Erso, Rey (who didn't get a last name) and, of course,  General Leia Organa! Ya know, straight up, all natural humans – more please.

2) Why oh WHY is there just one woman with a crew of devoted warrior dudes...hmmmm? The TV shows are, generally different, more egalitarian. The movies – not so much. Jyn, Rey, Leia and Major are the sole vagina toting champions on their crews. More heroic chicks in sci fi please!

3) Why can't this concept – placing a fab functioning brain into a replacement body (with mondo extras!) be a thing NOW. Yes of course I'm thinking about The Amazing Bob and Rocco. Me too for that matter though most of my parts are still functioning just fine, thenkyew veddy much.

The tech exists to sub in replacement hips, hearts, kidneys, livers, lungs, pancreas, intestines and thymus (whatever that is) – why not the whole shootin' match? NOW please.

New, extra special, superhero type, replacement bods –it's the basic thing in John Scalzi’s Old Man's War series too but, like in Ghost, you only get the awesomely enhanced skinsuit because you're becoming a weapon, a death dealing machine.

That's the way it would play in real life too. I feel certain of that. We’ve $93,810,000 to blow on Trump’s scandal distracting, bullshit bombing and ego stroke but no, no, no bucks for programs which benefit the citizenry of our once fine country.

Anyway, for an insightful, more reasonable/less ranty review, check out Infidel 753's post.


  1. Glad you enjoyed the movie. Thanks for the link!

    Why can't this concept – placing a fab functioning brain into a replacement body (with mondo extras!) be a thing NOW.

    I've posted a fair bit about this concept over the years, due to my interest in radical life extension. It's true that we can replace more and more parts of the human body, and in some cases (such as implants for Parkinson's disease), even parts of the brain. For replacing the entire body, though, there are two big problems -- (1) replicating the body's capacities for movement, balance, sensation (it would be pretty nightmarish not being able to feel anything), durability (the body is constantly self-repairing minor damage), and so forth, and (2) wiring everything up to the brain stem so that the brain can receive sensory data and control the body normally. Both of these will eventually be doable, but they're tremendous technological challenges.

    The Japanese are working on humanoid robots which can mimic human movement with increasing accuracy, while Boston Dynamics in the US has robots which, while not humanoid, display animal-like reflexes and balance (see here and scroll down to the videos). These show that progress is being made, but we still have a ways to go.

    Why oh WHY is there just one woman with a crew of devoted warrior dudes...hmmmm?

    Silent Mobius comes to mind. This is a manga I read years ago when I was studying Japanese. There's also an anime version (which I haven't seen), and it's popular enough that I'm sure it exists in English. It's about a multinational all-women team of paramilitary police who fight invading demonic creatures, using both high-tech and witchcraft. I don't know whether there's ever been a live-action movie version.

    Such scenarios may be more common in Japanese pop culture, which generally embraces a wider range of themes than Western pop culture does.

    Best of luck with the surgery. Go easy on yourself.

    1. Wow! Fascinating stuff!!! Thank you for the links. Major's gait was interesting -- a little wooden it seemed but after watching HRP-4C , I totally get it. I wonder if the actress saw that (and was replicating).

      The "dog" moves brilliantly! Looks more like a giant, furry space bug but the movement is astounding.

      Going easy n myself -- a great concept -- will have to try that sometime.

  2. Scarlett J is really trying to get all of the roles where women kick butt in sci fi.

    She did Ghost in the Shell, but she'd also done Lucy (which was pretty good). I also saw her killing guys in a movie called "Under the Skin" a couple years back. I'm certain there are others even outside of the Marvel flicks.

    She's like Milla Jovovich with a way bigger budget.

    I hope the surgery goes/went well for you.

    1. I get Johannson confused with Charlize Theron (who I loved in Fury Road). I liked Lucy -- like The Matrix it was way redolent of freshman dorm midnight philosophy convos. Haven't seen Under the Skin -- will def look for it. Jovovich -- did she do anything besides that Bruce Willis movie (with the bastardized aria)?

      Surgery went well. Thank you. Now attempting patience re: recovery. Patience -- not my a talent of mine.

  3. On topic, sort of: Vonnegut

    NYT – Kurt Vonnegut died last night in Manhattan. He was 84.

    “I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers. Sometimes I wish it had been. What has happened, though, is that it has been taken over by means of the sleaziest, low-comedy, Keystone Cops-style coup d’etat imaginable. And those now in charge of the federal government are upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka “Christians,” and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or “PPs.”

    To say somebody is a PP is to make a perfectly respectable medical diagnosis, like saying he or she has appendicitis or athlete’s foot. The classic medical text on PPs is The Mask of Sanity by Dr. Hervey Cleckley. Read it! PPs are presentable, they know full well the suffering their actions may cause others, but they do not care. They cannot care because they are nuts. They have a screw loose!

    And what syndrome better describes so many executives at Enron and WorldCom and on and on, who have enriched themselves while ruining their employees and investors and country, and who still feel as pure as the driven snow, no matter what anybody may say to or about them? And so many of these heartless PPs now hold big jobs in our federal government, as though they were leaders instead of sick.

    What has allowed so many PPs to rise so high in corporations, and now in government, is that they are so decisive. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reason that they cannot care what happens next. Simply can’t. Do this! Do that! Mobilize the reserves! Privatize the public schools! Attack Iraq! Cut health care! Tap everybody’s telephone! Cut taxes on the rich! Build a trillion-dollar missile shield! Fuck habeas corpus and the Sierra Club and In These Times, and kiss my ass!” Jan 2003

    Stiff upper lip, all that.

    1. That was a Ten Years Ago Today entry.

    2. Vonnegut was one of my husband's favorites. Mine too. So wise, insightful and elegant. I wish I could express my rage and disgust so beautifully.