Dec. 27th, 2016

shadowkat: (clock)
Frigging 2016...although on a strictly personal note, it hasn't been all that bad for me or my friends. As long as we ignore the news, we'd be fine and dandy. Which makes me worry about 2017. Watershed years, ugh.

So, I jump off social media for a bit, because frankly its been giving me nightmares, and Carrie Fisher dies, along with Richard Adams. Lots of artists, highly talented, and kind, died this year. True humanitarians. Meanwhile there are nasty populist leaders around the world and at home, in their 70s, that I really wish would die instead, but nooo...they keep trucking along like nightmarish versions of the Energizer Bunny. Who is running this show anyhow? I'm beginning to think the Universe has a sick sense of humor.

I adored Carrie Fisher, she was tough and vulnerable, with a wicked sense of humor and the ability to laugh at herself. Also her character, Princess Leia aka General Leia, was the true hero of the Star Wars franchise. With Riley Finn, a worthy successor. But, ignoring Star Wars, Fisher pulled back the veil on mental illness with humor and wit. She discussed addiction with a frank honesty, and the perils of stardom. Some of her best work, was in her writing, and in small roles like Sally's friend in When Harry Met Sally. I'll miss her. And she was just eleven years older than me. So young.

Also, miss Richard Addams who wrote childhood favorites Watership Down and The Plague Dogs. And George Michael of WHAM, whose quiet works of kindness live on, along with his music. He was also amongst the first musicians to come out about his sexuality, opening the doors for others.

On a more positive note, two leaders came out this week with pleas to be kind to others and tolerance, Prince Charles and Pope Francis. I have hope they will inspire less savvy leaders around the world to let kindness into their hearts as well.
shadowkat: (Tv shows)
Way back in 1973, sci-fi writer, Michael Crichton wrote and directed a science fiction film entitled Westworld about a Western amusement park where the androids malfunction and start to kill the human tourists. It starred James Brolin, Yul Brunner, and Richard Benjamin. There was a sequel, that I actually saw years later, entitled Futureworld which starred Peter Fonda and Yul Brunner made a cameo appearance in a dream sequence.

The film version of Westworld aired again recently, and I still have it on the DVR, but have had troubles getting into it. Also, in the 1980s, there was a short-lived television series that I vaguely remember watching entitled "Beyond Westworld".

Now, years later, JJ Abrahams and company have revisited and rebooted Westworld as a television series for HBO. A far shinier, a far more violent series than the original. Also in some respects better written. Spoiler alert? It sort of ends the same, or rather, as one might expect.
It also at one point, references the original movie by following the journey of two guests to the park, William and Logan, who weirdly resemble Brolin and Benjamin's original characters.

The series is a fascinating philosophical study of consciousness or how we reach it. And that to find oneself, one must travel within, not without. You won't find the meaning of life or figure out who you are by looking outside yourself or out there, but rather within. Which is a Buddhist concept, I think. Or rather it's what I've been reading recently within Buddhist teachings. Although, I seriously doubt the Buddhists would agree with the graphic violence or the need for it.

The writers of this series aren't that found of humans, it is rather misanthropic. And there is a heavy meta-narrative on the exploitative nature of television or film. Reminding me a great deal of Joss Whedon's Dollhouse. Having now watched the whole thing, I'd say the two series have a lot more common than I'd originally thought and in some respects end on a similar note.

eh spoilers for the series Dollhouse and Westworld )

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