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      CommentAuthorAdam
    • CommentTimeJul 26th 2008 edited
     (3101.1)
    I'm sure warrenellis.com has already brought this to everyone's attention, on top of it's mention in another thread (edited to point out it's in the "Be short, Be Great" thread), but I've just finished watching it the whole way through and I think it truly warrants its own thread.

    Watch it here.

    For something done on a budget of less than $5000, the production values and script/performance quality are nothing short of what you'd expect from a budget at least ten times that amount. I could not tear myself away from it.

    The concept seems to have absolutely NOTHING to do with it, but nevertheless strongly reminded me of Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, which I always wanted to see in movie format anyhow...

    Your thoughts, people?


    EDIT BY WARREN: looks like there will be SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT.
    •  
      CommentAuthoroutlawpoet
    • CommentTimeJul 26th 2008
     (3101.2)
    interesting. I'm working through the episodes now. As a counter-point to Dr. Horrible it's really quite striking.
  1.  (3101.3)
    Very interesting, particularly the theme of the eternal present that seems to be cropping up quite a bit these days in pop culture, and is that I see apparently lived genuinely by (some?) Millenials. Anyone got any thoughts about this phenomenon?
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      CommentAuthorAdam
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2008
     (3101.4)
    Errr... May just be my poverty-induced starvation making my brainmeats sluggish, but I didn't quite comprehend that... Exactly what is the crux of this phenomenon of which you speak?
  2.  (3101.5)
    As one can imagine, I have nothing but warm-and-fuzzies for Wormtooth Nation.

    Assuming you've already watched it (spoilers, yo ho) -
    One of the more interesting features of Wormtooth Nation is the idea of 'Nixing', or having one's memories removed by the 'wormy' gas - the same gas that apparently grants the inhabitants of the city immortality, or an extraordinarily extended lifespan. Does one choose immortality in a grim, dark underworld, with one's life and memories at the mercy of a tyrant/autocrat? Or does one drastically shorten one's lifespan and return to a world of fresh air and (one assumes) lacking the same extreme of tyranny?


    I'd actually enjoy seeing this series converted to Graphic Novel format, with some ideas expanded upon - more history, the characters fleshed out further, more complexity to the interactions and relationships, more steampunky goodness.

    On a materialist tangent, I hope to get the DVD when it comes out.

    Benedictions all
  3.  (3101.6)
    @ Adam.

    lol sorry, didn't meant to throw that out of left field- I was actually thinking about starting a thread about the topic, and then it cropped up in this film, and so I thought I'd ask it here.

    Living in an eternal present- the theme even crops up in Transmet, when Spider reminds ppl that they aren't even sure what year it was, and for those born after the storms ended, there's not much to mark the passing of time, and Spider suggests that's bad for a culture, to live in an eternal present.

    I'm interested in a) whether this eternal present scenario is in some ways coming true right now and b) whether we're seeing a mostly generational split in who notices it. Spider was older than the Filthy Assistants, and he remembered a past when things were different. The eternal present I'm seeing in rl is lived in by Millenials, whereas the people writing scripts warning of it are Gen Xers (Ellis, Whedon, the crew behind the nonAeon Flux Aeon Flux movie, etc).

    lol so maybe it deserves its own thread, though it's an issue in Wormtooth, but maybe no one's interested in the topic but me : )
    • CommentAuthorWiseEyes
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2008 edited
     (3101.7)
    Wow, going through Wormtooth right now. I almost don't want to. Just hearing the opening song and the credits at the end puts me right back in a chair back stateside watching a show on TV. It's reminding me so much of watching Firefly or Avatar that I really don't want to finish it! Those bastards and their conclusive stories. Making me all nostalgic and shit.

    Eternal Present, eh? Interesting idea that I really don't pick out as often as I should. I guess the biggest threat is that the eternal present kind of hampers 'progress', but progress is such an illusory and subjective term it has a tendency to hamper itself. If you want to experience eternal present, go to war. The only thing marking time are when you remember to count how many days you have left and when you remember your days off. On the regular 6 days of the week, there's really only 4 different buildings I go to out here. It becomes very mundane. I feel like it's trying to kill my mind, but it's giving me so much time to read and write that my creativity is still flowering. It's a very odd contrast.

    EDIT: I know what this reminds me of! It's a weird combination of Dark City and Bioshock! Those brilliant bastards.
  4.  (3101.8)
    @ WiseEyes- war sounds like an excellent example of the Eternal Present, but especially war atm (assuming here you're in the Middle East- you may not be).

    Myself, I'd like to steer away from the notion of "progress" too- but the Eternal Present does not allow for some sorts of significant change- or perhaps an awareness of those changes. I know ppl in their late teens and early 20s who honestly believe the sexual revolution of the 60s & 70s didn't really happen because: "they'd all be dead of AIDS." (No lie, real quote). These people are living in an eternal present- no sense that STDs have histories, that there was no HIV in 1969. Likewise Millenials have never known a US not at war in some part of the Middle East. If that's your experience, and you've no sense of a past, what change are you likely to make?

    Anyway- those're all real-life examples, but what got me curious was seeing the Eternal Present poking up into pop culture.
    • CommentAuthorWiseEyes
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2008
     (3101.9)
    Another thought I just had after re-reading your post, neogrammarian, is the repetitive nature of change. It was your mentioning of the sexual revolution that really jolted it for me. Live long enough and celibacy was a sexual revolution. Before then, we have the very open cultures of ancient rome and greece. Sexual reserve is something that really cropped up with some sects of monotheism and again with their revivals in certain countries. It's a weird thought to me, but society seems to be bound to an unrecognized "eternal present". We think we're changing, but really we're just reverting. Wonder where the next step will be.

    It seems the only real, solid changes come through evolution and geology. Change the planet, change society. Change humans, change society. That sort of thing. What will we ever do when the Earth spews super-intelligent, mutant, naked mole rats as the new dominant species?
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      CommentAuthorCamyLuna
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2008
     (3101.10)
    I haven't watched Wormtooth yet, but am getting interested in the idea and discussion of the Eternal Present. Does that concept relate to the Buddhist & Zen concepts of "living in the now"? The idea that the past and the future are states are lived fully in the mind. If you're paying attention to the present (in that case through meditation) you can realize a universal reality and enlightenment. I'm probably not explaining it very well.

    If the concepts do relate to each other, I guess that the Eternal Present that neogrammarian has recognized in the Millenials seems to be almost an unawareness of living. They're living in the now as almost a default, but there's no conscious awareness of that. I may be totally off the mark and once I re-read the thread and watch Wormtooth I'll know more.
    • CommentAuthorWiseEyes
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2008
     (3101.11)
    @ CamyLuna - I think the concept neo is presenting is more along the lines of not remembering the past. Seeing the present as just the way it's always been. Ever seen Dark City or read 1984? They espouse the same ideas. It's just the notion that things have never changed, or at least not recently enough to really matter. I think it really ties more to an apathetic populace. One who doesn't want change badly enough to bring any about.
  5.  (3101.12)
    @CamyLuna

    I think the lack of awareness is key- in a number of the pop culture texts I can think of, the moment of recognition, when a character or characters becomes aware of the missing past, is a crucial point in the story (as in 1984- good example, WiseEyes! Thnx!) So, no, I don't think the Eternal Present theme is Buddhist in any way, as it's unconscious.

    @ WiseEyes

    The issue of lack of awareness means I'm not entirely convinced it's apathy- or not totally. After all, if one doesn't simply doesn't know, then how can one be anything but apathetic? Or, maybe phrased better, is one truly apathetic when one has never been given the chance to develop? 1984 was a good example, and seems to support your take better than mine- Winston is of an older generation than Julia, and he has hope for a future, because he dimly remembers the past, whereas she seems incapable of working towards a changed future, even when presented w/the (apparent) reality of a resistance.
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      CommentAuthorCamyLuna
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2008
     (3101.13)
    @WiseEyes - Thanks. Your examples are really good, and I think that I get it now. It's been years since I've read 1984, but Dark City is really fresh in my mind.

    @neogrammarian - Thanks for clearing that up, too. I like what you're saying about it not quite being totally apathetic. It seems almost like a dulling of the senses.
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      CommentAuthorAdam
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2008
     (3101.14)
    Very much so. Everybody in the city gets their memory wiped on so frequent a basis that they essentially can't move forward, because by the time they finally pick up the pieces of their forgotten personas they get wiped again... All the base-level characters definitely fit the "Millenial" category, with the exception of O'brien, Dmitri and Robin.

    O'Brien knows that nothing is progressing, but actively pursues that state of affairs because that keeps his city stable and running smoothly. Robin knows more than anybody, and likes having the surface largely to himself. And Dmitri has just become so jaded by avoiding the gas long enough to see everyone he cares for live the exact same lives again and again and again...
  6.  (3101.15)
    @ Adam

    Exactly! I'd been thinking about this topic in rl for a bit now, but it wasn't until seeing it so clearly in Wormtooth that I realized how frequently the issue crops up in (particularly indie) pop culture lately. What's floating around the current zeitgeist that's worried about this issue Now, as opposed to in the 1950s (Orwell)?

    To me, the topic seems to go beyond the old saw: "those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it." The Eternal Present seems to be an utter Lack of past, w/the result that, as Wormtooth demonstrates so beautifully, it's extraordinarily difficult for ppl to develop in any significant way (which isn't to say that they can't at all, just that the effort is hampered by any sense of what came before).
    • CommentAuthorWiseEyes
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2008 edited
     (3101.16)
    @neogrammarian - I think what I was getting at with the apathy falls more in line with your example of Transmetropolitan and somewhat with 1984. In 1984, they still had the revolution, but in Transmetropolitan, there's really only Spider and the New Scum. The Old Scum are happy with where they are and everyone else is more or less on top of society, so why should they want it any different? And the New Scum don't really voice much without Spider. There may be some stuff for Transient rights and the like, Fred Christ, but that's mostly with the lower end Transients. Transients can still get a lot out of society if they start at a high enough point on the ladder. Anyways, the point being that the majority of the City Dwellers couldn't care less where they came from (otherwise they would visit the reservations more) and therefore they're stuck in the present.

    @Adam - I really like your point as well. Not so much societal change, but individual progression. Of course this is pretty specific to Dark City and Wormtooth as the memory loss doesn't occur in 1984 or Transmetro.

    Damn those spoilers... I'm practically pulling out my pubes to make sure I don't read that before I finish the series... All I saw was 'O'Brien' so I'm ok still...

    EDIT:
    Just finished, brilliant! Loved the ending. Anyways
    @Adam -
    Not so sure about Robin, his motivations for not telling others are pretty ambiguous. And O'Brien changes later on, so he's not so steadfastly pursuing the status quo for the sake of the status quo. I think it's more he got nixed after they went underground or something and geniunely (sp?) forgot about the surface. He seems to simply be trying to do what he thinks is best for the city. Road to hell and good intentions though. Dmitri is pretty spot on though
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      CommentAuthorAdam
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2008
     (3101.17)
    I think Robin is
    very much your Right-Hand Man persona - no personal ambition to rise any higher than he is, and not telling anyone how to get to the surface because, well, no-one's actually asked him directly. He'd tell O'Brien if the question was clearly put to him, but otherwise things are pretty swell as they are. And O'Brien only changes his tune because he finally sees that the Revolution is inevitable, even if everyone were to be nixed it'd still come about again, eventually. His people really DO want the surface, so the City is no longer relevant... And that's the crux of this idea that the eternal present is never sustainable, I think.

    As a side note, I just loved the scene were Robin finally cracked and attacked the Union boys before Serias made his play against Sam. Godlike ferocity and power! XD
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      CommentAuthorAdam
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2008 edited
     (3101.18)
    Screw it. No more hiding. If you haven't seen it yet and want to maintain the surprises, don't read any further than this post.

    And for god sake HURRY UP AND WATCH, because this discussion's got interesting.
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      CommentAuthornotwolf
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2008
     (3101.19)
    damn well worth it, yes.
    • CommentAuthorWiseEyes
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2008
     (3101.20)
    That was my favourite scene too. That and the bit with the guy dancing and he just falls flat. Loved that show!

    I get what you're saying about Robin, and this actually makes sense to me. Considering my present lack of sleep, that's probably a dangerous thing. As far as O'Brien, I'm going to have to reluctantly agree with you for now.