Mirror, Mirror......  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

I have been a rabid fan of the updated series "Battlestar Galactica", one of the best written examinations of the human condition I have had the pleasure/pain to experience. There are so many things within this opera that resembles the evolution of my own identity as a man, as a human, it's spooky. Let me explain.

From the get-go, when these intelligent apes began to form tribes, nature and pure chance have conspired to put this creature down, not as a recognized threat to all OTHER forms of life on this planet, although that would come to be realized eventually, but because that's just how life is; it fights to live, and things conspire to kill it. The dinosaurs can tell you all ABOUT that. A rock from space, a sudden shift in climate, runaway volcanic activity; there are ALL kinds of phenomenon that can put a damper on biology. Yet, against all these odds, even against it's own built-in tendency to commit species suicide, mankind persists and now covers this planet like a bacterial slime mold. On top of that, if we can survive just perhaps a dozen more decades, we might even spread this contagion to other habitable planets. We are, after all, infectious little muther fuckers.........

It is only natural for a species that is self aware, to be self-centered, to think of itself as the center of the universe, to transcend all criticisms, to hold itself above all other considerations. Yet, it is only logical to expect that advanced intelligence would temper such selfishness with an understanding of how invested we are in ALL that life we share our planet, and perhaps the universe, with. And, it seems, that as far as that goes, logic is in very short supply upon this planet. Basic animal urges have always prevailed, it seems, and nothing so far proves that anything will change in that regard. Yes, we do have a relative handful amongst us that is capable of taking the long view, yet a pathetically small percentage of these remarkable individuals are involved in positions of power, of being there to steer this species on a sane and safe path into a very dangerous future.

Yes, given my preferences, I'm glad I was born human and not kangaroo. It's been a good life, relative to the kind of life a human can end up living. Yes, there are scores of humans I love, am very fond of, and/or respect. However, the fact remains that just like a German in 1942 having to make a conscious decision to BE a Nazi, and to think that was a correct decision, or to be a Cambodian forcing his own parents on a death march to the countryside during that genocide, we ALL have decisions to make all during our lives that have an effect on ALL life on this planet, and chances are, we will most often make the WRONG choice. Small, innocent choices, indeed, which in reality will all add up to the ultimate wrong when the chickens come home to roost. Knowing this, painfully, as I do, I am now more than capable of having precious little sympathy for my species as a whole. Within us dwell monsters, as evil and terrifying as the picture we painted in our nightmares of that shark in the movie "Jaws". Despite all the wonder, the joy, the love we are capable of, look at the horrors we balance all that with. Is it REALLY worth it? Is it TRULY a balance?

And am I above all this? HELL NO. Every DAY I make decisions that upon reflection would cause me shame, if I were to dwell upon the contributions these minor altercations are going to have, however minute, in the end. Even the lifestyle I enjoy, even as seemingly lower-class as it appears to be, requires that others on this planet, human AND animal, suffers to some degree. This applies equally to ALL of you, and you can disagree all you want, or protest your good intentions, but in the end the truth of our impacts remains what it is.......the truth.

Thus, like the heroism's and tragedies, outrages and petty victories that are played out in the Battlestar Galactica series, what we witness in this saga is our reflection, a sad and ugly reflection of who we are deep inside, stripped of excuse, intention, Godliness, or lack of any redeemable value. I see my species, I know my species, I cannot make any more excuses for my species ; do not make up a God or a Devil to blame for all my species failures, and I do not ask for the commutation of the sentence we so aptly deserve, which I know, thanks to our nature, will be visited upon us, if not in OUR lifetime, then in our children's. Next time you see that proverbial crazy man carrying around the "END IS NEAR" sign, give him the respect a prophet with clear vision deserves. His is perhaps the only truth we will witness in these, our all-to-short and tragic lifetimes.

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 13, 2009 at Thursday, August 13, 2009 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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