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Abby1964
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Mana: 
A very common topic lately the merits of 'cerebral' type Sci-fi the kind that makes you think (Like Futre world systems or parodies of society) compared to 'mass consumption' type sci fi (escapism pure entertainment).

I'm finding that the discussion tends to break down by age or generation. Most of those who enjoy more of a cerebral type of sci fi tend to be in the 35+ age group and most who enjoy escapism tend to be younger. I'm kind of involved in a discussion on another site sparked by George Lucas. While everyone knows and for the most part enjoys Star Wars, Most of the younger sci fi fans have either never heard of Lucas' THX-1138 or if they have heard of it they just don't get it.

It makes me wonder if intelligence in sci fi is truly dead.

Last edited on Mon Feb 28th, 2011 04:10 pm by Abby1964

Kaden
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I admit I have never heard of THX-1138 before, but it sounds like something I would be into. I'm a fan of films like Blade Runner and A Clockwork Orange. Cerebral sci-fi tends to have a rather dystopian view of the future which is maybe too heavy for some people. It can be a bit depressing. But there is usually a message of hope in those types of films, or a sort of warning: Pay attention. Don't blindly conform or else this will be you... Personally, I like to switch between films that make me think and films that are just fluffy and entertaining. But you're right, some people only like the fluffy films. I don't know if it's because they're truly vapid or because they just haven't been exposed to anything deeper. There is so much content out there that sometimes it's hard to filter out the drek and find the gems.

Angel
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I like films that make you wonder, make you ask questions, is this what it is really going to be like? What's on syfy now is just crap in the U.S.

Abby1964
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Kaden wrote:
I admit I have never heard of THX-1138 before, but it sounds like something I would be into. I'm a fan of films like Blade Runner and A Clockwork Orange. Cerebral sci-fi tends to have a rather dystopian view of the future which is maybe too heavy for some people. It can be a bit depressing. But there is usually a message of hope in those types of films, or a sort of warning: Pay attention. Don't blindly conform or else this will be you... Personally, I like to switch between films that make me think and films that are just fluffy and entertaining. But you're right, some people only like the fluffy films. I don't know if it's because they're truly vapid or because they just haven't been exposed to anything deeper. There is so much content out there that sometimes it's hard to filter out the drek and find the gems.

I like my escapism too but still like the kind like you say with a message. But Seeing THX now for the first time might be really depressing since a lot of the movie's warning is being played out in reality. We've already fallen into the 'Happy pill' trap. Just look at all the pills that Big Pharma is successfully pushing onto the public. I think we have more 'legal' dope addicts in our schools than illegal ones.

How many children are taking Ridalin? How many of them actually need to be taking it? How much ADD is actually ADD, and how much is the natural exuberance and curiosity of a normal child?

I'm not sure if it is that it is 'heavy' and how much is simply because it's easier just to keep your eyes closed to what is going on around you so you don't look at things that point it out to you.

Abby1964
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Angel wrote:
I like films that make you wonder, make you ask questions, is this what it is really going to be like? What's on syfy now is just crap in the U.S.

Syfy has MTV Syndrome. They are getting to the point that they are showing everything but Science fiction kind of like MTV focuses on everything but Music.

I've been hooked on the thinking side of Science fiction ever since the first time I saw Fritz Lang's Metropolis

JediPug1
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I'll admit, I like having some fun with my scifi.  I'm a huge Star Wars fan, but I also have THX-1138 on DVD - most hardcore SW fans do, really.  It's not something I'd toss into my DVD player on a Saturday evening, though.

I also enjoy some Syfy programming - Eureka, Warehouse 13, Sanctuary.  Somewhere between cerebral and fluffy is where I spend most of my time.  :JSMIRK:  Scifi shows or movies that have a sense of humor about themselves, if that makes sense.  Farscape comes to mind - or Firefly.  Lexx, too... of course.  Doctor Who... naturally. 

If I'm not having fun - take 2001: A Space Odyssey, for example... Then I'm gone.  I've made several goes at that movie, but I never see the appeal.  I prefer classics like Forbidden Planet.  LOVE that movie... I need to get that one on DVD - it's been way too long since I saw it.  Actually, I suppose that movie could be considered a bit cerebral - but it's infinitely more entertaining than 2001.  Planet of the Apes, too... I never get tired of that one.  Maybe because it's a Rod Serling story and I'm a big Twilight Zone fan.  Mr. Serling was brilliant!

Dang, does this post even make any sense?  :BigB:I'm really tired...  It all sounded right in my head. 


Last edited on Tue Mar 1st, 2011 12:46 am by JediPug1

Abby1964
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Mana: 
Rod had plenty of cerebral stuff, just like Outer limits. I like the fun stuff too. I even like some 'fluff'. But I also like the stuff that makes you think. For me thinking takes me much deeper into the story.

Not to take anything away from Star Wars but Star wars was Lucas' fluff film and THX was his cerebral one. And Planet of the Apes is a thinking film too!

mayaXXX
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Mana: 
'THX-1138' was a ground-breaking film, in the respect that it was pushing the boundaries of Scifi back in the day when it was not even a popular genre for film-goers, but more of a cult following. It was similar in tone to 'George Orwell's 1984' and the legendary 'Farenheit 451', in the respect that all these films had a sinister tone of government interference and oppression of the masses.

 You have to remember that the Cold War was raging, and the threat of Communism was looked upon as some sort of demonic plague affecting the world. The writers that penned these stories were obviously projecting their fears for the future of mankind given the world's political climate at the time.

The reason that the 'flavor' of Scifi has changed is because the world's politics have fractured into multiple idealogies and it's no longer a threat of  'Us Vs. Them' anymore, in relation to what was considered a politcal system that would wipe out our way of life, or so they thought. Youngers audiences won't have the same frame of reference, and also are more impulse-driven and so prone to instant gratification, that it prevents alot of the younger audiences from reflecting on the subtle nuances of some of the political ramifications inherent in alot of Scifi themes. A recent film, 'City of Men' , a throwback to the same themes as the 60's and 70's films, did not do well at the box office, because the audience could not relate to it.

What we get in place of the THX-1138 films now are films about zombies taking over the world, or plagues of vampires, because the fear of threat of pandemic diseases from bio-weapons are alot more likely scenarios to us than just government facism, which doesn't seem realistic to our younger audiences because they don't have the respect for government that was inherent in the late 50's, so they don't fear reprisals for refusing to knuckle under a government power structure.

Right now, the current climate of Scifi is leading down that road of entertainment for the sake of cheap thrills, otherwise, how would 'torture-porn' films like 'Saw' and 'Hostel' get audiences?  You'd have never seen a film like that even in the 70's, whoever made it would have been labelled disturbed and it would be considered a snuff film, and never shown. The ramifications being that it desensitizes the viewer to pain and suffering on the behalf of the victims, which it does. Not to say that there might be some redeeming value to them, but honestly I personally don't see it. Inflicting pain is not an entertainment value a mentally healthy person would seek to enjoy, after all.
:BULLWHIP::badger::cat01::tweety:
 

Angel
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JediPug1 wrote: I'll admit, I like having some fun with my scifi.  I'm a huge Star Wars fan, but I also have THX-1138 on DVD - most hardcore SW fans do, really.  It's not something I'd toss into my DVD player on a Saturday evening, though.

I also enjoy some Syfy programming - Eureka, Warehouse 13, Sanctuary. 

I like and watch those shows as well, right now no new shows are on, and I am just not into wrestling.

Abby1964
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Mana: 
I think Maya you touched on a part of what the problem is. Younger audiences do not relate and the question is why? The threat from the government is greater now than it was during the Cold War. Do they truly not relate or are they conditioned not to relate?

Facism is already running rampant; think Swine Flu Hoax, legislation of the individual family unit, TSA, Patriot Act etc.

And the Swine Flu hoax is a example of how 'unthinking' we have become. How we aren't paying attention to the warnings. How many people went running down to get that flu shot because the government hype made it look like everyone and their mother was going to catch Swine Flu? The hoax worked all too well, this time. The same exact hoax took place during the Ford Administration and overall few people fell for it.

So the question is why? It can't just be a matter of oh they don't relate to it, they are living it.

Abby1964
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Angel wrote:
JediPug1 wrote: I'll admit, I like having some fun with my scifi.  I'm a huge Star Wars fan, but I also have THX-1138 on DVD - most hardcore SW fans do, really.  It's not something I'd toss into my DVD player on a Saturday evening, though.

I also enjoy some Syfy programming - Eureka, Warehouse 13, Sanctuary. 

I like and watch those shows as well, right now no new shows are on, and I am just not into wrestling.


I'm into Wrestling but it's not science fiction. I like Warehouse 13 and Eureka but I see them as more fluff. There's not much offered that has substance.

Ketana
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oh boy did this thread bring up some memories..grade school being told to when the alarm went off to lower our heads on our desks and kiss our ass goodbye..in those times students were terrified of teachers, now..it's the teacher who is terrified of the students..sad now? times changes..as for respecting the government..now it's a big old fuck ya to the USA and respect..is a word that no longer hold it's water..Uncle Sam is now seen as a doddering old fool..Madison Ave? Mad Men? how true those days were..they'd sell you the shirt off your own back..they were that good..now? heh..it's all a ponzi scheme..goes around comes around..hold on to your ass cause the ride is gonna get bumpy..oh and remember..in school..they would line up the little kids and give 'em a cube of sugar with gawd knows what..innoculations!! some saved lives..some destroyed lives...born with birth defects..all in the name of we know better..yeah..we know better..ugh..lemme put the blinders back on and not face life as it really is.

Abby1964
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Ketana wrote:
oh boy did this thread bring up some memories..grade school being told to when the alarm went off to lower our heads on our desks and kiss our ass goodbye..in those times students were terrified of teachers, now..it's the teacher who is terrified of the students..sad now? times changes..as for respecting the government..now it's a big old fuck ya to the USA and respect..is a word that no longer hold it's water..Uncle Sam is now seen as a doddering old fool..Madison Ave? Mad Men? how true those days were..they'd sell you the shirt off your own back..they were that good..now? heh..it's all a ponzi scheme..goes around comes around..hold on to your ass cause the ride is gonna get bumpy..oh and remember..in school..they would line up the little kids and give 'em a cube of sugar with gawd knows what..innoculations!! some saved lives..some destroyed lives...born with birth defects..all in the name of we know better..yeah..we know better..ugh..lemme put the blinders back on and not face life as it really is.

I remember those sugar cubes and that air gun they called a needle. They just lined us all up with our shirt sleeves rolled up and did the assembly line thing on us.

Uncle Sam a doddering old fool? perhaps. But considering how the masses bow to his will, I think Uncle Sam is the smart one and the public is the fool! Propaganda goes down real smooth nowadays.

Ketana
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it sure does my dear girl..it sure does but..and here's the kicker..it's better here now than it is one some places far far away..where the donkey comes before the female..and that still holds true even today..even today..

Abby1964
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Ketana wrote:
it sure does my dear girl..it sure does but..and here's the kicker..it's better here now than it is one some places far far away..where the donkey comes before the female..and that still holds true even today..even today..

Yes things are still better here-for now. But don't blink, because we are working on catching up. I mean try flying, your choice is to get bombarded with radiation or get sexually assaulted will full government sanction. We keep giving up more and more and people don't see anything wrong with this because a terrorist might be hiding under a rock. At the rate it's going that burka could very well be in our future.

Kaden
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I'm reminded of a quote by Ben Franklin:

"Those who trade liberty for security deserve neither and will lose both."

Abby1964
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Kaden wrote:
I'm reminded of a quote by Ben Franklin:

"Those who trade liberty for security deserve neither and will lose both."


Ben had a lot of wisdom, what's sad is that if you ask a kid today who Ben franklin was they'll probably respond with the "The president on the $100 bill."

Yes I know Ben was never president but his face is on the money and that makes him a 'dead president'.

Kaden
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Mana: 
I think sci-fi, maybe more than any other genre, reflects the current state of society. When you look back through history, themes in sci-fi often directly parallel what's going on in politics, in health scares, etc. I read a strange factoid a while ago that monster movies rise in popularity during war times.

This is just my own theory, but I think that however the world is when you are at your prime is how you believe the world should be forever. The music, the films, the politics, the morality, etc. I often hear people waxing philosophic about the 'good old days,' a time when we were innocent and pure. I think people are remembering a fictional history because I don't know when that time was. Corruption, sex, drugs, and violence are not new concepts. These things have always existed. It's strange, but I've seen footage of political rallies from the sixties and seventies and the things people are saying is almost the same as what they still say today.

Of course, even though that stuff was always there, it is much more visible now. With 24 hour news channels and the internet you hear about every bad thing that happens all over the world. You do get desensitized. And sci-fi reflects that for good or ill.

Abby1964
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The difference is that the things that we called science fiction just a few decades ago are now becoming reality. It's one thing to protest a concept and quite another when you realize you are living the concept.

No we aren't eating soylent green, but we are eating genetically altered foods and we consider it normal.
No we don't report to the carousel to be put to death at the age of 30, but we have people trying to create healthcare legislation that would base medical care on age in effect killing the elderly by withholding treatment.

The list goes on and on. The very concepts that science fiction has put out there are becoming the reality that we live with. I can't see desensitization by itself bringing us to the point that we accept and conform to what is happening around us because it is happening to us. Or are we just too busy being entertained by 'fluff' to take the time to look at the deeper stuff, the stuff that makes us think?

Kaden
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Humanity almost always accepts and conforms to what is happening at the moment, whatever moment that might be, because when it's happening it's normal. It's just life. It's only in hindsight that it's seen for what it is. I think it's because sci-fi is usually so in tune with society that we are living it now. Sci-fi writers see the track we're on and project it forward.

CheshireKat
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I always liked the 5 part Dr Who stories better than the 3 part stories. When there was more going on, a deeper story line for me was best. The best scifi IMHO is a situation where it's just a little off from reality, but not so far off that it couldn't happen. (Outer Limits) BTW that's what makes Stephen King sotries so creepy/scary. It's a situation that anyone could find themselves in, but there's something wrong with the picture.

Abby1964
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Kaden wrote:
I think it's because sci-fi is usually so in tune with society that we are living it now. Sci-fi writers see the track we're on and project it forward.

I think that is what I'm getting at. Sci-fi has become a modern day 'Oracle at Delphi'. When we see the deeper stuff, we are looking at our possible future and yet today we are living in the future that was written about decades ago. Some good, some bad.

Yes we do look back in hindsight and we see that we should have known. We ignored what we already knew, I'm not sure that is hindsight, but more blind-sight.

Bilbo67
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Brings to mind H.G. Wells, who supposedly proposed that his epigraph should be, "Goddamn you all, I told you so."

cat1946
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If you can dream it. You can be it.
Rocky Horror Picture Show.

If you go back further, the Bible alludes to the same.

Abby1964
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While the bible does allude to a lot of things, understanding it can be difficult.  The language is Archaic to say the least.  Not to mention most people have never read the book.  They read scriptures or passages here and there and depend on someone else (Clergy) to explain what it all means.  That's how you end up with cults like westboro Baptist or millions of People blindly following along behind Some charismatic leader like Jerry Falwell.

What people need to take from the bible is the last thing these leaders will focus on because it encourages two things that would undermine Church dogma. One, there is a very clear warning to be wary of false prophets, those who use God to further their own agenda and two people need to focus on God and not the structured hogwash that they are being force fed from the pulpit every week.

Ketana
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well said Abby1964 and when reading the Bible one must remember it was written hundreds of years after Christ and also by men who wanted to be remembered.

Abby1964
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Ketana wrote: well said Abby1964 and when reading the Bible one must remember it was written hundreds of years after Christ and also by men who wanted to be remembered.True and when you add in the Council of Nicea and the referendum to create a religion in line with the political agenda of Emperor Constantine and the appointing of a single man to decide out of over 400 gospels and OT Documents what was to be considered 'acceptable' bible canon, You end up having to face the fact that the whole religion thing is based on manipulation and withholding complete information from the masses.  To the point that documents that are historical contemporaries of the Gospels of John and Luke are labeled heretical by the established church even though historically speaking they are just as 'authentic' as the books included in the accepted bible.

Ketana
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Abby1964 wrote:
Ketana wrote: well said Abby1964 and when reading the Bible one must remember it was written hundreds of years after Christ and also by men who wanted to be remembered.True and when you add in the Council of Nicea and the referendum to create a religion in line with the political agenda of Emperor Constantine and the appointing of a single man to decide out of over 400 gospels and OT Documents what was to be considered 'acceptable' bible canon, You end up having to face the fact that the whole religion thing is based on manipulation and withholding complete information from the masses.  To the point that documents that are historical contemporaries of the Gospels of John and Luke are labeled heretical by the established church even though historically speaking they are just as 'authentic' as the books included in the accepted bible.


I stand in awe of you..well said..beautifully put..:147: it's all about the wealth of a church..how magnifically appointed it is..dripping in gold..I left the church for that reason..it's people are starving, emotionally and spiritually, yet the church wants it's cut right off the top, pisses me off..don't get me started!

Abby1964
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I can't tell you how many people accuse me of blasphemy and heresy when I start in on the church.  They can't understand that GOD is a separate entity from the church who co-opted his name for their own purposes.

That's why I really don't call myself christian anymore.  I just say I have a personal relationship with GOD and kicked the inept middleman to the curb.

cat1946
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The saying, Christians are what gives Christianity a bad name, rings true.



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