(SPOILERS for Sunshine from 2:50 in the video above. And all through the post below.)
I just watched Danny Boyle’s Sunshine, and I want to point out how it gets space right: It’s all about awe. The villain (Pinbacker, played by Mark Strong) is the villain because he’s gone mad at the sheer alien magnificence of it all. The living quarters of the spaceship are a tiny spindle behind the city-sized vastness of the Sun-fixing Macguffin, which is itself utterly dwarfed by the overwhelming Sun. The film opens with the ship’s doctor, Searle (Cliff Curtis) pushing the limits of the solar shield in an attempt to feel its radiance. He can only let 3.1% of the light into the observation room without permanently damaging his retinas. It sets the tone for the whole film.
It’s almost Lovecraftian, in a way. The feeling of overwhelming, uncaring, alien beauty that will kill you in an instant is intense, reaching its peak in the death of the captain (Hiroyuki Sanada), when the inescapable oncoming wave of heat and light entrances him - after which you hear his strangled scream. It tells the audience, ‘We live in a universe so out of proportion to our powers that it is almost unimaginable.’ And yet our response is not Lovecraft’s horrified recoil. Nor is it the antagonist’s nihilistic religious reverence. Like Searle, we want to touch it, even if it burns us. That’s the kind of transcendent inspiration that touches people who ‘get’ space exploration. I think Sunshine might just let everyone else have a taste of it too.
I have always felt trapped by my parents’ ideas of what is beneath me.
This little masterpiece by Porpentine is something everyone should play. It says a lot of things.
Malaise in Paradise
Imagine the great class conflict of the 21st century is miraculously resolved. Imagine world peace and universal freedom. Imagine Utopia. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Well, there’s a catch.
The issue with the advance of automated, digital and robotic technology is that it allows us to do more things whilst simultaneously reducing our share in the doing. If, in the future, the only part you play in your achievement is switching on the machine that does it for you, where will you find your pride? What dignity will be left for you, the useless maggot in the heart of the machine? The only chance for human dignity, in the face of technological advance, is for human capacities to keep up. This means integrating technology into the person in a way that preserves or enhances their autonomy - in particular, their understanding of the technology within them, their control over it, their ability to maintain and repair it on their own or with the help of just a few individuals they can trust, and their high resistance to hacking-style attacks and interference. The point is for people to have power of their own =and= for nobody else to have power over them.
Yeah I understand (but dislike) it when non Anglo Saxon countries complain about Immigrants but integration is the defining part of Anglo-Saxon culture, when we complain about ingergration its like the French complaining about fashion its just dumb
I’m horrified by Israel’s actions. I’m culturally Jewish, but I identify as an atheist, study Arabic literature at university, and can’t support Zionism. I’m surrounded by people who think I’m a “bad Jew” if/when I criticize Israel. What’s the politest way to tell them to fuck off?
Yup. If you’re American, it really, really matters that you voice your opinion on this as loud as you can. And if you’re Israeli, too, obviously.
Jews ordered to register by pro-Russian group in east Ukraine
Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk where pro-Russian militants have taken over government buildings were told they have to “register” with the Ukrainians who are trying to make the city become part of Russia.
Jews emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city’s Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee “or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated,” reported Ynet News, Israel’s largest news website.
"We don’t know if these notifications were distributed by pro-Russian activists or someone else, but it’s serious that it exists," said Olga Reznikova, 32, a Jewish resident of Donetsk. "The text reminds of the fascists in 1941," she said referring to the Nazis who occupied Ukraine during World War II.
Michael Salberg, director of the international affairs at the New York City-based Anti-Defamation League, said it’s unclear if the leaflets were issued by the pro-Russian leadership or a splinter group operating within the pro-Russian camp.