Tuesday, October 10

Battlestar's Morals Are Misleading

Source: Sci Fi Weekly

I was very disappointed by the season premiere of Battlestar Galactica. I still found the production values and acting to be excellent and the overarching storyline to be interesting. What really appalled me was that the writers chose to be "relevant" and try to make a highly spurious equation of moral equivalency between the Galactica Colonials and the insurgency in Iraq and Palestinian suicide bombers.

The writers would have us believe that the Colonials (in the webisodes) hide weapons in temples and adopt suicide bombing tactics because they have no other choice. Also, the writers would have us believe that the Colonials, who are a proxy for the U.S. and Western civilization, are really morally equivalent with the Iraqi insurgents who set off car bombs in market squares and with Palestinian suicide bombers who blow themselves up on buses and in crowded pizza parlors.

This type of moral equivalency argument is misleading, false and highly dangerous. So I suppose the Battlestar Galactica writers would have us believe that the 9/11 hijackers really had "no choice" but to fly airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Of course, in reality, the 9/11 hijackers were well-educated, middle-class Arabs who bought into a twisted interpretation of Islam that values death more than it does life. Likewise, Palestinian suicide bombers are indoctrinated from an early age that Jews are "descended from pigs and monkeys." If they are poor and face dismal circumstances in life it is not the fault of the Israelis, but more the fault of their corrupt leaders, such as Yasser Arafat, who made himself a multimillionaire while his people starved.

The writers also would have us think that the Cylons' torturing of Col. Tigh and other prisoners was a statement about how the U.S. is "torturing" prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere. Again, this is misleading and false. The absolute worst form of coercive interrogation that has been alleged against the U.S. is waterboarding, where cellophane is placed over the prisoner's face, he is inverted and water poured over his face. It is a mental trick in which the the mind tells the person he is drowning and of course it is unpleasant.

However, does it compare with Sadam Hussein's torture chambers, where prisoners' hands were cut off, where they were thrown off roofs of buildings, where living people were fed through wood chippers? Does it compare with Iraqi insurgents who have captured U.S. soldiers and torn out their eyes and genitals? No ... no it doesn’t. The type of moral equivalency that people such as the Battlestar Galactica writers would have us buy into is dangerous because it is false. Our society, which celebrates life, is superior to that interpretation of Islam, which celebrates death.

We must be resolved to defeat those Islamic fascists who celebrate death just as we were resolved defeat Nazi fascism and that of Imperial Japan in World War II. If the American media in World War II had been run by people such as those who put out the twisted logic in the Battlestar Galactica premiere, then, perhaps, we might not have had the will to defeat Hitler and he could have gone forward with his extermination of Jews and other "non-Aryans."

I would urge SCI FI Channel viewers to be well-informed and to not buy into the misleading moral equivalency argument put forward in the Battlestar Galactica premiere, and I would urge the writers of that show to support the values of Western civilization and life over those of a culture which worships death.

William Farrand
WHFarrand AT msn DOT com

1 comment:

Logan Gawain said...

Complete and utter right wing Republican lies. Yet, give the the author credit for parroting GOP/Limbaugh talking points.

It's nice to see that the 34% of Americans who actually are stupid enough to support Bush and his genocides, have time on their hands to write vapid letters to magazines.

I had no idea mental institutions had internet access. Now I know.

Live and learn.