Saturday, June 14, 2008

Odds and Sods - Baltar is my prophet edition

The season finale of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA was last night.... and wasn't it just SO GREAT!!!????




The next time someone argues with you about global warming, just show them the last episode of this season! Earth has been irradiated, and the whole place looks like the coast of LAKE ERIE!

Heather Havrilesky of Salon sums it up very well for us:

The road to Earth is paved with good inventions -- like a viper that knows the way! Friday night's "Battlestar Galactica" finale was packed with big surprises, from the revelation of the secret four Cylons living among the fleet to the suddenly bellicose maneuvering of D'Anna, fresh from her resurrection. But the biggest whopper of them all came in the last few minutes of the show when the Cylons and the colonists make peace and follow Starbuck's viper to Earth, only to discover that…. Oh nooooo! Earth is a post-apocalyptic wasteland!

But that's exactly the combination of high stakes and suspense that loyal viewers have come to expect from "Battlestar Galactica," a show that shines the most brightly during the start and finish of its demi-seasons (with a little bit of finger-strumming and pacing in between). When the final episodes of the series begin to air in January 2009 (Oh noooo! Why must we wait so long?), the colonists (and their big Cylon buddies) will be forced to reckon with the fact that their new home, which they've imagined so long is their salvation, isn't the land of sunshine and moonbeams that they'd so dearly hoped it would be. At least it isn't anymore. After the celebrating and embracing and high fiving over finally locating Earth, that moment where Admiral Adama runs his fingers through a fistful of irradiated soil and then scans the wreckage-strewn, overcast landscape is just devastating. Welcome to the promised land, motherfrackers!
I'm very relieved they didn't execute Captain Tigh, who looked so regal and resigned, facing his fate with solemn military bearing as that green light flashed and Lee reaches for the key to blow him out of the airlock. He was ready to die with dignity, and you know that living with the knowledge that he is a skin-job is a far worse punishment than death for him. He is the best alcoholic I've seen on TV for awhile.

Cylon alcoholics! WHO KNEW???

Meanwhile, Baltar is still playing his preacher-prophet role to a fare-thee-well, and we'll see what his glazed-eyed groupies do in the next season, as they undoubtedly gain religiously-based power within the BSG-population. Will he become a Messiah? We can only hope!


Speaking of Messiahs, or fake ones, or whatever it is, I'm still getting steady hits on my Is Barack Obama the Antichrist post. I followed one of the searches and discovered that although I WAS about fifth or sixth on the list, as one of the first cynics, I have now fallen to the second and third Google pages ((frowns)) as the religious fanatics have eagerly taken over the topic.

They are dead serious, of course.

Intrinsic to the claim is the foofaraw surrounding the year 2012. This probably deserves a post of its own, but I am not yet knowledgeable enough on the full spiritual significance of the year. Suffice to say, its got something to do with the Mayans, Nostradamus, numerology and various other prophecies... Apparently, the Biblical account in Revelation has been wedded in some strange way to these ideas. (As Ash famously said in the movie ALIEN: I'm still collating.)

These combined-theories, presented together, look like a total mishmash to me, and I am naturally given to seeing weird connections everywhere. Let's not JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS!

At my workplace (a veritable bastion of scientific objectivity) we are selling a CD titled UNLOCKING THE MYSTERIES OF 2012, which sounds interesting. (There is also a book to go with it, but we don't sell it yet.) A co-worker listened to the CD and wasn't unduly spooked. If you have a positive attitude, it will all work out for the best!

In the CD, John Major Jenkins explains everything:
• What is the Galactic Alignment of 2012? The astronomical phenomenon predicted by the Mayans, and how it will affect us

• Izapa as the origin place of the 2012 calendar and the "uncorrupted vision" of the early Mayan skywatchers

• How the “Hero Twins” creation story encodes a hidden blueprint for the evolution of human consciousness

• The spiritual practices of the Mayan mystics, featuring a guided breathwork exercise based on their shamanic traditions
Now, who could argue with that?


The Angry Black Woman points us to John Scalzi, who reports that Fox News actually referred to Michele Obama as Barack's Babymama. (!!!!)

This must be quoted in its entirety:

Back in the day – you know, when presidential candidates were respectably white – news organizations called potential First Ladies “wives.” But now that black folks are running, we can get all funky fresh with the lingo, yo. So it’s basically fine for Fox News to use “Baby Mama” for Michelle Obama, slang that implies a married 44-year-old Princeton-educated lawyer is, to use an Urban Dictionary definition of the term, “some chick you knocked up on accident during a fling who you can’t stand but you have to tolerate cuz she got your baby now.” Because the Obamas are black! And the blacks, they’re all relaxed about that shit, yo. Word up. And anyway, as the caption clearly indicates, it’s not Fox News that’s calling Michelle Obama “Baby Mama,” it’s outraged liberals. Fox News is just telling you what those outraged liberals are saying. They didn’t want to use the term “Baby Mama.” But clearly they had no choice.

Meanwhile, over at her personal site, Michelle “Fox News’ Ethnic Shield” Malkin defends Fox News’ use of the “Baby Mama” phrase by essentially making two arguments. First, Michelle Obama once called Barack Obama her “baby’s daddy,” and as we all know, a married woman factually and correctly calling her husband her child’s father is exactly the same as a major news organization calling a potential First Lady some chick what got knocked up on a fling. Second, the term “baby-daddy” has gone out into the common culture; heck, even Tom Cruise was called Katie Holmes’ baby-daddy, you know, when he impregnated her and she subsequently gave birth while the two were not married, which is exactly like what happened between Michelle and Barack Obama, who were married in 1992 and whose first child was born six years later.

So by Malkin’s reasoning it’s perfectly fine for Fox News to call Michelle Obama the unmarried mother of Barack Obama’s children because an entirely different phrase has to her mind entered the common culture, and there was this one time that Michelle Obama once uttered something that sounded like that entirely different phrase, which is not the phrase that Fox News used. But wait! Malkin also points to someone in her comment thread saying that one time, Michelle Obama actually used the phrase “baby daddy”! No apostrophe! It’s in a comment thread, so it must be true. Therefore, Michelle Obama apocryphally using a piece of urban slang makes it perfectly okay for Fox News to use an entirely different piece of urban slang. And that’s why, you see, it won’t be a problem for Bill O’Reilly to refer to Barack Obama as “my nigga” on the next O’Reilly Factor.

It’s shit like this that makes this story on CNN, about whether Barack Obama should be considered black or biracial, an absolute hoot. Here’s a quick test on whether Obama should be considered fully black: Poof! Barack Obama has been magically transported to a KKK meeting in deepest, whitest Klanistan without his Secret Service detail. There’s a rope and a tree nearby. What happens to Obama? If you say, “why, Barack Obama walks out of there alive, of course” then sure, he’s biracial. Also, you’re a fucking idiot. To everybody who cares about Obama’s racial identity, either positively or negatively, the man is a black man, married to a black woman, who has black children. Black black black black black black black black.

It sure as hell matters to Fox News, which is why it’s dog whistling about Barack so loudly that it’s vibrating the windows. Calling Michelle Obama a “baby mama” isn’t just Fox News having a happy casual larf; it’s using urban slang to a) remind you the Obamas are black, b) belittle a woman of considerable personal accomplishment, and c) frame Barack Obama’s relationship to his wife and children in a way that insults him, minimizes his love for and commitment to his family, and reinforces stereotypes about black men. Someone at Fox News just ought to call Barack Obama “boy” at some point so we can have all the cards right out there on the table.

This will keep happening. Fox News will keep finding ways to remind its viewers that the Obamas are black (and possibly Muslim), Michelle Malkin will continue to make excuses for Fox News’ dog-whistling racism that expose the fact that she’s about as familiar with logical thinking as a rainbow trout is with knitting, and eventually some portion of the Fox News audience will get to the ballot box in November convinced that they’re not really racists, they just know that there’s something about that Obama boy they just don’t like. This is how it will go. Let’s not pretend it’s not part of equation, this election year.
226 responses, all worth reading.

I suppose it will get a lot uglier before it's over.


white rabbit said...

I blogged on Obama as right wing lunatic magnet too. The nuttiest of the lot (so far) is

warning: unpleasant partial birth abortion pic on this blog.

mikeb302000 said...

I love your blog, Daisy. I've been reading regularly for 6 months or so. Mainly I wanted to say that, but I'll also drop a comment about Barak. I'm an ex-patriot American living in Italy for the past 20 years. This is the first time I've been able to get at all interested in the US political scene since mentally turning my back on it after Viet Nam. After hearing a few speeches, I'm thinking Barak Obama will win by a landslide, do all the things he's promised like fix the health care system, (did he promise to end the war too?) and turn the United States back into a good country, once again worthy of world respect. I tend to go in extremes like that.

JoJo said...

Oh how I loathe Faux News.

a very public sociologist said...

Aaargh! I almost read your post! Luckily you had the spoilers thing on so I didn't blunder into ruining the rest of the run (here in Britain we're just at the point where the rebel Cylon Base Star has just returned from its successful raid on the resurrection hub). Anyway, I look forward to writing something after the season's finale and will return to whatever you say in this post then!

a very public sociologist said...

Just seen the last episode - it's excellent! The Brooklyn Bridge wasn't looking in good shape was it? I'll see if I can throw together about Battlestar over the next couple of days ...

The Girl Detective said...

I just finished watching the BSG finale a few minutes ago (I get my episodes through the internet). I'd love to write something provocative and erudite about it, but right now all I can manage is AAAAAARGH. AAAAAARGH. AAAAAAAAAARGH.