chani: (Default)
It is an old question in art and literature. Are we what we think we are or are we being fooled and actually living a farce?

Do we really exist just because we are aware of our own existence? Are we sentient beings or the figments of someone else's imagination?

My favourite author, Jorge Luis Borges, once wrote a short story that deals with the issue. The title is "Las Ruinas Circulares" and if you don't know it you can read it online in English HERE.

I remember an old episode from The Twilight Zone in which the characters thought they were real but turned out to be toys "living" within a dollhouse. Not "real people" but the playthings of a giant and merciless child-god.

Borrowing a lot from previous films but also from books, especially Lewis Carroll's wonderful Alice In Wonderland, The Matrix told us that although people think they are living they might be asleep and used as batteries while the world they think they live in is a mere simulation generated by machines. The illusion is perfect, except for a few déjà-vu moments that give away glitches.

Battlestar Galactica, the miniseries, started with a Six asking a human "are you real?" and later Caprica showed us that there are many ways of being real, including the one in the V-world or in the game New Caprica City when you put the holoband on.

And now, a scientist, a NASA guy, is about to release a book based on the idea that we might be living in a simulated world that some future person would have built thanks to future super-computers...out of boredom. Interview with Rich Terrile, here. In the end, he says:

"And our simulated beings could also create simulations. What I find intriguing is, if there is a creator, and there will be a creator in the future and it will be us, this also means if there’s a creator for our world, here, it’s also us. This means we are both God and servants of God, and that we made it all. What I find inspiring is that, even if we are in a simulation or many orders of magnitude down in levels of simulation, somewhere along the line something escaped the primordial ooze to become us and to result in simulations that made us. And that’s cool."

Borges, who was blind and a poet, saw it all, before science men even started dreaming of it.

chani: (OZ)
It's all [personal profile] selenak 's fault because she got me thinking about Breaking Bad and possible crossovers.

Spoilers for all shows mentioned )

chani: (Default)
I left a comment on kick_galvanic's lj (she wrote a refreshing Leoben/Hybrid fanfiction here), and was thinking while typing then. I kept thinking of the subject after I left said comment so I need to expand my thoughts into an actual post of mine. When the thoughts want out, the fingers have to be typing!

Read more... )

chani: (Danse macabre)
So Now BSG, because I have thought of that one!

The 4 others will come later, probably not until the week end.

There were so many deaths on BSG...even if we leave aside the attack of the colonies that almost destroyed the entire human race in the pilot!

Read more... )

chani: (justified)
I love, love, love that show!

Read more... )

chani: (Default)
I don't know whether it's me being me, or me being French, but as I wander on this American-oriented web world, sometimes the cultural gap feels so huge and I feel so...on the outside.

It's quite baffling, for instance, that birth control can still be an issue and cause debates in USA but it's possible to buy sperm on American websites or pick features for your future baby in certain clinics -- something that calls eugneics to the mind -- while, over here, birth control has been settled for a while -- and nobody would even thought of bringing it on -- but we have bioethical laws that forbid many things or try to restrict what we can do with biological stuff (sperm donation has to be free, donor must be anonymous, etc.) and the potential debates precisely focus on that moral ground versus the economic side.

And there's all the religious talk (I don't mean preachy posts but general notes on personal faith, use of God word, or church going comments) that I can't avoid, and that I find sometimes so...overwhelming. What sounds, probably, so commonplace and normal for many people, looks weird to these French eyes.

I don't think it's because I'm an atheist, myself, it's just cultural. I'm sure there are several people around who aren't as godless as I am (I know for a fact that a few of my friends do believe in a higher being, and I'm even the godmother of one of my friends's daughter and I know that my friend send her kids to catechism), but we live, here , in a secular society, in which faith -- or religious practice -- is something very private, completely pushed into the inner world, so intimate that it has completely deserted public speeches or conversations, even between friends, and all the more with "strangers". It wouldn't occur to anyone I know in RL to express religious feelings or casual talk about going to church, unless it's an ad hoc conversation. I might shock some people if I said that it would be like sharing favourite sexual positions or telling about going to partner-swinging clubs, but the analogy would work because it's THAT private.

So sometimes, surfing the Internet is very exotic and feels a bit like watching an American tv show!

Most of the time, it feels like I'm...different.

But, of course the world is more interesting if it's filled with people who are not like me.

Speaking of American tv shows, I'm still rewatching BSG (but have been too lazy to write posts!)and enjoying it a lot. I was so right to be crazy in love with that show when it was on. The finales of s1 and s2 were terrific, the beginning of s3 was awesome. I adore Saul Tigh more than ever (he started breaking my heart at the beginning of season 2 and I have loved the old bastard since then); I have warmed up to Lee, whom I used to find dull and lacking in character until the end of season 3; I keep flipping sides between Roslin and Adama; I cried  a lot at the end of 'The Passage", and Helo is my hero (re-watched " A measure of Salvation" and "Rapture" yesterday, and "The Woman King" today). So good, so beautiful, so tall.

The show was so good at dealing with moral issues and at trying to define what being human meant and what it takes to remain "civilized" (something that The Walking Dead with its poor writing and idiotic characters fails to do). It was so good that it allowed the viewers to overlook some flaws, or plot holes, here and there.

Read more... )
chani: (Caprica daniel and joseph)
I've been reading reactions to the last episode of Breaking Bad, and it's obvious that the audience is pretty much divided in two teams: the viewers who root for the good guy aka Hank, and those who love cool villains and root for the bad guys.

I have never been that intrigued by "cool villains" because I see them as tv tropes most of the time (my favourite villain this year was a mature woman in Justified! She was not "cool" but she was one of the greatest villains ever), and as much as I adore Hank, I find myself rooting for Walt these days.cut for length not for spoilers )

Now I'm back to reading stuff on inquisition...

chani: (Daniel plays)
A few weeks ago  bought the BSG Piano Book that has been released lately, with arrangements for piano of the BSG scores by  Bear McCreary himself.

Some pieces I know I will never be able to play, others I might some day.

Today Bear posted a new blog announcing: Every two weeks, I will upload a new video of me performing a piece from the “BSG” Piano Music Book, at my own living room piano. with a clip of his playing "Prelude to war" uploaded a youtube channel he made for BSG perfomances because as he wrote: This channel isn’t just for me.  You are all invited to take part in this “online living room concert.”

I'm afraid that this is a piece I will never be able to play.

Bear added on his blog : I anticipate some beautiful performances, as I’ve already seen in some fan videos.  But I’m also looking for creative folks who will reinterpret this material in a unique or entertaining way.

Can you play a “BSG” song on an instrument other than piano?  Can anyone out there tackle a duet of “Kara Remembers?”  Or a rock band performance of “Pegasus?”  There’s plenty of room for inventive performances here.

Isn't the Internet a wonderful thing?

PS: Now, how cool woud it be if Eric Stoltz took part of the online living room concert and uploaded a performance of his own?

chani: (Caprica daniel and joseph)
After a productive day, I've decided to rewatch the final five episodes of Caprica for SyFy finally airs them today and I'd like to discuss them with readers who have waited for them to be showed on American tv.

First off, I'm reposting links to reviews I posted in November when I watched the 4 episodes, prior to the finale, that aired on SPACE channel, and I'm adding a few thoughts on ep 16 that, for some reason, I didn't review at the time...

"Blowback".

Additional thoughts )

"The Dirt Eaters"

"The Heavens Will Rise"

Thoughts on eppy )

"There Will Be Dragons"

Additional thoughts )

And now I'm posting my reactions to the finale, "Apotheosis", I wrote down after it aired on SPACE:

First I made a spoiler-free post that said: "I've just seen the finale of Caprica, "Apotheosis". I'm neither disappointed nor blown away. I'm rather in the middle, noticing some bad stuff here and there or the lack of some good stuff I tended to associate with Caprica, and yet spotting a few neat things, acknowledging the effort and a certain achievement in bridging Caprica and BSG. Let's just say that it is a real finale. It is action-packed, rushed and even botched up in places (but how could it not given they had only 42 minutes to do so ?!), not the quality and depth that Caprica had often showed (you know all the moral and philosophical stuff that some viewers found boring and dull), but they did wrap the series up, providing resolution for several storylines, which makes me think that, although there's some material left out, a second season has never really been expected..."

Then I wrote something I kept for my eyes only...until now.

Apotheosis )

Farewell show, I loved you so.

ETA: It crossed my mind this morning Read more... )
chani: (Default)

The story started 8 years ago, as I began to post on the Buffy Cross and Stake Spoiler Board. BtvS was in its 6th season and there was a shippers war, and it was just so fun. I had never been part of any fandom until then, and suddenly, a new virtual world opened before my eyes. A world in a foreign language! It was like a big game based on spoilers and specualtions, and discussions and arguments, and silliness too(the twister threads or the Daily Shipping News were not a serious place!) and it went in English. It took me some time to dare to post and play on the board because my English was so clumsy (still is, so imagine at the time!). A few people that are on my flist might remember it. Sadly most of them have been missing in action for a while. Where are you, old friends?

Fanfiction became part of the game; Spuffy fanfiction mostly because I found myself to be a Spike/Buffy 'shipper. Jane, if you read this, it was totally your fault, you had me read naughty fanfictions. Part of the appeal was that the stories in question were in English and I learnt a lot of pornographical vocabulary! Fanfiction was educational. My knowledge in the tongue of Shakespeare expanded.

Kantayra, nautibitz, herself, and all the big names of the time, have been my guides and teachers!

Reading fanfiction was also like being a little girl again and playing with dolls. It's an analogy I have often used and I still think it's relevant(and I guess that fanfiction writer play with dolls too). And I loved my Spike doll and my Buffy doll so much. I adored their epic, complicated, angsty and sexy romance. With the passing of time, my English improved; I came to enjoy the writing, to acknowledge the talent that certain fanfiction writers truly had, I even became picky...while still playing with my favourite dolls. I even joined a fanfiction club in which we gave marks! Later I found new authors thanks to LJ. Just check my flist!

I also found out that fanfiction helped to make up for what the show couldn't or hadn't put on screen. It filled up the holes (and not necessarily thanks to porny sessions); it went paths that open doors had only hinted at; some fictions tried to fix things sometimes, a bit like Willow using magic in season 6. Fanfiction was addictive. I stayed away from All Human fictions because I was attached to the show and my dolls had to remain a slayer and a vampire. I was rather a canon suppporter too. I remained faithful to my OTP (how funny that the acronym is so natural now!)concerning the characters of Buffy and Spike, but I indulged in reading Giles/Ethan fanfiction because the pairing was intriguing and sexy, and the show never made it obvious ––even though it's totally canon (Robin Sachs and Jane Espenson said so)! Spuffy was my passion and Githan was my péché mignon*. The thing is that I'm neither into nor against slash per se, but the Githan porn was simply magnificent. And we had so little of Ethan on screen that it was always a pleasure to meet him again in fanfiction. Dear Ethan...

It's funny because as much as I loved certain pairings in other tv shows––Helo and Athena on BSG, Desmond and Penny on Lost, Sam and Gene on Life on Mars, Pullo and Vorenus on Rome–– I have never been really compelled to read fanfictions about them (it may have happened once or twice concerning Helo and Sharon, out of curiousity), to carry on the story outside the tv show. I guess that it's because there was no frustrations to work on. Helo/Athena is a sort of Spuffy that overcame the obstacles in the show, a complete Spuffy on screen; Penny/Desmond is an obvious uber romantic pairing that endows Lost with an infinite grace; Sam/Gene or Pullo/Vorenus were perfect the way they described on screen, their love story––although non sexual and non romantic––was lovely and poignant; and above all, it was the core of the show so I didn't need them to have steamy sex in fanfiction (Vorenus/Mark Anthony that's another matter I could be tempted to explore!).

BtVs is still my favourite show, the best tv work I've seen so far, and I'm glad I own all the episodes on DVD so I can immerse myself again in the Buffyverse any time, but I don't play wih my dolls anymore. Perhaps I had read too many Spuffy fan fictions over the year and I ended up having an indigestion, I don't know. Besides, having spent years speculating on spoilers, parsing the episodes of Buffy and writing essays on boards, I hardly feel the need to join current discussions in the LJ fandom. LJ is for writing about my current interests/obsessions and for chatting with friends. It's great that there's new blood and enthousiasm about all things Buffy, but I don't want to repeat myself ad infinitum and ramble on as if I were in some sort of time loop and my matrix would experience a permanent déjà-vu bug. I guess that, when it comes to my reflections and contributions on Buffy, well,  missa est.

So, I thought that fanfiction was history, that I had quit for good, that I was cured. That ship has sailed and stuff like that. But two days ago I read a fanfiction and I did enjoy it. It was a Caprica fanfic, filled with angst and sex, based on Joseph/Daniel pairing. I doubt that anything like that will ever happen between the characters on screen despite the chemistry, the bonding/antagonism and the (sexual) tension, and I don't even want it to happen on the show for I do love Amanda and Daniel together. I know that I could read again a Daniel/Joseph fic though. To a certain extent, Spuffy was a serious affair to me, hence my sticking to canon and avoiding the comics, but now, I understand that fanfiction can be a pure fantasy corner that leaves the "reality" untainted. Reading it is like putting the holoband on, or playing a game.

Also, if some talented person were to put online a very good Giles/Ethan fic (you know, like the onesTrekker used to write!)I might read it...

Maybe I am not cured after all.

*ETA: For [livejournal.com profile] stormwreath  and other English speakers, a "péché mignon" is a French expression meaning a weakness...a bit sinful, but not a capital or deadly sin, rather venial hence "mignon".

Rebirth

Jan. 31st, 2010 08:42 pm
chani: (Caprica daniel and joseph)
Firt off,  I must say that I enjoyed "Rebirth" much more than I expected to.
I liked the pilot but I was a bit worried about the series. I was wrong. Caprica is nothing but a show with a lot of ambition and talent. Besides the title sequence is frakking cool!


My thoughts on the episode...spoilerish )
chani: (medieval demons)
The last trailer for Caprica had the famous BSG line "It happened before and it will happen again" in it, which made me think of BSG and...Lost whose finale season will premiere soon and whose reruns I still follow on the French cable(yesterday it was season 2 finale which I loved because Desmond was back and Desmond and Penny are one of the most romantic pairings ever portrayed on tv).

Suddenly  a few things struck me. It seems to me that BSGverse(and Caprica is part of it) has been playing around/struggling with the opposite concepts of Fate and Providence for a while. And so has Lost, to a certain extent, especially at the end of season 5.

Fate is a concept we inherited from Greek/Roman antiquity while Providence is a Christian notion that St Augustine and, above all, Thomas of Aquinas developed in their work. In this western world, that's our cultural legacy  so no wonder that the concepts are still floating around, even on tv shows.

The concept of Fate on both shows )When Providence comes out )

Once more with Blade Runner ) 
chani: (medieval demons)
First off, gentle flisters, I bring you "Bohemian Rhapsody" revisited, BSG-style, for a night at the opera-house.

Battlestar Rhapsody sound bite

Not sure Freddie would have liked that, but it made me smile especially the bits about Lee and donuts.
The singing is terrible but the lyrics are funny and include many winks to several fandoms!


Secondly here's something that has been around for a while, I guess ([livejournal.com profile] fraidycatx3  posted about it last week), so I can't find the original link anymore...basically it's about Lost characters making a sandwich.

Now I shall go back to Marking Hell.

Frak !!!

Jan. 9th, 2010 06:23 pm
chani: (Victor)
Someone has watched too much Battlestar Galactica ! Tim Minear and Joss gave us a twist-fest yesterday with the 11th episode of Dollhouse.

My reaction to Getting Closer...spoilers behind the cut )


ETA: I forgot to post the link explaining the origins of the name Rossum. In the episode Clyde mentioned that it came from a play and here it is. It's probably old news for many viewers but I hadn't googled the Rossum name until today!
chani: (Caprica daniel and joseph)
Being fond of tv series, I've been following several shows that are enjoyable and entertaining but I miss the excitement of following a tv show that makes you really care about the characters and think and speculate like crazy. I miss Lost, I miss the BSG'verse, I miss the Life On Mars/Ashes to ashes ' verse, and above all I miss Buffy. So it's nice to have Dollhouse back, even if it is for a short time before the finale in January, and I can't wait to see the new episodes.

Also I came across these interesting pictures from SyFy Caprica website ) My first reaction was about Eric's hair that looks blondish rather than red on the picture; my second reaction was about his glasses (I love Daniel Graystone's glasses!) and finally I realised what Daniel was probably doing on the second pic...
Speculation )
On the one hand I want to be in January so I can watch Caprica, on the other hand I don't want to say goodbye to Dollhouse. No matter the flaws that Dollhouse may have still, a tv-land sans Whedon is a less clever place to be.
And I can't think of any other tv actor that is as impressive as Enver Gjokaj these days. Watching him perform on screen in Dollhouse is like watching a Russian ballet dancer doing things that defy the laws of physics as if they were the most natural things in the world.
chani: (Caprica daniel and joseph)
I mean the BSG writing team, not the cylons...

Because I've just watched "The Plan", that BSG movie that was supposed to reveal a lot of things thanks to the Cylons' point of view. Well...I feel underwhelmed, to say the least. I didn't have high expectations, but since I had been pleasantly surpised by the pilot of Caprica I thought that maybe "The Plan" was worth watching.

Alas, this movie was disappointing and unnecessary. It hardly added stuff to what we knew. It's the first time I'm so negative about BSG but this tv movie didn't live up to the series. Compared to "The Plan", even "Razor" was a masterpiece.

Read more... )

chani: (Default)
I'm off to Brittany tomorrow morning for five days, I don't know exactly when we will drive back on Monday, and then school is starting again so this may be my last post for a while.

I've seen the premiere of Dexter (yes it has leaked!) and the latest True Blood (not  a masterpiece for sure but a lot of fun). We're close to the season finale, but fortunately there's the new season of Dexter and Dollhouse to be aired very soon. I mostly rely on streaming sites now for I can no longer play the videos that are saved on my computer (must be the driver because the bug happens with every software I try) so downloading is useless. :-(
Anyway the DVD box of BSG 4th season should be released at the end of September.

Also I'm becoming quite obsessed with Caprica. I guess it's both Bear's music(I'm currently in love with the track   "A Tauron Sacrifice") and  the Eric Stoltz Daniel Graystone effect....




Something struck me during the second viewage but I wasn't sure so I re-watched Blade Runner for the 3333333th time and...bingo!!!!
The heavy glasses that the defence minister wears in Caprica are the same as Tyrell's in Blade Runner. I love little details like that. The pilot of BSG was already filled with references to Blade Runner and they did it again with Caprica. It makes me happy.
chani: (medieval demons)
A few days ago, I heard about Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles' fate as I was finishing Richard Powers' Galatea 2.2, and I watched Caprica pilot thanks to the Internet fairy.

When I first heard that there would be a the spin-off, I was rather skeptical. I didn't really see the point of telling the story of what happened some fifty years before the Cylons destroyed the colonies, so I wasn't sure I would watch the 82 minute movie, less alone like it, but I thought I could give it a try, and honestly I did enjoy Caprica. It is quite different from BSG even though there are connections through Bear McCreary's music, the Adama family (William isn't Bill yet but he's there as a young boy) and the "birth" of the first "cybernetic life-form node" that is a CYLON. The line "A Cylon? Interesting." was a killer.
I spotted flaws here and there, and yes there was some stuff that bothered me but I was left wanting more, wanting to know what would be going to happen next. I guess it's a good thing given that Caprica is a prequel! The Greystones are really intriguing and touching, especially Daniel. Eric Stoltz was simply amazing.

Also looks like Ron Moore and Joss Whedon keep giving nods to each other's work. I couldn't help noticing that two characters have names that connect them to Buffy: Cyrus Xander and Clarisse Willow! It can't be a coincidence! Or was it Jane Espenson's wink at her former boss?

So I recommend Caprica to anyone who likes intelligent Sci-Fi. You don't even need to have seen BSG in order to understand it. But it's better to see to pilot, unspoiled!


Spoilers )

Richard Powers' Galatea 2.2  is terrific. I loved it. I can't believe that there isn't a lot more fans of Powers out there. He is a genius and manages to move me every time (I cried reading certain pieces from The Time of Our Singing!). For anyone interested, Galatea 2.2 tells the story of a writer anmed Richard Powers, who's going through a life crisis and gets involved by acognitive neurologist in a crazy project: building an intelligent machine, a machine who can read and comment on the readings in question. Here is what I wrote about the novel on my Goodreads account.
chani: (pic#)
I have been pondering the ending scene again and the Starbuck mystery and here are some musing/rant/thoughts that came to me while reading stuff on [livejournal.com profile] battlestar_blog  and commenting on an entry over there.

Spoilers for the finale of Battlestar Galactica )

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