ROBOT JOX

 

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It’s a futuristic post World War 3 world. War has been outlawed! So to settle disputes between countries there is only one solution, ROBOT JOX! Giant expensive robots held together with RCA cables and plastic. People are bred for the purposes of fighting in giant robots for their country (tubbies). Co written by Sci FI author Joe Haldeman. If you like giant robots, pregnancy propaganda, hotdogs and seeing people at their worst with a glimmer of hope, it is a must see!

ROBOT JOX!

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What woman can resist the temptation to reform a man ?

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Via the Hewitt Ray

by M. F.  Rupert

This story has got to be my favorite so far in the course (and not just because it did not involve a group of annoying Victorian explorers) . I felt a powerful curiosity in this story that was almost philosophical. Lines like “sounds we cannot hear – colors we cannot see “and “the world we are aware of is a very incomplete one “, put me in mind of a passionate scientist describing the ignorance of our own senses.

Although the actual science of what is going on in this story is reduced to a throw away explanation (as many stories do) by claiming that the details are not important, “I will not weary you with the details”. Well I don’t know about anyone else but I would have to say that the details of a machine that can teleport matter 180 miles a second would be very important!

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The main hook for me in this story was the character of Lucile. I found her to be very interesting although not quite as altruistic as I had hoped . It was a relief to read a story with a strong female lead. She almost feels masculine in a sense of her being a brash  pilot with no scientific experience, like a female Hans Solo? I mean she was travelling to another dimension and only thought to bring a colt revolver and a pack of smokes!

The men in this story feel very helpless in many respects. They seem almost like damsels in distress. Her hapless scientifically minded father who is a ” child to the world” and doesn’t seem to be aware of the true danger he is in, as well as the slave that she frees from a fate of death, taking him back to her world as a souvenir of sorts.

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Her adventure has all the hallmarks of a classic fish out of water sci-fi tale. I especially enjoyed how , even when captured, she  blows smoke in the face of the repulsive pig eyed savages in defiance!

The world itself is very interesting. The woman of this world are not painted in a very good light at times. They were once subjugated then fought back and won against the opposite sex to create a “better” society. These women seem almost Vulcan-esk in how they have broken all things down so logically, right down to having a  specific area designated to using sterile beautiful men for sex. Here even pleasurable sex has had logic and order applied to it.

There is a coldness to them that is powerful and haunting. Immediately when Lucile meets the leader she informs her that her second in command has died to which she replies“ well we all die someday “, a very Vulcan like reaction. It is also shown that these women may not have the empathy needed for motherhood as they have giant insect servants care for there children! They also have their children’s lives\careers pre-planned which is a nice touch to this Utopian- Dystopia.

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People who cause trouble in this world are altered and if the alterations are unsuccessful that person is painlessly executed . This put me in mind of the Star Trek the Next Generation episode called  “Justice”, where the enterprise beams down to a Utopian like world that is beautiful and efficient. However, they later realize that the worlds beauty is the result of a black and white judicial system that issues the death penalty for any and all transgressions against the population. Parallels can also be drawn with the Star Trek the Next Generation episode called ” Angel One “.

 “My Father!” I wailed. “If he is with these Third Evolutionists and you wipe them out—what will happen to him ?” “I’m afraid it is unavoidable, but if he is with them he will have to go too.”

It also gave me that star trek feel in that it was dealing with issues of interfering with another society and violating the prime directive. The people of this world have visitors but are still eager to be rid of them so they can continue with there way of life and development. Her taking the insubordinate man as a souvenir is a form of deception and alteration that would conflict with the prime directive (if this was Star Trek).

“We enjoyed having you here. But only as visitors. When your visit is completed you must go back. We are much too busy living our own lives and working out our destinies. We do not care to take on the responsibility of trying to fit in our lives with those of an odd dimension nor to take the time and trouble to fit the odd dimensioners into our life.”

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I was glad to see Lucile rescue the insubordinate male however I was let down that she so eagerly participated in war. I suppose that is something Hans Solo might do if profit or some greater cause was involved. I was hoping she would have a moral dilemma and perhaps not get involved, or seek some diplomacy. Although I could see how that would be in vain given the stubborn nature of the world she is in. In the end it felt like Hans Solo fighting along side the empire.

“Lucile, I did not know you were such a blood-thirsty savage. Why, I watched you through the television and you certainly did your share of destruction and seemed to be enjoying yourself immensely !”

“I thought you wanted the men to admit the women’s superiority.” “Oh well !” I answered nonchalantly, glancing out of the corner of my eye at John. “It all depends on who the man is”

*Fades to black and cue music and audience laugh track

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What kind of “dirty” newspapers?

Readings by Edgar Allan Poe

maxresdefault (2)This is the first time I have read any Poe and I must say it was quite delightfully grim. Like a warm nightmare blanket. Interesting parallels in this weeks readings with our previous ones. Particularly in how The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall bares a likeness to Man in the Moone.

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In The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall I really enjoyed the descriptive writing once he was travelling through he air. I also like the concept a lot, I mean if I could build a balloon that could take me to the moon to escape creditors I think I would at this point.

This story was the only one that I felt a science fiction vibe from. Probably due to the extensive scientific detail the narrator goes into as well as travelling through space. The sense of discovery and ingenuity also gave this one a strong Sci-Fi feel. The others felt more like classy horror and macabre. I can picture the Domingo Gonsales seeing this balloon in the air and saying ” Dam! Why didn’t I think of that.”

Harry Clarke Manuscript Found in a Bottle

I really enjoyed the atmosphere in MS Found in a Bottle and A Descent into the Maelström. These two stories felt very similar to me. Especially the theme of descent. Descending into a whirlpool as well as descending into madness.

 

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“ For gods sake, quick quick put me to sleep or wake me, I say to you I am dead!” “ dead!” “ dead!”

 

“Afraid those ladies will eat you? If the ladies do eat us we must make reprisals!”

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by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Scientific expeditions can’t help but put me in mind of classic Jules Verne or Isaac Asimov. While reading I was waiting for there to be a catch to all of this Utopian bliss. I was waiting for the women to turn out to be horrible cannibals, or perhaps evil robots ( I know it is a stretch). It was disappointing to me that there was no catch to all the perfection (regardless of gender). I was waiting for something grim that never came, maybe I have been conditioned by modern Sci-Fi / Star Trek.

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Personally I wouldn’t mind living in a matriarchal utopia, especially one like this. Seems like a great place . Almost all of the behavior of the men was frustrating, especially Terry who is clearly a misogynist @$$&*#! . However it was quite comical when one of the men attempts to lure a woman out of a tree with diamonds, these are real scientific minds at work.. I also enjoyed how the author used the Utopia to paint a grim picture of the real world through comparison, reminded me of Swift for a minute.

A thought that came into my mind was why are the men constantly trying to escape? They are being treated well and living in a paradise. If they were truly interested in a scientific expedition would they not stay and safely observe as much as they could?

 

Post Presentation links

I was really happy to be able to get through my presentation today and even happier with the discussions that followed both presentations.

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http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/amgg/listofdeities/nergal/ – information about Nergal

https://www.carltonbooks.co.uk/blog/mars-names-ancient-rod-pyle/ the many names of mars

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs0K4ApWl4g 1938 Orson Welles broadcast

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjPAWbk5jKc music

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU56VzI5y58 Radio lab discussion on Quito broadcast

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mi0KdY_W0sg&t=1549s Complete Radio lab discussion on WOTW

The War of Perception

It is tough to discuss something about War of the Worlds that has not already been discussed many many times over. So, for my presentation I would like to have some fun and hopefully spark a discussion on how War of the Worlds was received both in its initial release as well as the following radio broadcasts.

What I hope to get out of the discussion is everyone’s opinion on the powers of media and our own perception. I would like to know if anyone today could be fooled by something similar to the 1938 Welles broadcast.

There will also be a quick overview of H.G. Wells and the plot of War of the Worlds. After the presentation I will post some additional content links that I am saving!

The beginning will cover the initial 1898 release of War of the Worlds and how it was received by the general public as well as the surrounding context of Mars and astronomy of the time.

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Above is a charming illustration I found by an unknown artist. Source:

http://theworldofkitsch.com/worldofkitsch/terrifying-war-of-the-worlds-illustrations

 

Next the topic will be the 1938 radio broadcast by Orson Welles and its reception. Was the panic real? Or was the resulting coverage of the broadcast reaction as fake as the broadcast itself?

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Above is a photo of a painting that hangs in a coffee shop in the now famous Grover’s Mill NJ.

War-of-the-Worlds-by-Jamie-Jones-1024x597 Above is a painting by Jamie Jones which is a more modern rendering of the blood sucking Martians.

I hope everyone enjoys the presentation. I am looking forward to Nora’s as well!

 

McDonough, J. “Today’s Audiences Are Just As Gullible As Orson Welles’s.” Wall Street Journal. (2000). Print.

MacKenzie, N. “H.G. Wells: A Biography.” New York: Simon and Schuster, (1973). Print.