Friday, March 20, 2009

Thank You Battlestar Galactica

In the beginning, Roddenberry's vision was "To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before." Battlestar Galactica completes the arc by actually doing it. They pushed the envelope like no one has before, not even J. Michael Straczynski. For me, no movie or tv show and very few books/works of literature have ever sustained this level of inquiry into the nature of our existence as Battlestar Galactica has. It felt as real as life, and just as messy with all its shades of grey. They took life as it really is and treated it, and the audience, as adults with functioning brains. I cannot thank you enough for that.

So, I give Ron and David and all the cast, crew, and everyone involved with this project my deepest thanks and appreciation.

As I watched Part 5 of "The Last Frakkin' Special" the words of Shakespeare came to mind, that:
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

This reminded me of a conversation I had the other day. Too many people impose their own views onto life and then wonder why it disappoints them. What they don't realize is that living is its own communal project in the way a truly great play or movie or tv show is a communion of fellow humans who come together to create something that gives expression to the true magic in life. If only real life could be like that where people give their best everyday so that our endeavors would produce works of magic whether one works at a hotel, a power plant, in city government, or in entertainment.

The one difference between doing a movie, a show, or a play, especially the really good ones, and everyday life is the level of emotional involvement the cast and crew have with each other. To act is to open oneself whereas normal life is about armoring oneself. But if we were to open ourselves in real life who knows what magic may come. The only problem is that real life does not come with ready made partners except our families and our families may not be such good partners. Hm. What a conundrum this is that acting for all its emotional risks is actually far less risky because real life has no script and few willing partners. No wonder many shy types end up in acting. It is the one field where emotional safety is paramount insofar as the role and the project are concerned. If only we could do more of that in real life. Maybe then we might actually feel the magic that is real life.

I will miss you Battlestar Galactica and all who brought it to life, a very richly textured life. Thank you one and all!