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The Psychology Underlying Robert Heinlein’s ‘Friday’

The titular character “Friday” in the novel of the same name is an artificial person. She’s quite human, but she was created in a lab, born via an artificial uterus and raised in a corporate crèche. Her society sees her as inferior, and she sees herself as inferior. That is despite her greater speed, strength and intelligence. I spent a while wondering why, and then it hit me. It is as much due to her upbringing as the much vaunted “conditioning”, though both are by design. Furthermore, social engineering (or a good PR campaign) of broader society has been undertaken for the same purpose.

A Look at “Bladerunner 2049 and Philosophy”

The “And Philosophy” series of books by Open Court Press generally involves two dozen philosophers giving their take on science fiction books, TV shows and movies. I’ve reviewed several of their more recent books like “The Handmaid’s Tale and Philosophy” and “Bladerunner 2049 and Philosophy”.

The “Bladerunner” is a deep franchise by design. The first movie makes you ask yourself what makes you human while encapsulating a very Biblical narrative of a fallen angel rebelling (and killing) his creator. Roy Batty kills not only his creator but the holy trinity of sorts, the creator of eyes/wisdom and the son of his creator, the rather innocent Jesus-analog. “Bladerunner 2049” begins with the birth of a child, the revelation of which threatens to overturn the moral order and liberate an oppressed people. At the same time, a corporate King seeks to claim the child (and likely dissect him/her) while his right hand angel kills, maims, and deceives to follow her false God’s will. Niander Wallace’s god-complex is his only well-defined, personal characteristic aside from being blind. He just wants to possess and likely corrupt the child to build an army to storm heaven. He’s compared to the Demiurge or false material world god in one of the “Blade Runner 2049 and Philosophy” chapters.

Theatre Review: The Mueller Report-Based ‘The Investigation: A Search for Truth’

The Church Report

Well, it didn’t take long! Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report was made public on April 18, 2019 and by June 24, 2019 we had a “play” about it! Eighteen notable actors—including John Lithgow, Annette Bening, and Kevin Kline—took the stage at the Riverside Church in Manhattan, and offered an hour-long reading of the Mueller report, entitled The Investigation: A Search for Truth, a title that forces one to sing “Dah-dah-daaahhh” after saying it.

Obviously, it would take way more than an hour to read the 400+ pages of the Mueller report. However, playwright Robert Schankken efficiently cut out most of the report—including the large portion that found no collusion committed by President Donald Trump or anyone on his campaign staff—focusing instead on the obstruction of justice section, which Mueller apparently was unsure about.  Schankken himself is a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, whose most recent piece before The Investigation(Dah-dah-daaahhh!) was Building the Wall, a May 2017 play about “life in the Donald Trump era.”  I’ve yet to figure out how a President can define an “era” just five months into his administration.

Sci-Fi Book Review: ‘The Green Leopard Plague and Other Stories’

“The Green Leopard Plague and Other Stories” by Walter Jon Williams encapsulate his expectations for a post-scarcity, post-Singularity world. These are worlds where you can upload your mind to a permanent virtual reality or raise children in them to be downloaded later. Nearly every one consists of worlds where nano-beds can scan your body, your mind and maybe even your soul to be downloaded into the body of your choice. Whether a gorilla body on Earth or adapted body on an alien colony world is up to you. Each story asks a different question while seeking to answer it.

Sci-Fi Book Review: ‘Friday’ by Robert Heinlein

“Friday” is one of Heinlein’s last science fiction novels. It isn’t as well known as “Starship Troopers” or “Stranger in a Strange Land” though it shares more with the latter than the former. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this Robert Heinlein novel? And where did Heinlein hit the bulls-eye predicting the future in this novel?

The Undergraduate is Not a Political Novel

The Undergraduate, a novel by Virginia attorney E. Scott Lloyd, published by Liberty Island Press and available for electronic download on Amazon, is something of a mixed bag. This coming-of-age story, told in the first person, is about a young man who is a college student at the turn of the century. He is from a small tourist town on the Jersey Shore, but attends a fictitious private school, Montpelier University, located in the mountains, probably the Adirondacks, and apparently affiliated in some way with the Roman Catholic Church. The school attracts a number of students from the narrator’s home town, including his closest friends and a young woman in whom he has an intense interest, but for most of the book, only a platonic relationship.

Lessons Learned from ‘Game of Thrones’

Two or three years ago, David French, the National Review columnist, blogger, and civil rights lawyer, wrote a lengthy piece on Game of Thrones entitled, “A Game for Our Time.” In it, French posited that the TV series, if not quite an allegory of modern times, at least contains interesting lessons for 21st Century Americans.

At the time, I thought French’s essay was interesting, but I was pretty sure Martin just wanted to write an entertaining story.

Now, after watching the very final episode of GOT a week or so ago, I’m not so sure. I’ve decided that there really are lessons to be learned from GOT.

The Washington Times Reviews Scott Smith’s ‘Red Line Blues’

From a thoughtful review by Aram Bakshian Jr.:

Washington is not a town that lends itself to love stories. Scandals and divorces, yes. But romances? Forget about it, particularly in the case of driven young singles pursuing careers in politics, lobbying and public policy. There’s no shortage of lust in the nation’s capital, as even a cursory glance at the daily papers reveals; there just isn’t a whole lot of love out there. This is especially true of love affairs across party lines. In the over-the-top era of zealous Trumpophiles and paranoid Trumpophobes, left is left, right is right, and ne’er the twain shall meet. But it didn’t all start in 2016 with The Donald and Hillary Dearest.

 

Why Is Disney Making So Many Live Action Remakes?

Disney has been releasing a series of live action remakes. The “Beauty and the Beast” remake starring Emma Watson is the most notable success to date. The box office total for the live action “Beauty and the Beast” passed a billion dollars at the box office, earning more than the original animated film. It proved that live action remakes – regardless of what you think of them – could be very profitable.

Does Nobody Watch The Classics Anymore?

Setting aside the propriety of casting Mel Gibson in a movie called “Rothchild,” which seems to be all anyone is discussing about it, why is it that not a single article I’ve read so far notices that it’s almost certainly a remake of an old classic?

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