More Battles Than Stars

From the critics corner: “Battlestar Galactica.” To recap, the last half-season concluded with some wicked female violence and an attempted rape (all in the name of killing the evil Cylons). Two weeks ago, the show opened with more violence against women and the young male fantasy catfight, where one woman (OK, robot) shoots the other woman (and evil authority figure) in the head. Maybe the presumably young-male audience appreciates the the show’s assault on women.

This week’s episode, “Epiphanies,” took position on some of the most fiercely-debated philosophical and moral issues dividing U.S. liberals and conservatives. 

Abortion: The twist wasn’t the mother’s right to choose but the government’s decision to abort—no right to refusal. Oh, yeah, on the show, like the real world, the father had no right to choose.

Fetal research: The Cylon (a.k.a. robot)-human child’s blood had near magical healing properties. The military leaders used the blood to heal the dying president of the colonies. The blood’s use saved the baby from abortion, too, but to what future?

Cancer research: The Cylon-Human baby’s blood cured cancer. Aren’t some proponents of real fetal research boasting huge medical breakthroughs?

Tree-hugging insurgents: Civil actions sought to pressure the Colonial government and military to seek peace with the government. Like ecoterrorists recently indicted by the U.S. Justice Department, “Battlestar Galactica” insurgents committed acts of destruction for matters of conscience.

Prisoners of war: The Cylons clearly are a metaphor for Muslim radicals, particularly their religious fervor and sense of destiny. Like the Muslim terrorist prisoners in the real world, the Cylons apparently have no rights, other than to be abused, raped, and forced to abortion. The humans so mistreat the Cylons, I walk away from most episodes feeling sorry for these perpetrators of genocide. Outrageous!

There are tremendous philosophical and political undertones throughout “Battlestar Galactica”, which is increasingly a platform for espousing a single set of values. In so many ways, the show is an indictment of the current U.S. political administration and the military. Strange, because I question whether the target audience really would have the same political and value position as put forth by the TV show.

Still, “Battlestar Galactica” is great entertainment. The storytelling is taunt and the drama easily draws from struggles familiar to the viewing audience. But that doesn’t mean I like the political and philosophical undertones or approve of the abusive position of women. Sigh.