April 29, 2007

Belated Insights

1) I surely can't be the first person to notice that the Web is the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I mean, lots of individual pages, not in book form because it would require several inconveniently large buildings to carry around, obtained through a Sub-Etha connection, information on every subject that's completely unreliable but more fun than any stodgy old encyclopedia -- as I said, I can't be the first person to notice this.

2) Thinking the other day about E. Nesbit's Man-Size in Marble (whole story in link!), I was like, oh yeah, sexual overtones. Perhaps it's because I've been reading a lot of Robert Aickman who's often quite self-conscious about his sexual anxiety. I mean, "Man-Size in Marble" sounds dirty enough if you think about it for a while, and it's said at the beginning that "There were three who took part in this: Laura and I and another man," and the knights' unspeakable deeds surely weren't restricted to maraudery and violence, and... spoiler after jump.

3) Also, I was recounting the plot of the I, Robot movie, and I realized that Will Smith is Gettiered; or perhaps unjustified but Gettiered. More spoilers after jump, though I doubt anyone cares at this late date.

MAN-SIZE IN MARBLE SPOILER...and at the end Laura is clutching a grey marble finger. Sure. A finger.

I, ROBOT SPOILER Smith thinks that the robot killed Dr. Whosis, and the robot did kill Dr. Whosis, but Smith is predisposed to think this because he thinks robots are bad, whereas this robot killed Dr. Whosis because it was a good robot who is willing to obey Dr. W's orders to kill him in order to foil the other robots' plans. (And this foiling only works because Smith is prejudiced against robots and so will believe that the robot did it.)

Posted by Matt Weiner at April 29, 2007 07:43 PM

Wot no comment on the race subtext in the robot movie?

I haven't even seen it, but there's gotta be a race subtext. There always is in robot movies, even when the movie is stupid and the screenwriters didn't intend it.

Posted by: Ben at May 2, 2007 03:00 AM

Back in the original post I linked to a dude who says that the movie is totally black supremacist because, like, Will Smith is black and the robots are white and Bridget Moynahan is asexual and stuff. Really. So I figured, step away from the stupid.

But, anyway, explicit message of tolerance since Smith has to learn to overcome his prejudice against robots (he's right in this case, but only because his prejudice lets Dr. Whosis manipulate him FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE), and the movie seems to end with an image of Robot Liberation, people who know how to do these things can probably point out some deeper race subtext for me.

Posted by: Matt Weiner at May 2, 2007 12:23 PM