The FAR has discovered that time is an illusion, so we can simultaneously dive into animated futures, past thrillers, and two classic movies in dialog with the present and still have room to ponder extraterrestrial law questions that haven’t been asked yet, a move we call Violating the Space-Crime Continuum. Also: a dog!
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Andrew Paul interviews Don Hertzfeldt at The AV Club about his expanding World of Tomorrow series and his thoughts on science fiction and science future:
[W]hen we say we want to live forever—in the generic sense—it’s actually very specific. Because if I was like, “Okay, you could live forever, but you’ve got to be rebooted. Blank your memory, and then you can live another 10 years, and then we’re blanking again, right?” If that was the process, that’s not attractive. You realize that what makes you “you” is your memories, your experiences, everything that’s saved back there. It’s less interesting, then, to be blank. That’s terrifying. That’s a form of death. Without that, what form of personality would I have left?
Melissa Baumgart has been “thinking a lot about Dick” (her words) and goes to Crooked Marquee to stump for the film as a corrective to All the President’s Men:
Dick has been on my mind because veteran journalist Bob Woodward, immortalized by Robert Redford in 1976’s All The President’s Men, waited until September – right before the release of his new book – to reveal that on February 7th, Trump stated that he knew the virus was “deadly” and airborne, while publicly downplaying the threat and discouraging the use of mask-wearing to reduce transmission. Over 225,000 Americans have died, millions have lost their jobs, and the pandemic continues to spread. Woodward’s decision to stay silent until his book launch cuts deep because it’s a betrayal of who we believe Bob Woodward to be: someone who holds the President to account so thoroughly that he has to leave office. But that is part hindsight and part Hollywood.
It’s a short walk, so let’s pivot from politics to crime. Specifically what precedents have the uninhabitable jurisdictions of the planet set regarding future space crimes? Sam Kean and Slate investigate:
When looking for analogues to crime in outer space, some scholars point to Antarctica, where a surprising number of crimes have already taken place—including an ax murder over a chess game; an assault with the claw end of a hammer; and arson, when a stir-crazy doctor burned down a building to try to force an evacuation. (Most recently, at a Russian base in 2018, an engineer stabbed a welder in the chest with a knife—either because, depending on the report, the welder insulted the engineer’s manhood by offering him money to dance on a table, or because the welder kept spoiling the ending of books the engineer was reading, and he finally snapped.)
The lack of a bad Ashley Judd 90s thriller centered around space crime loopholes is the real tragedy. Fortunately at Vulture Rachel Handler takes the 90s thriller beat in her conversation with Brooke Smith aka the girl in the pit in Silence of the Lambs:
I’m gonna sound like a cranky old bitch, but I was basically saying how I remember the old days, where they’d hire who was the best at the job and just let them do their jobs. When you work on a TV show, there’s all these people you never meet who have a say in what you’re wearing and what you look like. It’s kind of wild and feels corporate, at times. With Jonathan [Demme], it was just such an incredible feeling. It felt like a big party. We were all invited to this great party, and we were having a great time, but in the final moments, we would want to do our best for Jonathan, because he believed in us. You really felt that on every level, from craft service to the DP to the star. It’s a great feeling.
The future remains unnervingly opaque so here, read a story with a dog. Specifically, Elena Lacey’s ancient one-eyed chihuahua whom she has to lubricate with KY jelly for medical reasons:
Why a senior dog? There is something inherently rewarding about how pathetic they look—this geriatric creature needs me in ways that a puppy does not. Everyone wants puppies; not everyone wants a decrepit goblin with dental disease. Perhaps part of it, too, is some kind of weird schadenfreude—at least I am not as pitiful as this animal. So while some of my friends were using Covid to get designer poopadoodles and shitzapoos that they could train and take on hikes and post on Instagram, I was washing doggie diapers full of vaginal juices because Radish’s uterus prolapsed (don’t Google it).