This post is later than usual, and for that, I apologize.
Tami Anderson suggests that there are many stories in the series, including the following:
- the stories of those who would be dolls
- the stories of those who would play with dolls
- the stories of those who work with dolls
- the stories of those who would save the dolls
- the stories of those who would be free
The last category seems to include all of us that live in the "real world," outside of the actual narrative of the television series.
How are we to take this sort of academic study of a television series? In a way, it seems to be too earnest of a study, to utopic in response to a televisual narrative. That is not to say that I think that the televisual narrative is powerless or ineffective, but I do wonder if Anderson is suggesting too much. On the other hand, she is perhaps suggesting too little. Of course, the dolls are us; this is not a big stretch if we consider the place of popular mediated culture in our society, as a product and reflection of ourselves. Anderson quotes Perrin saying, "We can decide who we want to be." (172)
This is not completely true in life, though. We must consider societal forces in our formation; there are limits placed on us on who we want to be. Some of Anderson's sentiments seem sappy at best, but perhaps I am simply betraying my current state of mind. What do you think?
Future History is an interesting idea. Have you ever read The Shape of Things to Come? I remember watching the black-and-white film as a teen, enjoying it, though finding it a bit long. Two questions:
Strayer writes, "Despite the show's very humanist ending, I see the Actives not as unfortunate, lost victims of the past, but as the architects of human history." (186) Care to comment on this?
She writes, "Rather than asking the age-old question, 'Do humans have free will?' the show seems to ask, 'Why are will, desire, and action only applicable categories for human subjects?" (186) She is referring to technology here, as taking an equal(?) role in the creation of history with humanity. Is this a completely preposterous notion?
As an aside, I am listening to the new David Bowie album; I like to think I know something of Bowie, as I wrote my Master's thesis on his work in the mid-1990s. (I should clarify, I wrote the thesis in 1999-2000, based on his work in 1995, and am considering revisiting it for a future book). I think the album is certainly his, but I think it is uneven. This is not that unusual; his last album Reality was like this. It does have a particularly strange aura about it, maybe because it comes after some years of inactivity. It seems dark (which I always thought was a good sound for Bowie), but dark in a strange way. These are early morning thoughts, so I will leave it there for now.