Battlestar Galactica 1980

Battlestar Galactica 1980

Currently available on is Galactica 1980. The premise is pretty simple, the “rag tag fleet” of the Original Series finally made it to Earth. But the Cylons have followed the humans to Earth.

So the poor old Galactica is caught between Earth and the Cylon forces. Commander Adama is of course torn, on one hand it’s obvious that Earth’s technology is far below that of the Twelve Colonies. On the other hand, “computer projections” (AKA recycled and chopped footage from the first episode of the first show) Cylon attacks on Earth show Los Angeles being “devastated.” Or rather, a few cars being thrown into the air, a couple of very small explosions, and some laser strafing that doesn’t even hit anything.

In the third or fourth scene Troy and Dillion (who are the main characters) are discussing how the United States of America “sounds like a fun place,” as they’re flying into Earth’s Atmosphere. Unfortunately they’re tracked by NORAD or it’s far more secret and shadowy 80’s Television version. Two F-16’s are launched to intercept and destroy the unidentified air craft. In a torturously boring dogfight where the Vypers dodge a tiny bit, the F-16s launch a single missile, and the Vypers go invisible into the clouds. The F-16 pilots throw out a bit more patriotic talk and then we cut to the next scene.

As the show progresses, US radar technology continues to see the Cylons and Vypers. But the Cylons have new technology too, including Cylons that look just like humans. This plot point is used again in the new Battlestar Galactica which somehow managed to run more episodes total then both the original series and the 1980 series put together. This ups the ante for the Colonials, as they must protect the Earth from the Cylons, yet are torn in trying to make Earth their new home.

I fear to spoil the plot, or, what little plot there actually is. But suffice to say Galactica 1980 is the quintessential early 80’s show. The Afros on White Guys. The overt American Patriotism. The cheesy acting, cheesy low budget TV special effects. Multiple bit actors hoping to make it big time yet again, including Robert Reed of “the dad” on Brady Bunch fame. The fact that George Takei (Commander Sulu on Star Trek) happens to be doing Sharp TV commercials during the breaks just adds to the surrealism of the entire show.

Keeping in mind that the show is now thirty years old and saw little to no popularity in it’s day, yet it actually holds up pretty well. The cheesy moments are appropriately cheesy. The acting is the typical semi-dramatic 80’s. The plot, is thinner and more cobbled together then a Rube Goldberg machine. The fight scenes are lousy. The special effects are “special.”

In this single show, everything that is the 80’s is glorified and still laughable. Discard Galactica 1980 if you wish, but keep in mind that it’s shows like this that gave us what we watch today.

Information Responsibility

Information Responsibility

Listening to a rather old episode of the Thomas Jefferson Hour Podcast on the MAX this afternoon, Clay Jenkins who portrays Mr. Jefferson was asked a question “If President Jefferson had an iPod, what would be on it?”

While the question was meant in a “What music would President Jefferson listen too?” Clay immediately started listing off non-MP3 related things. Books, facts, and figures. Pure information, things that could be referenced in conversation. According to Mr. Jenkins, Jefferson considered himself a scientist first, a farmer second, and lastly a patriot thrust into the role by his intellect. I am, of course, paraphrasing there but not by too much.

I began reflecting that into today’s world, nearly everyone has an iPod, or similar technology. A full generation of Americans have grown up with the single greatest source of information at their finger tips. This is something that Jefferson and his scientific and educated contemporaries would have given anything for, if they could even imagined it.

In an age the printing press was still some what of an amazement, books were extremely rare, and Dr. Benjamin Franklin’s public library was still an experiment itself, the Internet as it exists today was simply unimaginable.

Yet this same generation that has grown up with the Internet does not seem to use it to it’s full potential! Of all generations that should know how to, it seems that basic research abilities and critical thinking should be taught at even younger ages then ever before.

But instead of original thinking, plagiarism rules. Or at best unfounded research with no backup and proof.

Is this because of laziness? Is it because the anonymity of the Internet still allows anyone to say anything with little to no criticism, punishment, or recriminations? Is it because the education system, like so many other industries in the United States has not kept up with the technology that is now available? Or is this because the sheer amount of information available in hard to sift through? Or more semi-sinisterly, is it because the information is kept behind digital lock and key only to be doled out to those who know someone or can pay to access it?

I fear that the last reason is more and more becoming the true reason. Everyone is still trying to make a buck on the Internet, and thus information which should be public knowledge is instead kept from the very public that can use it. Couple this with the sheer amount of useless and worse, erroneous information out there and I begin to see why this Generation simply does not take advantage of it. They can’t easily access it!

What is the answer and fix? I really do not know. Other then my own humble attempts to make that information free and provide links to other sites and books that are too, there may not be much I can do. I could go into teaching, but the head aches do not yet seem to be worth the rewards in my mind.