Thursday, May 7, 2009

Star Trek & The Machines

I watched some of the Animatrix last night on Joost. If you don't know, Animatrix is a collection of 9 hot shit animated shorts produced by the Wachowskis to expand The Matrix canon, kind of an 'Expanded Matrix Universe.' I watched 'The Second Renaissance' which tells how we ended up as a species of coppertops in the first place. The animation is hot shit, as it is with all nine Animatrix shorts--but the story was surprisingly, let's say, familiar: man makes machine, machine turns against man, machine enslaves man, man rebels against machine.

We're obsessed with this idea of computers/machines/technology taking us over: Terminator, Matrix, I, Robot. Artificial Intelligence, War Games, Vader, The Borg. Computers either enslaving us, wiping us out as a species or at the very least, dehumanizing us is obviously the biggest cliche in science fiction. What's at the root of this species-wide obsession?

Is it the Genesis archetype that we build machines in our own image? The Frankenstein archetype of man aspiring to godhead by creating life? The thermonuclear fear that we create the means of our own destruction? It's definitely something Jungian. I'm going to dig into it.

However, this does distingush Star Trek from most other science fiction myths -- fear of computers is not a major Star Trek theme.

A primal fear of technology runs through our modern mythical culture, yet there's no fear of technology anywhere in our consumer culture. In fact, I'm getting very used to tech devices waiting on me hand AND foot. I, Robot isn't that far off and I'm not complaining. Resistance isn't just futile, it's non-existent. Are we ignoring the warnings of our collective unconscious? Seems that way.

Anyway, I'm seeing Star Trek tonight in IMAX 3D. How psyched am I? Very psyched.

Check out The Animatrix:

<a href="">The Animatrix:The Second Renaissance Part I</a>

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