Sunday, July 18, 2004

I, Rowboat

Yesterday after softball (we didn't win, we did that other thing), the Ballbreakers repaired to Manatus for brawnch, then headed to Ty's for afternoon inbibing of alcoholic beverages.

I had planned to go to Venus on East 4th Street to get my right post re-inserted in my tender flesh. But crikey. I just wasn't up for it. The night before I had gone under the needle and as usual, it hurt. A lot. (More on that.) So I was thinking that my USDA Weekly Recommended Pain Quota had been pretty much me.

And, the idea hit me that since this happened on Tuesday, it was probably not going to be a matter of sticking it back in it's wee little hole, but re-piercing the thing, and I would rather have my Sir standing hard by while that happened. And next weekend, I'll be in San Francisco, home of the Gauntlet, where they do a good job of that, so there really wasn't much need to head off to the good folks at Venus, right?

So. How to spend the balance of the day?

I asked Donee if he would be up for a movie. And he was.

We picked up some iced coffees and headed to the piers with a Time Out to see what our options might be.

I totally want to see Spider-man II, but Donee has seen it twice, and didn't really like it. I want to see the Riddick Chronicles, but I'm seeing that with the Baron von Philadelphia, so that will have to wait until my schedule and the Baron's coincide. We settled on I, Robot.

The movie was a blast. Liked it a lot. Reeeeally intricate plotting. Will Smith conducted himself admirably. Special effects were spot on. The movie is set in the year 2034, so I had fun figuring out when various characters would be born and when they would have been graduated from high school. (I'll be sixty-nine in 2034). The product placement was irritating (Chuck Taylor Converse All-Stars and Audi), and pretty inept, but nothing I couldn't live with.

We get to see Will naked in the shower, and he's lookin' good. And there was a brief though satisfying scene of a huddle mass of subdued policemen. (We like our policemen subdued!) The only character to appear restrained or in bondage is a robot, and that didn't do a lot for me.

So it was a good ride, and worth the $9.

But it lead me to think about why my overall omnivorous reading habits never ranged much into the Science Fiction genre. I mean, I'll watch Star Trek if there's nothing else on that catches my interest (I heard the other day that James Doohan, who portrayed Mr. Scott died. He once gave me a hug at the one and only Star Trek convention I attended, cause he thought I was a fellow scotsman when I spouted "'Tis a bra' bricht moon-licht nicht t'nicht.") But outside of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Brave New World, Future Shock, and maybe one or two others, I haven't read too much SciFi.

In general, SciFi takes for its subject matter the interactions between mankind and machines, the meeting of flesh and technology. And maybe just because despite my love of gadgets, I'm a Nature Boy at heart, that doesn't interest me a lot. I'm a lot more interested in explorations of the darker side of human existence, so my lighter reading tends towards detective fiction, where the perpetration of evil is the problem to be solved.

I, Robot concerned itself with the question, 'can a blender have a soul?' That is to say, can a machine, designed by man, come to have a life and existence independent of its creator, with free will and hopes and fears and self-preservation and such? The screenwriters seemed to come down on the side of 'Naaaah.' And I guess I'd concur with that logic. But that's about as far as I'd go there in thinking about it.

Still, cool movie.

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