Thursday, May 31, 2012

"Pavel used to be a Doctor, but he gave it all up to peel potatoes."

Last night, I watched a movie called The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. I thought it was excellent. I mean, really excellent. The moment it ended I decided it was the best movie I've seen in quite some time. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but the gist is that it's about an 8-year-old boy, Bruno, who is the son of a Nazi soldier. Early in the film, Bruno's family relocates after his father is promoted and placed in charge of one of the death camps. Bruno knows that his father is a soldier and that he is working hard to help the Fatherland, but he knows nothing about the horrors of the camp. When he eyes its gates through his bedroom window, he thinks it's a farm. He's curious about it and wants to explore it for himself, but he hesitates as the people inside seem strange. "They're always wearing pajamas," he says.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Out of the Silent Planet

Just finished the first book in C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy, Out of the Silent Planet. I enjoyed it, especially Ransom's interactions with the hrossa and his conversation with Augray the sorn.

For those unfamiliar with the story, Malancandra is Lewis' vision of an unfallen, Edenic planet Mars where several races of rational creatures exist in harmony under the rule of an angelic being called Oyarsa. Weston and Devine are humans bent on using Malacandra for their own purposes, and Ransom - the protagonist - is taken to the planet against his will to help them achieve their ends.

Devine's interest in Malacandra is simply profit (it's loaded with gold), but Weston is driven by loftier ideals. Knowing that Earth can only sustain humanity for a limited period of time, Weston sees Malacandra as an opportunity to extend the human genetic line indefinitely. This is his summum bonum, and he is committed to it even if it means the devastation and eventual extinction of the Malacandrians.