Tag Archives: Humanity


Poster for Interstellar
Stellar Interstellar

‘I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.’

It’s hard not to think of that line, and many other ‘science fiction’ films when coming to a movie like Interstellar.

Especially a movie like Interstellar. Humans. Machines. Space Exploration.

There however the similarities cease. Nods and oblique references, some quite funny, are made to these predecessors, but Interstellar is very much its own film. And all the better for it.

Humanity is at the core, the heart of Interstellar. It might seem strange but it’s as much and actually much more of a love story than a space epic.

Tech and adventure provide the stunning backdrop for a story of human relationships, encompassing everything from romantic,  family and friendship to the bonds that link us all.

How strong are those bonds? How far do they reach? What would we do to save those we love? Who would we sacrifice for them? Is a planet full of people worth less than one special person?

It would be unfair to unravel any more of the threads that go into to weaving this story together.

Like the science of worm holes it folds back in and through itself in complex ways that thoroughly reward the viewer.

In its best moments and there are many, it’s a heart thumping thrilling experience – made all the better by the immensely powerful soundtrack, crescendos of perfectly chosen notes lending power to scenes throughout the film.

It’s rare to say that all the parts of a movie work, but in this they do: concept, story, script, actors, music, pace, visuals – and even the message.

It’s an emotional roller-coaster transcending genres in much the same way as the scientific theories at the heart of the movie aim to short cut reality, and in the same way as black holes are, apparently, inexplicable from the out side , the only real way to understand the magic of this movie is to go see it!

Do. It’s well worth it, even for those who have no interest in science or science fiction.

You just need to have a heart – or have known one once.


Options: peace or genocide

Sometimes we like to shy away from what we really mean, from the ultimate consequences of our actions.

Sometimes we like to focus on the palatable instead of the actual.

To understand only so much, and only so far.

Euphemisms and metaphors cloak events and mask outcomes.

Plainly said and fully understood, many things would or should horrify. If openly stated at the outset, many paths would never be taken, many ends never pursued – except by the mad and the bad.

Complication, simplification, obfuscation, evasion, elision – all the tools necessary for conjuring delusion in ourselves and others.

Sometimes, maybe often in our personal lives, they make things bearable, pare down the ragged, jagged edges of truths that might cut too deeply, allow us to function in spite of our accumulated bruises and abrasions.

Sometimes though they do exactly the opposite – they stand in the way as a barrier between us and what we need to know and acknowledge. When things are too important to be mythologized or glorified.

Watching the tragedy unfold in Gaza, Israel, The West Bank, Palestine, call it as you will – shall we just say the area freshly demarcated everyday in blood and grief, maybe? We all know where we mean – brings the dangers of delusion and self-deception to grim clarity.

‘Defeat’, ‘Security’, ‘Safety’, ‘Victory’, ‘Triumph’, ‘Vanquish’, ‘Battle’, ‘Fight’, ‘Humble’, ‘Remove’, ‘Recover’, ‘Repel’, ‘Compel’, ‘Destroy’, ‘Struggle’, ‘Freedom’, ‘Drive into the Sea’ and so on and so forth. The aims and objectives of uncompromising not-an-inch slogans and battle cries appeal to sentiments like honour and patriotism, bravery and perseverance, staunchness and steadfastness. Age old tradition and validation by history.

But at the heart of all that is opposition, faction, friction and conflict. Buried within the claims is a noxious sense of superiority, of specialness: we are better than you. We are a unique flower of humanity; you are a worthless weed choking our land.

We can suffer more, last longer, try harder, kill better. We are better. More deserving. This should be ours. This will be ours. You are nothing. Not deserving. Not worthy. Not human. Dregs. Dust. To be swept away. Buried.

Not very pleasant when put that way, is it?

So how about we frame things in Israel/Palestine in honest stark terms?

Option one: both sides live in peace. Simple. [Ok, not so simple but wait till we see the other option]

Option two: one side wins. Not so simple. Both Palestinians and Israelis have a long history of resistance  and survival in the bleakest situations.

So, if ‘winning’, really winning, for all and for ever, achieving a situation where no one disputes the outcome or the new dispensation, not once, not ever, is the aim, how does that happen?

Israel has had many military victories, many crushing defeats of its enemies in the last 60 years. But here it is, still today after all that long sequence of effort and energy, in Gaza. Troubled, upset, rattled, riled and angry.  No peace, and no prospect of peace. Those pesky Palestinians just won’t give up, recognise reality and quit.

On the other side, Israel has faced down everything sent against it for sixty years. For two thousand years and longer, Jewish people have withstood every type of moral and physical violence intended to crush them and wipe from the earth. If by some turn of events in future, Palestinians came to control all the old British mandate territory, some eight million Israelis would be every bit as adamant in resistance as Palestinians are today. Those pesky Israelis just wouldn’t give up, recognise reality and quit.

So what’s left? Military victory, and overwhelming dominance is still vulnerable and susceptible to the actions of the ‘defeated’ population. Wishing them away or thinking they can be cowed permanently like animals, beaten and broken into dazed compliance, is as brutally cruel as it is fruitlessly fantastic. No one has a superiority of the human spirit.

What to do?  Well if a residual hostile population is the problem, the ultimate and only viable answer is of course not to have any.

Death or expulsion. Ethnic cleansing.

So, though both sides and all the on-looking interested parties would and never will put things in this formulation, the clear concise options for a permanent settlement boil down to peace or genocide.

I don’t believe that people on either side if presented with the situation in these cold terms would choose mass slaughter……

So let’s get on with peace?