Sunday, July 27, 2014

Castled

So Nathan Fillion was in Firefly, which despite being popular and profitable enough otherwise, got canceled. Firefly was about how an evil empire used a galactic surveillance network and evil black operatives (sic, wink) to torture children for State purposes. The evil empire propagated mind-altering drugs, turned millions of people into rabid zombies, and then used the resulting rabid zombies to wreak terror across the galaxy, stifling free economies and butchering dissidents and sheltering a thin layer of middle class people on its central planet.

And Nathan Fillion was the rugged captain who'd once fought in the war against the empire. After the war lost, he ran his own delivery business, but kept getting harassed by imperial forces who wanted to search and seize. And some sheltered middle class people got on board his ship, thought Fillion was boorish for his lower class habits, and eventually learned that their own lives had been boorish, and came around on the whole concept of empire.

Mr. Fillion also began taking the steps of effective change. He began to rebel against the empire--not in the stupidly unrealistic, elite-preferred model, like George Lucas uses, where a rebellion is really about the true elites re-seizing power wrongfully taken from their noble bloodlines with inborn qualities, but a rough and rugged and generally realistic one, shooting backwater imperial cops, exposing state secrets, and refusing to give up the freedom that he'd had before the fall.

Joss Whedon got to make Firefly because he was a rich Cali brat with rich parents who got him in the door, and the Powers That Be had been happy with his inoffensive teen drama Buffy, but once he'd matured as a writer, he produced something that had something to say, so they shut it down, leaving fanbois and fangirls everywhere oh-so-briefly distraught. This reminds us that it's not merely connections or money, but message. People disappear when they get off-message at the wrong time.

But no worries, because Nathan Fillion soon got another job. He got to play a pulp mystery writer in Castle, which is crapping its way along to six seasons strong, now. Like Batman and about 23% of other western movies, Castle teaches us that New York City is the hub of world culture and equality. It reminds us that, if cops had even more resources, they could solve crimes even faster. It teaches us that constant electronic surveillance of everywhere and DNA/fingerprint databases of everyone on the planet need to be established. It shows how annoying it is when people try to get lawyers or invoke their 5th Amendment rights, because that proves that they are either guilty of murder, or hiding a dark/deadly secret that needs to come out to protect their families and the rest of the city. Delays in obtaining warrants are deadly, damn those formalities, because it makes the episode longer, and lets criminals escape, if someone has to wait thirty minutes for a magistrate to issue a warrant based on a vague mix of a cop's internal assumptions and hearsay.

Why, oh why, do local police departments not have access to the kinds of expensive drone camera and imaging technology that the DHS does? Dammit! Why is every stupid private citizen's new kitchen remodeling design not required to be detailed inside police supercomputers before the project gets approved? If only they had more firepower, cops would stop being outgunned by murderous hooligans! Criminal investigations do not have racial aspects--in fact, cops are not only your friend, they are everyone's friend, teacher, and uncompensated social worker. Cops only threaten people with physical or social harm if those people are reprehensible and deserve to be threatened, and every interrogation turns up useful information. If cops had the power to send people to jail for lower standards, then our cities would be even safer. Private citizens are a shifty bunch of bastardous, self-interested suspects, who always know something valuable but who always want to hide it because of the negative influence of the Constitution.

Successful businessmen are good, wonderful people. Failed businessmen are prone to commit murder to try to prop themselves up in the competitive world that they couldn't fairly navigate on their own. Escorts are sad, benighted, yet beautiful women, who desperately need the attention of manly men or strident women from state social services departments, who can explain to them that getting out of "the life" and into a job working part time at KFC is an improvement. If escorts had any brains or freedom of their own they would have chosen a different line of honest work that didn't involve exposing their forbidden bits to people outside of brief sequential monogamous relationships, which are not themselves related in any way to economics.

A double-irony as to Mr. Fillion's career is that, in Firefly, his character showed the wrongness of torture and interrogation. Fillion and one of his shipmates got tortured for information they didn't really have by an insane, power-hungry rich dude. The torture was portrayed as brutal, pointless, sadistic, and wrong. It exemplified the darker side of humans. And then suddenly, in Castle, Fillion is torturing information out of captives who swear they don't know anything. Just like in the rest of the American shows, of course, the captives turn out to be lying, because contrary to reality, torture is effective in obtaining useful information. The torture was portrayed as just, fair, necessary, heroic, and right. It exemplified the nobler side of humans. And it showed how, if cops were just allowed to torture suspects, they wouldn't need private citizens to do it for them. Complete reverse.

Corporate win.

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