A role-playing fantasy epic
Google X, obviously, isn’t to blame for science fiction’s reactionary inheritance. But a science fictional imagination is prone to these sorts of myopia. I fear—especially when we talk about “science fiction”—that we miss the layeredness of the world, that many people worked to build it.
For all its singular qualities, Under The Skin is also part of a trend of films that could be ushering in a science-fiction renaissance.
This article contains zero useful information, but there’s a local guy interviewed in it, so I thought I’d save it anyway.
So on Toy he dug out some of his oldest songs. These were the work of a man who never charted, whose shows had never sold out, whose name barely got into the music trades. The David Bowie of 1968, the Bowie of “Laughing Gnome” and “We Are Hungry Men,” was the Uncle Floyd of his day. The hipsters (John Peel, Penny Valentine, Pete Townshend) knew who he was but the radio wanted nothing to do with him. It was tides and cross-tides of history: what if these songs had been hits? Or what if Bowie in 1968 had given up music, had gone off into cabaret, and Toy was just an actor’s indulgence, a tribute to a lost, failed youth?
Toy‘s finest song used Uncle Floyd‘s lost chance at fame as a way to frame the album. Imagine a ghost world where Bones and Oogie star in films (promoting Uncle Floyd’s Big Adventure, Amy Adams gushes in an interview about how much she loved Bones Boy as a child. “I can’t believe we’re working together!”), a New York where Oogie is inflated to the size of a city block as a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day float.
"I don’t like the movies where everybody dies, and it’s horrible, and it’s a downer. Most of these, the people die in a heroic way, or they save somebody by dying. Killing guys off is always a neat way to end these things, and I only think it’s tragic if a guy dies without doing what he wanted to do. If he dies and he’s accomplished something, or by dying he accomplishes something, that’s different. "
Instead of generating their own content, news sites increasingly exist to paraphrase something somebody else said, or generate ad revenue by attracting reader comments in much the same way a jam jar with holes punched in the lid collects wasps. Sadly for editors, in the future, researchers will discover these comments aren’t being typed by real-world humans at all; they are in fact the agonised howlings of blighted souls trapped in a text-only dimension parallel to our own. Lacking any physical form, these lost and tormented spirits are unable to purchase any products and services, and are therefore useless to advertisers. The day after this revelation, what little money remains in the online newspaper industry drops out completely, leaving behind a powerful vacuum that sucks in two-thirds of the internet.