Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Fearing Cylons

I'm driving the kid to school this morning, when she says, meditatively, from the back seat, "You know, those Cylons are scary."

"Well," I say. "They can be."

She's eating a waffle, because, as usual, we are late. She chews it awhile, and then says, "I know why most Cylons are beautiful women."

I bite my tongue, hard, and I mean I actually on it, to keep from spilling out a raging lecture on why most Cylons are beautiful women, the misogyny of American culture, rant, rant, and instead say, really calmly, I swear, "Yes? Why is that?"

"Well," she says, "it's to show you that things are not what they appear. You think something is pretty and nice and then BOOM! It blows up your ship."

"Huh," I said. "I like that one."

"Why do Cylons have everything like humans, though?" she asked. "Bones like humans and blood like humans and sweat like humans? I don't--"

"Here's the real question," I interrupt, unable to contain myself. "How are Cylons not like humans?"

She chews on her waffle, thoughtfully.

"Humans say Cylons aren't human," I agree, "but they look human to me. They have human bodies and human emotions and they bleed and they hurt and they die. How aren't they human?"

"Well," she said. "Cylons blow up your ship."

I laugh.

"Also," she said, pleased with herself, "they can do that thing where they jump to that copy of themselves. That's not human."

"Excellent points," I agree. "I suppose that's not human."

We drive for a bit.

"On the other hand," I say, "don't humans blow up Cylon ships?"

"Well, yes," the kid concedes.

"And you remember when the humans were burying their dead pilots? What did they say? They said they would meet again in a better world? That sure sounds like they believe their souls jump somewhere after their bodies die. How's that different from what the Cylons do, in any essential sense?"

She pondered this.

"It's true," I said, "on the other hand, that the Cylons attacked the humans without warning and blew up their planets with nuclear weapons. But the story also tells us that the humans enslaved and oppressed the Cylons -- created them in order to enslave and oppress them. And what do humans call Cylons?"


"What kind of a word is that?"

She thought it over. "A mocking one?"

"A racist one," I said.


"Well," I said. "So I'm not sure what to think about the humans here. The Cylons are a bit scary. But the humans scare me too."

Which I'm starting to think is the point of the show.

1 comment:

zelda1 said...

That one is smart, she is.