« Macbeth (Brooklyn Academy of Music/Chichester Festival) | Main | The Execution Channel »

February 28, 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Owen's physical condition is stable, in the odd fragile, non-healing way, but his mental condition is unstable, in a fragile, damaged, but heal-able fashion. I think Jack was giving him the space for Owen to choose to be in Torchwood, not just being there because it's what he did before he died.

Gwen's being in charge is, I think, an effect of Jack both needing his own distance to deal with the Owen Situation, and a nod to his repeated asking if Gwen wanted to take the Meat episode off. Jack knows he's not in the best place to lead right then, and he's recused himself from being the one to officially order anyone about.

Tintin? As in Hergé's character? I think many francophones of my generation cut their science-fictional teeth on those stories, especially the two-parter story of a flight to the Moon. It's been a long time since I've looked at it, but I remember that it went for a serious approach, showing the whole thing as an international effort, among other things.

I don't know that "no afterlife" is a complete synonym for "atheism." Belief in a Deity doesn't require a belief in an afterlife--nor does belief in an afterlife require belief in a Deity. To think so is to mistake the shapes of certain religions for being universal to the very definition of "religion."

(I was quite irked once by an anthropological essay about some long-dead culture who, the reader was told, had no belief in the afterlife, which, the reader was assured, we can conclude from the lack of any evidence that they treated dead bodies with any sort of ceremony or respect. The illogic, or perhaps Christocentrism, of that was infuriating.)

That aside, I keep thinking that Jack's and Susie's and Owen's and the other resurrection subjects' insistence that "there's nothing, only darkness" cannot be considered objective truth. It's only their experience. I'm guessing that if, in the Torchwood universe, there is some form of afterlife, no one experiences it until after they are out of reach of bodily resurrection. Or maybe being resurrected involves a sip of Lethe, such that one cannot remember anything they experienced other than that outer darkness (and whatever's "moving" through it). Those are two possibilities I came up with right off the bat that allow there to be more than Jack & etc. know about what's beyond death. I'm sure there are others.

On another note, the twin themes of Owen and Maggie finding something to live for made me think the episode should possibly have been called "It's a Wonderful Death."

The bit where he suddenly can't use his voluntary breathing control for that one specific item threw me *right* out of the story for a few minutes. :-(

He does have some sense of touch, as he says in the episode. From his description, it's a bit like when you have dental work done under a local -- you can still feel pressure, but not pain or temperature. Which doesn't really make sense from a "no electrical impulses" point of view, but then neither does being able to walk around or being able to see.

The attitude towards a gun is totally British. As one of the Brits pointed out on Making Light a few months back, even when private ownership of handguns was legal, people did not routinely carry them, and openly carrying a gun of any sort in a public area would have got you branded a dangerous nutter and quite likely at the wrong end of a police armed response unit. Owen was gambling, but on odds that were well in his favour. Anyone he faces is likely to be far less trained and far more hesitant in using a gun on an actual human than he is.

Scott: I think Owen's choice was clear - put him to work. I don't see a good reason for Jack to feel he needed to make that choice.

Serge: Yes, the Hergé character. It's a throwaway bit of team-bonding comedy in the episode.

Julia: (gun attitude) Yeah, that was what I was sort of guessing. People in the USA do notice the difference; it was the topic of much discussion early in S1.

I don't know that "no afterlife" is a complete synonym for "atheism." Belief in a Deity doesn't require a belief in an afterlife--nor does belief in an afterlife require belief in a Deity. To think so is to mistake the shapes of certain religions for being universal to the very definition of "religion."

I'll grant that belief in a deity doesn't require a belief in an afterlife, but I don't know how one can have an afterlife without some mystical concept that there is some existence of the self separate from the physical processes of the body, which I think requires some form of religious belief. Can you give me some examples of nonreligious afterlife beliefs? Or is the objection more to equating religion with having a deity/deities? I was not using atheism to literally mean "no god(s)", but more in the general sense of no mystical beliefs at all.

It's a throwaway bit of team-bonding comedy

Now, if I get money back from the IRS (on top of that small bonus I just got), I will buy a DVD player that can play the Season One episodes you sent me. (Thanks again for that.) At last I'll be able to truly join the conversation.

Serge: No computer with a DVD player? You can just download "VLC" or some other good media player and watch them on that.

Oh, I still have the link that you had provided me. It's just that my employer would be very unhappy with me if I loaded unauthorized software on what's their laptop. My wife has her own laptop, but its CD/DVD drive is kaput. And since we just found out that we owe the IRS quite a bit of money, we'll have to hold off a bit on a replacement. Or on a portable DVD player. Bleh and bummer on all fronts.

I find aspects of atheism to be really weird to me. Especially a belief in "consciousness in darkness, aware of passing time", who would choose to believe in something like that without a shred of evidence to support it?

If you cease to exist at death, whatever caused you to exist in the first place would eventually repeat itself, even if it takes eons of time. And, there would be no awareness of the time in-between. So, it would be like "instant reincarnation".

The other option is based on all the metaphysical lore, near death experiences, after death contact, etc. This is harder to swallow, but considering the volumes of information, there may be something to it.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)