"Children of Earth" & the Right to Bear Arms (spoilers)

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by The Borgified Corpse, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    Telling but no showing. Tsk-tsk.
     
  2. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

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    I thought Children of Men was far better though.
     
  3. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    ^Oh, unquestionably. All I'm saying is that it seems like all of the really thoughtful dystopian future movies of late have been British. There's not a whole lot that's very thought provoking about Escape from New York or even the Will Smith movie version of I Am Legend.
     
  4. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

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    I think that's because of the British attitude. A lot of our genre fiction is dark and depressing, and we like it that way.
     
  5. Emh

    Emh The Merry Doctor Premium Member

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    Absolutely. Children of Men and V for Vendetta are far superior to Esecape from New York.
     
  6. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Hey hey hey let's have less of the dissing of Escape from New York, don't make me get all snake Plissken on your arses! :lol:

    It is true that a lot of our genre stuff is dark and depressing (compare Threads to the Day After for further details.) However there is a tradition of British apocolyptic fiction being quite life affirming. Don't know if anyone saw the BBC 4 series of British scifi documentaries but they made an interesting point. American speculative fiction is primarily about destroying the world, the British equivilant is more about how we survive the end of the world. A lot of this is down to surviving the blitz etc.
     
  7. captcalhoun

    captcalhoun Admiral Admiral

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    i did. very true, too.
     
  8. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    That was a really good series of documentaries (there were three I think) I wish the beeb would repeat them/release them on DVD.
     
  9. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

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    I remember it, I think. When they did the Sci-Fi Britannia season (or something like that). I love it when they do stuff like that.
     
  10. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    Actually, I don't have any smoke detectors. And my house catching fire is far more likely than my country turning into a dictatorship. The latter belongs more into the "asteroid hits Earth" category. And so far I havent't really prepared myself for asteroid impacts either.

    Anyway, when a catastrophe of such magnitude happens that my country is turned into a dictatorship, the form of a government will probably the least of my problems. I guess I'd be glad that at least some form of government authority is still left.
     
  11. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Isnt it ironic that, by and large, most of those who support the right to bear arms,for among other reasons, the right to resist government tyranny, are also those who have been most supportive of the infringements of civil liberties which the US have brought in over the last decade? Just a thought ...
     
  12. Jax

    Jax Admiral Admiral

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    Makes me laugh that the American Public believe that if the army came to get them that they would be able to stop them no matter how well armed you might be after all its the fricking army. Anyway this situation would not happen in our countries and the nuts who says otherwise about federal government are well just that...nuts ;)

    Now what you need is a TARDIS
     
  13. Count Zero

    Count Zero Says who? Moderator

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    Well, history suggests that they won't do anything. The vast majority will try to get by and just live their lives.
    A few people will try to fight the regime, either as terrorists or by civil disobedience/critical pieces of art/protests/counter-propaganda. It depends on the circumstances whether the violent or the non-violent way is more promising.
    You know, it's November 9th soon, 20 years ago the Berlin Wall fell. I shudder to think what could have happened if the people taking part in the protests of 88/89 had had guns. I doubt we'd be calling it 'the peaceful revolution of 1989'.


    They sent children to search for mines in their war against Iraq. That doesn't strike me as being particularly fond of children...
     
  14. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    You do realize that there's a difference between supporting the right to bear arms and being a right-wing Republican NRA gun nut, right?

    1. Bear in mind that that's just the most extreme worst-case-scenario people talk about and that that's hardly the only reason most of us support the right to bear arms. As I and others have noted, there are other reasons, including self-defense and hunting.

    2. If that kind of extreme situation occurred, there's a good chance the army itself might split into multiple factions.

    3. I rather think that the numerous civil wars occurring in the developing world are proof that not all countries' citizenries would just go along with whatever the government wanted. Some would, some wouldn't, and not every armed faction would even be fighting for liberal democracy. But the fact is that not every country's citizenry just rolls over for their governments.

    4. The United States was born out of an armed citizens' revolt against the government and its army. Apartheid ended because of the African National Congress's armed struggle against the South African regime. The Republic of Ireland exists because the Irish people took up arms against the British. Don't underestimate the potential of the general populace to bring about large-scale social change, in part due to the exercise of the right to bear arms against tyrannical governments.
     
  15. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    Oh there's lots of dark American speculative fiction as well. It just seems to me that the difference is that, when the British do it, it all seems so plausible. In American films, when the world ends, it's usually due to some great inhuman force that humanity must rally around to defeat/survive, such as in Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, Waterworld, or the Terminator films. In the British examples we've cited, like Children of Men, V for Vendetta, & "Children of Earth," the real horror seems to be how society tears itself apart after the cataclysm. I think Americans may just generally have a more optimistic appraisal of themselves than the British do. Maybe not. I'm just trying to sort out if it means anything.

    Unless that government authority turns on you and tries to take your children for the "greater good." I'm not talking about some vague concepts of "freedom" or "liberty" here. I'm talking end of the line, the government is now targeting YOU; not your neighbor, not some unpopular other, YOU. They are at your door with guns and they want your children. Are you telling me that, if this happened to you, you would prefer to be unarmed and be at the mercy of whatever "government authority is still left"?

    Put aside what you think the chances of successful resistance are. Don't you have the right to violently defend yourself in those circumstances?

    It's a grim abuse of children. However, I think there is a difference between risking their lives to advance a war that they hoped to win vs. sacrificing them to a wholly un-Islamic alien race that is blackmailing them.
     
  16. Bob The Skutter

    Bob The Skutter Complete Arse Cleft Premium Member

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    I think maybe we have a more realistic attitude about how people behave in these situations. Yes, people band together in a crisis, but you also have people trying to take advantage of it for personal gain.
    There's also the fact that people as a group tend to be rash and do things without thinking them through and getting a mob mentality, so you do get people who do bad things for good reasons and vice versa, and personal danger can bring out the worst in people.
    I think we have a bit of a pessimistic outlook in life because experience has taught us to hope for the best but plan for the worst.
     
  17. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    Why would the government want to take away my children (if I had any) in the first place? Aside from maybe a military draft, cite an example where this happened in history.

    And in any case, even a dictatorship always depends on the support of at least a sizable portion of its population. Either that or at least a sizable portion of the population simply doesn't care. However, when the government starts to randomly take away a large number of children, people start to care. Which means that this government would be finished very soon. That's also the reason why even a dictatorship wouldn't do this.

    So, in some way it's a bad thing that the current dictatorships of the world don't take away a large number of children from their parents. Because would they actually go for it, these dictatorships wouldn't be around much longer.
     
  18. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I do. But,you have to admit, the most vociferous defenders of the right to bear arms do tend to be, well, right-wing Republican NRA gun nuts ...
     
  19. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Trouble is with many of those examples it was less about citizens revolting than external political pressure. The people back home in Britain didn't have the will to keep fighting against the rebels, if they had, well history might have been different. After all roughly 25% of Americans were on our side and I imagine the number would have grown if the tide had turned (fair weather revolutionairies!) add in the slaves to that number as well. If you hadn't had the support of the French, and if some of our generals had be vaguely competant the revolution would have ended there and then.

    South Africa? I'd argue international sanctions played more of a part than the ANC.

    I'll give you Ireland, but offer Northern Ireland as a counterpoint. The IRA may have eventually brought the British government to the negotiating table, but they haven't got their avowed aim of a united Ireland, a fairer distribution of power but they've hardly "won".

    And obviously Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968 didn't go well for the revolutionaries. Nor did things go well for the Kurds in the early 90s.

    And I really don't get why the citizenry has to have their own guns to resist tyranny? Surely all gun owndership does is make you a target once Dictator X gets into office?

    Where have most popular uprisings got their weapons from historically? Gunrunners, external aid or just taking them from the enemy. At the end of the day if you're a French member of the Recistance in 1943 better to have an MP40 than your old double barrelled shotgun...

    For a country that's had a stable democracy for several centuries now, which is supposedly the most democratic and free nation in the world to still cling to a rule created when they were a fledgling poorly defended countryand the most deadly weapon was a single shot musket...I just can't get my head around it.

    I do wonder if anything will ever make the American people change, and I don't think it will. Two nuts massacring people in the UK was enough, especially so given that the victims of Dunblane were children, but no matter what happens in American, no matter how many innocents die, it never seems enough. Is there ever likely to be a tipping point? Especially given how much sway the NRA lobby posesses. That's a genuine question I'd be interested in knowing the answer to. Is there any incident that might change the playing field?
     
  20. cultcross

    cultcross The truth is precisely the opposite Moderator

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    I think this is a key point that seems to have been passed over - of all the things that happened in Children of Earth, a family gun being used to kill a child is about a zillion times more likely than aliens showing up demanding our government handing over children. It doesn't make for the best argument for gun ownership, imho.

    It is quite explicitly shown that the American military takes charge because the UK were too soft to do 'the necessary'. The UK government turned out to be snivelling weasels about it, don't get me wrong, but the lead was taken by an American general.