My rambling thoughts on BSG after a full series run-through

Discussion in 'Battlestar Galactica & Caprica' started by sonak, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. Mars

    Mars Commander Red Shirt

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    In the United States, its possible for someone to be elected with more than a third of the vote if there are three major candidates, having an actual majority is not a requirement, a plurality is what's required, it just so happens that with a 2 party system that we have now a plurality is usually also a majority. Under the US Constitution the candidate with the most votes wins. Not sure what the German constitution said back then, I suppose a coalition government was required if all parties failed to get a majority.
     
  2. Takeru

    Takeru Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That's the problem, it wasn't and that's one of the reasons the Weimar Republic failed. The people elected the Reichstag but the Chancellor was appointed by the president. In theory the president would appoint a chancellor who was supported by a majority of the Reichtag, in reality that didn't work at all and Germany had a revolving door of chancellors. Government after government failed because the chancellors were unable to get a stable coalition to work in the parliament.

    Hitler never had a majority, not with the people or within the Reichtag, during the first year of his reign he was scared shitless of Hindenburg (the president) because he could have kicked him out of office any time he wanted. It was only after Hindenburg's death that Hitler was able to merge the offices of chancellor and president and really take over.

    The constitution was pretty fucked up and it was a deliberate decision for today's germany to have the chancellor elected by the parliament (not by the people!) to ensure a government backed by a majority. The members of the parliament can simply elect a new one anytime they want
     
  3. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's often pointed out that the NSDAP never got more than 37% of the vote as if it's hugely significant that they didn't get 50.1%. But as you say, in a multi-party parliamentary system getting an actual majority is a rare and often unnecessary thing. They were still the largest party in 1932 after both the July and Nov. elections. That aside though, yes, Hitler was never actually elected president or chancellor, he was appointed to chancellor as part of a back-room deal to bring stability.
     
  4. Dark Gilligan

    Dark Gilligan Writer Fleet Captain

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    There's a reason for this. Gene Roddenberry didn't believe in religion. He was sure that by the time of Star Trek, humanity would have evolved beyond its need for religious belief. That's why gods and belief systems in his stories were always proven to be false.

    In the BSG universe, religion is real. God is real. The nature of God is left a mystery (is the Cylon God a vast artificial intelligence, manipulating events throughout time to ensure its own creation?), but a mystery doesn't mean its false.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
  5. Mars

    Mars Commander Red Shirt

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    Then the German people made a bad decision by giving Hitler 37% of the vote, and the President made a bad decision by appointing him Chancellor. One of the reasons I don't like Parlimentary Democracy is its tendency to obsfucate accountability. The Germans could say, "It wasn't our fault, we just gave him 37% of the vote." The President could say, he had to appoint Hitler as he was the only possible chancellor. Some German Generals did plot a coup against Hitler, You may have heard of it perhaps Operation Valkrie, the main problem is the Generals waited too long before attempting this, long after Hitler cemented power.
     
  6. Mars

    Mars Commander Red Shirt

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    No it doesn't. I think it is interesting that this is the first instance I ever heard of there being a real god in a space opera setting, usually its a contemporary setting, as in "touched by an angel", "Highway to heaven" or its a bible story, or some fantasy mythological epic such as "Class of the Titans".
     
  7. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    Babylon 5 latest project, The Lost Tales, in the first story, there was a Demon, that was left as an open question if he was "The Satan". That one torqued people on both sides. Some of the Religiously Faithful were upset that it wasn't clearly shown to be so, and some of the Atheists were upset, that it wasn't disproven.
     
  8. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    To be honest I not sure that would actually happen.

    Plus TOS did mention God as if religion still exists at lest twice, so it seems more like a TNG thing.

    Wait when did they imply the demon in that was Satan :confused:

    Is this like the Decker is a replicant thing where people have this list of evidence for and I just don't see it at all?
     
  9. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

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    Well, you don't bring a Man of the Cloth all that way to exorcise just any old demon. So, maybe I'm reaching with Satan (It's been since it first came since I watched it, so, not positive), but, the main point is, it was left as an open question, and not clearly identified as an Alien (And afterall, the Vorlon do masquerade as Angels)
     
  10. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Class of the Titans? Is that another Percy Jackson book?
    :p:p:p
     
  11. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    Look into my eyes.

    But to be serious there is no evidence, merely hints. It's up to you what you think Deckard was.
     
  12. Ayelbourne

    Ayelbourne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Woah there. That's totally of the mark.

    First of all: He made a threat. Cain didn't. She just killed them.

    Second: Adama only did this when the deckhands joined in. Deckhands are soldiers. They don't get to strike.
    It was a mutiny and Adama had every right to treat it as such.
    In the end, he was actually quite lenient seeing how no one suffered any consequences and Tyrol even got facetime with Roslyn.
     
  13. Mars

    Mars Commander Red Shirt

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    ^He could just sit back and say to Tyrol, "well maybe you can get a better deal from the cylons."
     
  14. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Soldiers don't get to strike because they have contracts for a specific period of time and have some defined conditions of their term as soldiers. This doesn't apply in BSG. Those deckhands were stuck there for how ever long their leaders said they were. Their was no "end of enlistment period" or desertion option for them.

    Tyrol made lots of good points about the strikers' demands, and about how jobs were getting passed down to families like it was a new caste system. The workers were working EIGHTEEN hour days, every day for years, basically slave conditions.

    Roslyn, living in relative luxury, contemptuously dismissed Tyrol with an "uh uh, we're done here, chief" when he tried bringing this up. And Adama was more than willing to shoot the deckhands and jail the strikers.
     
  15. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    I thought that was a more thought provoking episode than usual because it showed both Adama and Roslyn as ruthless and dictatorial, very much like Cain.
     
  16. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

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    One area where I think the show failed--and bear in mind I consider the show mostly successful--is that it never took Tom Zarek's concerns seriously. Specifically, the concerns he raised in "Colonial Day" were only paid lip service and never really addressed.

    Why do people continue to do these jobs? They aren't getting paid. Their lives are not going to improve. The fundamentals that make human society possible are gone. All you have left is a small city's worth of people, on the run from monsters that want to wipe them out for good. What's your motivation for doing anything except mere survival?

    I think the strike in "Dirty Hands" should've gone all-out. Not just the tylium ship and deckhands, but every ship in the fleet where people are doing crappy jobs in crappy conditions for basically no benefit but the "privilege" of living to see another day. Putting a few heads against a wall is no big deal. Could they afford to do it to hundreds? I doubt it.

    But in the end, Roslin just says "sure, we'll rotate some people around, no more caste system," and all is well with the world.

    Things did fall apart pretty badly after they found "Earth," though, just not to the extent that they probably should've. Then you had Zarek take control through a bloody coup, which didn't exactly put him on a good moral footing to reshape their society. I suppose that was always his flaw, though: he would pay lip service to political process, but in the end he'd use force to get what he wanted. It didn't matter that he had the right ideas, because he couldn't achieve them through legitimate process.

    Anyway, that is one facet the show brought up from time to time but never really dug into. They never came up with a good reason to keep doing what they were doing, other than "it's the only way we can survive," and after a while that's just not good enough.
     
  17. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    To be fair to Zarek, he only took control through a coup after exhausting other options. There was a string of episodes where it was repeatedly driven home that Adama was shutting him out and refusing to deal with him despite repeated attempts from Zarek.

    Where Zarek lost a lot of legitimacy was when he just murdered the quorum in cold blood for no reason. Up until that point, I think that he had the high ground considering what a dictator Adama was becoming.

    But of course they had to make him a murderous thug because the audience was supposed to be rooting for Adama.
     
  18. Ayelbourne

    Ayelbourne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    No. Soldiers don't get to strike because it would make armed forces stop functioning alltogether.
    Besides, since when do we have details on the finer points of colonial enlistment?


    Yes he did. And in the end, both, Adama and Roslyn, listened where dictators wouldn't give a shit.
    Actually, Roslyn listened to him twice. Unfortunately, the first solution just didn't work out that well.

    Because refining Thylium, growing fruits and vegetables, making ammo, etc. are crucial to their survival. When society or community as a whole hangs in the balance, people tend to stop caring about money.
    Why do you think there are so many voluntary helpers after disasters, be it natural or manmade? These guys don't get paid either, so why do they do this?
    Back in 2002, we had the worst flood of the century in Saxony, Germany. After the water had gone, my hometown looked like a frakking warzone.
    I went in there with a friend and day after day, we helped clean up the mud and debris. No one had asked us to. We just went from house to house, offering help to people we had never met before.
    And we weren't the only ones. The whole town was filled with people just trying to help.
    This is just what humans do in a crisis.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  19. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    Zarek was initially shut out because he was a terrorist who blew up a government building and killed people 20 years before the Cylons attacked. He had more to prove before being able to claim the moral high ground.
     
  20. Mars

    Mars Commander Red Shirt

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    Zarek is a particular creature known as a Demigog, he uses and manipulates the electoral process to achieve his ends, and when that process no longer works for him, he uses other means.