July 1, 2007

GWC Podcast #50

Though we take some serious BSG-related calls, this is technically a “bonus” podcast celebrating the 50th podcast.  We go pretty much wild.  Highlights: we talk Philly meetup, remind everyone how awesome our listeners are, tell a Tracy Lords story, bleat about not receiving enough Zarek time in season three, note that Shaymus was not high in his last call, eke lots of impressions out of Sean, beat the RDM/Sopranos ending horse some more, speculate more on colonial beer, offer advice on selecting sparkling wine, and make a strange connection between Tunguska and clarinet-playing pigs.  Don’t miss the intro blooper reel!  Congrats everyone on making the GWC community a great place to visit (and live).  You rock!


99 Responses to "GWC Podcast #50"
  1. Shaymus22 says:


  2. Pike says:

    How dare you!? I love Ed Asner!

    OK, not really. I did love the blooper reel. I’m feeling extra bad that I couldn’t make the Philly meet-up. (FWIW, I know a guy who knows the sister of Kevin Bacon.)

    Nice outro, Boxy.

  3. Boxytheboxed says:

    O MT GODS 🙂

  4. Boxytheboxed says:

    You frakers i called like 10 episodes ago for the phrase that shal not be named and oyu still dont use it
    THen you sopiled the end of Firefly frakers im still not done, like 2 more eppys frakers
    and you missed introductions…so far
    Sean and Chuck are like Fry all they want to do is feed a dinosaur..and get a fake hand

  5. The Alpaca Herder says:

    Traci Lords — Sci-Fi Series that Sean was thinking of? First Wave. The gentleman playing Narcho on BSG, Sebastian Spence, was the male lead on that show while Traci Lords had an interesting recurring role as Jordan Radcliffe.

    RDM Podcast & Pregnancy — Understand that The Episode That Must Not Be Named was the one where podcast that almost did not happen. RDM was very sick and posted to his blog that his podcast would be delayed. Very little was said about Starbuck in the whole podcast, actually. This pregnancy thing that was brought up on GWC#50…first time I’ve heard it.

    As to whether Shaymus or I are doing drugs — I had had a LOOOOONG day. I was still catching up after jet lag from somewhere around 6+ separate flights in a week. Travel for academic things is not easy depending upon the venue and I seem to have to go to far away things. SW/PCA would be so much closer and easier to get to than this last academic conference I just spoke at.

    BtB’s outro — I am at a loss for adjectives and adverbs to describe such.

  6. Chuck says:

    Alpaca: Like we said in the ‘cast, we find ourselves accused of recreational substance use regularly — even though none of us partake. In short: please don’t take offense. We totally understand.

    Back to recording #52.

  7. The Alpaca Herder says:

    No offense taken. 🙂

  8. Raemani says:

    Loved the podcast – and not just because I was part of the intro or that you mentioned us a lot.

    As for the sounds in the background – that was in fact a car you heard. We called in from just outside the theater in a deserted Bryn Mar, PA (just down from Villanova). That was the one car that drove past in the 15 minutes we had been standing outside the theater.

    We had a blast – and Pike don’t worry – we are planning to get together again – just don’t know when and where yet. Timbuck lives like 15 minutes from me so we were hoping to meet up up here the next time (it was a 45 minute drive to Bryn Mar for the two of us)

    Prior to the movie we spend 3 hours in the Starbucks down the street – so we had lots of caffiene. Of course we got so wrapped up in talking that we didn’t even realize that it was 11:55 pm – and we still had to walk up to the movie theater. Granted we got there in plenty of time – they were doing a raffle at the time we got there (in which I won a comic book, see you got one ticket for free just for coming). They had more activities going on from like 11 pm, but we decided to spend that hour talking Galactica.

    The funniest thing (other then not realizing the time) was at the beginning of the movie – after they ran the Universal intro (the one with the multi colored earth) – the three of us in unison say “Previously on Battlestar Galactica” – it was classic.

    As for six degrees of Timbuck – we actually have discovered that not only do we live 15 minutes apart, he is getting his MBA from the same place I did.

    Again – love the podcast, eagerly awaiting the next 2. Thanks to the 3 of you again.

  9. Raemani says:

    I had to go look this one up (I am not a beer drinker), but Keystone is actually a Coors product, so no it doesn’t come from our fair state.

  10. Sean O'Hara says:

    Alpaca, You rock man. That was driving me crazy. I Saw her in that show a few times years ago and couldn’t remember anything else about it. Bravo Sir! 🙂

  11. Flyer Ken says:

    Happy 50th GWC and from someone who fly’s Vipers in real life F-16s that is I just want to say congrats and thanks for all the craaaaap that the three of you do. Your hard work makes the 8 month long break from the show I little shorter with the help of the pod cast. One more side note I think it was Chuck who talked about Brevard Community College and the planetarium, they do still play the Pink Floyd show at lest they did last year when I was stationed in the area.

  12. Pike says:

    Ken, Welcome!

    OK, you are the one to answer the question. Does Adama’s logic about the G-forces that Starbuck would encouter in a high-G maneuver sound plausible? Or (my pet theory) was he just BSing her so he could have her around to plan the operation?

  13. Timbuck says:

    I loved getting together for the Philly Meetup! Hearing our voices on the podcast was classic. I SO see how we sounded drunk/high! Being really tired is a great motif here and even after 2 lattes and a Barq’s I was flying on fumes. Luckily I had Foghat, Ozzy and Judas Priest to keep me awake on the ride home.

    I am wondering about another Philly meetup soon. Maybe to see Trasnsformers (it’s not like my wife will EVER want to see any sci-fi apart from the REAL Star Wars movies of our childhood).

    I could meet up the night of July 4th. NOT a midnight show please! What is more patriotic than a bunch of Watercooler fans discussing a show about people “fleeing from the Cylon tyranny” as TOS would say.

    Comments all you near-Philly folks?

  14. Timbuck says:

    re: Colonial Day: How smooth was Zarek when he asked Roslin if she would take his hand “in friendship”? And how cool was Roslin not missing a beat with her non-answer! And some people still doubt if Roslin is suitable to lead.

    And if you look way too closely…I just made a typo and spelled the president’s name with and “on” ending. That would make her “Roslon” and a great candidate for the 5th of the Final Five. I think I’m kinda tired…

  15. Timbuck says:

    Shaymus rocks!

  16. Raemani says:

    As I said in e-mail – I am all for getting together to see Transformers (other wise I would be seeing it by myself.)

    I am thinking Saturday would work best – since most of us have to work on Thursday….and there is a Starbucks right around the corner from the mall or there are lots of places we could grab something quick to eat.

    Anyone in the area interested can e-mail me at raemani@mindspring.com so we can make plans

  17. Timbuck says:

    The beer debate had me howling. A said above Keystone is not our (PA residents) fault. The best “local” beer is Yuengling which is brewed in Pottsville, PA near the center of the state. I would put Yuengling up against any beer.

    In college the frats would have kegs of Old Milwakee or Milwakee’s Best (Beast more like it). High utility and $5 for all you could drink. I woke up in a tub of goo many mornings after…

  18. Timbuck says:

    The pig is from “Animals” which is Floyd’s most under-rated album.

    I own Dark Side of the Moon on vinyl! I need to get the CD and hook it up w the DVD of Wizard of Oz. Not having Dark Side is like not having seen the 1977 Star Wars!

  19. Raemani says:

    I actually own Dark Side on CD and the Wizard of Oz on VHS (don’t have the DVD yet) and I have done the Darkside of the Moon/Wizard of OZ thing – it is the reason I know the Scarcrow actually has a gun in the movie.

  20. Raemani says:

    Oh forgot to add, if you don’t get another response from the person claiming to be Mark Sheppard I could always try and ask him.

    See I am going to Dragon Con in Atlanta Labor Day weekend – so I will get to see Jamie Bamber, Katee Sackoff, Mark Sheppard (and that is just the BSG people).

    Anybody from the blog going to Dragon Con (I am going with about 33 other people from the SciFi Forums), but it would be fun to meet up with anybody from here

  21. Timbuck says:

    re: Colonial Beer. It looks like William Penn had “Colonial Lager”. Check out the label from this eBay listing.



  22. Melissa says:

    Why did I miss the SF meetup? Because I was in Minneapolis visiting a sick friend that very same weekend. So sorry to miss the “don’t call it frisco” dive tour. Next time, though, I’m there.

  23. Gray says:

    Just finished listening to this pcast. I was trying to do it relatively unobtrusively because I’m at work but I was definitely snickering at some points.

    Loved the Firefly references. This cast was stimulating, as always.

    Seriously though, this is the second time I’ve heard myself talk and I really couldn’t ramble more than I do. I had no idea I was so circuitous a speaker.

    Glad the Maude Lebowski reference was enjoyed. The word I was going for obviously was abstract, but it was raining so I had to spare a few brain cells on driving.

    And apologies to Klucky who I’ve been calling Kelly.

    And to the wonderful Armando, I’ve enjoyed this week’s posts immensely too. You and Nick B. and Mike P. are always fun to chat with here at GWC.

    Chuck, Sean, Audra: Can’t wait for a TX meetup. Maybe even a Razor frak-party, in person?

  24. Melissa says:

    Going with the “It’s the 50th, we can talk about anything” mantra, I read that Dallas in one of the cities getting the Simpson’s Kwik-E-Mart 7-Eleven stores. Have you seen it? There is one out here in NorCal (Mountain View, CA, home of Google!) and a friend of mine is on his way to pick up a Squishee and some KrustyOs.

  25. Gray says:

    I don’t know if this has been posted, and I was too excited to look, but there is a snippet trailer of RAZOR out on YouTube.

    Apparently it will air during the Eureka premiere or some such, but check it out. Short and frakking sweet!

  26. Melissa says:

    Next time you come to SF, I’ll take you here –


    That is, provided I haven’t moved back to Philly, seeing as all the cool kids are in Philly.

  27. Audra says:

    Welcome to the Cooler, Flyer Ken! I’m also interested in Pike’s question about the G forces…

  28. Audra says:

    Melissa – Thanks for the tip! I saw a news line about the Kwik-E-Marts but didn’t know Dallas was going to get one of them!

    Gray – You don’t ramble. And besides, you’ve got a cool south Texas accent.

  29. Gray says:


    Thanks again for making me feel not so horrible for talking your ear off.

    And it’s funny that you should mention my accent because nobody ever comments on it here and it’s not until I really go somewhere else that I really even think about it. Like most people’s there are things that can exacerbate it. If I have a couple of drinks it tends to get a bit longer. But you might find that out first hand at a Dallas Meet Up!

  30. The Alpaca Herder says:

    Gray — as to accents, once you live in the Pacific for any amount of time you just cannot tell them apart anymore. After hearing Fijian, Samoan, Tongan, Lubbock/Abilene Texan, Aussie, and Kiwi slants on English all day every day for a few months it all sounds alike in the end!

  31. snacktime says:

    I recently knitted a Jayne hat for myself. (Chuck don’t read any further.)
    Audra and Sean, I came across the website of a knitter who makes Jayne hats and packages them up a la Ma Cobb. I haven’t ordered from her myself, as I can knit my own, but you know you want to get one for Chuck. 😉

  32. Gray says:

    Alpaca Herder-

    I must have missed an earlier explanation but if you don’t mind my asking, where is it that you live?

    Also re: Jayne hats. I have one. I bought it though because God knows I can’t sew to save my life.

  33. Armando says:

    So I’ve FINALLY made it to the end of this podcast (I guess there are drawbacks to listening in the car when my commute is ten minutes…AND I don’t have to teach over the summer, so I don’t have a regular commute at the moment). Anyway, I just wanted to reiterate my thanks to you guys not just for what is probably the best podcast out there (the only one I listen to anymore that is not a rehash of an NPR broadcast) but for creating this great little community, which is a great oasis in the vast desert that is the internet. And to think, my comments on the blog have given me more fans than my music! Woo hoo! 🙂

    Oh, and Boxy, you’re a nut! But then, so is everyone else around here, so it’s good company. 🙂

    Anyway, enough warm fuzzies. I did want to say that all the talk of meet ups has me wishing I lived closer to a larger city than Syracuse, but I do spend half my time during the year in Washington so, any Washington, D.C. area fans out there who might want to get together at the end of July, I’ll be in town from the 18th through the 30th conducting at the Capital Fringe Festival. It’d be REALLY COOL if you guys wanted to make one of the concerts too. Check out http://www.greatnoiseensemble.com for details on that if you’re interested, and shout out if you’d like to hang and talk BSG.

    (For the record: I told myself I would NEVER spam stuff about concerts on here, but I figure in this context of meet ups it’s all right. I hope it is. If it’s not, PLEASE don’t throw me out on airlock. I promise, I won’t do it again!)

  34. Raemani says:

    Armando – I feel you pain – I normally listen on my way into work and it is only a 15 min ride for me. This one however I listened to all the way through because I was weeding the garden on Sat because it was so pretty out.

    While I am not in DC – I could come down (it is only a 3 hour drive and I have family in Baltimore I can stay with) sometime. Not sure about the end of July at this point, but e-mail me so we can keep in touch.

    Of course another option is we can meet in the middle (assuming you have a car while you are there).

  35. 13th Cylon says:

    My goodness, this blog is flying at ludicrous speed*.

    I loved this not so much BSG podcast. Very entertaining. Reminds me of the early ones, where there was only 2 minutes of webisodes to fill an hour and a half of podcast. lol

    IGN is doing a three part video series of their set visit/interviews. It’s got Aaron Douglas, Jamie Bamber, Grace Park, Tamoh Penikett (spelling?), and Michael Hogan. They don’t mention any spoilers, at least not in this one, but they do use some adult language, so you’ve been warned.
    It’s so funny to see Michael Hogan there because he doesn’t do too much of this kind of stuff but it’s really weird to see ol’ Tighclops smiling (a lot).

    Speaking of alpacas, there’s a pretty dang funny deleted scene on the “Austin Powers 3/ Goldmember” DVD involving alpacas. Back in 2002 or so, before the movie was made, there used to be these strange commercials about investing in alpacas. ILoveAlpacas.com!

    *I think the only sci-fi movie or show not mentioned on GWC is Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs. I LOVE that movie and can’t wait for the TV series (Brooks is running it and they’ve managed to get a lot of the original actors to do the voices).

  36. Pike says:

    Snacktime, thanks for the link! I must have a cunning hat!

    Armando, I’m looking into getting down there. How long are the concerts?

  37. Nick B says:

    Just wanted to add my fluff to all the warm fuzziness on here and say great ‘casts and great to interact with all you people who are as obsessive about BSG as I am, and who are just as prone to losing yourselves in theories and allegories.

    Armando – you think you’re isolated? I’m way over on the other side of the Atlantic, and the nearest I’m likely to get to any of the locations mooted for these BSG meet-ups is Ecuador (my one trip to the Americas this year, although NYC remains an outside possibility). So I’ll have to continue connecting remotely, via the data goo that is the GWC forum. Perhaps I could work on projecting myself into someone’s head though…. Any volunteers? 😉

    Back to work now – more ramblings later no doubt.

  38. Armando says:


    The thing about meeting in the middle is that, since these days I just go down for about ten days each month, I’m usually pretty busy–and Great Noise is picking up steam to boot, which means more work while I’m there. I know, poor me, something I created is actually doing well, right? Mind you, since it is picking up steam, I’m hoping to be able to move back to DC (if I can find a job. This group does not pay at all), so a mid-way meeting might be possible this time around. 🙁 September might be possible, though. Maybe we can get Pike and all meet up in Baltimore. I do love the Inner Harbor. We’ll keep working on it. My wife’s parents live in that area so, obviously, we’re there quite a bit, aside from my work (and with a new baby coming in the winter we’ll probably be going down a few times to give them some grandparenting time).

    Pike, the concerts are scheduled to be about 80-90 minutes. I’d say there’s probably about 75 minutes worth of music and a 15 minute intermission or so (we’re cutting it close on this festival). Some pieces are strange and conceptual (one by a friend of mine for amplified mandolin and coke cans–I kid you not) and others are fun and somewhat silly (a setting, by another friend, of Lewis Caroll’s “The Walrus and the Carpenter”). Then there’s some middle-of-the road thing by one of these sci-fi geeks. Can’t remember his name…Armando something or other. Who knows? Check out our site (or capfringe.org for a schedule/tickets) for more information. If you can make it, please say hi. Our clarinetist is also a big BSG freak, so maybe we can all talk season 4.

    Speaking of emails, too: how DOES one share email on here without giving it away to any lurkers?

  39. Jason says:

    This will be a science-geek post. I apologize in advance.

    Regarding Tim’s call about the Tunguska event, I don’t think massive explosions, nuclear or otherwise, should cause any kind of longterm “afterglow.” If anyone knows of a scientific explanation to the contrary, I would be really interested in hearing it. I can maybe offer an explanation for why it was bright at night following the Tunguska event. This part of Russia is very near the Arctic Circle, and the meteorite (or whatever) crashed on June 30. The point is, at this time of the year the area would have nearly 24 hours of daylight anyway. Not sure, but you could probably go there right now and be able to read outside at midnight. Any GWC fans in Siberia who can check?

    Audra’s comment, in response to Leon’s call, about a 13th constellation in the Zodiac jogged something in my brain. Namely, the last supernova observed in our galaxy (Kepler’s Supernova of 1604) was in the constellation of Ophiuchus, which is the 13th constellation in question. What with Earth being the 13th tribe and the supernova-remnant nebula being a supposed clue to Earth’s whereabouts, kind of makes me wonder if this could be the fleet’s location at the end of Crossroads, Part 2. It would be really cool if the BSG writers were that hip to astronomy and had worked in that level of detail, but, ya know, not holding my breath.

    Just want to say to you all, thanks for the tangents!

  40. Trak101 says:

    About the Tanguska event and the afterglow, One Word: Big Fires ;-]

  41. Raemani says:

    Armando – as long as both parties are OK with it, one of the GWC crew can hook the two (or more) people up. That is what we did with when we originally found out there were 3 of us in the Philly area and Chuck was so kind as to introduce the two of us, albiet virtually.

    Who knows – maybe the weekend at the end of July may work for me yet, just have to look at the calendar when I get home.

  42. Mike P says:

    Awesome podcast! Thanks for taking my call and for including our humble Philly shout-out. Raemani is right — not one car until we spoke the name of the episode. A Cylon conspiracy, no doubt.

    So, I am curious, and maybe I just missed this by joining the game late — but Sean mentioned that “Chuck and Audra have two cats.” Are Chuck and Audra siblings, spouses, roommates… or is it none of my frakking business?

    I agree with you, Chuck, about the pop-up “commentary” on Star Trek. It is wretched drivel. One would think the Okudas could do better. They should have farmed it out to fans to do pro bono — we would’ve jumped at the chance.

    Anytime any of you three are up Philly way, let us know!

  43. Armando says:

    Jason, you just blew my mind with the Ophiculus super nova reference. It would be the bee’s knees (and other clichés!) if that’s what the BSG writers are getting at.

    Ramani, Philly’s not far from DC and a Baltimore meet up is not beyond the realm of possibility (although I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to go up to Baltimore this time around).

  44. Pike says:

    I can easily see a writer doing research on the Zodiac, finding out there’s a thirteenth, and then discovering there was a supernova there.

    It would be interesting if the “Eye of Jupiter” was supposed to be that supernova. That would indicate that BSG is in either the present or the past. (It would depend upon how close it is and how much faster than the speed of light they can travel.)

  45. Mike P says:

    Armando — I meant to thank you for the shout-out in Podcast 50. I was totally floored. Usually I feel like I have about the least to contribute around here, everyone else has thought so deeply about everything. I often get to the end of the post and think I should hit “back” instead of “submit.” Anyway, thanks — you write some great stuff, too.

  46. Armando says:

    Awww shucks, Mike.

  47. The Alpaca Herder says:

    Gray — Umm…well…I rang in the new year in the South Pacific. At this point in the eyar I am located in outlying rural Nevada.

  48. shrekjdr says:

    Just wanted to Say its awesome to hear the shout outs to Philly!! Wish I could have made it out to the firefly stuff…

  49. Nick B says:

    Apparently the distance from Earth to the supernova observed in 1604 is not known precisely, but is thought to be less than 20,000 light years (isn’t the internet a wonderful thing!). So this puts it in our cosmic back yard, given that our galaxy is some 100,000 light years in diameter. Anyways, this means the star exploded some 20,000 years ago from our present-day point of view. Now the question is, were the 13th tribe witness to the supernova on their way to Earth, or did they just use the remnant of an earlier explosion as a handy signpost. If they were witness to it, where were they at the time? If they did see it, this means that they must have left Kobol within the lat 20,000 years. If they were on top of the star when it went off this puts the exodus of the 13th tribe at a mximum of 20,000 years ago, but they could have observed the event any time after that (including in our future) from another vantage point. (If they were wandering space for long enough and making lots of short jumps in a direction away from the supernova they could have watched it again and again ;-))

    Whether the 13th tribe witnessed the supernova in question or not, it could have been the 1604 one, another earlier one, or a later one (i.e. in our future or in the recent enough past that the light hasn’t reached us yet). But Jason’s argument about the 1604 supernova being in the 13th constellation is worth remembering here. (BTW, Barnard’s Star, the second closest star to our sun at around 6 light years, is also in the constellation Ophiuchus along with the 1604 supernova).

    In any case, if the RTF’s current location is the site of the 1604 supernova, then at least we know that what we’re watching is meant to be taking place no more than 18,000 years ago at the very outside (assuming that the exodus of the 13th tribe was at least 2000 years before the current events in the BSG universe).

    I also wonder about the supernova that went off under the “collective asses” of the RTF half-way through season 3, in the first episode after the mid-season cliffhanger. Presumably this was further from Earth than the place they’re at “now”, at the end of S3, and the light wouldn’t have reached us here yet, even if this was all happening in the distant past.

    I’ve always wondered how far the fleet can jump, and how much of the galaxy they’ve covered so far. I’m guessing that for all 12 constellations to be visible from Earth, Earth must be sitting somewhere in the centre of the space containing the 12 colonies, given that each colony appears to be associated with (i.e. situated in) a constellation. But the impression always given is that Earth is out on some remote limb somewhere, and this must be the case for them to have to travel so far to find it when it seems that travel between the 12 colonies was short and routine (unless they’re going round in circles).

    However, I’m sure I’m thinking about the galactic topography much more than the writers are, and I should know when to stop and just suspend disbelief 😉 But a set of star maps with the DVD set of S4 would be a great help…..

    Anyway, I’ve destroyed my brain now thinking about this.

  50. Suppai says:

    I’m sorry this is late and I have nothing of great Galactica importance to say, but Audra, I feel your pain! I’m originally from Hamilton, Ontario, and in certain areas, it’s a pretty scary place. They actually used parts of it as the town of Silent Hill in the movie of the same name. … Also, I think I may or may not be the youngest poster yet. Except for maybe Boxy.

    Love the ‘cast, guys. I’m probably going to go back to lurking BUT I will definitely keep listening and reading so keep up the great work.

  51. Timbuck says:

    Armando and the Philly crew: a Baltimore meet-up would rule! I am off Sundays starting next week. We could carpool.

    How many others could meet us? Or Amtrak down to Philly to snag a ride w us?

    The East Coast GWC clan is the Rising Star of listeners…

    Here’s hoping for Chuck, Sean and Audra making one of these insta-meetups anytime!

  52. Timbuck says:

    and hoping The Fair Melissa can be there soon too.

    Thanks for the shout-out. Glad to see you are hooked!

  53. BernUnit says:


    Sorry I haven’t posted much in the last week, but I’ve been taking to courses in addition to my two jobs. I could write six page papers for class, or six page essays for GWC. It’s a tough choice, but … (wife slaps me) … class will have to do.

    Great podcast as always! I’m glad you agree with me about Zarek. He is one of the reasons we love the show.

    Did you see the AccessTV article (DirecTV customers get the mag) with Tricia Helfer? They identify her love interest as Jamie Bamber’s character! And the DirecTV website has a short, uninformative article about how much every actor in the world loves BSG. Apparently, Robin Williams stopped “Chief Tyrol” in the street to ask about it.



  54. gafra says:

    Hi all,

    I feel somewhat special to have been named and played in the podcast! Thanks for recognising I’m here.

    Sean, yes, emus are in fact the lap dogs of satan. You saw the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin tackle crocodiles, snakes and lots of other nasties, but did you EVER see him try to take on an Emu?

    Speaking of tangents, how the hell did you get from my call to discussing Klingon breasts in 30 seconds? Bloody hell now THAT is a tangent!


  55. Pike says:

    Timbuck, I could probably make a Balto. meetup.

  56. Raemani says:

    I could definately do a Baltimore meet-up – I again know more about the northeast side of the city (where I grew-up), but I follow directions well. Either you could pick me up or I can pick you up and we can pick up Mike P on the way…not sure where anyone else in this area lives.

    Armando – how far in advance do you know when you are going to be in the area?

  57. Melissa (aka the Fair Melissa) says:

    Timbuck – How cool that I’m one degree of Timbuck. After so many years, too.

    A Baltimore meet up? Sounds enticing, but the only time I plan to be on the East Coast anytime soon is a trip to OCNJ for Labor Day weekend. Yes, I live in CA and I fly to New Jersey to go “down the shore”. It’s a weakness. Good thing I’ll have Season 1 on DVD (and, fingers crossed Netflix) Season 3 to keep me company once the kid passes out from too much fun.

  58. Armando says:

    Well, I actually know my year’s schedule right now. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ll be in the DC/Baltimore area from July 18-30, but I’m going to be pretty busy around then, especially after the 25th. I’ll be back to move some things we still have in storage there in early August, but not for enough time to hang out (and I don’t really know when). The next major trip is planned for September 19-30. Then, while my group has concerts, I may or may not be able to make the gig scheduled for December 2, depending on how my wife’s pregnancy is going (she’s due at Christmas). If I do go down for that show, though, I’ll only be in town for a couple of days. I won’t be back in DC after that until March, most likely, since January is new baby month and, even though we have a concert then, I’m definitely skipping that one.

    So…the best bet for me to be able to make a Baltimore meet-up would be to do it in September.

  59. Melissa (aka the Fair Melissa) says:

    Armando – congrats to your wife. My daughter was born on Christmas Eve and she loves the whole “when I go to bed, it is my birthday and when I wake up it’s Christmas” thing.

  60. Jason says:

    The super symbolism of supernovas:

    Thanks, Nick B, for sacrificing your brain to develop your excellent post on galactic topography. I went down the exact same thought path trying to come up with a date—sounds like Pike did too—before my brain started screaming, “Too many unknowns!” Yeah, if we knew how far the 13th tribe was from the supernova when they encountered it, we could calculate this. I love the idea of them watching it again and again as they jump away. Maybe this is what inspired the “All of this has happened before” passage. 😉

    Seriously, though, I do think the supernova is a nice symbol for the Cycle of Time idea. Supernovas turn into nebulas which turn into stars, some of which turn into supernovas. Without supernovas, there would be no new stars in our galaxy, no elements heavier than iron, and no us: we owe the existence of our solar system and ultimately ourselves to a number of nearby supernova explosions several billion years ago. So a supernova is both a force of destruction and creation, and quite literally a point between death and rebirth. A nice religious symbol for the BSG ‘verse in general and for Starbuck’s “special destiny” in particular.

  61. Jason says:

    More astronomy stuff:

    Nick B. says, “I’ve always wondered how far the fleet can jump, and how much of the galaxy they’ve covered so far. I’m guessing that for all 12 constellations to be visible from Earth, Earth must be sitting somewhere in the centre of the space containing the 12 colonies, given that each colony appears to be associated with (i.e. situated in) a constellation. But the impression always given is that Earth is out on some remote limb somewhere, and this must be the case for them to have to travel so far to find it when it seems that travel between the 12 colonies was short and routine (unless they’re going round in circles).”

    I would also love to know the average velocity of the fleet. Sometimes we hear about how much time has elapsed, and sometimes how many light years have been traversed, but (to my knowledge) we never get both pieces of information at once. I wonder if they do this on purpose.

    My initial understanding of the constellations in the “holotarium” was the same as Nick’s, that each of the colonies would be located in one of the Zodiac constellations. But didn’t the 13th tribe leave Kobol before the other tribes? In which case, how would they know which star systems were settled by the other tribes? And I think what Roslin actually says is that the 13th tribe recognized the constellations from the FLAGS of the tribes. In which case, how the frak did Earth-perspective constellations end up on colonial flags? For that matter, how did a representation of Earth’s sky end up on Kobol? Maybe it’s better to save this discussion until after we’ve re-watched “Home”, but it seems to me that either the writers got very sloppy here, or there was obviously an original exodus from Earth which preceded all other—um, what’s the plural of exodus—exodi?

  62. Jason says:

    Empathy and validation:

    Nick B, I feel your transatlantic pain. If your attempts at head projection don’t work out, maybe we could plan a Euro-Meet-Up. Let me know if you’re ever in the Berlin area. I’m also hoping to visit London sometime in late summer or early autumn. Or we could always meet halfway in Amsterdam, though if we were to make a podcast call from there, it would surely invite suspicion about recreational substances! Any other European residents lurking around the Watercooler?

    Mike P says, “Usually I feel like I have about the least to contribute around here, everyone else has thought so deeply about everything. I often get to the end of the post and think I should hit ‘back’ instead of ‘submit.’”

    Mike, I hope you’re just being modest because your posts always rock! Your deep thoughts outnumber my deep thoughts at least 10 to 1. Seriously, dude, don’t even think about hitting the “back” button!

  63. Nick B says:

    Jason – thanks for running with the head-frakking topographical and temporal stuff regarding Earth’s location relative to the 12 colonies and the timelines. We’ve obviously been asking the same questions, and you’ve saved me the mental anguish (not to mention time cost) of developing these into a coherent written post, as you’ve beaten me to it (and probably made more sense than I would have done).

    I’m sure Roslin says something about the people on Earth being able to look up and see all their brothers and sisters or some such, but I’ll have to rewatch this episode again, and just in time given the rewatch schedule.

    I sometimes transit through Amsterdam as there is a direct connection from Norwich, where I live, and it’s often easier to leave from Norwich and change planes in Amsterdam than to fly via London. And I don’t mind people being suspicious of my motives (and inhalations) 😉 Otherwise I may be in the Berlin area in October for a conference in Potsdam.

    Any other Europeans lurking out there?

  64. Armando says:

    “Any other Europeans lurking out there? ”

    There have been times over the past six years where I’ve seriously wished I were European! But that’s another story.

    Still, I get a giggle to think that you’re going to a conference in Potsdam, Nick. Get it?

    I’m so lame.

  65. Nick B says:

    Armando – yes, when you put it like that it sounds much more suspicious than Amsterdam!

    RE cycles of time and the destruction of civilisations, I’m currently doing some research on past episodes of climatic disruption, how these have recurred every 1000 – 2000 years since the end of the last ice age, and what we can learn from the study of them, and social responses to them, in the context of present day concerns about climate change. Things certainly do seem to repeat themselves, even on very long (multi-millennial timescales). I’m thinking I might have to write an academic paper with the title “All of this has happened before and all of this will happen again”. I could always pretend it’s a piece of ancient Vedic wisdom or something (perhaps it is). I don’t know if respectable academic journals would approve of quotes from a popular contemporary TV show. But perhaps I should set a precedent.

  66. Armando says:


    Well, I don’t know much as far as details, but it’s my understanding that Hinduism and other Eastern faiths see time as cyclical (this even informs the way music is constructed. Indian classical music and Javanese/Balinese Gamelan music are composed on a series of “time cycles” rather than linear beat pulses like Western music, for instance). I don’t see why a journal would turn an idea like that down.

    Out of curiosity, have you read Charles Pellegrino’s book “Return to Sodom and Gomorrah?” It’s a bit of a hodge podge (Pellegrino is one of these “pop culture” academic types. He most recently was involved in that “lost tomb of Jesus” program and was a consultant, I believe, for James Cameron on his various Titanic projects, since he was a member of the crew that found the shipwreck 20 years ago or so) primarily focusing on the real-world phenomena that would/could have inspired the stories of various miracles in the Old Testament/Tanakh (for instance, he brings up the notion that the “Red Sea” in Exhodus is derived from a mistranslation for the Hebrew for the “Reed Sea,” which has a cycle of flooding/drought that would allow for something like the “parting of the sea” described in the Bible). Ultimately he talks about various cataclysmic cycles in civilization and how (and this is rather depressing and sobering) we’re more than overdue for our own society-shifting cataclysm.

    It’s been years since I’ve read it, but it’s stayed with me for a while. I recommend it if this is a topic you’re interested in exploring.

  67. Audra says:

    Nick B. – I’ve taken grad classes in popular culture (U.S. Women and Latin American) and to my knowledge there are a number of academic journals in popular culture studies that deal with topics and titles like the one you proposed. Besides, it’s good to be different!

    Suppai – Good to hear from you! Feel free to lurk, but we always appreciate your ideas and comments. No worries about age. It’s all a matter of taste: if you like BSG, by my definition, you have good taste. 🙂

    Snacktime – (I love your moniker) – Thanks for the link! I’ve thought about getting a Jayne hat meself.

  68. Mike P says:

    Armando — You are right about cyclical vs. linear time being one of the key differences (generally speaking) between Eastern and Western religions/philosophical traditions. (Huston Smith probably had the best catch-all phrase, “wisdom traditions.”) Although I will say, even in the Western religions, there is often an element of cyclical time — e.g., in the Hebrew Bible, ancient Israel experiences a cyclical pattern of falling from grace — judgment in the form of attack from enemies — being redeemed by a charismatic leader — peace — fall from grace in the book of Judges.

    Is anyone here knowledgeble about Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) theology? I am not, but I would be interested in knowing how much the LDS “myth” (here used non-pejoratively) influences the reimagined BSG. Apparently, Glen Larson viewed the original series largely as a “translation” or “rendering” of LDS “myth” into space opera terms. My general feel is that the new series is far more concerned with character development and political drama, but the background may still be there. (Audra, maybe something in that book of essays you’re reading addresses it?)

    Pardons if we’ve discussed this before. We probably have.

  69. Armando says:

    Mike, you may want to check this site out. It’s mostly related to the original series (actually, I think it predates the new one) but it’s quite interesting. http://www.michaellorenzen.com/galactica.html

    On other news, in various searches for news on the season 3 DVD release (I don’t have Tivo and if I’m going to keep up with the re-watch I’m going to needs me some DVDs, cause I don’t have a video iPod and I don’t like watching TV on my computer) I noticed that the English (region 2) release is scheduled for September 3. Could we be getting one before that or right after? I hope so!

  70. Pike says:

    Armando, from Bear McCreary’s blog:

    “Next month, I’m in the studio working on the Battlestar Galactica Season 3 soundtrack album (which will definitely have All Along the Watchtower on it!). Our release date will be mid-August, to coincide with the DVD release. ”

    So it sounds like August for Region 1.

  71. Armando says:

    Well yeah, except that there hasn’t been an official street date from the studio, which makes me wonder.

  72. Pike says:

    True, it seems like there should be one if it was that close. Since they like to put a bunch of extras on the DVD, there could be any number of things holding it up.

  73. Nick B says:

    Armando – I haven’t read Pellegrino’s book, although some of the examples you cite from it sound familiar. I’ll try and look it up. I need to be aware of all these sources as I’m working on a book of my own, on how civilisation (as in cities, states and organised hierarchical societies) emerged at a time of climatic crisis and not one of abundance, and how this demolishes a lot of our ideas about the nature of civilisation and progress. Early days, but I have an agent and a nearly complete outline, so signs are hopefully that it will actually get written! I’ll have to look into the idea of cyclical time in Eastern thought a bit more – could be interesting from an environment-society perspective.

    Audra – yes, I realise that there are journals out there dealing with popular culture (not my field, officially at any rate). My task is to sneak the BSG tagline into a much drier scientific journal dealing with climate change, as opposed to use it in a paper exploring issues through the medium of popular culture, or addressing how popular culture reflects real world issues. I don’t think I’d have too much trouble with the title – I was being a bit glib (me, glib? Surely not). I’ll let you know if I succeed in perverting science in the name of fandom, although I think it would be a nice title and even scientists aren’t above the odd homage.

    Looking forward to the next podcast!

    (And I can’t wait for the new soundtrack – I’ve been playing the previous ones to death).

  74. The Alpaca Herder says:

    Audra & Nick B. – I can only say that I did have an abstract in mind to pitch for SW/PCA 2008. Considering the intersection of various new technologies that allow for “specialized/narrowly-focused broadcasting” such as Galactica Watercooler how does such impact the meaning and context of shows such as BSG? Do such outlets act merely as extensions of fan culture as seen in regards to ST:TOS? Or does appropriation enter into the mix with new meanings and contexts being derived through the seemingly complementary nature of such derivative works? Hmm…I think the abstract for a panel is almost partly done. 🙂 See the CFP.

    Armando – I spent seven months where the only way to watch anything close to TV was on my computer. Fortunately there were shows like Dark Angel, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, and others that I was able to get in on DVD. iTunes was not an option where I was simply due to massively huge restrictions on bandwidth. Nowadays I have a TV tuner device that will let me record off-air straight to my computer which lets me use an iPod like a VCR. Of course, being back in Nevada also means iTunes is at least back on the table as a viable option.

    Mike P. – Glen Larson was Mormon. RDM is Roman Catholic if memory serves. The difference shows up especially in terms of how the sacrament of marriage has emphasis put on it in either the original run or the re-imagined. The sealing of a couple in the original series is, if memory serves, almost a direct lift of the Mormon sacrament. We have not seen a marriage ceremony on RDM’s rendition but I can only suppose that it is not the same as Starbuck & Anders apparently did do the New Caprican equivalent off-screen of running off to Las Vegas to be married.

  75. Armando says:

    Nick, good luck with getting the book off the ground. Sounds like you’re off to a good start.

    Wish I had an agent…

  76. Nick B says:

    Alpaca Herder – Now there’s academic language if ever I saw it 😉 But yes, I tend to think that new meanings and contexts are derived from works that are themselves derivatives of contemporary cultural experiences. I think this works on a number of levels – on the personal level a great book or other work lives inside you, and changes the way you view the world. With popular works that are culturally important this process operates at the societal level too. So art reflects but also illuminates life, and provides a feedback via which fact and myth co-evolve.

    Armando – thanks for the encouragement – it’s a valuable gift! I’m nearly there, just reworking the final few chapter outlines, which are more tricky as they’re interpretive rather than narrative. And when you suggest in a written work that something’s wrong with the world, everybody demands that you provide a solution, or at least constructive suggestions. How unreasonable! 😉 Unfortunately having diagnosed the problems with our ideologies of linear progress and civilisation as an inevitable product of human advancement, I’m struggling to invent a new utopian system that will plunge us into a novel cycle of ideological lunacy. (I’m kidding about the utopian system – I treat such things with great suspicion. On BSG at least they don’t have the burden of trying to build an impossible utopia – they just have to survive, keep on running, and find Earth. Which I guess is a de facto utopia as far as they are concerned, or at least can serve as one until they get there).

    OK, bedtime for us Old Worlders.

  77. Armando says:

    Sounds like a very cool book, Nick. I’d love to get a copy of it when you’re done with it.

    I could tell you a few stories about how great works change your life. I was even lucky enough to be interviewed for NPR on one such work a couple of years ago (a piece that has affected almost every note I write). It seems to me that with pop culture the effect is far too easily replicated, or at least exploitable by marketing departments trying to spin the latest dreck off as the new phenomenon. I am, however, encouraged by the rare instances when a work of popular art speaks loudly enough to affect people, even changing the language (“catch-22,” “D’oh!,” “frak”) AND the influence happens to come from work that is truly good. 🙂

  78. Audra says:

    Hey — Who you callin’ derivative? 😉

  79. Audra says:

    For anyone interested in backtracking to a previous GWC ‘cast, number 22 from December of last year, our first with the Very Jerry, delves into the issue of linear vs. circular time.The Very Jerry explains it in very understandable terms, comparing the infinite symbol with the yin yang symbol.

  80. Mike P says:

    How could I forget this notable example of circular time within a Western religious tradition? Color me clueless:

    “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will
    be done; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there a thing of which it is said, “See, this is new”? It has already been, in the ages before us.”

    If I didn’t know that was Ecclesiastes 1:9-10, I would swear it was from the scroll of Pythia. 🙂

  81. Nick B says:

    Armando – yes, there is plenty of market-driven hyping of craaap as the new big thing, but thankfully it’s usually obvious that it’s craaap, sooner or later, and the impact is superficial and transient. The stuff that has the biggest impact usually remains under the radar for a while (we could talk about “cult” shows for example), and its influence is more slow-burning and long-lasting. I think BSG is a good example – viewing figures remain relatively low and it hasn’t penetrated into mainstream popular culture like a lot of other shows, but it has a loyal following and garners great critical acclaim. I think it will be forgotten less easily than, say, Big Brother or America’s Got Talent. Incidentally, we have a “Britain’s Got Talent” show over here, and the content seems to contradict the title.

    Mike P – thanks for this reminder of this Biblical cyclical passage. I think our Western idea of linear time has its origins in the European Enlightenment, when the idea of a fixed, divinely ordained hierarchy of being (animals, people, angles, god) was essentially integrated with the Darwinian theory of evolution. People widely misinterpreted evolution as something that results in the progressive development of “superior” species, i.e. of something that drives improvement and advancement (when all it does is exert selective pressures to favour traits advantageous in particular environments). Darwinism developed alongside industrialisation, which people saw as a force for improving the world through the application of technology. At the same time Europeans were coming into contact with people they saw as less developed and more “primitive” than themselves, and they interpreted these people as representing “earlier” stages of humanity. All of these factors encouraged a view of the world in which change was linear, in the direction of advancement and improvement. There are ideas in physics (e.g. entropy) which support the idea of an arrow of time, at a much deeper level than we’re talking about here (here we’re essentially concerned with human history), but these didn’t arise until much later, and haven’t had the popular impact that evolutionary theory had (although I realise that evolutionary theory is more universally accepted in Europe than it is in the US ;-))

    So the enlightenment represented a departure from older ideas of stability and cyclicity, and was associated with the introduction of ideas of linear progress, driven by European notions of how advanced and superior they were. These ideas underpin capitalism, communism, Marxism and globalisation and have now been exported across the globe, holding sway as imported ideologies and underpinning what is often referred to as “Modernity”. They also fed into early 2th century racial theory, and were used to justify genocide on a number of occasions. Perhaps the most explicit expression of the idea of linear time and progress is Francis Fukuyama’s idea that we’re at the end of history (western liberal market democracy has, or is just about to, win). Now compared to that critical insight, Baltar really is a genius. Hell, so is Helo.

    I think in the final analysis I’m far happier with the Eastern/Pythian idea of cycles of time as opposed to ideas of linear progress based on a poor understanding of evolutionary theory coupled with the inability to let go of earlier ideas of divine hierarchies and ladders of creation. But ultimately these are all idealised models into which we shoehorn our experiences of the world. It will be interesting to see how literal the idea of cycles of time turns out to be in BSG S4 (if we find out about the past in the BSG universe, that is).

  82. Mike P says:

    Nick B — Thanks for the excellent post! You’re quite right to point out the limiations inherent in linear models of time, as well as some of the ways such models have been abused. Certainly, speaking out of my own Christian religious tradition, I can see where ideas of “God’s will being done” and “The End Times” and “the coming kingdom” have been used to justify some pretty horrible atrocities (much as the Cylons justified the attack on the 12 Colonies as God’s will, no?).

    Personally, I would find it depressing to think that history will never reach a redemptive end, but this is something I take on faith and cannot emprically prove. Certainly, I read the Bible to indicate that, left to our own devices, human beings just keep making the same frakking mistakes over and over, and we need intervention from outside (“extra nos”) to save us from ourselves. But the fact that is *outside* intervention safeguards (or at least it should!) the uncritical or imperialistic equation of any human “progress” with God’s end (Gk. “telos,” purpose or goal) for history.

  83. The Alpaca Herder says:

    A problem in bringing up Ecclesiastes is its connection with Wisdom Tradition. Ecclesiastes is said to be written by Qoheleth/Solomon and represents a distinct genre within Old Testament literature. Proverbs also would fall within that genre as would Psalms to a lesser extent. Other texts like Lamentations stand in opposition to Wisdom Tradition and lament the fall of Israel to foreign conquest.

    Around the two-parter Home we’ll hear Gaeta utter a line about Pythia being a gospel that Roslin identified with most closely. That would seem to imply that Pythia is not the whole of Colonial scripture. Although we’ve only heard of other books in the seemingly non-canonical BSG novels I would hope such could be fleshed even a tiny bit further in the fourth season. I would hope, actually, that there would be at least some form of a Lamentation text for the Colonials.

    Of course, then again, this ties in to my slightly odd thought about if the Colonials ever met the Lords of Kobol. The current RDM series could be seen itself as a chronicle of such a lament. Now if all the writers played the Lords of Kobol in such a hypothetical meeting with RDM as Zeus…that could get interesting. Of course, remembering that David Eick was a lead person on Xena: Warrior Princess might allow some groundwork for that.

  84. writch says:

    Holy CRAAAAAAP this site is going to collapse under its own pedantry!

    Just a little fun-poking, folks… Please keep up the elevated banter!

    I’d like to chime in but I’m always at least a day or two behind in the reading of posts that someone else makes my point in a later post by the time I reach the end.

    That goes especially for Nick B. and Mike P. – A few years ago I spent too much time and money on an aborted attempt at a Master in Comparative Religion at University of Hawaii and have quite a fondness for Mythology (especially of the Huston and Campbell bent).

    I have a pet-theory on the conclusion of BSG that is parallel to what Nick has mentioned before using the “War In Heaven” motif and the Significant Seven Cylons as ‘Fallen Angels’ under the spell of a Lucifer figure (keeping an RDM homage to TOS). This Lucifer influence is felt outside of the Sig-7 (and sometimes in) via the form of the Faustian motif in the form of the different ‘Head-Familiars’ like Head-Six, Head-Baltar, and as I predict a Head-Starbuck.

    There is an Islamic folktale about how Iblis (Lucifer) tries to get back into Paradise to seek his revenge upon Adam for his (Iblis’) Fall from Grace. He initially tries to coax one of the guardian cherubs (a peacock) with Wealth, etc., and fails but later convinces the Serpent to sneak him past the gates by hiding him in the Serpent’s mouth.

    Using this theme, I think the Fab-Four (just revealed) are playing the role of the Guardians as Earth, representing Eden/Paradise. And perhaps the final reveal is not a good Cylon at all, but is Iblis/Lucifer – Prodigal Lord of Kobol – that has tricked the Cylons into the war (perhaps unwittingly) so that he can just ‘flush-out’ the Colonials in panic to work it’s way to Eden/Earth. He is using the Cylons as his hunting hounds, as it were to keep the RTF in flight and then he will appear as their savior, by betraying the Cylons at the last minute so that he may appear as Humanity’s Friend, but just use the RTF to piggy-back them to Earth where his ultimate plan is to exact his vendetta against the 13th Tribe who may have had a quarrel with him and left Kobol in exile.


  85. Flyer Ken says:

    Hello its Flyer Ken once more. Pike and Audra sorry for the delayed response to your question but this is the first time I had a chance to visit the water cooler. I hate to kill your theory Pike but Adama is right about the G’s.

    Think of it like this your on a rollercoaster just going along then the ride loops or takes a hard turn and you feel yourself being pushed into the seat that’s about one G.. Your arms, legs, and head feel heavier then normal and it gets harder to move them around. In a dogfight you pull six or seven G’s just maneuvering in to the slot. At pulling six G’s the skin on you face gets pulled down and you start getting tunnel vision both are odd feelings to have happen. Now if Starbuck with her bum knee pulled six G’s in a dogfight the G load would rip her knee apart to where she wouldn’t be able to fly combat missions again. In the gym Starbuck couldn’t hold the force of a three G turn so six G’s is just out of the question. A little note to give you is when you pull eight to nine G’s you get light headed and then you black out from all the blood being pulled down; we call it seeing the wizard.

    Pike and Audra I hope that helps out if not let me know and ill go into detail. So if you two or any one has another question about flying ill be here to answer.

  86. FleetRN says:

    To expand upon the posting of Writch (Dixi), I suspect the Iblis-esque character is Baltar, status-post “Ascension” . The Fab Four have similarly returned post-Ascension but _as themselves_ to guard the fleet.

    This can only begin to make sense if you try to step outside of linear time to understand the absence of chronology in a “heaven,” similar to the entities in the DS9 wormhole who exist outside of time. All moments are equal to these entities so it is possible to enter any moment of linear time (millions of years ago or days hence) with the same effort. This is the same domain humans and Cylons access mentally when dreaming or divining prophesies.

    It has been demonstrated scientifically by modern researchers that a portion of every neuron exists in a state of quantum flux, possibly existing simultaneously in this 3-dimensional universe and some other unknown state. This could be the basis for extrasensory phenomena, genius, intuition, and perhaps even instinct. I cannot cite the article because I’ve read too many journals pursuing my degree, but this is real and it’s current.

    I love the BWC podcast!

  87. Pike says:

    Hrmm. Interesting that one of the few characters from the original BSG that we haven’t seen in the new one is the Cylon named Lucifer.

  88. writch says:

    For those looking into Pike’s reference – here’s a good catch-up link:


    And my memory falters, but I was close… Here is a link to a picture book retelling the tale:


    I said Wealth, but it was Vanity. (read: Baltar).

  89. Pike says:

    Heh. Actually, writch, I was thinking of

    But that’s a good one too.

  90. Mike P says:

    Alpaca says, and rightly so: “A problem in bringing up Ecclesiastes is its connection with Wisdom Tradition.”

    Yes, all you say is correct, but I don’t see it as a problem, since the book is currently squarely within the canonical context of the Hebrew Scriptures, which on the whole presuppose a linear view of time. So, whether the author himself believed in cyclical or linear time, the fact that the faith community chose, over centuries of consensus (and probably via the traditional association with Solomon that you mention), to put his writings within the context of the canonical scriptures says to me that the Hebrew/Jewish faith (by about the 2nd century CE or so at the latest) had found room for a somewhat cyclical view of time within what I perceive to be the larger, more normative linear view.

    I am not Jewish, so someone who is could probably set me straight on all this, but I also don’t think I’m grossly misrepresenting… least I hope not!

  91. Mike P says:

    Writch — Totally awesome post on Iblis. And I am with you and FleetRN on Baltar being the likelist candidate for a “Lucifer” Cylon. We’ve already got the beginnings of a religious cult developing around him, apparently, if “Crossroads” is any indicator. I think you may’ve hit the nail on the head. Good theory!

  92. Audra says:

    Thanks all for your enlightening posts so far. Just wanted to poke my head in and let you know I’m fascinated by the discussion, but weak in the areas of religion and philosophy. So, you know. Better to let them think you’re an idiot than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. 🙂


  93. The Alpaca Herder says:

    Mike P – I mainly bring up the Wisdom Tradition matter to talk about parallels in terms of genre. Although the cycle of time that BSG follows is seen in Ecclesiastes the overarching tale would not neatly be rooted in such. When I had the chance to talk to an expert on “apocalyptic literature” last month we did discuss comparisons between BSG and Revelation and how that fits due to the incorporation by Revelation of many aspects of the story of Exodus. I can sit down eventually and look at the text a little more to do some eisegesis (a.k.a. proof-texting) to look for any references to time similar to that brought up in BSG. There is no neat and clean parallel in terms of narrative but after some thought that still comes closest while the other big apocalyptic text, namely Daniel in the Old Testament, does not seem to have as many parallels as Revelation might.

    Audra – In my discipline when I am serving as an academician (presently am not, alas) I feel frequently like I am barely keeping my head above water trying to keep up.

  94. Armando says:

    Hmmm…I don’t see as many strong parallels with Revelation as everyone else seems to, as with Exodus (and, to a lesser degree, The Odyssey). I’d love to hear what you talked about with the Revelation expert, Alpaca H.

    And for the record, I share your feelings of things academic.

  95. Mike P says:

    I second Armando’s request, Alpaca. I’d love to hear eisegesis and/or exegesis on BSG via Revelation. Off the top of my head, I don’t see too many parallels except in the area of tribulations — man, have the Colonials got frakkin’ huge tribulations on their hands! But I don’t anticipate there will be any intervention from on high to save the day as there is in Revelation — although, who knows, “religion is real” in the BSGverse, as many keep reminding us; and here comes Starbuck in that shiny new Viper…

    Raemani, Timbuck and I saw “Transformers” tonight at Philadelphia Meetup II (Electric Boogaloo), and we commented on how both BSG and the film are concerned with the issue of whether humanity is worthy of survival (although there is far less material to work with in the movie!). It struck me later that they are also both apocalyptic stories (see, I’m getting back to Revelation eventually!). Maybe I mentioned this before, but “apocalypse” literally means “revelation,” and it is in these events of a catastrophic, world-ending nature — the Cylons attack, or the Decepticons attack, or the Martians invade New Jersey — that what is “revealed” is who you really are and what you really stand for.

    In Revelation, as the plagues are poured out upon the earth, some people are revealed to be faithful and righteous, while others cry out for the mountains to fall on them (Baltar, anyone?), but, alas, no hiding place is to be found. As the BSG characters say, you eventually have to live with your choices. So I can see BSG as “apocalyptic” in that regard.

    And, yes, I agree with you that BSG could not be classified as Wisdom literature. Wisdom literature (as I understand it) presupposes there is a rational order to the universe (Sophia/Logos), and one can discern it by careful observation. To go with its grain is to reap good things; to go against the grain, not so much. So, no, certainly BSG isn’t Wisdom literature in that sense. Thanks for pointing that out; it is an important point.

  96. Nick B says:

    Well, looked like I missed quire a conference in here over the weekend! Fascinating stuff.

    Writch – I really like your Iblis/Lucifer story template – I always wonder how much this sort of material is consciously used by the writers of shows like BSG, and how much they’re essentially subconsciously drawing on more universal story templates that either originate with these scriptural tales or are reflected in them.

    I’m not so keen on the idea of a named “Lucifer” cylon – would seem to be a bit too obvious, hammering us over the heads with an allegory that people could otherwise take or leave according to their tastes. It would also suggest more of dichotomy between good and evil, which the show has so far stayed away from (although maybe they’d cast they’re Lucifer in a more sympathetic light, given their moral ambiguity of most of the characters in the show).

    Mike P – going back to my Enlightenment comments, I see this as the period when the West really developed an explicit philosophy of linear time. That’s not to say that the preferred model was one of cyclical time prior to the Enlightenment – my impression is that the world was seen as existing neither in a progressive or cyclical context, but rather in one characterised by stability and stasis, albeit occasionally interrupted by trauma, and albeit one that would one day end with the day of judgement. But time wasn’t a question of continuous progress towards the ‘end times” – they’d just happen at some point. However, I’m not well versed (at all versed!) in pre-Enlightenment Christian theology, so I’m probably oversimplifying things hugely.

    My point about the Enlightenment was that it was meant to be replacing “religious superstition” with “scientific rationalism” (according to a lot of its supporters that is). Instead we got a fusion of the two that was true neither to religious faith nor to rational scientific inquiry. I think the problem here was perhaps more with those who jettisoned their religious beliefs and replaced these with what was essentially pseudo-science, than with people who retained their faith and saw scientific inquiry as a separate but parallel and complementary endeavour. Just in case anyone thought I was trying to place the blame for our silly pseudo-scientific ideas of progress purely on religion – it is often those who are not religious who are most vocal in pushing the ideology of progress, based as it is on a combination of religion and science, when these should really be parallel activities. Anyway, verging a bit off topic here, so I’ll shut up!

    Audra – as for feeling like an idiot, I’d second my fellow academics who claim this is a familiar feeling in “scholarly” life. It’s especially so when you work in an “interdisciplinary” area of study which requires you to try and grasp lots of different subject areas. You’re always up against specialists who resent outsiders treading on their turf. I constantly feel like an ignoramous because I’m straddling different fields and can never have the depth of knowledge of them that real specialists have. Talking with colleagues, it transpires that feeling like you’re a fraud is a common symptom of academic life. In any case, GWC isn’t an academic exercise (although one might be forgiven for thinking it is from a lot of the posts on here, and I’m as guilty as anyone!). So I think we should all be entitled to sound as stupid as we like! I’m putting that belief into regular practice 😉

  97. Jason says:

    Nick B — Cool that you may be coming to Potsdam in October. Let’s keep in touch about that. It would be great to meet you and talk more about the science of BSG and your research, which sounds really interesting. I think creative breakthroughs in science often come from people who are working at the crossroads of two or more disciplines.

  98. Audra says:

    Thanks, Nick B.! I actually am in the same position academically. I study several areas and probably lack the expertise I might have if I narrowed it more. But, hey, this is more fun. 🙂

  99. BoxytheBoxed says:

    i just got back from camp, and i finished it i have to say there were a few times i had to stop, pause and regain my composure 🙂

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