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Great Moments in Wingnuttery

By Matthew Yglesias on January 21, 2009 at 11:46 am

"Great Moments in Wingnuttery"

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The beginning of the Obama administration is good for the world, but probably bad for the progressive blogosphere. Fewer conservatives in positions of power equals fewer wingutty policies to complain about it. Fortunately, here comes Big Hollywood to the rescue with a fine wine from Dirk Benedict who played Starbuck on the old Battlestar Galactica. Benedict’s hilariously insupportable thesis is that the old BSG was better than the old BSG and that the specific reason the old BSG was better than the old BSG was the old BSG’s tendency toward simplistic storylines and retrograde gender politics:

“Re-imagining”, they call it. “Un-imagining” is more accurate. To take what once was and twist it into what never was intended. So that a television show based on hope, spiritual faith and family is un-imagined and regurgitated as a show of despair, sexual violence and family dysfunction. To better reflect the times of ambiguous morality in which we live, one would assume. A show in which the aliens (Cylons) are justified in their desire to destroy human civilization, one would assume. Indeed, let us not say who the good guys are and who the bad are. That is being “judgmental,” taking sides, and that kind of (simplistic) thinking went out with Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan and Kathryn Hepburn and John Wayne and, well, the original “Battlestar Galactica.”

[...]

Women are from Venus. Men are from Mars. Hamlet does not scan as Hamletta. Nor does Hans Solo as Hans Sally. Faceman is not the same as Facewoman. Nor does a Stardoe a Starbuck make. Men hand out cigars. Women “hand out” babies. And thus the world for thousands of years has gone’ round.

Suffice it to say that the original BSG was no Hamlet, the new Starbuck character is great, and to read the new show as claiming that the Cylons are justified in their desire to destroy humanity seems like a perverse reading of the action. What they’ve done is portray the Cylon sneak attack as emanating from a classic “security dilemma” rather than from intrinsic Cylon evil or some such. Because they’re trying to make an interesting show rather than, you know, cheesy crap.

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