Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Complete

Ah, c'est finis! Je .. thought .. .. okay, written French isn't a strongpoint. I don't know why I started off with that.

Done watching the first season of Ghost in the Shell - I am for now taking the series to be complete. I need to digest this - there was a lot going on by the end. As the series came out 5-7 years ago, I don't feel a great need to start throwing up spoiler alerts, beyond clarifying that I won't. I may discuss spoiler material herein, and also may not. The magic of this is that I haven't written any 'material herein' yet.

I'm not yet certain if the show I just watched had a lot of depth or just pretended to. That's a measure of my own lack of understanding regarding the subject matter, or of the skill of the people who made the show, given they crafted something far enough over my head that I can regard it as deep.

The show gets very fast paced toward the end, in the Complex episodes, and while interesting sociological, psychological, philosophical, and practical issues of various aspects of futurism were brought into the limelight earlier in the show, they begin to rapidfire and build one on top of another, along with an overarching political scheme, increasing character depth (not an exceptional amount, but enough to be attached), and literary references that I for one am not at all well versed on. It created a cool experience.

So I've come out of this thinking: First, I need to digest it and decide just what I think the show was saying, what can be derived from the concept of a copy with no original, of the concept of a ghost forming within an empty shell, of a mind's existence in the internet, of cybernetics in general - of a person's existence within a mechanical body, of the military-industrial complex's impact on all these ideas, and of course on the notion of strong AI. Once I've digested (hahahaha, oh my god look at that list I'm not qualified to think about that) all this, then I can spit out a few essays regarding my opinions, then read some of the literary works referenced (some Marshall McLuhan, some Salinger, some other things that just raced by) and reconsider while watching the majority of the series again, this time stopping to reflect as I go along.

Somewhere, a number of months (years?) down the road, I'll come onto the other side of this, and I'll be able to look back and determine the answers to some pressing questions:

1. Is there actually any material of depth being discussed?
2. Is the discussion worthwhile (i.e. does it contribute to the discourse)?
3. What is intended the overlying message of the show? (provided 1 and 2 are yes)
4. Given solid answers to the above, what can be surmised about the topics introduced above (the futurisim topics I said I'd have to think on)
5. ???
6. Profit (oddly late in the game)

Anyway, it's 4:15 AM and I have things to do tomorrow. Truly interesting - have to think now. ... And if it's not actually deep at all, I hope I realize it quick.

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