I’m a huge Firefly/Serenity fan. I’ve got the DVDs, the poster, and all the comics and graphic novels. So I’m hoping this comes to pass.
I’ve been reading Investigating Firefly and Serenity: Science Fiction on the Frontier edited by Rhonda Wilcox and Tanya Cochran on the train in the past week or so. Some really interesting essays on different aspects of the Firefly universe and well worth a look if you’re interested in looking how people from different disciplines might engage critically with a TV show like this.
I’ve also been reading Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale edited by James South and William Irwin. Again, some interesting material in there.
One thing that comes through from time to time though, is the sense that the occasional author is so caught up in the constructed world that they engage more with the characters as ‘real people’ rather than with the people (directors, writers, actors etc.) who shape that world. A problem perhaps for anyone writing about something they care about deeply.
That said, I’ve asked the library to order Finding Serenity: Anti-Heroes, Lost Shepherds and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon’s Firefly and Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays on Joss Whedon’s Firefly Universe.
Fernando’s post Fernando’s Desk » Why Joss Whedon Is a Better Theologian than Most Bloggers and Preachers linked through to Ryan Torma’s blog (ryan torma: Firefly & Faith) which in turn linked through to Cowgirl Jazz‘s blog with lots of Firefly material and to Ryan’s own article “Seeking Serenity: Creating spaces for theological dialogue between churches and young adults through the Joss Whedon television series Firefly and film Serenity“.
Further chasing of links lead to:
Which in turn reminded me of:
And I’ve gone through the blog and now put everything Firefly and Serenity related into a new “Firefly” category with links to resources relating to Firefly, reviews, comics etc.
After listening to Steve’s presentation on River as a Christ-figure in the movie Serenity, I felt inspired to walk up to Heroes for Sale and grab the last two parts of the latest Serenity mini-series “Better Days” from Dark Horse comics.
Suffice to say I was disappointed. The story seemed to drag, some of the characterisation and language seemed “off”, and it didn’t really grab me like the first mini-series “Those Left Behind” did. Plus, there’s the sense of “dead men walking” if you’ve seen the film. Still, it is Serenity (and walking up the hill to the shop did clear my head of conference ‘fug’ and stretch my legs after a day sitting listing to stuff).
I also picked up the next issue in Image Comics “Transhuman” series – which deals with venture capital funding in this issue. It’s okay, but again the previous issue was much better.
Very busy this week juggling SBL + work stuff in the gaps – always a problem when a conference is happening on your own campus.
Good to catch up with lots of different people over the week.
Various random highlights included:
Having Steve (the emergentkiwi) to stay for a couple of nights and enjoying his paper/presentation on female Christic figures in cinema (especially in “Whale Rider”, “The Fifth Element” and “Serenity”).
Seeing a new crop of postgrads (and a few undergrads) from around the country front up and present their research. Some really good presentations today which bodes well for new people coming through in biblical studies in this part of the world.
Doing my paper on “Broadening the application of the co-creator metaphor”, getting some good feedback, and surviving getting into my talk before realizing I was using the version of the paper without the last minute changes I’d made to it the night before. (Luckily I had the new version on me and could grab it without breaking stride too much).
Listening to an intriguing paper after mine on Melanesian perceptions of the world (especially time) and how that shapes the enculturation of the the gospel and teaching theology. Some good material there that would intersect with developing an Oceanian theology of technology.
It’s been a long week so I’m now looking forward to a lazy weekend.
Great little article by Sam J. Miller over at mental_floss Blog Â» Battlestar Galactica vs. Star Trek looking at the difference in anthropologies underlying Star Trek (pretty positive) and the new Battlestar Galactica (pretty negative). Worth a quick read.
Miller argues that Galactica doesn’t hide the warts or flaws in human nature and relationships, or paint a rosy picture of some kind of trajectory towards perfection achievable through the myth of progress. He says of that,
Galactica is sci-fi without that BS. Sci-fi with all the anger and stupidity and sadness that real people experience. Sci-fi without the conviction that we will conquer our own ugliness. Sci-fi for the age of peak oil and 9/11 and natural disasters compounded by climate change to the point where they can completely destroy major cities. Galacticaâ€™s message is that unless we come to terms with our own history, we are doomed. Mankind created the Cylons to fight our wars and to do our grunt work for us. Eventually they rose up and wiped out 99.999% of us. This basic lesson is one we still havenâ€™t learned: that exploitation leads to exploitation, that if you oppress someone you sow the seeds of your own oppression. â€œYou canâ€™t play God and then wash your hands of the things youâ€™ve created,â€ says the Galacticaâ€™s commander, William Adama. â€œSooner or later, the day comes when you canâ€™t hide from the things that youâ€™ve done anymore.â€
It’s similar to the flaws in humanity that Joss Whedon brought out in Firefly or J. Michael Straczynski kept in Babylon 5.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away Darren wrote in an email â€œi’ll do serenity asap…â€. That was June 2006.
Now, however, he’s started the great Firefly Study Series and you can find the first parts at:
- Firefly Study Series – Introduction | Youth Ministry Blog
- Firefly Study Series – Episode 01 – Serenity | Youth Ministry Blog
- Firefly Study Series – Episode 02 – The Train Job | Youth Ministry Blog