Friday, January 04, 2008

Peace (and better consumer appliances) through tyranny

Within the last five years or so, one particularly preposterous situation has been used repeatedly in Transformers stories. From the comics to the movies to the current cartoon, Megatron, the most fearsome robot satan ever is constantly finding himself captured, dissected and reverse engineered by humans. I understand there's some sort of human/robot S&M dominance fantasy being played out here so when they use Megatron it doesn't bother me, but the concept that man needs outside intervention to advance technologically is insulting because it infers that we are stupid and can't get anywhere without cheating. To which I respond, did we not invent swivel-arm battle grip on our own?
In a story, super advanced space toaster technology falling from the sky is the first hint that mankind will be portrayed as super intelligent idiots. Transformers isn't the only guilty party here. It would be excusable if it were an idea confined to toy robot cartoons but it pops up in more highbrow fare like the movie Independence Day. I find it inconsistent how in these stories human science can't figure crap out for itself, yet once this alien technology shows up human scientists are smart enough to begin reverse engineering it and develop new technologies in a short time span. It's insulting, not to my intelligence because I really am pretty dumb, but to the intelligence of the smart people that I assume exist in the world as evidenced by impressive real world technologies like laser tag.

It's strange how advancements in human understanding by way of captured alien technology are always in the realm of mechanical or electric engineering. Do we learn nothing else from exposure to these beings except how to make calculators? On second thought, in the case of traditional grey aliens I don't think I'd want to know anything about their private lives. Sure they have intergalactic travel but would you really want to learn anything from space butt pirates who use their UFO technology to find victims on which to do anal probes? It's a character issue to me. I'd rather hang out with a human scientist anyday over some alien butt fetishist. The UFOs are great and all, but the only other thing pervert aliens could teach us are advances in anal intrusion technology and perhaps penis enlargement creams.

The truth is that if an advanced alien technology were to fall into human hands, scientists probably wouldn't be able to do much with it because they don't have the necessary materials and techniques to maintain and operate that technology. This is the problem Marty McFly ran into once he took the DeLorean back in time and had no compatible power sources to operate it. There was no supporting infrastructure for the time machine. Even if we had our own deactivated Megatron to exploit, anything we built based on him would run on energon! And where are we going to find energon to power our brand new super advanced ipods? It's like if I went back in time and gave teenage Jesus a Gameboy as a birthday present so that we could link up and play Tetris head to head. Once the batteries ran out we'd be screwed and he'd start crying and it would all be a big mess. But man, would I love to have the opportunity to play Tetris against teenage Jesus because if I win, that makes me better at something than...well, you know.

The whole Deus ex Megatron plot device totally turns me off not just because it's demeaning to humans but it's predictable. I guess there's supposed to be dramatic tension built up by having such a powerful evil force contained-WHAT WILL EH DO IF HE ESCAPES? I'll tell you what he'll do, he'll kick your ass. Stop spending the whole story waiting around for Megatron to escape and just give it to me within the first 2 minutes or 2 pages. Sheesh. I don't expect Transformers to be Shakespeare with ten dollar toy robots, but I would like at least like it to be on the level of T.J. Hooker with ten dollar toy robots.


naladahc said...

Can Teenage Jesus and Baby Jesus exist in the same space-time?

And if they fought, who would win?

Heavyarms said...

What, you mean we can't upload that computer virus and order all the alien ships to lower their shields when they finally invade?

ViceGripX said...

Flawed your logic is. So satan Megatron is not. Once Galvatron he becomes does satan status he gains.

Dan said...

I had this same discussion with some coworkers yesterday. I get angry for the same reason when anyone suggests that something in antiquity couldn't have been done without 'outside' assistance (aliens building the pyramids, that sort of thing). People are smart! And those people back then, they were smarter than we are now!

And Teenage Jesus would kick Baby Jesus' ass. All Baby Jesus can do is cry when people do bad things.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Of course there are multiple Jesuses Nala. In Catholicism the holy trinity is baby Jesus, teenage Jesus and Santa Claus. They're like a combiner robot and Santa is the head.

Heavyarms, we only got lucky that one time. Unfortunately the chances of another group of invading aliens running Windows 95 is extremely remote. But if they're running Vista their UFOs will take so long to boot up that they'll never get here.

Richard, I still stand by Megatron=Satan. Galvatron is the robot incarnation of the only thing more evil than Satan, George Lucas.

Yeah Dan, in matters technological I'm still rooting for the home team. Mankind's advancement has not been fueled by acquired alien technology, it's been fueled by BRAWNDO, THE THIRST MUTILATOR.

I wish some aliens would crash with some alien DVDs in their UFO so Hollywood could reverse engineer some good movies.


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Evil King Macrocranios was voted king by the evil peoples of the Kingdom of Macrocrania. They listen to Iron Maiden all day and try to take pictures of ghosts with their webcams.