March 13th, 2007

I hate humanity.

Solarian tabloids for the win!

I don't remember what I was looking at that inspired so much talk about Solaris, but it had something to do with racism and eugenics in the 1940s. There must be some sci-fi dystopia that Takahashi was modeling his sky city on, but to me it blatantly references details from Germany around that time. Not terribly important ones, but a few here and there.

Aveh was the same way. I looked at it and thought, "Heeeeey, look at that. Aveh is a barely industrial country that is occupied by colonial a foreign military force trying to take advantage of its location and/or resources!" I doubt that parallel was intentional, but you never know. (And anyway, I'd have to compare Kislev to Russia in that case, and I'm not sure I'm ready to do that. Besides, that's supposed to be Harmonia, not Kislev. :D)

In any case. In Solaris, research and societal expectations (especially the second part) promote a pretty black and white view. I find this notable because they obviously have the technology to destroy the stereotypes Solarian elites are perpetuating, and despite that, nobody questions their assumptions that we know of.

Of course, the government controls all research, and access to it. The government also packs Solarian rations full of mind-numbing drugs, so I'm not surprised by their complacency, just... kind of exasperated. It nukes any chance for intellectual renaissance, for one. (There goes my period Solaris-during-the-Nisan-Era story! ... kidding.) Thing is, I don't think drugs are enough to shut people up. They still have to be functional. You need military recruits, at least, and people to staff the offices that make sure their fellow citizens are drugged to the gills, right?

On one hand, it's not unreasonable to say that these people don't know any better, and therefore don't see any reason to protest their current state. But on the other, I think it's human nature to be dissatisfied with your lot, or to seek something different. Seeing the same thing day in and day out for extended periods of time gets freaking boring. (Actually, I may be shooting myself in the foot there; if you experience inertia for real, it eventually does lead to an ugly, chronic apathy.)

Originally I was going to bring this all to capitalism, see. :P My theory is that Solarians are completely clueless because they're obsessed with shiny toys. Living in Solaris is all about watching that holo girl dance, and getting brand new clothes at the boutique, and reading the latest trashy magazine about what Lord Krelian and Commander Ramsus were really doing in that elevator when it got stuck between floors at the palace.

I can't imagine that senario. It makes my brain explode.

Dammit, I forgot my point. Again.

What I should do is make myself sit down and read the other sections on Solaris, so I can get an idea of what kind of genetic experiments they were playing around with. We know about nanotechnology and biotech, but I almost want to classify those as totally military. The only whiff Solarians would get of nanotechnology, you'd think, would be the knowledge that they can go to the hospital and be fixed if they break something. Otherwise, why not use that awesome technology to clean up the gene pool? Because dude, all of those worker bees down on the lower level are contaminating the water supply.

I wonder if the plague that killed Hyuga's family ever left the classified files. It would reinforce the idea that land dwellers are dirty savages. That's another thing that made that 40s racism stick out at me. Look at it:

- land dwellers abducted and taken to Solaris are confined in work blocks, where they function as slave labor, and are victim to occasional purges or reprogramming.

- working hard and behaving is your ticket to being promoted to second class. In essence, and forgive me for the comparison, "work makes you free."

Citizens in both the second and third tiers seem to be aware of this quirk in Solarian hierarchy, and the higher class people don't seem to mind. In fact, many of them are probably upgraded third-class, or descended from someone out of the work block. I'm blaming this on their trippy version of genetics. Theoretically, I suppose they're clearing out the gene pool down on the working levels.

What they're really doing is teaching the language and figuring out who's more suceptible to drugged food, but.

- The use of "Jugend" as a filter for elite military is no coincidence. When Takahashi throws a name at you, he means it, even if the name itself doesn't mean anything in context. In this case, it does fit rather well.

- I have to say this, because it's so obvious: the superior breed, Gazel, are blond and blue-eyed almost exclusively. Billy is platinum. Elly is skirting the line of decency with her tripped out genetic code.

It's ironic, really, that Solaris's true elite soldiers are descended from land dwellers. Not surprising, though. I mean, look at this gene pool. :P

But you know what makes that okay to the average, second-class Solarian citizen?

The Four Elements Resin Figure set.

Can, uh, somebody draw that? Pretty please?