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Circle (Cycle) of life

June 22, 2009

Over at Smashing Magazine, there’s a collection of ‘retro futurism designs‘; a collection of artwork from many sources that illustrates the past and the future. Actually, to be precise, it’s more about illustrating the ‘past in the future’.

It’s the circle of civilisaiton. We go back to how it was before. We embrace our roots. It’s all a cycle. It’s familiar. It’s the end of a beginning and the beginning of an end

Or, if like me, you’re a fan of Battlestar Galactica, then it’ll definitely ring some bells of the show’s prophetic theme; “All of this has happened before and all of it will happen again”.

Actually, to be precise, it’s more about illustrating the ‘past in the future’.

I think that what drew me to this particular picture was how it reminded me of Battlestar’s own story arch. At the centre of it, was this notion that everything was a cycle… and we as humans were fated to repeat the cycle infinitely…

What was slightly disturbing about the notion (as far as Battlestar went), was the fact that it took a near annihilation of the entire human race, before the cycle of Neanderthals to 21st century man began again.

Knowing’ runs with a similar philosophy (of the cycle)… but that was a lesser show by far (and no, it had nothing to do with the fact that it was a movie vs 4 seasons of outstanding BG series).

No matter, I’m making half the assumption that some of you may not have watched either of the shows above. So, I’ll leave out the finer details just in case you decide to be a little adventurous (did I mention Battlestar Galactica was an awesome, awesome series??).

Back to the picture.

Now, I think you can view it as a rather smashed monkey symbolising mankind’s return to… err… well depending on how you look at it, mankind’s either rueing the fact that they let their greed get the better of them, got drunk with their egos of being the prime living organisms on planet earth and eventually… ended up where things supposedly began.

OK, well according to Darwin a monkey would’ve been somewhere midpoint in the process of evolution.

Or perhaps, the monkey isn’t actually drowned in sorrow or regret (which was my first impression). Perhaps it’s just asleep and that isn’t actually alcohol. Perhaps it’s symbolising a time when things were much simpler… and we could all afford ignorance.

Do you think we’re destined to fulfil some kind of cycle? Or are we on a pathway that stretches infinitely as a straight line… with none of the two ends ever meeting?

(Last attempt to plug one of my favourite series of all time)

The reincarnation of the new Battlestar Galactica series is truly worthy of the many awards it has received. As a sci-fi show, it’s not surprising that audiences ‘outside of the genre’ were generally pessimistic in approaching the series.

But approach it they did… and loved it they did too. It’s a series that’s lidden with thick plots and subplots of conspiracy, treason, bravery, honour, loyalty and mankind’s great quest… to survive.

The series singlehandedly created a new genre; sci-fi drama. Over its 4 seasons, it garnered infamy for the way its writers incorporated parralel real world events (terrorism, racism, geo-political dynamics, torture, meaning of democracy etc) into its script, its plot and its characters.

The tone it took obviously hit home with an audience ‘outside of the genre’, as even the UN Dept of Public Information invited the cast and crew of BG to have a debate on the ‘issues portrayed in show’ (It’s entitled ‘A Retrospective’ on the showreel to the right, hopefully you can view it).

Check it out.

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