Friday, July 16, 2010

Milk and Futurama

Gay rights and religious nutjobs in Milk

I finally watched the movie Milk a couple days ago. It was amazing. I loved the performances and the clever use of period footage interspersed throughout the film. Now I have a much higher appreciation of my city and its counter-culture, avant-garde goodness. But I also realize that there are still nutjobs out there who use religion to justify their anti-gay bigotry. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

So I’ve been pretty jazzed at a few recent news headlines:

Massachusetts judge declares federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. [NPR] Woohoo!

Fighting for the right to marry, a family tradition. [NPR] This opinion piece chronicles the multi-generational struggle against bigotry: interracial marriages yesterday, same-sex marriages today.

A Republican group challenges the Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell policy. [SFGate]

Argentina legalizes same-sex marriages. [NPR]

Futurama's take on religious nutjobs

The same evening we also watched a Futurama episode, "Hell is Other Robots" (season 1, episode 9). The title is a reference to the line "L'enfer, c'est les autres," from Huis-Clos, by Jean-Paul Sartre, a play where three characters are stuck in a one-room hell of each other's company forever.

***spoiler alert***

In the episode, Bender develops an addiction to electricity. Religion provides him relief when he finds Robotology. His newly religious self is a drag to his friends, with an invitation to his interminable, un-air-conditioned baptism, and delaying his celebratory meal with a prayer of grace in binary. Fry and Leela plot to bring back the old Bender with some good ol'-fashioned debauchery in Atlantic City. Then Beelzebot captures Bender to take him to Robot Hell, also in New Jersey. Things go awry when Fry and Leela try to rescue Bender, and Bender ends up saving all three of them himself with the deux ex machina of robotic angel wings. As they fly off into the sunset, Bender resolves to be himself again, never to be all evil or all good. Leela agrees, with a little less evil than before.

***end spoiler***

So there we have it. Overbearing religious nutjobs are a major drag. Just be yourself, striving to be less evil.

No comments:

Post a Comment