The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch - Philip K. Dick
If the world of written science fiction were ever to be translated into the language of visual art, Philip K. Dick would probably be Salvador Dali. His vision does not depend on Picassoesque transformations of the familiar into the grotesque so much as a jumbling of the familiar into sometimes deeply disturbing new combinations, whose disturbing aspect is not attenuated but rather accentuated by their very familiarity. This is the kind of landscape where heads sprout like mushrooms from blank desert sands or weird alien faces stare at each other nose-to-nose with an ethereal ballet dancer formed by the gaps between them. Nothing is what it seems. Nothing is real. Everything is real. http://www.sfsite.com/07a/pe155.htm
How is time related to existence? Philosophy offers three primary answers to this metaphysical question: eternalism, possibilism, and presentism.
- The eternalist thinks that time, correctly understood, is a fourth dimension essentially constitutive of reality together with space. All times, past, present and future, are actual times just like all points distributed in space are actual points in space. One cannot privilege any one moment in the dimension of time as “more” real than any other moment just like one cannot privilege any point in space as “more” real than any other point.
- The possibilist thinks that the eternalist’s picture of the universe is correct except for the status of the future. The past and the present are fixed and actual; the future is only possible. Or more precisely, the future of an object holds the possibility of many different worldlines, only one of which will become actual for the object.
- The presentist thinks that only temporally present objects are real. Whatever is, exists now. The past was, but exists no longer; the future will be, but does not exist yet. Objects are scattered throughout space but they are not scattered throughout time. Presentists do not think that time is a dimension in the same sense as the three spatial dimensions; they say the block universe view of the eternalists (and the intermediate view of the possibilists) gets the metaphysics of time wrong.
Why no one gets Prometheus, why the sci fi community, of all people, SHOULD, and why no one will probably understand my argument in this review
I’ve been stewing in my own juices, as they say, over writing this blog post, reading other reviews, seeing people respond to my excited Facebook rantings about the film in ways I can’t quite fathom…
(in response to my recent Facebook status update that I would be seeing the film a third time before it leaves theaters)
“See if you can close all the plot holes while you’re there.”
“You could certainly write a better screenplay while you’re there.”
“I liked Prometheus, but I’m unable to figure out why you’re so obsessed with it.”
I guess I shouldn’t be particularly surprised that even my above-average-intelligence Facebook friends (most of whom are lawyers, professors, and other types of knowledge-focused professionals) aren’t really getting behind this movie, but what shocks me even more is how many die-hard sci fi fans aren’t, IMO, getting why they didn’t like the film (two of the comments above are from folks who are major fans of the genre). Yes, you read that right: I think the entire criteria most people are using for liking/disliking this film are way off-base. AND: I think this has to do with longstanding tensions between science fiction films and their more-esteemed dramatic counterparts, tensions that will probably bleed over into any responses to this “review,” rendering my (admittedly highly nuanced (read: academic)) argument below null and void.
***SPOILERS PROMULGATE FASTER THAN THE BLACK OOZE BELOW***
BOY AM I SICK OF PEOPLE HATING ON PROMETHEUS
Is it wrong that I’m getting insanely angry at everyone hating on Prometheus every time I post about it on Facebook? Here’s what I recently said to all my Facebook “friends”:
Do I go on your walls and hate on movies you love? No. Please don’t do so on mine. Just because you didn’t like the movie, doesn’t make it a bad movie, folks. 73% of critics gave it a thumbs up and so did 73% of fans, so… OR, how about if you are going to hate on it, you at least back up your claims with some evidence, AND, if you haven’t seen any of the other films, well, your case is going to be pretty flimsy… #endrant
my new halloween costume… if I weighed 89 lbs…