< Nostlagiaudit, Part II
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[Comments] (1) : Writing's not going too well this weekend--all I have is a few fictional Twitter posts--so I'm going to post stuff that other people have written. First up, an email exchange about "Awesome Dinosaurs" that I was forwarded and given permission to post if I changed the names.

The story so far: Dave sends a link to "Awesome Dinosaurs" to his friends, and Bernard says he likes it, but Sid is confused:

Fuck! Would someone please give me the moral of the story? I read the final paragraph again and I can't quite put any specific type of person in the role of the dinosaurs or some movement or government or anything. Just fucking explain this stupid story.

I guess Sid mostly reads political cartoons. Bernard attempts to help him. (I've truncated his analysis and the quote from the story.)

Hmmm...well, I think if you're looking for a moral I'd look in the last section:
"We set her up," said Entippa, "when we came to Earth..."

But you don't have to read it as a parable or an allegory or in any way "making a statement." But I do think the fact that the dinos don't fit into the normal image of "dino" is significant. It ties into the idea that people USE history...to tell themselves stories that address and satisfy their own inner drives and desires...

And then Dave decides to just give Sid what he wants:

While Bernard's reading of the story was very closely aligned with my own, and the major themes that he addressed were very similar to those that I took away from it (but were laid-out and summarized much better than I probably could've done), I will cave-in to Sid's deep-seated love of Animal Farm and indulge his guilty-pleasure for unsubtle and overbearing direct allegory.

The dinosaurs represent (in actual personage as well as in the effects brought about by) the countryless, liberal intelligentsia displaced by the rise of major European Right- and Left-leaning autocracies that came to dominate the continent in the first half of the 20th century. Mars is the old-world--representing to the dinosaurs a people and culture they loved and, under ideal circumstances, would prefer to live in--that they were compelled to abandon because of coercive externalities.

Cass the T-Rex, is, of course, both the fearsome, existentially-devastating Atomic Bomb, and the foreign nationals who worked in its development; a body of people representing the full spectrum of dis/agreement with both the weaponization of this new technology, and with the ideological and political alignment of the United States itself.

Tark, the carnivorous protagonist, is Wernher von Braun; compelling and mercurial, hot-tempered and prone to fits of slightly-deluded and juvenile persecuted melancholia--also possessing a past history of actions that are regarded as culturally unacceptable, as well as a record of personal ethics that has to be accounted for before he could claim the limited amount of personal respectability that would make him superficially benign. Entippa, the even-tempered herbivore, is Albert Einstein (for obvious reasons), and in some cases acts as a stand-in for the entirety of the Jewish intelligentsia displaced by European fascism.

Misunderstood by their new audience (the human motocross fans/the American public) Tark/von Braun and Entippa/Einstein are forced to subdue their own personal research preferences (jumping the Grand Canyon/Space Exploration/Highbrow Quantum Physics) to parade themselves to Americans by participating in some vestigial/plausible exercise of same (motocross/ICBM development/castrated academia). They are disillusioned and sad because they are fully aware that they are being presented, not as artists or intellectuals, stunt-men or heroes, but as gleaming war trophies gathering dust on a shelf--being cheered by an audience superficially supportive, but entirely ignorant.

The violent end of the Destructoraptor represents the horrible events that were the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Tark/von Braun and Entippa/Einstein are each shaken by this in their own ways... electing to cope by constructing petulant and misdirected revenge-fantasy, and beleaguered resignation, respectively. This is made more poignant in the minds of these men because this horrible event and all of its terrifying implications are regarded as a blasé non-event by their new, erstwhile countrymen.

The exploitive television host is, naturally, the profit-minded and sociopathic American industrialist. He cares not for the individual humanity of the two dinosaurs, nor for the implications of their sentience or for their desires or personal genius. Ignoring the myriad uses to which these two unfathomably unique creatures could be applied, it is decided--reflexively and axiomatically--that the best thing to is to do what is most obvious and most apparent; a conclusion reached--tautologically, perhaps, but squarely in the most revered and dogmatic logic of capitalism--simply because the best thing is de facto the most obvious thing, and that when their preferences are allowed to sort-out and stabilize policy, (those people that we qualify as) individual agents (non-marginalized U.S. Citizens, in this case) acting in their own rational self-interest will trend towards bringing about a panglossian utopia. We will pit the varied cultures and traditions and ideologies of Europe against one-another because, in our disaffected cosmopolitanism, we suppose we're marginally interested in it enough to see it. Preferring to watch the Pole fight the Italian than to understand their maths or learn their dances. The expediency of using it to eliminate a perceived menace is just icing on the cake.

Now: Tark/von Braun killing and eating the television producer... that was 9/11 (I trust this is clear without further qualification), the two human children? They are Ralph Nader and tennis legend Boris Becker (think about it).

The ending (the spaceship ride back to Mars) is a one-to-one, direct analogy to that fateful day when the U.S. Government had "had enough" and forced von Braun and Einstein to board a ship to go back to Germany because they were involved in killing and eating a guy. The exchange between Tark and Entippa was lifted--word for word--from a transcript of a conversation between Einstein and von Braun that was recorded by a Life Magazine reporter during that trip.

The motorcycles are iPods.

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Comments:

Posted by Fafner at Sat Jul 18 2009 21:58

Glorious.


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