"A Man's a Man for all that!" - Rabbie Burns

"Religion? No thanks. I prefer not to outsource my brainwashing." - Bunc
Trying to get your average Joe creationist to understand the phrase scientific theory is as hard as getting a fish to enjoy mountaineering. Its an unimagined world for them - it requires a complete reversal of their normal modes of thinking and being. The fact that humans could explain the complexities of this world without a creating God is a world view they cannot grasp. It's like asking a tuna if it appreciates the view from the top of Mount Everest. Bunc

Dec 28, 2009

The Day of the Triffids is a Primal Fright

A great version of the Sci-fi classic "The Day of the Triffids", by John Wyndham has just been shown on BBC TV. This adaptation was well drawn from the start; there was good acting, well drawn storylines and good Triffid effects.

The Day of the Triffids is a Sci-fi standard that has had many adaptations. The story of mutated plants called Triffids stalking a blinded human population talks to us both of the vulnerability of humans in the face of nature and of the risks of tampering with her. To me the Triffid story always has echoes of Mary Shelleys Frankenstein - another tale of woe brought on by mans interference with nature.

One of our primal fears, almost an instinctual one, is that if we mess with "nature" she will turn round and bite us back.

These types of stories can be traced back through myths and fable to our hunter gatherer roots. Hunting tribes throughout the world will address the spirit of the animal in some way after they have killed it. These are "placatory" ceremonies - they restore order after humans disturb it.

Of course in the Day of the Triffids it's not the hunter killing an animal that unsettles nature; it's our meddling science. The placatory prayer no longer works though. In Sci-Fi, nature will no longer be placated. Man's interference has created implacable foes.

These days we still have our placatory ceremonies. People have their lucky charms, their prayers and other Joo-Joo devices.

Possibly I am performing some form of placatory Joo-Joo myself by participating in consuming such stories.

If so it is a ceremony that is only half consummated because I still need to watch Part 2 of this BBC Day of the Triffids.

3 comments:

Helen McGinn said...

Och, I missed it!

Bunc said...

They are bound to repeat it I think.

Stuinayr said...

But you can watch it on BBC iPlayer.
Much Goodness Indeed.

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