". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Continuum - Season 3

As of last night's dinner-preparation hour I'm nearly half way through watching Continuum's third season.

Season 3's plot lines and the characters themselves are complicated.  Part of the complication involves Alec Sadler, one of the three principal characters, being present as two; i.e. one from the timeline (I think ...) we've been in since the beginning of the show, and the other from another timeline branch, and they're existing simultaneously in the same timeline -- though I'm not entirely clear whether this timeline is the series' original timeline.  I may have forgotten some essentials from watching seasosn 2 last year at this time.

This season also began with two of the protagonist-protector from 2077, Kiera Cameron, but immediately one of them is shot dead.  The killed Kiera was the "original" Kiera known from the series's start by her contemporary Vancouver

police force partner and friend, Carlos Fonnegra. That there are / were two Kieras is known to him almost immediately.  He sees this Kiera as different the first one, and isn't sure he either likes or trusts the second one.

Second Kiera doesn't like First Alec or trust him, but seems to like and trust the second one.  Further complications are created by First Alec learning that his first love, Emily, wasn't what he thought she was, while Second Alec, who was the first Alec, traveled back in time a week to save Emily's life, after she's killed in the first timeline. First, now Second Alec, still loves Emily, no matter what.

If others can follow all this with no difficulties they are much better viewers than I am.  In the meantime, as the two Alecs and the Second Kiera dash about, the timelines are getting ever more muddled and history in the past and the future is changing. This further complicates the plots because it's not always easy to distinguish what seem volte faces of characters and their relationships with each other as they seemed previously.

Further we're presented with Kiera's past -- which is still in our future --  beginning when she's still a young girl, and not yet a Protector.  But -- is her time traveling changing her past as well?

Tonight I'll watch the seventh episode (there are thirteen), and will perhaps understand things better.

As well, I am hoping that Alec Sadler, who the series isn't about --

Note: the captions says "the future is in her hands."
it's Kiera's show -- isn't edging the focus from her to himself.  The show couldn't handle two Kieras -- i.e. two supercompetent females leads --  but we have two Alecs, and the Alecs are supergenius-nerds, who are getting at least twice the amount of screen time than previously.

What I'm like most about Continuum, is how well the writers are connecting labor, capitalism, and the corporate state with the police state, in both our present and the future.  Indeed, in Kiera's future, the state has gone full circle in which every person owes a life debt to the state -- which is connected to one's economic status --  which debt gets adjusted in various ways  up and down, including execution when the debt is greater than one's economic value.  This value is assessed by many criteria: treason is of course a debt that merits execution. This sort of conceptualization seems to indicate the writers have carefully read at least the first

sections of David Graeber's Debt: The First 5,000 Years (2011).

So far though, Continuum's writers haven't overtly connected these conditions to so many jobs being performed by robots and other automation,* though it is implied, whenever there are scenes set in a college or university, and the many public protests included throughout the seasons' episodes.  It's this that makes the over-arching time lines of both "present" and future so plausible in Continuum.

Continuum does seem to be asking the important questions, and further inquires, what are the answers, and how can we get to them?

Alas, so far, there's been no hard announcement there's going to be a season 4 of Continuum, though it was scheduled to be made "early in August."


*  Just this week: room service and check-in desk will be robots:

the Aloft Hotel in Cupertino, Calif,  ... will begin using an R2D2-esque robot for such trips. Fittingly, Aloft’s parent company, Starwood Hotels, tests the latest technology at the Silicon Valley hotel. Guests can enter their rooms with a smartphone app and bypass the traditional check-in process at the front desk.

So very soon now, not even turning your city, your region into an extractive, toxic tourist playground will provide even the most menial of jobs, that are always touted as "jobs creation," and o so good for the economy.

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