Saturday, 15 January 2011

Repelling boarders

I've been pondering control of spaces. In wargaming and roleplaying we could well be encouraged to invade, occupy and steal, and how we rationalise this is a big subject. Big Lee at his Miniature Adventures has a real life example, which is what set me off.

The problem has reared its head at the Expanse too. One follower showed surprising contempt for everyone else by manipulating a mechanism for his or her own ends. I don't like the idea of diversity suffering for limited personal gain, as I suggested here a while back on the subject of tournaments. With no means of contact, I've blocked the person, but will happily review the decision. If any Blogger blogger has a need to do this, they can click the green 'Followers' icon on the dashboard, then the given avatar, then select the option under the name. I feel unhappy for having done it, but better than I did before.

All of this reminded me of two movies featuring similar situations, one of which you probably know and the other quite possibly not. It's a common problem, but in both help comes from an unlikely quarter, from aliens, possibly those quogwinkles again.

The first is Batteries Not Included, which has an interesting take on the scale of potential life in the universe. You can see that, or get a reminder, in the trailer below.

The second is a French film, La Soupe aux Choux, or Cabbage Soup. This also has an interesting take on alien life, as well as alien language, and suggests food can bring civilisations together. It's less serious in tone - in a sense - but don't give up on the trailer too early. If anyone knows of a version with subtitles, I'd be grateful for the link.


Bartender said...

They don't make movies like they did in the 80s. I think Aliens is the most accurate depiction of alien life forms-cold, uncaring and vicious.

CounterFett said...

I actually did not like Aliens much, but I do respect it a great deal for the fact that it has colored the way that Hollywood and the world view 'bug' aliens.

Cronickain said...

V is like that

Porky said...

@ Bartender - I'd not thought of it like that, but then aliens are what we make them, for now at least. The cold, uncaring and vicious variety probably sell best, in that more action can be built around them. If you're interested in my take on the Alien alien, it's here. No one's dared comment on it yet, not even Satiran, and he's fearless when it comes to this kind of thing.

@ Counterfett - It's a while since I've seen it, but I remember the Special Edition fondly, or at least as fondly as a film of the kind can be remembered..! It's a cornestone of the hobby too in terms of the inspiration it's given and continues to give. It's time to move on perhaps. I'd be interested in where you think it fell down - we need to learn and go forward, and it could help to analyse the failings of the past.

@ ArmChairGeneral - V I really don't know much about, but from what I can tell it's worth a look. I associate it with The Tripods a little, but that could be mostly for when both series came, mostly.

watchman said...

nice blog, just subbed to it.

Make sure to follow mine at

Papa JJ said...

Oh my word, Porky! What is this electronic world coming to? I'm glad to hear you were able to ward off this attack against the Expanse though it saddens me to hear that such defense was necessary. :(

It has been a long time since I last saw Batteries Not Included but I remember it being a very sweet film. While it may not be as exciting to consider, I believe I do prefer aliens of the helpful, friendly variety. Call me crazy but I'll take aliens fixing things around the house over laying eggs in my chest any day of the week.

Porky said...

@ watchman - Interesting blog, but I'm not sure I'm your target reader! Dressing up's not really my thing and I don't even accessorise miniatures cases or dice. I might drop in from time to time to test my resolve though. I'm glad you like the Expanse - some of the readers here probably like Watchmen, and time itself is definitely a big hit.

@ Papa JJ - Thanks Papa. The doors will be wide open as long as the blog exists. I'm with you on the aliens. To cross those lonely spaces between the stars and eventually find life around one of them would take some doing, and why would the species that made it not be made calm and contemplative and relieved to find others to share, and especially others with a new way of seeing it? After all, we are all made of stardust.