High Strangeness: Vomiting Galaxies

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Vomiting Galaxies

I am tired of "reboots."
They rebooted "Star Trek."
They rebooted "Battlestar Galactica" and "The Bionic Woman."
They're rebooting "Star Wars."
They keep rebooting "Spiderman," "Batman" and "Superman" over and over again...

But now rebooting has gone too far: now they're rebooting "Cosmos."

"Cosmos" was a 13-part televised love letter to science written, produced and hosted by erudite Cornell University astronomy professor Carl Sagan, and it was a wonder and a delight. Originally broadcast on public TV in 1980, "Cosmos" introduced the American public to the marvels of outer and inner space, tracing the history of astronomy, physics and human aspiration through majestic prose, wondrous music and inspiring imagery.

If I seem to be making a big deal of it, that's because I am. I watched and loved the original "Cosmos" as a starry-eyed 20 year-old, then again with my then-fiancee Mxxxxx a few years ago as we were courting. In all these years the show hasn't lost a scintilla of impact. It still inspires awe and wonder, it still makes you look up at the night sky with a sense of mystery and anticipation, and it still makes you appreciate the miracle that humans exist here on earth at all...

I have written about the late Dr. Sagan before in my blog, and make no secret of my mixed feelings about the man where UFOs are concerned, but this TV series was and is a supreme accomplishment.

Tycho Brahe and his nose: they deserve so much better than this.
So why reboot it? Thirty-three years later, the stars are still mostly in the same place. Galileo, Copernicus and Kepler have not made any new discoveries of note since 1980, and they are not expected to announce anything anytime soon. And, the simple truth is that the original series is still eminently tingle-worthy.

Worse yet, why give the reboot reins to a guy who makes cartoons for emotionally-stunted frat boys and other future world leaders? This isn't the Oscars, for God's sake.

To try to get an idea of what this guy might bring to a "Cosmos" reboot, I watched a few minutes of one of his cartoons, and it made me sad. Within five minutes, an animated toddler with a deformed head vomited twice, and apparently I was expected to laugh--twice!--because edgy. "Cosmos" was and is about the soaring expansiveness of life, and "Family Guy," it seems, is about diminishing life in every conceivable way. It's not a matter of me "not getting it." I do get it. I get that there's nothing to get.

So now I fear the worst. I fear vomiting galaxies, and Tycho Brahe's metal nose falling off as he masturbates to star charts, and garbage washing up on "the shores of the cosmic ocean."

Take my advice: watch the original "Cosmos," and skip the reboot.

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