Wednesday, December 10, 2008

2001 is dumb

Okay okay, I admit it.

I don't understand 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Yes yes, it's all cool and futuristic and I know all the quotes and I can sing the daisy song.

But the ending....I just don't get it. I really don't get it. I don't think I even like it. Lots of odd-colored landscape scenes while nasty cacophonous so-called music playing, then lots of heavy breathing while Keir gets old and it's all deep and significant. I know something important is being said, I just know it, especially at the end with the baby and the earth right next to each other.


I do enjoy listening to the entire Blue Danube at the credits. People don't appreciate credits enough. I always liked watching credits, while all my friends would be literally running out of the movie theater. Where were they going so fast? What was so important everyone has to do? Don't you want to know who the caterer was for the movie? I do. Really, I'm not even kidding.

Anyway, all this came up because I just caught the last 15 minutes of 2001 on TCM. I sat there for like 6 minutes of the stupid landscape scenes and then the heavy breathing, trying to give it one more chance of being relevant to me. But no, it failed again. Or maybe I failed, maybe I am not abstract enough. It's true I like to know what the answer is, please don't waste my time postulating and guessing and theorizing, just tell me what the real answer is. I am not good as the strategist type, the visionary leader. That is SO not me. Vision smision, while you're sitting around thinking about 10 years from now, I'm the one making things work right this second. :-D

But I digress, as usual. So I watched the end of 2001, and now 2010 is just starting. Maybe it will help me since I haven't seen it in like 20 years.

And then I get on the computer and my dad just happens to mention science fiction! See how everything is linked. I always wanted to like the science fiction that my dad liked but the future was never a nice place in those books. It was cold, with hard edges and computers that took over. I think I enjoyed the Foundation series, but I can't remember. I gravitated towards fantasy which had happy things like unicorns and fairies and magic. I don't really read fiction anymore because there isn't time to waste on stuff like that when there is so much non-fiction and history to read.

And now I should go pay attention to the movie so I can finally understand what's going on. And yes, in case you are wondering, I did read the books, 2001 and 2010, but it was so long ago I forgot them too. It's actually a good habit, forgetting what happened in a book, because then you can read it again and not have it spoiled. I try not to do that anymore now that I read non-fiction, but it was a hard habit to break.

I'll let you know if I figure it all out. Maybe it'll all come back to "42". :-)


  1. Don't understand? Awww. Poor thing. Don't forget, this was a Kubrick movie made from Clarke's BOOK which provides much more of an explanation. I'll give you the nutshell: mankind coasts toward destruction at various stages of existence and is 'motivated' by the monolith (provided by an unseen force) at these stages to leap forward instead of die. As a result of Bowman's trip, he moves to the 'next level' as a result of those rapid aging steps and finally the star-child that he becomes saves mankind from destroying themselves. Oh, you didn't know man was on the verge of nuclear war? Oh, you couldn't see the ring of nuclear weapons in orbit that the star-child obliterates? It's a Kubrick movie of a Clarke novel. I suggest you read the book, then see the movie again. You'll love it.

  2. HUH?!?!?! What ring of nuclear weapons? Are you saying he attained nirvana? What???? Who's in charge of the monolith and why don't they just fix things? Are they not allowed to interfere due to the directive, and if so, isn't the presence of the monolith interfering????? Ugh.

  3. I have the book somewhere. I'll find it for you. Then you will come to a full and complete understanding.