Wed 29 Sep 2010
Of course, as cool as the Robotech anime was for me back in the day, what has that got to do with the here and now (such as it is)? Fear not intrepid reader, for I shall reveal more.
I mentioned that I had kept my die cast metal SDF-1 in part one. I took it with me to college as a protective talisman. During times of stress, it helped me to imagine I was the commander of the space defense fortress, fighting off the invading problems of my life.
The toy-as-talisman, or security blanket, encapsulated several reassuring images for me. While being a military vessel it also contained the citizens of Macross Island, who had rebuilt their destroyed city within the ship. They grew crops, manufactured goods, and engaged in trade with one another as the ship pursued its course back to earth.
There’s an element of Lost In Space inherent in the image, as well as a Noah’s Ark archetype at work. The whole of humanity contained within a protective vehicle that manifests all their needs as it transports them to a new state of consciousness.
In the series, most of the population of earth gets destroyed during the final Zentraedi attack. It’s the unlucky refugees who are isolated from their old life on earth who primarily survive to continue humanity in the new intergalactic world. Bad as that recycled air and water must have been, it beats being atomized by reflex cannon bombardment from orbit!
Not exactly a wholesome or reassuring reality when you think about it. The archetype still captures our imagination, however. Battlestar Galactica used it’s titular spaceship as the flagship that rallies the survival of humanity in the fleet. Starblazers used the Argo as the means by which the crew accomplishes their goal of restoring earth. The Discovery in 2001: A Space Odyssey brings humanity in touch with the alien intelligence of the monolith at Jupiter.
The ship as the transport vehicle through the unknown or the unconscious (represented by the sea or space), carrying with it the experiment of humanity from one state of awareness to the other. The whole package by default carries with it all that is needed. As they say, wherever a human being goes they carry themselves with them!
You might say that these ships are all small imitations or intimations of the biggest ship of all, the earth. These ship-tales echo our own world experience by bringing the grand affair into a more comprehensible field of form.
So while I’ve been making use of these popular tales, from Star Trek to Robotech, I’m getting the feeling that it’s time for me to consider what my own, personal, individualized form of the ship-tale is.
If this were an ocean based exploration I’d choose a submarine, something closer to Voyage To The Bottom Of the Sea or 20,000 Leagues Beneath The Sea. One could make it an earth adventure, and then get something akin to At The Earth’s Core or The Last Dinosaur. Outer space could mean the vast strangeness of Space: 1999 or long struggle and searching of Lost In Space.
Countless environments, phenomenon and consciousnesses waiting to be experienced and meditated upon. All worthy and interesting explorations to me.
Trouble is, what will I pick? Perhaps I will build something from the ground up, exploring what components the experience consists of through discovery.