Archive for Laura Roslin

Bolden: go where no black has gone before…

Posted in politics, sci-fi, science with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

Boldly?

s-CHARLES-BOLDEN-large

In a high-profile move to cope with his post-Battlestar Galactica depression, Famous All-Powerful Black Guy Barack Obama has appointed this black astronaut to lead the non-cylon races as NASA’s new top gun.

Man, electing a Black President was the best idea we negroes ever had!!!

MILKYWAY: SOLAR SYSTEM: EARTH: WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Saturday named former shuttle commander Charles Bolden to lead NASA at a critical time for the space agency.

The White House has ordered a complete outside review of NASA’s manned space program, including plans to return astronauts to the moon.

Bolden flew in space four times _ twice as shuttle commander _ and once was assistant deputy administrator at NASA headquarters in Washington. The 62-year-old Bolden left NASA in 1994.

If the Senate confirms Bolden, he would be the space agency’s first black administrator and the second astronaut to hold the post.

NASA Administrator

Obama also announced that he was nominating Lori Garver to be NASA’s deputy administrator. Garver was Obama’s NASA transition chief and is a former associate administrator at the agency.

“These talented individuals will help put NASA on course to boldly push the boundaries of science, aeronautics and exploration in the 21st century and ensure the long-term vibrancy of Americas space program,” Obama said in a statement.

White House science adviser John Holdren said in early May that the new panel will look at the design of new spacecraft to replace the space shuttle and go to the moon, as well as consider possible alternatives to the current design.

Also to be studied is the five-year gap between the shuttle’s retirement and the new moon vehicles, with the first new space capsule flying in 2015. During that time, starting in late 2010, NASA would have to rely on the Russians for space travel. The review will look at extending NASA’s use of the multibillion-dollar international space station beyond 2016.

NASA has spent $6.9 billion on its plan to return to the moon, which then-President George W. Bush presented as a response to the 2003 space shuttle Columbia accident.

Asked “why Bolden?” Obama first cracked a pun about how ‘the time had come to Bolden go where no negro had gone before!’ After chuckling to himself, the Black President relented in a matter-of-fact tone “No seriously though…. Out of all of the characters we got to know, human and cylon, there wasn’t a single non-evil black astronaut on all four seasons of BSG. I mean, they did some groundbreaking things with gender, but I just wanted to show those racist script writing motherfrakkers that at the end of the day I’m the Black President of a real world space age nation, and my power, unlike Adama’s or Roslin’s, is like actual.”

So say we all, Mr.President. So say we all…

Sunshine Superboy

*so, everything written in the dark block quote section is like, actual.

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Gender in the Vacuum of Space

Posted in politics, sci-fi with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2009 by Sunshine Superboy

bsg_recaps

Warning: there is a serious BSG spoiler toward the end of this post. If you care, don’t scroll down till you watch the new episode that aired Fri, Jan 16th, 2009.

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The continuation continues tonight. Just cuz I’m feeling a little vapid for my Battlestar Galactica post, I’m revisiting the issue, but like for real this time. Part of what fans like myself find compelling about BSG is that it actually IS that deep sometimes, and also offers, through the magic of television, a visualization (as sci-fi is wont to do) of a radically different world. With BSG, for example, we get to see on screen, in the flesh, women in real positions of power (not sidekicks or tokens), which, at a more fundamental level, can be a glimpse into our own world, where that power already exists all around us- after all, what is science fiction but the projection of our own cosmology just a few steps beyond the present moment? Here we are in 2009 and almost everything that Philip K. Dick, (or even Kurt Vonnegut for that matter) wrote about (aka “foretold”) has come to pass.

.not my homeboy.

.not my homeboy.

So about a year ago, I was in New Orleans visiting a friend and had all this gender stuff punch through in an interesting way. I was playing catch-up somewhere around the end of Season 2 or the beginning of Season 3 on her roommate’s BSG dvds, when out of nowhere my befuddled friend, who was in the kitchen, heard me shouting from the living room “Holyfuck this is SO intense!”

I was so overwhelmed that I had to pause the dvd and physically get up and walk to the kitchen just to release some nerves. It was right at a moment where Admiral Cain (a woman, and awesome butch lesbian at that!) had shown up outta the blue, immediately out-ranking Bill Adama who had worked more than a season to gain the trust of President Laura Roslin. Gender and power. It got crazier. Adama had just deployed Kara Thrace aka “Starbuck”, as his best fighter and most trusted maverick, to assassinate the cutthroat Admiral Cain (for the good of the fleet and all surviving humanity).

The tension on screen between the two heavy hitting women (Cain and Starbuck) was palpable, complex, and extremely fraught. But for the audience, seeing two women dominate the screen time, and the power plays of the plot was a whole other mind trip. It was good fun.

the black lady never botched the oath the way Justice Roberts did.

the black lady never botched the oath the way Justice Roberts did.

And this was wholly apart from the chief executive power of the fucking awesome female president, Laura Roslin (seen here being sworn in).

I guess you have to see the show to appreciate the depth of how gender is playing out in the post-apocalyptic vacuum of space. But it really does keep unfolding in brave and complex ways. Can I reveal one more spoiler? Caprica Pegasus Six? Gay (well, queer or at least bi or something). Admiral Cain? Hella Gay. n49517262446_1887And now Lieutenant Felix Gaeta? He’s the gay too! (Not that we didn’t see that coming since fracking season 1). So much gender and sexuality to muse about… let alone, questions of how to gender a cylon….

Here’s an excerpt from a 45-minute long Brown University interview with Mary McDonnell (who plays Laura Roslin). Its an opening reflection on gender in the fleet on the show.

Stephanie Nicora noted that Battlestar Galactica is superficially feminist, with women in charge — but this seems to be true more of the Cylons than of humanity. In fact, Rousseau’s notion of separate spheres seems to be entrenched in the show: Roslin is President, but she can’t do anything much without the support of Galactica — headed by Commander Bill Adama, a man. When Admiral Helena Cain arrives, a female military leader, both Roslin and Adama agree that she’s a dire threat. Roslin doesn’t even have control over her own body — no one asks her whether or not she wants the cure from Hera’s blood — and by extension she is forced to adopt a pro-life stance and ban abortion. Her question: as a feminist, what’s your interpretation of these narratives?

Post comments or just go head and vote on my first Black Maps poll.

So Say We All?
~Sunshine Superboy

ooooooh, and just for kicks and cylon invasion preparedness, check this fracking thing out:
how-to-spot-a-cylon