Sunday, October 18, 2015

Additional dots for “Blindspot”

[Appendices to this essay.]

(A)  Viewers have remarked how odd it is, that FBI Guy ends every other sentence addressed to Jane Doe with “… , Jane.”   Odd especially since that isn’t even her real name.
Concurrently, by chance, I have been listening to an audiobook of Jane Eyre;  and there, Mr Rochester exhibits the same the same vocative quirk, towards his coworker/love-interest.
In both cases,  the phenomenon is striking, owing to the utter asymmetry in vocatives:  the senior man regularly recurs to this first-name address;  the woman protege, never.

There is a slight syntactic distinction: FBI-Guy postpends the vocative ("I'm so sorry, Jane");  Rochester  prepends it.

(B)  More musings on the motif of the Verhängnisvolle tattoos:
Compare palmistry (or phrenology)-- the notion that your character or fate are written in your fingerprints, or the lines of your hand, or the bumps of your skull.

(C)  Motivation for the master-conspiracy

One of the features I hated about “24” (which fortunately did not intrude to spoil the fun  until the final episodes of each season) was the bogus, ex-nihilo explanation of the vast, nation-destroying events, via a conspiracy by a tiny and ill-defined clique, whose motivation was simply unfathomable.  Often, all we learned about Mr Big  was that he spoke with a British accent (very suspicious!).

Oddly, and with a certain commendable candor, Episode 4 of “Blindspot” came forth with the motivation behind a horrendous global bioattack, right at the end of the episode in which it was introduced:  as a desperate, planet-saving move in the face of  Malthusian pressures.  To the average viewer, that must seem as far-fetched as the (even vaguer) motivations of the “24” arch-villains.   But actually, it is more firmly grounded in (at least psycho-social) reality than you might surmise.

(1a)  It is already a fact, that persistent, influential voices in Africa  aver that AIDS, and ebola, and probably much else, were caused -- deliberately -- by the West.
Similar conspiracy-theories thrive in much of the third world.
(1b)  Such fantasies have their American proponents as well. Thus, the P.C. anthropologists campaign against Napoleon Chagnon; or a certain tenured professor who toes the conspiratorial ebola-line.

(2)  In fantasy  though not in act, such ideas have indeed been entertained.

„Es zeigt sich, daß die ethischen Menschen nicht so viele Kinder haben und die Gangster sich unbegrenzt und sorglos weiter reproduzieren.“ Und: „… gegen Überbevölkerung hat die Menschheit nichts Vernünftiges unternommen. Man könnte daher eine gewisse Sympathie für Aids bekommen.“
-- Konrad Lorenz in einem Gespräch anlässlich seines 85. Geburtstags, in: Natur, Nr. 11, München 1988.

And, from a couple of years ago:

I watched in amazement as a few hundred members of the Texas Academy of Science rose to their feet and gave a standing ovation to a speech that enthusiastically advocated the elimination of 90 percent of Earth's population by airborne Ebola. The speech was given by Dr. Eric R. Pianka, the University of Texas evolutionary ecologist and lizard expert who the Academy named the 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist.
One of Pianka's earliest points was a condemnation of anthropocentrism, or the idea that humankind occupies a privileged position in the Universe. He told a story about how a neighbor asked him what good the lizards are that he studies. He answered, “What good are you?”
Pianka hammered his point home by exclaiming, “We're no better than bacteria!”

Thus, the perpetrators of the “Blindspot”  terror-attack  were not so implausible, being  rather  analogs of the Oklahoma City bomber, or of Breivik

[Update 9 Nov 2015]   Takehome from the (otherwise unmemorable) Episode Eight:
Twofer is actually a Threefer (Urninde).

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