No fate; no fate but what we make. My Father told her this.
February 28, 2012 12:26 PM   Subscribe

The Bible & Terminator 2: Heteroglossic discourse and poetic authority.
posted by cortex (21 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
...throw in a handful of academic citations and pad it out a bit and this is every paper I wrote as an undergrad English major.

(This is awesome.)
posted by griphus at 12:31 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm right there with you, griphus. I actually really enjoy this sort of "overthinking" of pop culture. And I'm guilty of writing a few of my own (my first major paper as an undergrad was a comparison of Gilgamesh to John McClane with regard to ancient vs modern ideas about who can be a hero).
posted by asnider at 12:43 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think the last "do whatever the hell you want" paper I wrote as an undergrad was for a Political Science class on the apocalypse in contemporary film and literature. I compared 1950s social hygiene films to Brave New World by way of post-war suburb planning theory.
posted by griphus at 12:50 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wow. That, right there, is an example of someone Getting Their Geek On.

I approve.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:53 PM on February 28, 2012

It's funny, I was reading this this morning and thinking "oh, man, I should post that", but then I almost didn't, because I am an enormous fan of Overthinking It's work in general and didn't want to make yet another post linking them and seem like I was overdoing it. But then I did a quick search of my own posting history and was surprised to find that I'd never actually made a front page post involving them before. Huh!
posted by cortex at 12:56 PM on February 28, 2012

"Come with me if you want to exegete"??

Maybe that was meant to be "come with me if you want to, exegete"? Or "come with me if you want exegesis"? Or maybe I'm just missing something.
posted by yoink at 1:12 PM on February 28, 2012

In a way, the Council of Trent is like Comic-Con.

I too love it when people dig into pop culture in really thoughtful ways.

My own Why The Hell Not Papers: I started a paper in a Marxism class (yes, really) with a Simpsons quote. Pretty sure it was "I agree with you -- in theory. In theory, communism works." I want to say it was a paper about familial relations in the writings of Marx. Also did a paper on the medieval puppet theater of Japan that I think about it...may have included a reference to T2. Something about the decline of the art form when it became too much about the effects (giant dragon puppets!) and not as much about the story.
posted by epersonae at 1:16 PM on February 28, 2012

Overthinking It is beanplating gone horribly right.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:22 PM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]

I suppose you could infinitize it as "come with me if you want to exegerate" instead, as some sort of nod to "genesis / generate", but I'm not sure that's much better on the merits as nonce inflections go and it also looks like a pretty terrible misspelling of an unrelated verb.

I'd be curious if there is in fact any commonly agreed-upon verb form for "exegesis"; maybe a critical theorist can let us know what the kids do in the literature these days. (I hope it's not something boring like "rewrite to use the noun form".)
posted by cortex at 1:26 PM on February 28, 2012

exegete (third-person singular simple present exegetes, present participle exegeting, simple past and past participle exegeted)

(chiefly religion) To interpret; to perform an exegesis.

1905, Borden P. Bowne, “Moral Training in the Public Schools”, Homiletic Review, page 93: "History, not the dictionary, must exegete this doctrine. When thus exegeted, the secularity of our Government, as shown by the intentions of its founders, the customs of the people, and the continuous decisions of the courts, means simply the separation of church and state."
Neither the OED nor has this meaning, but I guess Borden P. Bowne & Co. are precedent enough for the likes of us.

(The OED does have my new pick for Best Word of 2012 So Far:
exeleutherostomize, v.

Etymology: as if Greek *ἐξελευθεροστομίζ-ειν, ἐξ out + ἐλεύθερος free + στόμα mouth.

trans. To speak out freely.

1854 C. D. Badham, Prose Halieutics 181 The heroes of the Iliad—shall we hide it to live, or exeleutherostomize it and die?—are for the most part boors.
Exeleutherostomize, brother! Exeleutherostomize!
posted by DaDaDaDave at 1:55 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Hmmm. When I do some serious Googling on "exegete" as a verb I find that it seems to have become quite widespread in US theological circles. It rings pretty horribly on my ear, but it's definitely out there in the wild. As yet OED doesn't recognize it, but I'm sure it's on its way.
posted by yoink at 1:55 PM on February 28, 2012

> It rings pretty horribly on my ear, but it's definitely out there in the wild.

Makes me glad I are a prescriptivist.
posted by jfuller at 2:10 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

I love this kind of stuff. However, I think that something large has been missed and that is the existence of both an original document (Terminator/The Old Testament) and the sequel (Terminator 2/The New Testament).

Let us consider the Old Testament, in broad strokes (and I'm being irreverent here; I took a wonderful course on the psychology of creativity once in which we looked at God the creator as a creative personality, and I'm a bit inspired by that):

God is vengeful; creation hasn't gone quite the way it should've, and it needs to be fixed. People, places, and things are destroyed in the attempt to right creation to the course it should be on. God is demanding and relatively inflexible and unforgiving (not always, but by and large).

In the Terminator, there is also an attempt to "fix" things and set them on a proper course; in this case, Sarah Connor cannot be allowed to live to have a child. The terminator (the machine) is vengeful, unforgiving, and "cannot be bargained with."

In the New Testament, an understanding is developed between creation and creator. Creator sends an emissary to help develop better understanding and bridge the two worlds; that offers salvation and reconciliation. Emissary is sacrificed; I think it is important to note here (for the limited purposes of my strained analogy) that Christ knew what was coming for him (his night in Gesthsemane), and yet remained ("if this cup cannot pass...")

In Terminator 2, we have a different machine from the that acts as a protector and develops understanding between the two worlds (machine and human). I won't go so far as to say it offers salvation, but it does offer wisdom and hope in that direction ("It is in your nature to destroy yourselves"/"If a machine can learn the value of human life").

Then we have some additional textual inconsistencies between the two films to add to the list. In the first film, we are told two things: 1). The Resistance has won, or nearly so - "Their defence grid was smashed. We'd won!"). The attempt on Sarah is Skynet's last ditch attempt to win the war. If that is the case, how does Skynet find the time to develop and send back the T-1000? 2). We are told that the time machine can only send back living tissue and that nothing dead comes through. The T-101 can go through time because it is living tissue over metal endoskeleton; the T-1000 is liquid metal. How is it allowed to pass through?

Anyways, this is my bean-plating on a fun article. I'm sure more knowledgeable scholars than I can tear this apart, but I think the idea is a fun one and I prefered playing around with it to responding the RFP that is on my desk right now.
posted by never used baby shoes at 3:55 PM on February 28, 2012

Or what if Terminator : Old Testament :: Terminator 2 : New Testament? With Arnie's T-101 as (or as metonymy for) God.

There's the hostility toward Creation in the first film/testament, Sarah Conner a sort of Noah-and-ark carrying on the hope of the human race despite the God figure's attempts to otherwise obliterate it as punishment. Other than where Sarah (and Kyle Reese, a sort of guardian angel?) is concerned, God is almighty: no one has the power to stop him, his omnipotence is pretty much on display throughout the film.

And then in the second testament, God mellows out, becomes less the jealous and vengeful type and more the protector. A young man at the center of the whole story, presaged in the first testament, creates a new covenant that emphasizes peacefulness. And the God machine, the erstwhile vengeful killer created in Man's image, is humanized by this young man, bridging the gap between the Robot Divine and the human race He had originally set out to uncreate. The young man and God have a legitimate relationship.

And then, because He so loves the world, God gives up his chance to be with his only son.
posted by cortex at 4:16 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

Shit cortex, why didn't you just type that in the first place and save me all my tortuous ramblings above?

Yeah, I was headed there but couldn't quite put it as well as you did, and got a little lost in my head about who was the God/JC stand-ins in the analogy.

Anyways, I'm steadfastly refusing to look at Terminator 3 or Terminator Salvation from this perspective because it will ruin my brain (actually, I thinking looking at either of those films might ruin the brain).
posted by never used baby shoes at 4:31 PM on February 28, 2012

God is vengeful; creation hasn't gone quite the way it should've, and it needs to be fixed. People, places, and things are destroyed in the attempt to right creation to the course it should be on. God is demanding and relatively inflexible and unforgiving (not always, but by and large).

God is George Lucas?
posted by asnider at 6:44 PM on February 28, 2012

Terminator 3 has one of the most epic chase scenes.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:27 PM on February 28, 2012

I think Terminator 3 was under-appreciated. I don't have time to bean-plate as extensively as others here have but here's the short version of why I think Terminator 3 was a good but flawed movie instead of just being the crap you probably think it is.

The ending of Terminator 3 changes how we look at Terminator 2, and forced other decisions within the movie. The ending is so good that I accept the consequences of the decisions it forced. Spoilers rot13ed.

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Gur svefg znyvpvbhf NV pncnoyr bs orvat n erny guerng gb uhznaf vf n obgarg (bs pbhefr vg jbhyq or! Gurl'er gur zbfg cbjreshy fhcrepbzchgref ninvynoyr), fb jvqryl qvfgevohgrq gung gur gubhtug bs fgbccvat vg ol qrfgeblvat nal nzbhag bs uneqjner pbzrf bss fhqqrayl nf n evqvphybhf, puvyqvfu qernz. Gur cebgntbavfgf, naq gur ivrjref gung unir funerq gur G2 vqrn bs fgbccvat FxlArg orsber Whqtzrag Qnl, unir gb tebj hc irel dhvpxyl.

Abj, vs lbh'er tbvat gb unir n zbivr jvgu guvf fbeg bs rabezbhf jrg oynaxrg, naq lbh fgvyy jnag gb nccrny gb gur znffrf, lbh'er tbvat gb arrq gb yvtugra gur cebprrqvatf fbzrubj. Gur qrpvfvba gb hfr zber uhzbe guna jnf glcvpny sbe n Grezvangbe zbivr jnf gurersber abg hazbgvingrq. Vg whfg jnfa'g rkrphgrq nyy gung jryy.

Fnq gb fnl, gur znxref bs G3 qvqa'g unir Wnzrf Pnzreba ba obneq gb cebivqr gur fbeg bs xvpx-nff npgvba gung n Grezvangbe zbivr fubhyq unir, ohg gung'f npghnyyl xvaq bs bxnl orpnhfr gur bayl ernyyl vzcbegnag guvat vf gung gur cebgntbavfgf yvir ybat rabhtu gb trg gb gung furygre. Vg'f cneg bs gur cbvag bs gur jubyr zbivr gung ab nzbhag bs vagrevz nff-xvpxvat vf tbvat gb znxr n qvssrerapr va gur raq. Whqtzrag Qnl eraqref nyy gung pnzr orsber vg zbbg; jung znggref vf jurgure lbh jvyy evfr gb vgf punyyratrf.
posted by Jpfed at 4:04 AM on February 29, 2012

Another note about T3: after they painstakingly computer-animated a gigantic crane flipping in the street to cap off a chase scene, the director said "looks great, but it's not quite realistic enough. Let's actually flip the crane and film it."
posted by Jpfed at 4:07 AM on February 29, 2012

God is George Lucas?

There is a similar dynamic at play; at least in the course I took, we did spend a bit of time on the fact that creators are often displeased with many aspects of their effort and may spend a significant amount of time attempting to improve, change or modify their creation to better fit their concept of the "ideal" before coming to some acceptance of, and perhaps even appreciation of, the flaws and shortcomings they perceive.

I don't think George has ever reached that stage, and probably never will.

And yes, I'm being overly serious in responding to a jokey comment. I accept that flaw in my creation.
posted by never used baby shoes at 6:23 PM on February 29, 2012

See Jpfed, that wasn't even the coolest part. The coolest part was how Mostow seamlessly guided the entire sequence from roughly 4:30AM through to what looks like 8 or 9AM, in roughly 15-20 minutes time.

Both movies are funny. They are both riddled with camp, which I can't help but laugh at. Shoot a gate open one-handed with a shotgun? Comedy gold.
posted by Brocktoon at 10:03 PM on February 29, 2012

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