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Title: Unnatural Selection
Vidder: [personal profile] charmax
Fandom: Battlestar Galactica, Terminator: Sarah Connor, Terminator movies.
Link: vid post
Commentary by: [personal profile] charmax
Warnings: From the vid post, "Images of apocalypse and violence that some may find disturbing." For the commentary, I am a ridiculous and mad person that doesn't believe in transitions and sees the world a bit differently than most. Post contains 35 300x167 still images, 8 160x90 gif images, 1 embedded youtube video, and 1 pretentious movie quote. I am not the vidder; these thoughts are from my crazy brain, so don't take them as the intention of [personal profile] charmax.



The vid feels so different from charmax's usual vids, yet it still has her fingerprints in the motion and movements.



It starts, as all vids should, with the robot apocalypse.



It is an intolerable thought
that all sentient beings are doomed
whom we have made our slaves,
we do not like to consider our equal.

The struggle for survival

It is not the strongest of the species that survives
but the ones most adaptable to change




There's a sense of question and statement within the titles. I can't decide if the humans are the ones questioning, if the Cylon are questioning, if the Terminators are questioning, or if they're all the statement. It's a wonderful feeling to be confused and unknowing.



It's a very meta vid on many levels, mainly the Darwin inclusion for me. It's about robot apocalypses, human nature, Darwin, religion, and so much more.



There's so many aspects to the vid that could have went wrong, like the use of text, the melding of multiple sources, the use of source audio, the incorporation of physical pages.





The hammer hits coupled with the coloring of the photograph remind me of the same visual cue in the Johnny Cash music video, Hurt. Within that music video, the hammering comes in as the music video builds and serves to increase the emotional impact. The same is true of the vid.



Fallen soldiers.



While the music has been cut up, sliced, diced, shuffled, and remixed, so have the humans within the vid. The Cylon and Terminators took from their creators and mash up themselves into an adaptation. The robots, Cylon and Terminator, have progressed beyond their creators and adapted far more adequately. The vid itself progresses and evolves within the short time.



The use of Starbuck in the pacing change of the music work particularly well. As far as I'm concerned, Daniel the Cylon was her father. There's an extra-textual level at this point in the vid for me that's close to a triumphant fist pump into the air.



The delay of Number Six in the "then the devil is six" section serves as cheeky humor.



The machines evolve and the concept of humanity as the force of good is questioned. Cameron becomes Eve and humanity is transformed into the snakes.



Gaius Frakking Baltar and James Ellison and their monotheism. There's beautiful imagery in that moment linking Gaius Baltar's outstretched arms to those of Chromartie when he's being ambushed in the trap Ellison and the other set for him. The visual is taken one step further to include Christ on the cross. James Ellison then prays. Perhaps for forgiveness in light of having purposely lured the Terminator into a holy place with the intention of killing it.



Adding dialouge spoken in the source can be a tricky thing and doesn't always come out well. Here, it adds so much meaning and emotion to the mechanics of the vid.



The things which humanity created fulfill the fears of their makers to become conscious, self-aware, sentient, and more human than human.



Sarah flipped the turtle over. Cameron holds the turtle (John (humanity)) in her hands, yet passes it off to another Terminator (Chromartie), which would have all but ensured it's destruction. I also note that it's the Terminators with the turtle in the end, not humans. As Darwin used the Galapagos Tortoises, the Terminators receive the icon after humanity fails. The Terminators are able to evolve into a place where they can conceive of compassion. Does Catherine Weaver save (love) the turtle (Savannah)? The interactions between them have changed and the robots evolve where humanity sinks into it's own crap.



Catherine Weaver created a false bond with Savannah in the beginnings of the season. The Terminator portrayed an emotional connection with the little girl, which evolved over the season with time. I saw a genuine bond emerge from their relationship, not the originally intended mother/daughter one, but a deeper one. What makes the feelings real? What makes any feelings real? Savannah, as well John and the rest of humanity, are the turtle. Survival of the fittest? No.



Holden: You're in a desert, walking along in the sand, when all of a sudden you look down...
Leon: What one?
Holden: What?
Leon: What desert?
Holden: It doesn't make any difference what desert, it's completely hypothetical.
Leon: But, how come I'd be there?
Holden: Maybe you're fed up. Maybe you want to be by yourself. Who knows? You look down and see a tortoise, Leon. It's crawling toward you...
Leon: Tortoise? What's that?
Holden: [irritated by Leon's interruptions] You know what a turtle is?
Leon: Of course!
Holden: Same thing.
Leon: I've never seen a turtle... But I understand what you mean.
Holden: You reach down and you flip the tortoise over on its back, Leon.
Leon: Do you make up these questions, Mr. Holden? Or do they write 'em down for you?
Holden: The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can't. Not without your help. But you're not helping.
Leon: [angry at the suggestion] What do you mean, I'm not helping?
Holden: I mean you're not helping! Why is that, Leon?
[Leon has become visibly shaken]
Holden: They're just questions, Leon. In answer to your query, they're written down for me. It's a test, designed to provoke an emotional response... Shall we continue?




It's the robots, Cylon and Terminator, that can find connection, love, and acceptance. It's humanity that cannot evolve passed killing each other with their shiny man-made weapons. The humans are killing each other in some desperate attempt to survive. The skulls motif slides in perfectly to connect the sources. What's left when all is said and done? Bleached bones and cracked skulls of the humans that killed each other like animals.



Many of the themes and concepts explored within Battlestar Galactica and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles overlap. In light of both series' finales, they could exist within the same universe. Battlestar Galactica being our past and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles being our future in a way that we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of a past we cannot change and a future we might not be able to avoid, making the harsh reality of Terminator Salvation our fate.



With Natalie's death the Cylon become mortal, leaving even fewer things separating them from humanity. The Cylon were made to be perfect, which was taken away when they lost resurrection. In gaining mortality the Cylon evolve more than humanity ever could.

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