Thursday, January 03, 2008

"It's a documentary, not a musical."

You have probably seen the Twilight Zone episode or, if you are like me, you caught it first via the original short story by Damon Knight. The blurb on my edition of The Best of Damon Knight describes it like this:
The aliens looked something like pigs and something like people—not a very attractive combination. Maybe that's why Earthmen were still so horrified when the Kanamit, as they called themselves, landed in their great spaceships and offered lasting prosperity. It wasn't easy to willingly accept gifts from monsters, but in time the human race adjusted and began to live opulently thanks to the Kanamit credo—"To Serve Man." An admirable motto to be sure . . . or was it?
You know the punch line: "It's a cookbook."

Near the end of yesterday's Chaos Manor Mail comes this line from one of Jerry Pournelle's correspondents:
Suggestion: Watch "Cabaret!" (It's a documentary, not a musical; a portrait of the end-game of a decadent culture.)
Granted, I've not seen the Academy Award winning film since I was 13. (Thirteen?) I've only seen clips on PBS specials since. But that sounds right to me.

And, perhaps, not just about 1931 Berlin, either.

Happy 2008!

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