(urth) BSG Spoiler vs Wolfe

James Wynn crushtv at gmail.com
Wed Mar 25 09:22:07 PDT 2009

>Baltar starts out as very much as if Wolfe had written him.
>His relationships are based solely on the sex that his money
>and fame can get him.  In the end he grows a lot through
>his relationship(s). He is a better man for them.

I find no support for this. If he grows, I don't see it occurring through 
his sexual relationships. Possibly, he has (if he has) through other events 
and by managing to focus less on sex.

One of the advantages of Wolfe's character development over that in BSG is 
that he is quite overt in portraying the limits of potential character 
development through mere sexual encounters. It's the difference between the 
perspective of a middle-aged and older man and a bunch of Hollywood 

 >Which Wolfean protagonist can say the same?  Sev?  Silk?  Latro?

Arguably all of them and more. Redemption through _love_ is a major common 
theme of Wolfe's works.

>>For example, while the sexual relationship between
>>the characters in "Counting Cats In Zanzibar" is realistic,
>>the setting is bizarrely unconventional.

>Short stories should be left aside.
>The sort of character-development-through-a-sexual-relationship
>I'm referring to takes more time than a typical short story has.

This makes no sense to me. The story arcs in the finale required far less 
"character-development-through-a-sexual-relationship" than just about any of 
Wolfe's short stories.

>>But your original statement that "In Wolfe people apparently have sex to 
>>show what bad people they are, >>and suffer for it later" is simply not 
>>based on...well, anything that I can see.

>There were some destructive ("bad") relationships, too.
>That happens.  Wolfe knows that.
>He just seems uninterested in portraying any good ones.
>Severian/Jolenta - Sev as date-rapist

Once again, this *does* seem intended to show to show Sev in a bad light. As 
opposed to the neutral light (at worst) shown on Starbuck's and Roslin's 
seedy sexual adventures.

>Silk/Hyacinth - Silk loves unworthy woman, kills self over it

Errr...no. He kills himself when she *dies*. After she meets Silk, she only 
has sex with other people out of loyalty to him--to protect or aid him. 
Compare this to Ellen Tigh who commits adultery as often as she can out of 
boredom or manipulative cruelty--she is from beginning to end a 
manipulative, cruel person for whom sex is rarely anything but some kind of 
poison...including for Saul (as Adama attests early on).

>Baldanders/little boy - homosexual child molestation

Perhaps this is going on.  Perhaps not.

>Able/Dsiri - romantic love points in the wrong direction, and he is less 
>for having it

You're just trying to stir things up right? You don't really intend to 
defend this position, right? It is so off track, I can't imagine where to 
begin in order to correct you. You should put a </snark> tag after this. 
People might think you really have no ability to appreciate what's going on 
in a Wolfe story.

>There are Doors - have sex and die

In TAD sex is truly an existential event and it requires far more sexual 
development than the drunken encounters that so typically occur in BSG.

>Latro - he may have sex, but can never really have a relationship

When his love is killed, Latro mourns over her long after he has even 
remembered why he's mourning. Talk about your 

>Horn/Seawrack - she's a giant prawn!

And yet sex with toasters doesn't bother you!

>Severian/Dorcas - it's his grandmother!

Come, come. Now you really are just being argumentative.

>>You are essentially ascribing to Wolfe the stated opinions of Incus.

>St. Paul.  And I'm not ascribing them to Wolfe, just describing what I see 
>in his work.

Well, that shows an appalling lack of sensitivity when reading Wolfe...or 
St. Paul. That's just sad.

>Said another way, Wolfe never seems to portray a
>healthy, sexual relationship, one in which his characters
>grow or benefit from each other.  Not untroubled,
>not happy-ever-after.  Just healthy.

Abel and Disiri?
Silk and Hy were together almost alone for 20 years after they were married 
until she died. There's no evidence that she was anything but faithful after 
they left the Mainframe. What's the unhealthy part?
Horn has some problems with his oldest child, but his 20 year relationship 
with Nettle seems to be one of devotion although they are neither perfect 
people and even though *gasp* they began their sexual relationship is horny 
teenagers. And then he died...
Then Horn's relationship with Seawrack is convoluted but *she* definitely 
grows from it, right?

>In the end everyone is dead.  But for other good relationships:

There is actually very little sex in this relationship since Roslin is sick 
through most of it. If Wolfe did this, you would probably argue it proves 
what a prude he is.

This is a relationship engineered deliberately and deceitfully by the Cylons 
in order to get a baby out of Helo. Sharon is actually pre-programmed to 
have her fall in love more easily. This relationship was one of those on my 
mind when I said that in BSG sex only occurs out of treachery or cruelty. 
Granted, things turn out sort-of-okay in the end, but this is accomplished 
by the BSG writers devoting surprisingly little time to either of these 
characters working through the obvious baggage.

>Saul/Ellen Tigh - troubled, but ultimately happy, an interesting contrast 
>to Silk/Hyacinth

The contrast with Silk and Hy is unfavorable to Saul and Ellen.
I understand why the BSG writers did this. They wanted them to be the 
template for Zeus and Hera after they settle on Earth. But this hardly 
buttresses your core argument.
It is impossible to say whether the Tigh's relationship ever ends up happy. 
Since they are Zeus and Hera, I'd say not. It's true that Ellen did not have 
an opportunity to do something evil during the finale. I presume she will 
within days after settling on Earth.

>>If I were to ascribe a moral to sex in BSG it would be
>>"sex invariability causes people to act treacherously or cruelly."

>You've confused Wolfe and BSG.

I stand by my statement.

>>We like what we like. I wouldn't spend 2 minutes watching
>>"Grey's Anatomy" or similar dramas regardless of how
>>interesting (to some) or realistic the relationships are.
>>Not my cup 'o tea. That's what the flashbacks in the finale
>>reminded me of. They certainly didn't move forward or
>>explain anything in the current narrative.

>We agree - soap operas don't interest me, either.

Well, what are we arguing about here? Half (at least) of the BSG finale was 


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