This is priceless.
Over the sci-fi show’s first two seasons, many conservatives saw it as a pitch-perfect metaphor for the United States? post-9/11 battle against Osama bin Laden and his Muslamonazi horde. Galactica, which has become something of a surprise hit on the Sci Fi Channel, takes place in a post-apocalyptic universe where humanity has been decimated by a nuclear strike launched by an enemy race of robots known as the Cylons. Most of the action revolves around a noble band of 50,000 survivors who hurtle through space searching for a new home planet. Along the way, they have had to deal with Cylon sleeper agents, suicide bombers, and even a sinister pack of left-wingers who use violence to try to force humanity to make peace with their enemies.
?The more I watch the new Battlestar Galactica series, the more the Cylons seem like Muslims,? wrote ?Michael,? the author of the Battlestar Galactica Blog, back in March. ?They believe they are killing humans for their god. This is very much like the Muslim concept of jihad, which instructs Muslims to spread their religion through war.?
National Review?s Jonah Goldberg, who writes regularly about Galactica?s politics on NRO?s group blog, The Corner, also picked up on parallels between the show and the war on terror. Goldberg took particular glee in attacking Galactica?s anti-war movement, which he said consisted of ?radical peaceniks? and ?peace-terrorists? who ?are clearly a collection of whack jobs, fifth columnists and idiots.? Goldberg also praised several characters for trying to rig a presidential election. ?I liked that the good guys wanted to steal the election and, it turns out, they were right to want to,? wrote Goldberg. Stolen elections, evil robots, crazed hippies ? what more could a socially inept right-winger want from a show?
But alas, this love affair between Galactica and the right was not to last: in its third season, the show has morphed into a stinging allegorical critique of America?s three-year occupation of Iraq. The trouble started at the end of the second season, when humanity briefly escaped the Cylons and settled down on the tiny planet of New Caprica. The Cylons soon returned and quickly conquered the defenseless humans. But instead of slaughtering everyone, the Cylons decided to take a more enlightened path by ?benevolently occupying? the planet and imposing their preferred way of life by gunpoint. The humans were predictably not enthused about their allegedly altruistic rulers, and they immediately launched an insurgency against them using improvised explosive devices and suicide bombers. Needless to say, this did not go over very well in the Galacticon camp.
?The whole suicide bombing thing ? made comparisons to Iraq incredibly ham-fisted,? wrote a frustrated Goldberg, who had hoped the struggle against the Cylons would look more like Le Resistance than the Iraqi insurgency. ?The French resistance vibe ? is part of what makes the Iraq comparison so offensive. It?s a one-step remove from comparing the Iraqi insurgency to the (romanticized) French resistance.?
Conservative posters at the message boards over at the SciFi network were apoplectic over the suicide bombings early this season. Apparently, wingnuts don’t like everything they see in the mirror. Some were even threatening to sell their DVDs and never watch the show again!
BSG is tremendous science fiction. Like all great SF, its allegory shines a harsh light back on ourselves.