Hat Trick for Monolith

Popping Up like Daisy, Daisy

DATELINE:  Threesome

Like 2001 A Space Odyssey, we just keep running into these monoliths. The latest is not in Keir Dullea’s bedroom, nor have the Chinese found it on their latest Moon landing. It’s not running circles around Titan and Jupiter.

Like Davy Crockett, they seem to be born on a mountain top, though not necessarily in Tennessee, or have they looked at Cumberland Gap yet?

No, this one has suddenly appeared on Pine Mountain, a molehill in California.

These monoliths must have a monorail system giving them a tour of the highest mountaintops where they can bask in the sunlight for a few short days.

Yes, the monoliths live; they are the monoliths. They feel, they watch sunset glow. They reflect something peculiar. Could they be totems to ward off the corona virus?

Scarce heard amid the vandals below, they are the monos. Short days ago there were others, but now they lie in the field, felled by pushy monkeys.  They keep showing up at the darndest places with a shine and now a stainless steely grit.

The aliens appear to be working out the kinks. Alas, vandals may have more kinks than creatures from another dimension. We hear the Gregorian Chants.

The Monoliths seem to cry out: “We are the monuments to your folly.”  They are testimony to the age of viagra.

What are the odds this one bites the dust before the weekend? The money is on the monkey.

 

 

2001: Mythic Movie

HAL 9000

DATELINE: A Space Odyssey

A documentary made in 2001 is about 2001: A Space Odyssey. According to narrator James Cameron, no slouch as director of Titanic, he thinks Kubrick’s film remained the greatest sci-fi ever made.

It is now over 50 years later. Kubrick died shortly before MMI. However, a few others were still able to give interviews: notably author Arthur C. Clarke and star Keir Dullea.

Others gave insights into their small parts in the film and how some special effects were accomplished before CGI. It also discussed the villainous computer, HAL, who was neurotic and became homicidal during the film. Today 20 years later, we know AI is bordering on powerful. His voice belonged to actor Douglas Rain who died in 2018.

HAL eschewed usual robotic cliches. He was only a giant red eye, staring at us with his epicene human voice. It was chilling.

When this film was made, Arthur C. Clarke noted 2001 was already in the mainstream of literary and scientific study. He had never seen such a set as the Moon where the Monolith was buried. That, he said, was meant to be the end of the film.

Instead, it turned out to be the start: Kubrick wanted to film for another year, but ran out of money. And, philosophically, he became intrigued with the idea of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.

Keir Dullea spoke about his relationship with HAL and how it was a film that gave him chills until the day he was interviewed. He also discussed his scenes as an old man—thinking 30 years later, how old he had become.

The film allegedly was a box office failure at first, but word-of-mouth made it spark to life. We recall seeing it originally in Cinerama in 1968 to a packed audience enthralled. We were not on LSD, but were dumb-founded by the sights.

Never before had there been anything quite like it.

The beauty, the music, the gentle pace, and the shocking future, made us think we could hardly wait for it to arrive. How wrong we were.