Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The New York Times Weighs in on 'Torchwood' and 'the True Awfulness of Immortality'

We frequently link to little-known blogs and websites to spread the word on Dr. Who and all things related to science fiction, comic books and the like. Today, we're going to raise the conversation a level - or several levels, depending on your point of view - and refer to The Old Gray Lady of newspaper journalism herself, the New York Times.

In the Sunday Review, the Times published an opinion piece about "Torchwood: Miracle Day" entitled "Imagining the Downside of Immortality." It was written by Stephen Cave, author of the upcoming book "Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization." Yeah, you could say this is a step above our usual "Where Are Superman's Pants?" posts.

Cave writes authoritatively and relatively briefly on how a Miracle Day scenario would play out in real life. And he's not optimistic:
The real question posed by the “Torchwood” scenario is: what would happen to all our death-defying systems if there were no more death? The logical answer is that they would be superfluous. We would have no need for progress or art, faith or fame. Suddenly, we would have nothing to do, yet in the greatest of ironies, we would have endless eons in which to do it. Action would lose its purpose and time its value. This is the true awfulness of immortality.
Lest you think we have gone high-brow on you, here's a classic clip from "The Tick" on the death of The Immortal:


1 comment:

  1. I think the Torchwood version of "What if no one died" is interesting and is highly possible that eventually that would be the direction the world would go. Many of the things like suicide and Category Ones would happen. I almost wonder if the world would revert to a Logan's Run type society, killing people off at a certain age. Certainly things would change as the fear and anticipation of death would be gone but would that really change wars & fighting? Not really.