Friday, April 10, 2009

Termination of the Species

Lest anyone think I always value nerdhood more than rock, I have to say that I actually find myself less impressed when I hear songs by Garbage — with Shirley Manson’s cold, emotionless vocals — now that I’ve seen her play a Terminator on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which comes to end (barring some last-minute reprieve) with tonight’s episode.

Somehow, even when I hear something cool like Garbage’s cover of “The Butterfly Collector” on Fire & Skill, an album of Jam covers, I now find myself thinking, “It sounds like she’s trying to be a cyborg — oh, yeah, she is a cyborg!” In fact, I strongly suspect it was this video specifically that got her the role.

Similarly, Tom Waits seems a bit lamer if you think of his whole shtick culminating in him playing Renfield in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. That is not to say I think less of Manson as a person — or think less of Waits — for doing sci-fi. You know I’d do it. Cyborgs seem to be rampant in the UK, by the way: Witness the very 80s-New-Wave-like video for “Bullet” by Covenant [CORRECTION: Covenant is from Sweden!  As the Sounds and other bands suggest, Sweden is really getting with the program in recent years].

On a related note, some of the final-segment dramatic slo-mo montage moments on the Terminator show have employed such odd music choices, including last week’s singing of the folk song “Donald, Where’s Your Trousers?” by a young girl and a male Terminator as if it were a funeral ballad, which was very distracting — and mere minutes after an amusing scene in which the girl said that the Shirley Manson character “can’t sing.” It would have been roughly fifty times cooler, I have to admit, if Shirley Manson had decided to prove her wrong. Instead: trousers.

Using a title like “Donald, Where’s Your Trousers?” sort of makes sense if the artificial intelligence that infected the male Terminator in a recent episode was a spambot pitching some sort of aphrodisiac, though, I suppose.

P.S. Although I mocked my vegan friends a bit in yesterday’s entry, with our May 6 animal welfare debate coming up, I should pause to ask myself whether I’d want super-intelligent cyborgs to treat us as callously as we sometimes do animals.

1 comment:

Todd Seavey said...

Speaking of UK rockers and animal welfare activists: PETA, no joke, has asked the band Pet Shop Boys to change their name to the Rescue Shelter Boys. I have no further comment at this time.