Re: [gundam] Orphans Of The Ecliptic


Prabal Nandy (nandy@U.Arizona.EDU)
Fri, 5 Mar 1999 13:40:52 -0700 (MST)


> >stuff like "I'm from Australia" but not necessarily "I'm Australian"
> Not even "I'm from Australia" but "I'm from Sydney".... (Gundam 0080) But
> that was a cover story and even that turned out to be saying a bit too much.

  Righto!
  But it may be significant that he didn't say "I'm Australian". More
like saying "I'm from Cleveland" and not "I'm an Ohioan".

> The Sides have administrative names and appear to be national units. One
> can say "I'm from Side 6" or "I'm from Riah" and be saying the same thing

  Yah, it's more of administration thing now, but I think as time goes on
people probably started considering them to be like nation-states, with
Side being more like a country and colony being more like a state.

> from Libot colony in Riah" and be saying the same thing, but no one ever
> seems to identify their space colony home in that much detail, even when
> it's known that they're from Mihal in Side 3 or Texas Colony in Side 6. We

  This may well imply that there's a good bit of free-travelling between
colonies in a side in "Space Buses". I wonder how common it might be for
someone to work and live in different colony cylinders, or (more likely)
travel to other colonies within a side for shopping-trips or vacations.

> know that Shiro Amada's from Side 2, but nothing more specific. That's
> like saying we know that so-and-so's American but not that he's also a Texan.

  Right!

> > I prefer to think of the Fed as a neo-Roman Empire, where they'd be
> >careful to mix repatriated people around so their overall loyalty remains
> >to the Fed/Rome and not to their individual origin-countries. After all,
> I think you'd still end up with ethnic differences, just as you have
> political and religious differences. Nature of the beast.

  Hrm.. Well, I guess this isn't really a "Star Trek Federation" is it
then?

> During their "grand odyssey" travels across the Earth (and, in the case of
> Moon Moon in ZZ, space) the crews of White Base and Ahgama repeatedly
> encounter all manner of quaint and curious cultures and tribes, living as
> their ancestors had before the Universal Century. Bedouins, South Seas
> islanders, Balkan villagers and the like, but not a tourist bureau or
> souvenir stand in sight. V Gundam was Tomino returning to an idea used in
> all of his previous Gundam TV series.

  But there are a couple possible explanations:
        1. The Fed will allow you to stay on Earth in limited numbers, so
        long as you pledge to live the pre-technological, 'harmony with
        nature' type lifestyle.
        2. The Fed _encourages_ people to live a primitive lifestyle on
        Earth as 'stewards'. I.e., make sure refugees don't squat there.
        3. The people are allowed to stay as an 'example' to the
        spacenoids of how humans can live in synch with nature.
        4. These people really _are_ relics of the past, who are therefore
        exempt (or escaped) from Fed repatriation.
        5. The producers of MSG suffer from G-Gundam type stereotypes and
        actually believe that people over the world really are this
        quaint.

> The scenario resembles that Salem Village, where everyone dresses and lives
> like a Puritan settler of the 1600s, or the now-vanishing Amish
> settlements, where no technology beyond muscle-powered machines is permitted.

  And I stipulate that the Fed probably might encourage people to live
like this "Back to Basics" and harmony with nature kinda lifestyle. Earth
then becomes the haven of "Spiritual Man" while space becomes the home for
"Technological Man" and thus the eternal conflict of Gundam is perpetuated
into futura.

> > Why should we necessarily assume that this archaic 'bloodline' system
> Because it's _not_ archaic, it's the rule of law over a good portion of the
> world, one that I'd forgotten myself until the Czech thing reminded me.

  But isn't it an _old_ system?
  I mean, though new republics may have it, it IS a relic of an older
fuedal system of government, at least, that's my understanding!

> be extended to all who qualify -- the Roman model. But many, possibly even
> most, other nations define citizenship as the exclusive right of those who
> were born to it. Others can, at best, earn a kind of second-class

  I dunno about that. Apart from Czech, some Arab (Kuwait), and other
backward 3rd world countries like that I don't think any of the
industrialized countries (Apart from Japan) have this odd system. It's
possible that it was just designed at eras where these countries
experienced an unusual amount of emmigration and used it as a method of
discouraging refugees. (I can see this happening in Czech and in Japan.)

> egalitarian in it's notion of citizenship. One of the wedges dividing
> Earthnoid and Spacenoid may be that one must be born of the Elite to
> qualify as an Earthnoid rather than being born on Earth as we've previously
> assumed.

  Interesting! It would certainly go a long way toward explaining the bad
blood between Earthnoid and Spacenoid, though I can't say I like it. I
want to believe that the Fed is at least on paper, a kind of utopian
future-government.

> Spacenoids may be entitled to live on Earth, but they're not Earthnoids.
> In like wise, Earthnoids may be forced to live in space, but they're still
> Earthnoids. It's may not be where you live or where you were born but to
> whom you were born that makes the difference.

  Hrm. Or it could be a function of _lifestyle_ too, like the Bedouins and
other tribals.

> If bloodline, not birthplace, is the determining factor, than the 10% who
> are Earthnoid and the 90% who are Spacenoid are fixed in their respective
> identity as such. _That_ would make a _big_ difference in the political

  Very true! But have we seen much series-evidence for this, other than of
characters being teased for being bluebloods?

> yes, archaic and cruel system that has been their cultural heritage for a
> thousand years. It's how they've traditionally identified and
> distinguished themselves as a people, long before they did so as a nation.

  Well, there you go. It is more of a race thing than it is as a political
thing. Since the Fed isn't really composed of people of any particular
race (being a WORLD government) I can't really see them following a
bloodline method of citizenship. Though it is possible. It just doesn't
_feel_ right given the multinational/racial composition of the Fed
military.

> having 1/16 Black ancestry -- that is, if one of your 16 great-grandparents
> was deemed "Black" -- makes you Black, even if that ancestor was also only
> 1/16 Black. These laws are still enforced, as with the woman who moved to
> Lousiana and found herself "reclassified" Black as a result.

  Yep, that's exactly the kind of example I was thinking of, and I guess,
that's why I didn't want to believe that the Fed operated like Louisiana!

                                                                -Probe

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