Emery Calame (palaeomerus@excite.com)
Thu, 30 Mar 2000 02:22:02 -0800 (PST)


On Wed, 29 Mar 2000 10:30:26 -0800 (PST), gundam@aeug.org wrote:

>
> On 29 Mar 2000 15:35:49 -0000, gundam@aeug.org wrote:
>
> > MY GOD! ARE YOU BLIND?!?!?!?!?!?!? The war in Macross was one of
> survival! Not of a nation, but of a people! Even later, the whole
> colonization effort was to ensure that, come what may, the human race
would
> survive! And if you can't see that, the more's the pity. That kind of war
is
> not holy, it is grim, dirty and a hell of alot more poignant than some
> stupid wars about the future humanity should take (a la CCA).
> >

The people, the race, whatever you want to to call it IS for the purposes of
the cartoon "the nation".
I thought I explicitly said so in my post. It's like Star Trek where
Klingons are Klingons, zentran are zentran, micron are micron etc. etc. etc.

I suppose it could be seen as poignant but frankly it's an artificial war
manufactured to drive a show that is about the fighting human spirit. That
it is about survival, that it is poignant, that it is primarily manicheaan G
vs. E SUPPORTS my point that it is a typical holy war plot element. It's
not a model of a real war but a legendary one. It isn't gritty at all. It's
melodramatic. It's about martyrs and fine citizens. It's like Sauron vs.
Middle Earth.

I am not attacking Macross here. I'm not calling it bland or stupid or
saying that it sucks. I'm talking about the motivations of it's producers
and the message it sets forth(as I see it) .I'm saying that it's a
nationalistic exercize. Macross=humanity=japan. It's very simple. "Do
anything for the preservation of the motherland". Calling this "survival"
doesn't change that a bit. Neither would calling it "liberty" "universal
harmony" or "the last battle." It's the same theme. It's an "I want you"
recruitment poster. It's a noble enterprise set up to inspire the viewer to
emulate the main character in some way. It is not typical of REAL war(as
seen throughout history) in any sense of the word.

I watched Macross all the way through and am not actually blind. It seems
though that you are going out of your way to misrepresent or misunderstand
what I am trying to say. Macross is Pro fighting for your kind(since you
keep choking on country, culture, or whatever I say). Gundam on the other
hand is Pro fire-fighting(eg. take Gryps away from Hamaan Khan so she can't
blow up stuff) and then disarmament. It shows war almost always leading to
negative results(usually more war.) The Space War I of Macross resulted in
good stuff.(integration of remnants of both sides, peace, expansion).

The way that I am looking at it this is not to be treated as a history
(obviously of a fictional time and place) but as a propaganda message from
the creators of the show to instill some kind of value into the work to be
picked up by the audience.

The Macross creators show value coming from the struggle for
nationalism(which you claim is a seperate issue from last resort violence
in order to ensure survival) and the triumph of tradition and culture over
raw force.

The Gundam creators tend to show that attempting to fight the good fight
leads to blood of innocents on your hands, loss of sleep, severe brain
damage, court martial, being used to further some evil bastard's plans,
getting blown up, defeat, house arrest, or any number of dark fates. Both
Zeon and the Federation in Gundam can claim that they are fighting over
survival but it is clear that they are really fighting for dominance and
resources.

Macross creators did not structure their show as above. They decided to have
a much simpler cleaner (and more staisfying in some ways)situation. They
gave us a nice heroic war with noble goals that result in a strengthening of
what is human. That is the gist of what I have been saying all along.

Gundam puts war down as being unecessary, wrong, and inevitable.

Macross puts war up as a sort of test for mankind where trying times tend to
brings out the best in most everybody. In Macross war isn't fun or
delightful but it isn't something to shirk from. Gundam seems more
sympathetic to desertion, and is focused on the meaningless nature of war(as
opposed to specific battles to try to limit damage.)

Have I cleared that up?

> > Yes, Macross is more idealized than Gundam, but it also has other
factors
> that Gundam does not. Maybe if we had a Gundam in which the main enemy
was a
> group of aliens, we might see something similar to Macross. In Macross,
you
> had two vastly different species, one geared solely to war (the
Zentreadi),

Well this is sort of along the lines of Kishin Haidan I guess. Bad war mixed
with good war.

> and one that was not, but was still extremely good at it because they had
so
> much practice with it against themselves (humanity). What happens when
two
> warlike races collide? Genocide.

Or conquest or trade or a cold war or an alliance or a lack of interest.
maybe they sniff butts, swap stories, and ignore each other. Whatever. It
all depends on what the writers decide. I'm trying to convince you that
Macross was not constructed from front to back but from back to front. The
race was created to support what the creator wished to say about war and the
war was constructed to hi-light the growth of the characters to the war. The
goal is to make meaningful statement about the human condition. or a human
ideal. The war did not result from the allien warrior race that the creators
of Macross happened to develop. It is not a question of causality at work
here but of literary exposition and hidden meaning therein.
(The same is also true of Gundam.( But it extrapolates from a different
premise...namely that war is bad and those who start and make war are bad
and do bad things and swear up and down that the ends justify the means.).

> > And that was what Macross was written about. The stupidity and
> pointlessness of such a fight, when if the two sides met and actually
> leanred about each other, they might find they have more in common with
each
> other than they think.

I rather think Macross is not about the stupidity of the war since it was
inevitable by the rules set up in the story (we're gonna get invaded but we
win by being tough and by showing how much neater we are )but is instead
about the culture being passed into the barbarian aliens through their
defeat and their assimilation at the hands of seemingly weaker but actually
superios opponents. Japan is a tiny island and Europe, and Asia (and
probably North America sigh!) are big continents see? Culture is a more
powerful weapon than an enormous military industrial machine! But "trust in
culture" is not the same as "avoid war". I think Macross would support that
it is wrong to enter an unwise war (In Macross the Earth had just come out
of the aftermath of it's final Gundam style war and united to rebuild the
alien vessel.) but it still believes in a just war.

Gundam doesn't seem to believe in that. Just war is an oxymoron.
 
> >
>
> To tell the truth, I always thought of Macross as a story of how
civilians
> go on about their daily lives aboard a huge ship while a war was going
on.
> Character interaction was stronger in Macross than Gundam, although
Gundam's
> story had more psychological depth and an epic sweep. But when you come
> right down to it, both Macross and Gundam glorify war in a way, with 0080
> coming close to being the exception.

I think it's true that Macross did place a high value on civilian life,
honor, integrity, tenacity, courage, and other good things. I'm not bagging
it for being inferior because it lives on a higher plane than Gundam does...

It's just that Macross doesn't have that anti-war moral that is the soul of
Gundam UC.

Macross is a comment on human ideals. Gundam is more a comment on a negative
perception of the human condition.

Gundam did have some rather nice interludes of character action but they
were mostly lessons about how awful war makes us become and how it seems to
rob us of the best people and the dearest friends. I did appreciate all the
subtleties in the relasionships on White Base including Hayato's becoming
closer to Frau after Amuro stopped spending time with her to chase Matilda,
and Sayla and eventually to regret what happened with LaLa.

I like the Mirai/ Sleggar/Bright/Fiance thing. Macross did have more soap
opera (pound for pound) than Gundam but Gundam wasn't exactly devoid of it.

I like the way that when Char realizes that his sister won't let him kill
Amuro(in the bowels of A Bao A Kou) and that he may not be able to
accomplish that anyway he tells her to become a fine woman and have a good
life with Amuro before replacing his helmet and jetting off to risk his life
blasting Kirishia. Of course Sayla didn't quite end up with Amuro but it was
neat.
 
> Bottom line of both series: War does suck, but waging wars with giant
robots
> is pretty cool. Which of course, is its objective: to sell more model
kits.

Yeah. But Gundam makes me feel guilty about it sometimes. I can't look at a
little representative plastic beam sabre on a model backpack without
thinking about LaLa drowning in all that psychic water. Sob!

Maybe if Max had accidently blown up Milia while dueling Kamjin.....nahhh.

And I realize that I responded to two different people in this post so don't
bother letting me know. It's late and I'm crazy and there's no going back
now.

Anyway I'm not gonna post to this thread anymore(not sure if that's proper
mail list lingo or not) because it seems I've hurt some feelings and may be
stirring up hostility and that's no good. Tomino wouldn't approve of such a
blatantly agressive nationalistic endeavor on my part. It's just as awful as
a colony drop...or my crap typing. In any case it's been mostly fun.

And to the guy who said that Amuro was a wuss...well that's what Char
thought ...heh heh. Shinji on the other hand WAS a wuss. But he was real
young and came from a broken home and his mom dissolved him once so...like
stop picking on him. Not that I'm that in love with Evangelion....but that's
another outrage. Poke. Poke.

Next time maybe we can talk Votoms a little. :)

Much love to all.(Agape not eros )

Emery
  
> Jojo

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