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Serenity on Nationalreview.com

Jonah Goldberg

Wednesday 23 August 2006, by Webmaster

Serenity Now

So, I’ve caught Serenity a few more times on cable during my migrations. And while I know Firefly fans are more sour on it compared to the show (vide Derb et al); And, I’m a big skeptic of trying to overread pop culture through partisan ideological lenses; But, it is striking what a conservative movie Serenity is. In the 1930s, when ideological content was deliberate and ideological deviationism was denounced, Serenity would be villified as "fascist" for its opposition to social planning. The upshot: a capitalistic freebooter opposes the egalitarian - democratic - "Parliament." It’s übermenschy representative - a barely updated version of the HG Wellsian fascistic types parodied in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow - is beyond good and evil in his pursuit of a utopian world. Parliament’s last major attempt at making a utopia - weeding out aggression through better chemistry - resulted in death and horror on a grand scale, the lesson being that such enterprises are always doomed. Indeed, to the extent Mal Reynolds has an ideological agenda it is merely to stand in the way of Utopia and the desire of tyrants to impose happiness on people whether they like it or not. Beyond that, he simply believes in people living their lives as they see fit, so long as their interests don’t collide with his.

Or something like that.

Anyway, that’s the sort of thing you get when I can’t find a newspaper. Gotta go.