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Sometimes You Feel like a Gnut

As I approach the event horizon of my retirement (a calendar date and not an action or philosophy), as I clean my office and reflect, and write final reports, and a letter to Friends of the library, etc. I have sought a novella digitally and found the service good.

Just an aside in Tom Disch's  "The Dreams our Stuff is Made Of" book set me looking for the work upon which the movie  "The Day the Earth Stood Still" was based.  In my current mode of reviewing alien contact stories, I was almost certain that the movie must have left out key ideas.  That proved to be true. The novella is to me quite different in portent than what I got from the movie, although the movie manages to be a good read of it, except for the final irony.  The novella, by famed author Harry Bates,  is titled "Farewell to the Master."  And well, here it is: the master is not Klaatu, it's Gnut the robot.

I can see why they might want to change the robot name to something more memorable In the '51 version of the movie.  The Wise-directed movie softens the robot domination angle quite a bit, but Gort is still explained by Klaatu as a sort of policeman ensuring the impossibility of violent aggression among the member worlds.  And who has final word in determining that?  The conclusion is just around the corner. Gort rules!

In the latest movie we find G.O.R.T named, or acronymed by our own scientists, and we see Gort's Shiva-like powers full bore.

It makes sense to me that an advanced race would turn such matters over to a rational, impartial, absolutely incorruptible entity like Gort to handle.  And yet in the novella Gnut displays a great deal of emotion, of compassion.  An indestructible, compassionate, Solomon-like peace-bringer.  Sounds fair, and-- where can we get one?

I hope they are purchasable at the Galaxy Superstore, because I doubt we will make one from scratch on our own.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Dec. 20th, 2008 03:49 pm (UTC)
G.O.R.T. in the 2008 movie stands for "Genetically Organized Robotic Technology" according to Wikipedia.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Cydonia photo: ESA

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