04 July 2010

2001: A Space Odyssey



While we are on the subject of this film, I wish to tell you that I have come to firm conclusions about it up through the point that we see the third black monolith floating around in space near Jupiter. We see four black monoliths during the course of the film. (I know that some of you are convinced that they are all the same monolith. I do not buy that.)

For example, for 41 years I simply chalked up HAL's malfunction as just that, a malfunction. Still, it bothered me. No 9000 series computer had ever malfunctioned before. HAL, the super-computer constructed in Urbana, Illinois, is one of my favorite film characters, right up there with Rick in Casablanca, and I have had to abandon the idea that he malfunctioned in the sense that we think of that.



No, that third black monolith floating around in space near Jupiter actually co-opted HAL and rendered him murderous. In other words that third black monolith was a part of the Strategic Defense Initiative, if you will, of whoever or whatever was on Jupiter. That conclusion is firm now.

I am still working my way through the closing scenes. Here is my working theory, which is by no means a firm conclusion. We see the pod sitting in the beautiful white bedroom suite. Then we see an aging Dave in his space suit. Then we see a solitary old Dave at his dinner table. Then we see a debilitated, aged Dave on his death bed. Time flows in a different way here by the way.

I am pretty sure he is on Jupiter. The long sequence of flying colors that people on drugs love so much is Dave's entry into the atmosphere of Jupiter.

I think what occurred is that whoever or whatever was on Jupiter essentially kidnapped Dave after he outwitted the murderous HAL. They then put him in this beautiful white bedroom suite, which really is nothing more than a cage. Why did they do this? Because they obviously had to prevent him from going back or transmitting anything back concerning what he learned.

The white bedroom suite may be like the legendary island that young men in the Army always talk about where you are sent if you catch the feared, incurable “black syphilis.” You sit out the rest of your days there, nobody knows what happened to you, and nobody ever hears from you again.

Or maybe he was on exhibit. Or maybe they were just mean bastards. Why did they not just kill him at this point? Nobody can fathom the motives of these alien intelligences. Take my word for it. You will only scramble your brain if you try. The motive is not all that important anyway.

Or perhaps it is simply that Dave cannot get back. But if that is the situation, who made up the beautiful white bedroom suite for him?

As I say, the kidnapping thing is just a working theory. One of the keys to the truth of the matter, I am convinced, is old Dave's strange reaction to the broken wine glass.

This has been a long, long project. I know that I am very close. My final, firm conclusion seems only a bit beyond my grasp now.

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