Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Topian Modes of Charlie Jade

Charlie Jade, the show, obviously fits into multiple modes of utopianism. The three main parallel universes are:

Alpha verse: Charlie's home. Corporations rule, with Vexcor being the strongest. The corporations have polluted their world, so Vexcor has set up reactors that can go between the parallel universes to steal water. There's three classes of people: 1 - The top, executives and those in control, 2 - Middle management and populace with good jobs, 3 - The cast outs. A pretty amoral place, where people give their allegiance to the corporations for security.

Beta verse: Our universe. Not much to say there, except that it takes place in Cape Town. Strange accents and different sensibilities. Otherwise, familiar enough to an American audience.

Gamma verse: We don't really get to know this universe all that well. We see glimpses and Reena compares it to Alpha and Beta verse very favorably. She can't stand either Alpha and Beta. In sum, though: we know the place has a beautiful natural environment, the food tastes better than in our universe and the people care a lot about each other. Otherwise, not much.

Obviously, Alpha is dystopia, Gamma, utopia and Beta is mimetic.

But how do these three parallel universes get characterized into topian modes? I originally wanted to explore this topic without an end result, but thanks to Northrop Frye and his Anatomy of Criticism, I have something of an idea of how these characterizations occur. Unfortunately, I don't have the time, right now, to go much deeper into it. . .and I probably don't even a solid grasp on it, but I will just throw something down real quick:

Utopia ~~ social "classical" Comedy, somewhat up there with the Divine Comedy. I say this one in the sense that the utopia integrates.

Mimesis: Not much to say here. Mimesis used on its own explores something in the everyday world that doesn't usually get explored or can get used as Comedy or Tragedy. It can also become either which one when compared to utopia or dystopia.

Dystopia ~~ social Tragedy, or even moreso, tragic irony because the main character generally doesn't deserve what they're getting, their isolation, so the dystopia comments upon the inherent isolation of certain situations.

I really must go and do some grocery shopping, though. This topic will REALLY need to get explored more later.

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