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I've watched this episode over and over and I still don't know what is going on. Aeon and RU4 86 start out with the same agenda. Both must be Monican as they are dressed the part and are working together. After Trevor pushes all the elevator floor buttons Aeon and he get into a fight that she wins, handcuffing him to a pipe. She then leaves RU4 86 to guard, which she does faithfully while Aeon runs down the staircase to this descending rope trying to make a connection with what appears to be a nuclear warhead?.. and shoots it, making it ascend-no connection made. Then runs back, reaches behind a bathtub and retrieves a number on the floor. Is not satisfied; shoves it back, pushes RU4 86 aside even though she's been a faithful guard and handcuffs her to the pipe for whatever reason I don't know, runs back to shoot the connecting piece again to avoid contact between the two. Does anyone understand this so far? I haven't ever even read any explainations for it as far as I can remember.

-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo9@cs.com), February 27, 2002


Duh. Missed the whole concept.

-- Barb e. (Suesuesbeo9@cs.com), February 28, 2002.

RU4 86 (where are guys getting these names?) Never gets handcuffed. Of the three of them, she is the only one that survives at the end.

I don't think the the details are too important as the characters still seem pretty seminal at this point. I don't think the relationships have been clearly defined yet and that Peter Chung was just having fun experimenting with some ideas.

My take on this episode is that it is just supposed to be funny, sexually oriented comedy. There are two acts of sex occurring. The first is between RU4 86 and Trevor and the second is with the hook that keeps trying to lower itself into the plug. In both cases Aeon keeps frustrating things. Whenever she enters the elevator, she brakes up the action between RU and Trevor, and whenever she tries the key, she keeps shooting the hook out of alignment and interupting intercourse between the hook and the plug. In the end RU gets the spare plug, appropriately shaped like a ribbed condom, but she tosses it aside as if she couldn't possibly have a use for such a device. As a result of her knocking Aeon out, the connection is made between the hook and the plug and the plug is pulled. Aeon and Trevor drown, and RU is stranded in the middle of nowhere on top of a pedestal with liquid dribbling out of its hole.

Remember kids, always practice safe sex!

-- Logo (Vosepherus@aol.com), February 28, 2002.

This was always one of those episodes I just watched for fun; I never thought anything more of it other than an attempt to save the island from sinking. Sure, the symbols are there. The symbols are sexual -but I didn't really grasp any meaning in them, in regards to their functions. The hole, the plug ... *frowns* It's all up for grabs what one wants to read from it and the situation. The temporary alliance between Aeon and RU-486, the shading dealings with RU-486 and Trevor -It is so not focused a plot that it can be compared to anything and everything in life: RU- 486 being the communist party, Trevor being human values, Aeon being the United States government; RU-486 being counter-terrorism tactics, Trevor being a terrorist cell, Aeon being national security; RU-486 being humanity, Trevor being the devil, Aeon being God; RU-486 being the accelerator, Trevor being the brakes, Aeon being the steering wheel. You get the idea. Sure, it says something about safe sex -it also says a lot about everything under the sun. Or maybe it was just a story about a sinking island. I don't want to dumb it down, but if you look at the other shorts - war and gravity, for example, they didn't really have any real message on society as, say, Thanatophobia did. The shorts illustrate a moving story, but they don't really need an explaination. The green glow beyond the ridge? It's pretty much irrelevant. At the end of war, there was that pool of oil. Nobody slipped on it. It just grew. And that's all it did. We accept it for what it is. A metaphor? An indicator of the ammount of time that has passed?? Again, it's so vague any meaning derived from it is probably accidental. You may as well watch the short in slow-mo, in reverse to catch reverse messages or something. I say, the shorts are intended to entertain -and they do just that; that is their function all together, and it succeeds. "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." - Sigmund Freud

Except for Leisure -good God that one was totally on another level, man, with the torture and the eggs... =D

-- cynical (gemini318@excite.com), February 28, 2002.

I think all the shorts say something about the self-destructiveness of the qualities that make us human. In Leisure you could say it was greed that killed Aeon, or maybe her cruelty to the alien embryo. In Gravity her curiosity got the better of her since she could have saved herself if she hadn't been so concerned with what was going on below her. In Tide, I guess it is our sexual drive. In War it is our capacity to do harm to each other in making a bid for power. I thought War was an interesting critique of the futility of war since we are given snipets of personallizing information about each successive hero, yet we never know what the larger issue is that they are fighting over. Each side seems equally justified in why they are fighting. I don't know about Night though...our drive to have clean hands?

-- Logo (Vosepherus@aol.com), February 28, 2002.

The drive to fix the damn tracking!!

-- cynical (gemini318@excite.com), February 28, 2002.

I don't think this was Chung's origional intention, but Aeon shows an extremely living-in-the-moment attitude in Night and Gravity. I mean, most people I know would give up on life if they found out they had a year to live. Their attitude would be: "what does it matter anyway? I'm going to die anyway" It makes me think about how we're ALL going to die anyway, yet we still strive to accomplish. Aeon apparently has realized this.

Hmm, perhaps that WAS Chung's point. No matter what we accomplish in life, we're going to die someday and it will all have been for nothing. But that doesn't mean we should just give up. Every second of our life counts.

-- Frostbite (foo@bar.com), November 01, 1998.

From '98... dang =D

-- cynical (gemini318@excite.com), February 28, 2002.

Sheesh. How did you even remember where that quote was?

-- Logo (Vosepherus@aol.com), February 28, 2002.

That's what I like so much about Gravity and Night. In the face of imminent death those last acts of will take on a whole new meaning. They are completely meaningless given the circumstances; it is the attempt that becomes the true focus of importance as a final affirmation of life.

-- Logo (Vosepherus@aol.com), February 28, 2002.

Its funny contrasting the Gravity and Night. I've always thought of Aeon as losing in Gravity because she dies without ever really learning anything. In Night, though, I think of her as winning even though the information she gets can't help her and she dies a much more slow painful death.

-- Logo (Vosepherus@aol.com), February 28, 2002.

I thought that was cool how she shot the A/C so that it’d stop disturbing the security camera connection, all to see the face of her assassin. Ingenious, really. The sinking island. The growing pool of oil. The glow over the ridge. The alien making a complicated flight look as easy as walking naturally –the cancellation of an expert run. A painter who leaves the gate open for Donna Matrix. Trapdoor molars. A tooth that finds its way to the mouth of a soda bottle. Cool probing microscopes. Man, I love the shorts. We deem the actions, the situations meaningless, unnecessary, extraneous –and yet it all adds up to something; it matters. I think it is significant just because. What is the practicality of life, I ask you? (Oh no, here he goes again...) Why must there be a reason for everything? Why does anything and everything exist? Is there a reason before existence? Or are we more inclined to say that when something is created, we impose reason on it. How can we explain our existence as a human being, as a butterfly, as a neutron? Are we the beginning or the end of a story? What makes a situation extraordinary? We see these in a life-and- death context and suddenly these occurrences take on new meaning. The hero becomes the casualty of the next. The expert escape run becomes the simple walk of an alien. The suitcase and man become a glowing green light. The beautiful becomes the ugly. The many becomes the few. The mundane becomes the supernatural. And reality becomes the dream.
-- cynical (gemini318@excite.com), February 28, 2002.

Didn't close my tag there. Sorry!!

-- cynical (gemini318@excite.com), February 28, 2002.

Ah, '98. A different world. I was not yet an English minor and everybody here still refered to Peter as "Chung" like the distant mythological figure he was. My views on death haven't changed much, though. "Always look on the bright side of death, Just before you draw your terminal breath." When you think about it, the ending of Monty Python's Life of Brian is rather profound.

-- Frostbite (krooks@agnesscott.edu), March 01, 2002.

Actually, you know what? I've grown out of this "Frostbite" thing. Maybe it's just the effect of my extended stay in the real world, but... I think I first realized it back when I met Mat in real life and he had to ask me what my name was(heh). So from here on in, I shall be known as Kristine. Hope this proves to cause a minimum amount of cognitive dissonance, and thank y'all.

-- Kristine Rooks (krooks@agnesscott.edu), March 01, 2002.

I'm of the opposite mind. If I ever change my nick, it will be to something even more obscure and even harder to pronounce. Kristine is a cool name though.

-- Inukko (paul@nadisrec.com), March 03, 2002.

Welcome to the forum, Kristine. :)

It's always nice to go back to the shorts every once in awhile, but my fondest memories of them are my oldest ones, when I first came across them as a kid, and entire worlds of other possibilities passed before my eyes. Reading all of this reminds me of those memories.

Cynical, I like your comments about "a cigar being just a cigar". I think it's very appropriate to the shorts.

-- Mat Rebholz (matrebholz@yahoo.com), March 05, 2002.

"I say, the shorts are intended to entertain -and they do just that; that is their function all together, and it succeeds"

I pretty much think that the very fact the shorts are succesfully entertaining to people would afford them some need of analysis and interpretation. If no one went about futher undersanding a cigar, they may not have discovered its ill effects, uh yeah... Well, I reckon its of about invoking second thoughts. Active interpretation of AF, I have always found to be very rewarding. Not every one is entertained by weird, bondage, spy, stuff. I've heard a lot of people dismiss AF as being to strange. Dismissed as bizzare, or hailed as enigmatic? We know what it should be. My hang up is with people like my dern sister, who looks down on what she considers to be a taste for what is 'no more' than crazy, random stuff "Sam, know one wants to watch your wierd Japanese cartoons". Aimless random things can be fun for so long, what does she take me for!?!? +_+

-- Sam (janecherrington@hotmail.com), October 21, 2002.

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