The Machine Stops and Metropolis

Well, I’m going to be completely honest. I have never heard of “The Machine Stops” or Metropolis before that our first class in Science Fiction. Now that I’ve watched the restored film and read the short story by E.M. Forster, I have to admit, both were equally well thought out and were most enjoyable for something made in the ‘20s. The two show that even more than half a century ago, before the advancement we have now, humanity had incredible thoughts about the future of civilization.

Putting aside the advancement of humanity, both plots in “The Machine Stops” and Metropolis, have one aspect that is completely similar. The human race is segregated, but in different ways.


Here’s one way:

In Metropolis, those who are considered higher class, live in complete tranquility above the surface of the Earth in the mega-city of Metropolis while those who are considered lower class, live in a sub-city beneath the surface operating a giant machine that regulates the power supply of the city above ground. During the film, all I could ever think about was one word: Control. Joh Fredersen, the city’s Master, did not care for the living state of his workers, he only wanted to gain more control over them so he can keep them in line. Doing so, he risked the life of another (Maria) to do so. Since Maria is the one person that keeps the workers in check after each shift change, Fredersen finds out about this. So, he asked the city’s Inventor, Rotwang, to use his latest creation, and to copy and upload Maria’s consciousness, but rewrite it to do what he wants. Unfortunately, what he received was some crazy hybrid of the original Maria (which was something I was glad to see; Fredersen was a jerk). In the end, a revolution was forged that changed everything for the best.

It has always been my belief that you cannot control another person. It’s impossible. Sure, you can convince another person to do something, but convincing and controlling are two different things.


Oh, and here’s another way:

In “The Machine Stops”, everyone is equal, however humans are slaves to their own creation; in this case, the Machine. As individuals, everyone is separated from one another, each in their own room, or ‘cell’ as it is described in the short story. They live below the surface of the Earth because the air above-ground is too ‘toxic’ to breathe. My interpretation is that the human race have lived below for quite a while and has somewhat evolved underground or even became more accustomed to the artificial O2 that the Machine creates for each cell. Though, it is still ‘legal’ to physically interact with others, civilization has grown lazy, and individuals prefer to stay within the confines of their own cell. If even one attempt is made to reach and touch the surface of the Earth without being permitted, you can be sentenced to death.


Hmm, about the music…:

Moving back to Metropolis, there’s one thing that I did not understand. It was the score of the film. Why was ’80s pop added into a silent film? I can understand sound effects and color being added into the mix, but I would have been more comfortable and into it if there was more of a classical music vibe. To me, some of the scenes just didn’t feel right with electric guitars and drums in the background and so I found myself with the controller in hand lowering the volume at some points because they were getting in the way of what I was trying to comprehend.

Introduction, Daniel


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My name is Daniel, but you can just call me Dan or Danny, or really whatever makes you feel comfortable. Currently, my major at City Tech is undeclared because last semester, I took a ridiculous remedial that just made me feel stupid about mathematics. But now, I finally changed my major to Entertainment Technology, so I’m officially all set up now.

When I’m not focusing on my studies, I’m either watching Star Trek, playing Destiny, or creating my own electronic music. Most of the time, it’s me being on my computer, creating tracks and experimenting with different sounds. Sometimes, the best way to learn something, is to teach it to yourself (that’s if you’re an expert at teaching yourself, if not, do not attempt). Of course, I’m always interested in feedback when it comes to the tracks that I produce. It’s what makes me improve upon myself. That being said, I even have my own site where I post my tracks: click here to go to my site. If you listen to them, you can be aggressive in your comments as you possibly can. I need all the feedback I can get.

As for Science Fiction itself, I’ve always been a fan from the beginning. Believe it or not, it started with the release of the original Stargate film, and then my interest broadened to include all of it’s series’, then Halo, Star Trek, Battlestar, and much more. I would not have it any other way. Even today, I have these fantasies about going to the stars, or “going boldly where no man has gone before,” but I’m pretty sure I’ll be long gone before warp drive is even invented. For now though, my dreams on the subject will have to suffice.

I joined this class because of that interest, but mostly, and more importantly, because all the other English classes I saw on the enrollment form were ridiculous; choosing this class was pretty much self-explanatory, and I’m totally hyped to be here (I think).

Some other facts about me that you might want to know, I’m a very talkative guy (I have A.D.D.) and if I talk about something I really like, it takes a lot to shut me up. Except if I’m in a work or school environment because it’s apparently “disrespectful” to speak my mind. I can also be emotional (the cat’s out of the bag) from time to time on some topics, but happily, not often enough for anyone to notice.

In the future of my life, I’m hoping to have a job that has some connection to audio. For a time, I’ve always wanted to score movies or video games. Now, I’m more into making electronic music; something I’ve really loved even before Skrillex got famous. In the long run, I hope to go to my own shows as “Lantean”, an artist name I assimilated which came from Stargate: Atlantis, one of the best Sci-Fi shows of all time (in my opinion). That’s another one of my fantasies, but it’s the one that I’m going to definitely achieve, or rather, try to achieve.

Well, that’s me, and my life, but not the whole story of course.

That will come as we go through the semester.