Battlestar Galactica presents a collage of stratifications, thresholds, and foldings — non/human, non/military, non/political, non/religious, etc. — which don’t always correlate with everyday life, but which may capture a social antagonism that does correlate. Of course, this is part of the science-fiction poetics of the show, and one of the joys granted to viewers is as a resource and the opportunity to explore the various dimensions of these stratifications, thresholds and foldings on an intellectual level.
The most recent episode highlighted very real stratifications involving social determinations of place and class. In terms of its focus on class antagonism, I have never seen anything like it in a reasonably mainstream television show. I wonder how many people will be inspired to discover more about class? Especially in the US where it seems as if people are more interested in the non-reality of stupid bourgie f’cks on shows like the OC or the fabricated contingencies of reality television. Considering how hard the until-now triumphant forces of neo-con, neo-liberal hegemony have worked, this is not too surprising. Maybe this episode of BSG will be the first time many people are even exposed to such an antagonism according to such a locality- and class-based problematic?
I guess I’d better add that a very interesting movement below the dynamics of the class antagonism in this episode is a much more conventional gendering of roles than what has until now been the mainstay of BSG. Although romance and sex have been sources of antagonism, it has been in a weirdly non-gendered way, with many of the burdens of expectation relieved, extinguished or distributed across the players in different ways. This class-based episode is attractive to me as someone of a perverted neophyte of actual non-suburban social relations. Mother with the baby, wife egging on the acting-husband, battle of men, images of fisted-hands at cock level, and so on. This raises questions about the non-separation of gender and labour in class.