Ghost in the Shell

Okay. It’s a weekend, I’m sick, and both my flatmates are out. So I’m going to watch Ghost in the Shell for the first time and livepost / live-snark the whole thing, a la my friend Janae.

[This was originally posted on Facebook. I should have noted down what point in the movie I was at, but I didn’t, so for now you get the times when I posted each comment and you can figure it out from there.]

  • 21:04 YAY THE FIRST LINES OF THE MOVIE ARE ABOUT DEBUGGING. GREAT.
  • 21:05 Followed by a period joke and then gratuitous nudity. Great.

    Why does a robot get periods anyway?

    Apparently some people think this is deliberate commentary on sexuality, or at least a deliberately ironic joke from Kusanagi.

  • 21:05 Also it’s hard to type on my phone and also watch the subs.
  • 21:06 Transporting programmer = arms violation. Like the crypto thing!
  • 21:07 Ew head split open
  • 21:12 Doc Brown? Is that you?
  • 21:12 Hey “kakumei” I know that word now.
  • 21:13 “her cyber-brain was hacked”
  • 21:14 Ohh “ghost” = “avatar”
  • 21:18 This guy has a really deep voice. Better take him seriously.
  • 21:23 Dude, you should have taken off the camo.
  • 21:26 Enjoying the Street Fighter sound effects.
  • 21:26 Why does she have to be naked to use the camo?
  • 21:27 Damnnn memory-stealing. First major piece of world building.
  • 21:28 Hey his alias is “Corgi”
  • 21:30 Okay this is a great premise
  • 21:36 Aha I got “ghost” and “shell” backwards. Which, um, makes sense.
  • 21:36 Reminded of “Matrix as trans narrative” thread.
  • 21:37 Thought: in this sort of world, “ghost” = “soul”. Wonder what word they’re using.

    Oh right. “gousuto”. I knew that.

  • 21:37 Traffic light!
  • 21:38 Interesting that the city looks so gloomy. It wouldn’t have to be that way.
  • 21:39 SYMBOLIC MANNEQUINS
  • 21:40 Aha, nice Trojan horse there, getting hit by a truck.
  • 21:44 “protection maze”. Hm. Security through obscurity? Security through Ariadne?
  • 21:46 Legitimate but futile identity crisis!

    Talk to me sometime about this, or implications of the Matrix, or any of it.

  • 21:49 Yes extra fingers will totally let you type faster.
  • 21:52 Ahhhh this part of “what is life” / “what is sentience”
  • 21:53 “Hi, I’m from the Internet”
  • 22:00 This is a very plausible doomsday scenario. O.O
  • 22:01 SKYSCRAPER-AREA KEEP YOUR POSITION
  • 22:02 Jeeze you didn’t have to kill him [car chase]
  • 22:03 She looks like she’s wearing a Naruro headband.
  • 22:03 Wait wasn’t she on a helicopter not a plane?
  • 22:05 Nice how the tank just sits there waiting.
  • 22:06 Oh cool it walks
  • 22:08 …oops. A mistake only a cyborg could make.
  • 22:10 Y’know, it’s been odd this whole time to see shots where they cut just below the nipple instead of just above.
  • 22:11 I didn’t see the resemblance before between the two bodies but I see it now. Symbolism for something, but not sure what.
  • 22:11 This is like jumping a car, I guess?
  • 22:13 Not-AI has to have a male voice, huh.

    In the remake it’s a female voice. Also huh.

  • 22:14 Ooooh symbolism about diversity as survival necessity. And then symbolism about sex.
  • 22:15 Oh there’s the body symbolism.

    “resemblence between two bodies” = “resemblence between Puppet Master’s position and the Major’s position”

  • 22:20 Hmmm. Not sure what I think of this conclusion.
  • 22:21 Oh that really is the end.

Lots of interesting ideas in here—reminds me of Philip K. Dick stories, Neal Stephenson stories, and of course the later The Matrix. These are the kind of sci-fi hypotheticals I love discussing with other people. And maybe I’ll get around to Psycho-Pass some day.

The ending is a little weak, honestly, because I’m not sure what it means for a human-ghost to “go on the net”. It doesn’t seem like you’d have to merge with a program to do that. But the idea that you can mix the memories and decision-making routines of the two entities…well, by the rules of this world at least it seems possible. And it is the expected place for the story to end.

Okay, that’s it! Hope at least some of you were amused by this. If I do it again, I’ll try to put more context in each post so that you have an easier time telling what I’m talking about.