Friday, June 06, 2008

Sexy Cyborg Women: "Paid In Full" by Lloyd And Lil Wayne

Videodrone: Lloyd And Lil Wayne Celebrate Cyborg Women, "Paid In Full" This seems to be cyborgs & gender studies week. As a contrast to Hillary Clinton as scary cyborg, here we have the clichéd and impossibly luscious young boobs legs and asses celebrated by cyborg fetishists:

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Hillary Clinton is a Cyborg Meme


An article appearing today, after Obama has officially secured his place as Democratic nominee for President of the US, has me thinking about figures of speech and how strongly evocative representations lifted from cyber-literature (fiction, film) can be.

NewsBiscuit: ‘Future cyborg Clinton’ warns voters they must still choose her: "The Democrat presidential nomination contest was once again mired in controversy and confusion today as a battle scarred cyborg Hillary Clinton from the year 2039 apparently travelled back in time to warn voters and super delegates that a victory for Obama creates a hellish future ruled by meta-droids intent on enslaving humanity.

"The cyborg Clinton, her left infra-red optical device growing weak, stressed that her past self’s rival was at no fault for the apocalyptic hell that awaits mankind, but that a string of events unravels all connected to Obama’s successful campaign to lead the party into the White House. ‘So you see you really must choose Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee while there is still time…’ she urged, as a piece of what looked like baking foil came away from her arm. ‘I am… I mean… She is the best candidate – select Hillary or have your brains sucked out as food for the droids.’"

I've noticed the image of politician-as-cyborg here and there in the past, but the article today from NewsBiscuit made me realize that Clinton is one of the most frequent recipients of this particularly unkind characterization. It's true that a lot of what we see on television seems to corroborate an image of her as hard, aggressive, non-empathetic, often lacking in what might seem to be human tenderness or passion. Of course we don't get to see her as a normal human with normal emotions when she's acting the role of the leader, and also shown mostly in carefully edited footage (but that's what made her a winner, too--a "masculine" strength of spirit and character that made her seem, perhaps, too tough and ambitious--thus the almost tears on the campaign trail were eminently newsworthy). The Clinton-cyborg meme deserves a little study in light of gender politics, I think. We've seen John Kerry looking like a rather bland and benign Tin Man on quest for a heart, but that seems more silly than cutting. Even the Daily Tube video Barack Obama is a Cyborg From the Future Sent to Destroy Us All is a spin on the Clinton-as-cyborg vilification.

Just a few examples from a quick search:

National Review online (May 7 2008): "Senator Clinton, Cyborg. Terminator IV," by Kathleen Parker:
All politicians adapt and mold themselves to fit their audience, but Hillary Clinton has elevated the art of identity politics to a science of morphology.

She doesn’t just show people what they want in order to convince them that she’s their “man” — and we no longer use that word entirely metaphorically. She becomes the people she wants to sway.

Which prompts the question: Is she human or is she ... cyborg?

In James Cameron’s Terminator II: Judgment Day, the T-1000 android was made of liquid metal and could duplicate others. He “learned” a person by touching him and absorbing his data.

Hillary’s life as a political spouse and candidate has been a kaleidoscope of shape-shifting and morphed identity. In the past 15 years, Americans have witnessed her transformation from a more feminine first lady to lately becoming a manly whiskey slugger with “testicular fortitude,” as an Indiana labor leader recently described her.
A few more examples of her manliness follow, and conclude with:
Clinton has successfully established herself as the man in charge while the lithe and willowy Obama seems too elegant for the trenches. But even cyborgs are imperfect.

The T-1000 could duplicate appearances and voices, but he couldn’t capture the soul of the human being. Eventually, people realized something wasn’t quite right.
Against Hillary Clinton (May 7, 2008) also ran this article, under the title "Hillary Clinton: Human or Cyborg?".

Real Clear Politics ran it under the title Hillary Clinton: Terminator IV.

Gawker.com (May 5, 2008), puts a humorous spin in a positive take on the image: "Hillary Clinton Should Have Eviscerated This Interviewer" by Ryan Tate:
In the following clip, Hillary Clinton is asked to choose between celebrities Ellen DeGeneres, Simon Cowell and Jimmy Kimmel as a vice president. "Who would you pick and why?" asked Mary Alice Haney, of MomLogic.com and TV channel Extra. The only appropriate response, of course, would be for Clinton to use the lasers behind her cyborg eyes to set Haney's hair on fire, but it's 2008 and the Democratic presidential candidate needs to out-cool Barack Obama and John McCain, so she just laughed (at the sad future of our country) and said they'd all be on her short list. I really wanted her to snap and live up to her reputation as a caustic bitch, but she didn't, not even when asked about inane advice from Cowell.
Predictions from Radar (April 22, 2008): "What Happens if Hillary Wins Big?" by Alex Balk: should Clinton win by a margin of +84 to +99:
HillaryCare immediately imposed by pliant Congress. Americans stripped of their guns and forced to have one abortion per family. Bill Clinton allowed to live out the remainder of his days in Caribbean exile. Exultant Hillary removes synthetic face-covering to show nation her actual cyborg features.
The Washington Post got in on the act (April 25, 2008): "The Race That Wouldn't Die" by Eugene Robinson:
Yes, I know it's inappropriate to compare a talented and accomplished woman such as Hillary Clinton with a homicidal cyborg from the future. But it's hard to come up with a better image for the woman's sheer relentlessness. If she ever says "I'll be back" while I'm within earshot, I'm getting out of Dodge.
Synthesis Blog (March 7, 2008): "Hillary Clinton: Monster Or Cyborg?" by "Some Guy":
I have it on good authority that Hillary Clinton is closely related to the cyborg, specifically Cyberdyne Systems Model 101. And really, the writing is on the wall; manic facial expressions, bulldog front, pitiless emotions and a lust to kill. Combine these traits with her seemingly indestructible nature, and you’ve got yourself a T-800 series Terminator. This of course should come as no surprise, as a T-800 is already the governor of California.

None of this, though, is good news for the Obama camp. It’s not easy fighting off any cyborg, let alone one with a hankering for politics.
David Hauslaib's Jossip (January 8, 2008): "Hillary Clinton: Real Woman Or Political Cyborg?"
ALL CHOKED UP
So, today is the New Hampshire primary. And yesterday Hillary Clinton almost cried.

And voters have been saying all along that Hillary is just a machine. But machines don’t cry. Or do the really advanced ones do?
What do you think?
Tapped: the group blog of The American Prospect (December 18, 2007): "Lightning Round: Hillary Clinton is Not a Robot from the Future" by Sam Boyd:
The Hillary Clinton campaign is apparently convinced that the big problem for her right now is that people can't imagine playing a game of Yahtzee with her ... or something. The need to "humanize" the candidate is the motivation behind her campaign stops with her mother and other "soft" campaign appeals. I for one, would actually prefer to vote for a pitiless cyborg governing machine but somehow I imagine I'm in the minority.
NationalJournal.com/TheGate (November 15, 2007): "WH '08: They're After You For A Reason. No... Not That Reason":
Two weeks ago, Clinton's uncomfortable equivocations on drivers licenses for illegal immigrants and on her husband Bill's White House records reminded Democrats of what they like least about her: that she sometimes appears to be a politically savvy cyborg.

A lot of cruelty in these images, especially if one considers her actual record.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

News of Terminator 4 Spoiler has everyone in a flap


Updated! That Crazy TERMINATOR 4? Turns Out It Might Be A Crazy Giant Spoiler... --
Ain't It Cool News: The best in movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news.
: Moriarty from Aint It Cool News has apparently run a huge spoiler for the ending of Terminator 4, supposedly confirmed by Devin Faraci at chud.com, who warns that, "if you read it, will ruin the movie for you. And to the best of my knowledge it is 100% true."

Here it is, according to Moriarty's contact:

"'Alright so the main character is a cyborg named Marcus. For some background, Marcus was a criminal who was executed in 2003. He donated his body to Project Angel which was involved with SkyNet. They take his body and make a terminator out of him so he's a terminator skeleton but has living muscle/skin and a beating heart too. At the end of the movie John Connor is fighting a T800 model 101 and loses. He dies and the top resistance people come up with a plan to help the resistance keep fighting on. The resistance feels that it's important to keep the image or idea that John Connor is still alive so the resistance keeps going. So they rip off Marcus' skin and put John Connor's on the skeleton so now Marcus is John Connor.'"
There's also news that the cyborgs are human brains inside robot bodies. A little bit of carefully orchestrated viral advertising?

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In other News, Toad Tongue Research Inspires Robotic Tendons for Humans


Toad research could leapfrog to new muscle model: "Science has long held that muscles behave largely like motors. Northern Arizona University researcher Kiisa Nishikawa suggests that muscle acts more like a spring.

'Existing theories don't explain how muscles shorten rapidly,' Nishikawa said. 'Muscles can only shorten to do work; they can't do work by lengthening.' A spring also can only do work by shortening."

"...At ASU's Human Machine Integration Laboratory, Sugar and his team are building 'SPARKy' (Spring Ankle with Regenerative Kinetics) that mimics biology by storing and releasing energy during the ankle gait cycle.

'Energy is stored as the leg and body rolls over the ankle, and then this energy is released in a powerful burst to propel the user forward. By mimicking biology, we are able to build a very lightweight and functional device,' Sugar said.

'Putting motors and springs together in a smart way is something nature hit on about 600 million years ago (with the earliest vertebrates),' Nishikawa said."

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"Cyborg Engineering": Coronary Bypass grafts combine man-made materials with human cells

June 2008 News--The FASEB Journal

"Bethesda, MD—A team of London scientists have taken a major step in making the use of artificial veins and arteries in coronary bypass grafts a reality. In a study published in the June 2008 print issue of The FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org), researchers describe how they developed this artificial graft tissue by combining man-made materials with human cells to make it elastic and durable and so it can attach to host tissue.

“Obviously this advance could be a medical breakthrough that saves millions of lives around the world,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, “but even more tantalizing is the successful fusing of living cells to nonliving substances that actually—heal—by forming a stronger bond to each other and to host tissue once put in use. This might even be called a start toward ‘cyborg engineering.’”

In the research report, scientists describe how they took an elastic scaffold (the material that gives the artificial graft its shape) of compliant poly(carbonate-urea)urethane and incorporated human vascular smooth muscle cells and epithelial cells from umbilical cords. Then they took the artificial grafts and simulated blood flow in the laboratory to test their durability. They found that as the pulsing fluid flow slowly increased, the artificial graft’s performance actually improved. The researchers hypothesize that this improvement is because the movement of fluid through the graft stimulates the smooth muscle and epithelial cells to release proteins that strengthen their ability to attachment to the elastic scaffold and other tissues.

“The notion that any body part could be engineered in a lab, attach to existing tissue ‘naturally,’ and grow stronger as it is being used is something thought completely impossible just 20 years ago,” Weissmann added. “It is only a matter of time before human tissues can be engineered to be at least as good as the originals, and this study moves us toward that reality.”

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