all right, so per request, I am going to articulate my thoughts about morphing a little bit better here.
So the premise of this series, our favorite children's book series of all time, is that kids turn into animals to fight aliens. There are lots of stories about people turning into animals, to learn more about themselves or animals or Mother Nature or whatever. Merlin and King Arthur comes to mind. It will probably be reappropriated by Stephenie Meyer at some point...oh right it was.
The thing about morphing in Animorphs, specifically, however, is the whole sci-fi element.
It's not magic, an ancient Indian curse, or some kind of potion that turns our kids into animals. It's science.
DNA-based *cascading cellular regeneration*, I think was the term Ax used.
The series pretty much put every niggling sub-premise to rest. Kids not only turn into animals, they turn into cockroaches! birds! whales! ducks! 40 or so different Earth animals, then Hork-Bajir! Andalite! and even some humans!
It is the humans now that interest me.
The coolest caveat about the morphing technology was not only that you got to experience the animal's physical life, but also, in a sense, their mental one. Instincts, hunger, urges, and even some built-in how-to instruction manuals.
What about all of that stuff, but for humans?
I mean, we get the jokes about Ax babbling and stuffing everything he can find into his mouth like a toddler, and finding two legs ridiculous, but for serious--how would it feel to become another human?
Anyway, even though this seems like a little thing, I think it means we can apply the whole morphing conceit a little bit more easily to reality. Some sci-fi author wrote a big rant about Star Wars in some magazine and basically defined good sci-fi as the diffusion of powerful technologies through the lower echelons of society, not the desperate clinginess of higher classes of said technology. (It's a really cool series of articles that pretty much solidified my stance in the Star Trek vs. Star Wars debate.)
So, what would happen if the morphing technology pervaded all levels of human society?
I think there are a lot of cultural and sociological implications here that went unearthed. Probably because they lead to some controversial endpoints. Like I said in the last post--what would it feel like for a straight person to morph into a gay person? What would it feel like for a man to morph into a woman? I mean, even just really simple shit that I wondered in 3rd grade (and for some reason found its way into an episode of Mad Men)--does the color orange appear the same way to everyone who sees it? Do some people see pink as I see green? etc. What would happen if that implicit solipsism inherent in humanity--that we can only experience life through our own, unique physical viewpoint--was no longer a problem? How do you think that would affect society?
And then there's actual societal problems it could cure, or perhaps even cause--I mean, transgendered people wouldn't have to go through painful and humiliating surgeries to achieve their true bodies. Disabled people, with either congenital defects or debilitating injuries, wouldn't need to be that way anymore. And then what about like racial implications? I mean I'm starting to feel like I'm edging up to the part that's going to start pissing people off, but what if everyone in the world could be an Aryan male? What would we judge each other on if not gender, race, height, weight, deformity, beauty, etc.?
I don't know. Let's just talk about some of this shit here.
- it's morphing time