We are overdue for another Tycho magnetic anomaly appearance. I just finished reading 2001: A Space Odyssey, and now I'm re-watching the movie. Arthur C. Clarke is a genius. Kubrick's pretty damn cool too. I did an image search for "2001 monolith," and found a variety of images like this, and also several of the World Trade Center. Was that it? Did 2001 come and go, and the bombing of two giant monoliths that symbolize all that's wrong with the world (in the eyes of some people) was meant to be our spiritual awakening? I feel gypped.
That first monolith 3,000,000 years ago certainly put things on a bad track. Couldn't there be some happy medium where we developed a certain level of cognition and power over our environment without shooting it all to hell? I guess there was for a while . . . and there still is in certain isolated parts of the world, but that doesn't really matter in comparison to the large-scale destruction and chaos that the majority of us are contributing to.
The book is of course fantastic, to the extent that I actually got goose bumps several times while reading it. The movie is of course equally fantastic in its wonderful retro-modern imagery, and its uncanny musical score which can make even a simple black obelisk appear instilled with mind-boggling, otherworldly significance. Look at the cool furniture in the space lounge; the cool rotating rooms that defy (or rather create) gravity; and of course poor Hal, who seems much more devious in the movie.
And what does it all mean in the end, anyway? Arthur C. Clarke is a genius. Did I say that already? His books are completely mind altering. They should be required reading. They're fantastic science fiction, but they transcend the genre, and explore the most profound spiritual and philosophical avenues. Almost too profound -- they force you to question the fundamentals of what it might mean to be human, to even exist at all, yet offer no real answers. It's impossible to articulate really, which is what makes him so genius. Is this baby going to destroy the earth thus initiating an entire new era of existence in the cosmos?