The Underground – Issue #138
Everything you need to know about in this weekly series: Netflix unveils yet another series that looks mind blowing, a virus that kills drug resistant superbugs, a manga film adaptation from James Cameron, and the possibility of making other planets habitable.
At Social Underground we go beyond the mainstream stuff and see what’s underneath the surface. What should we get into, listen to, read, eat or watch? If there is something in our culture that needs attention that’s our job: Show you the underground things that you need to know about: Books, music, television, movies, comedians, art, and whatever else we can find to get you into something you never knew about. That’s The Underground.
1. Altered Carbon looks to be the cyberpunk series we deserve from Netflix. One of the biggest sci-fi concepts and hopes for real science is transporting your brain into another brain or a computer. If that happens, it will mean a person could be immortal. But what that person still be the same person, or just a copy of the original. This series tries to answer that question, but also has that mysterious element of storytelling that we need to make it even more interesting. I’m talking about a murder that needs solving in the future!
Premise: Altered Carbon is set in a future where consciousness is digitized and stored in cortical stacks implanted in the spine, allowing humans to survive physical death by having their memories and consciousness “re-sleeved” into new bodies. The story follows specially trained “Envoy” soldier Takeshi Kovacs, who is downloaded from an off-world prison and into the body of a disgraced cop at the behest of Laurens Bancroft, a highly influential aristocrat. Bancroft was killed, and the last automatic backup of his stack was made hours before his death, leaving him with no memory of who killed him and why. While police ruled it a suicide, Bancroft is convinced he was murdered and wants Kovacs to find out the truth.
If the trailer is any indication, this show will be yet another Netflix hit. It has production values of a major film, but has the essence of the new TV age dripping all over it. With a cast like this, Altered Carbon is one to look out for.
Feast your eyes on the trailer below:
2. There’s a virus that kills drug-resistant superbugs. If you can manage to sift through the hellfire of political news that’s on a loop on every news channel in the country, you may get a snippet of medical news. It’s getting pretty scary out there. There’s something called “SuperAIDS” that makes me want to build a cabin in the woods, grow a huge beard, and set up traps so no one will come near me. Then there’s the drug-resistant STD’s that, well, makes me want to do all that stuff I just said, but on an island.
That being said, scientists are working on a virus (I AM LEGEND?!) that will go after and kill these new superbugs. Since the answer is always to give a patient 30 pills of antibiotics for a chest infection, the bacteria is growing resistant since it’s being overused for such small things that our immune system can take care of.
The video below explains this virus that may save us from the new superbugs that will try to kill us all. But not from nuclear war. We’re screwed there.
3. Alita: Battle Angel looks to be a manga adaptation for the ages.
For the past, I dunno, 2 decades, James Cameron has been promising to make an adaptation of Alita: Battle Angel. He even went as far as to make something inspired by the series called Dark Angel starring Jessica Alba during this period. But since he has dedicated himself to make 4 sequels to his blockbuster Avatar, the idea of him getting this this film kept getting further away.
He finally handed it off to Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Desperado) to direct it. And how does it look? It looks breathtaking, but that won’t stop the internet from complaining. Everyone wants something original instead of a sequel, then this came around and there were non-stop complaints about the eyes of the character. I thought it was great. It looks like an anime character. Furthermore, it looks like Alita.
Premise: Alita is a creation from an age of despair. Found by the mysterious Dr. Ido while trolling for cyborg parts, Alita becomes a lethal, dangerous being. She cannot remember who she is, or where she came from. But to Dr. Ido, the truth is all too clear. She is the one being who can break the cycle of death and destruction left behind from Tiphares. But to accomplish her true purpose, she must fight and kill. And that is where Alita’s true significance comes to bear. She is an angel from heaven. She is an angel of death.
The film stars Rosa Salazar in the title role, with supporting roles portrayed by Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley and Keean Johnson. It will be released on July 20th, 2018. Check out the trailer down below.
4. Could we make habitable planets for future human beings? In sci-fi films set in the distant future, humans have perfected the ability to make a planet or a moon that was otherwise impossible to live on, into an oasis. I remember watching Cowboy Bebop, and people were living on moons that now had oceans on them. It seemed impossible, but then I just figured that in the future anything is possible if you go far enough in time.
The infographic below shows how it could be possible for us to do something like this, but it would probably cost hundreds of trillions of dollars. Here we are hitching rides with Russia to the International Space Station. Could we give NASA a few hundred billion? I want to go on a vacation to Venus.
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Jeff Sorensen is an author, writer and occasional comedian living in Detroit, Michigan. You can look for more of his work on The Huffington Post, UPROXX, BGR and by just looking up his name.