Frustrated robot

This little video clip does a decent job of expressing the type of frustration I feel.  This is from the TV show Battlestar Galactica. I know what you’re thinking (“Uh oh, nerd alert!”).  But trust me, this show (it ended earlier this year) is nothing like some Star Trek crap. There were no rubber-masked aliens or cheesy plots. Just great acting, intense situations, and the fact that it takes place in the far future is just the setting.

Anyway, before you hit play, you need to know that the old guy is a robot. He is talking to one of his makers (the blonde lady). Even though the man is a machine, he has been created to be biologically human. Now watch the scene:



The dialogue:

John (old guy): In all your travels, have you ever seen a star supernova?

Ellen (one of his creators): No.

John: No. Well, I have. I saw a star explode and send out the building blocks of the universe, other stars, other planets, and eventually other life, a supernova, creation itself. I was there. I wanted to see it, and be part of the moment. And you know how I perceived one of the most glorious events in the universe? With these ridiculous gelatinous orbs in my skull. With eyes designed to perceive only a tiny fraction of the EM spectrum, with ears designed only to hear vibrations in the air.

Ellen: The five of us designed you to be as human as possible.

John: I don’t want to be human. I want to see gamma rays, I want to hear X-rays, and I want to smell dark matter. Do you see the absurdity of what I am? I can’t even express these things properly, because I have to — I have to conceptualize complex ideas in this stupid, limiting spoken language, but I know I want to reach out with something other than these prehensile paws, and feel the solar wind of a supernova flowing over me. I’m a machine, and I can know much more, I could experience so much more, but I’m trapped in this absurd body. And why? Because my five creators thought that God wanted it that way.

The reason this clip gets to me is because I can relate to the old man. He knows his body can be capable of much more. He doesn’t want to be human, just like I don’t want to be disabled. He wants to “see gamma rays” and I’d love to have the physical ability to surf, to sprint, to twist and bend and jump and not feel “trapped in this absurd body.” I feel ya, robot. I do.

Check out Battlestar Galactica on


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