a fish called wanda and brief answers to the big questions by stephen hawking

a fish called wanda

some great moments, but overall disappointing; (‘sir’) michael palin’s stutter is always a little painful, but it was the (to modern eyes) slow editing which got me – and the sexism – both made it seem surprisingly dated

we always thought this would be a great film for today’s kidz, but i’m not so sure; when you compare it to the pegg trilogy, for example, it scrubs up as closer to a bedroom farce or an ealing comedy – and less funny/imaginative/well made

brief answers to the big questions

some great moments, but overall disappointing; stephen hawking (‘cbe’) ’s smugness is always a little painful, but it was the poor editing which got me – it’s a book hastily got together before the great man died, and suffers from repetitiveness and errors (i forget what they were) – but it’s not properly edited

pretty amazing though on the time-black-holes-wow-the-universe stuff, and clearly put for the ignorant (i speak from experience)

on the god question, his argument seems to run:

  1. there are inviolable laws of nature
  2. these laws govern everything
  3. therefore there is nothing not governed by laws of nature
  4. god can’t be governed by laws of nature
  5. therefore there can be no god

premises 1 & 2 seem uncertain, and, even if sound, the argument has force only against a mechanical ‘first mover’ creator and sustainer of the universe

his argument seems to remove our free will too, yet he seems quite happy with our having that

How they are related

Apart from both being surprisingly disappointing in different ways, might there be a black hole in Wanda? Something from which nothing escapes, not even light? What is Wanda? She’s Ken’s (Palin’s) special fish, named after Jamie Lee Curtis’ character, whom Ken fancies. Ken hides the key (to the safe where the loot is hidden) in the pirate treasure chest in Wanda’s tank. Her lover gets info out of Ken by eating his fish in front of him: Ken breaks just before Wanda is eaten, so she is saved. Ken is an animal lover, and one of the film’s running jokes is how he, ordered to kill an old lady who identified his boss, accidentally kills her three dogs instead. It is all very funny. So no black hole in Wanda, but something like a black hole in Hawkings’ reductive theology.

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