Abyss of Silence

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Church of Science Fictionology

"I feel sorry for you."

How many times have I heard this bogus claim from a religious person with whom I've been debating? Oddly enough, nine times out of ten it actually means, "I hope you remember this conversation when you're burning in hell." But hey, that's ok. I don't feel sorry for them either.

You know who I really feel sorry for? People who "don't get" science fiction. Seriously, I think that's really sad.

This has been one of my favorite genres ever since I was a little girl. Now I'm not talking about your Stargate SG-1s or Star Wars movies or your latter incarnations of Star Trek. I personally think if Gene Roddenberry could see what they've done with the franchise (perfect term for it) he'd shit bricks. I'm talking about the science fiction of the original Star Trek, (to some extent) Firefly and the new Battlestar Gallactica but especially Star Trek: The Next Generation. Yes, some are space opera but others are quite a bit more. Both are fun but it's that second type of science fiction which I love. I suppose it's because of my humanist nature.

People who don't get it, I think, are put off by the "other world" trappings (the lazer guns, and odd creatures and whatnot) or they are overly concerned with what is or isn't "cool" or basically don't understand the intention of the piece.

Other world trappings: Ok, they can seem silly at times but are necessary. If you notice, the essentials don't change. The technology is new-fangled but dang, who remembers their Commodore 64? The technology has to be far more advanced if we're to believe this is in the future. The shows, however, aren't about the technology, they are still focused around humans, with human problems. Yes, there will be different creatures, but sometimes those creatures and their particular plights are used to represent a marginalized portion of our current human population. And finally how about a little suspension of disbelief? Is imagining a different state of being that difficult?

It's just not cool: First of all, please graduate from high school! Anyone overly concerned with appearances needs to grow the hell up! How boring can you be? Besides, I'm not telling you to go out and buy a Star Fleet uniform or insist to everyone that they must "Live long and prosper." I don't do that and I've never been to a Star Trek convention although it sounds hysterical!

Some people take it much further than I do and well, they're not hurting anybody. So whatever. There are always going to be some who take something and just run with it. But there are always going to be others of us who sit back and appreciate the thing for what it represents.

What's the point? The point is examination, imagination, possibility and hope. Tough social issues and basic morality are examined and, by taking it out of the context in which we are used to, perhaps a fresh perspective can be viewed. Imagining new worlds, new peoples, new challenges. I mean seriously, I don't think I want to know someone who isn't in the least curious about what is out there. And finally, hope in the possibility that human kind can, itself, unify. True dreamers (idealists) write, work on, and avidly watch these shows.

If you still don't understand, I'd suggest watching "Trekkies II." If you watch the first one, you'll just laugh at the freaks. Watch the second because it examines the impact of the show Star Trek in other countries. See how people in post-war Bosnia have embraced it as a hopeful example of what man can acheive rather than an excuse to play dress-up and learn Klingon.

Live long and prosper.
Oh, I had to say it!


  • I've been to two Star Trek conventions. For my lonely sister.

    I saw Sulu. I frickin' love Sulu. He's my favorite of the sub characters. He'd have little three word lines and they'd come out hilarious and lively. He's come out of the closet, you know.

    And I asked the lady who played Spock's finacee in that mating episode how she got picked.

    It wasn't so much hilarious as....well, it sort of seemed like everyone knew they should be having fun, but weren't really.

    Oh, and I can't believe Christians have the condescension to feel sorry for you. That will never win any hearts. But wait, I remember you said something about your husband being an atheist activist. Maybe the pity card is their last bastion of attack in the heat of an argument. Cuz logic sure ain't gonna cut it.

    Have you ever read, We're off to kiss Hank's Ass?
    Scan down a little after what I wrote, it's there.

    Wow I prattle. Sulu and Christ really get my blood moving.

    By Blogger Imez, at 8:42 PM  

  • Sure you did it for your “lonely sister.” Uh-huh.

    I know about Sulu coming out of the closet. He’s been on the Howard Stern show a lot and talks about it. He was even Howard Stern’s celebrity announcer for his first week on Sirius Satellite Radio. He was hilarious. And yes, I listen to Howard Stern. I find him funny.

    Don’t worry, most Christians have only the condescension SAY they feel sorry for me. Generally when they say this it’s out of anger or annoyance rather than actual pity. And yes, as you surmised, it’s when they haven’t an answer for a question I posed.

    I have actually read the Kiss Hanks Ass thing. It’s hilarious. It was your blog that introduced me to it months ago.

    “Sulu and Christ really get my blood moving.” Well, who doesn’t have the same reaction, I should like to know!

    By Blogger Abyss of Silence, at 9:01 AM  

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