You probably guessed from last week’s post that i am a Science Fiction geek. I am rather proud of that fact. Not because i think it imbues me with false intelligence or makes me somehow even more on the fringe, but rather because i think science fiction often shows the best of humanity, even if it isn’t always via humans.
Star Trek is a good example. Unique cultures are respected and protected. Poverty and hunger are a thing of the past. The single-minded pursuit of “things” is no longer the norm. Efforts are made to accept others in brotherhood and defend them in sisterhood. Pretty damned cool, if you ask me.
Heinlein is another favorite of mine. His vision of the future, without the handicaps of social stigmas or custom barriers, is one that made me hopeful as a weedling. The first time i read Friday, i fell to tears. To discover that uniqueness could be valued, and that the feeling of not fitting in was a creation of our own mind…. How liberating! His discussions of polyamory were, if nothing else, food for thought. And the concept of alternate timelines, à la Richard Bach, was fodder for more than a few sleepless nights of contemplation.
For a while, i was an avid Jack Chalker fan. The idea of complete transformation, when you are 15 and feel like a square peg in a round hole, was something that spoke volumes to me. His books’ strange sexual bent didn’t hurt, either.
The spiritual under- and over-tones to series like Star Wars and The Matrix are not lost on sci-fi geekdom. The concept of good vs. evil and the fluidity and diaphanousness of reality… These are things we can spend days discussing, continually expanding and sharing our viewpoints.
And perhaps that is the best part of the sci-fi community. Yes, we will fight to the death over which was the best Enterprise captain, but when it comes to serious topics, in general, the geek community is forever learning and growing. Continually seeking the answer to life, the universe and everything. And willing to read any author’s, or Joss Whedon’s, latest take on what all this means. This whole “life” thing. Coffee and sunsets and doggie kisses and lilacs. War and famine and cancer and hatred. Stonehenge and Daylight Savings and Andy Warhol and Platypuses. What does it all mean?
Thru the best of science fiction, we can ponder these things. We may not get concrete answers, but we will listen to others and sort thru the information and emotional truths. It helps that often the issue is taken out of human context. After all, humans are illogical and usually not prone to accepting or doing things that would be in their best interest. Without that hominid identity, we are able to flow like cosmic water around the big questions of life. Maybe even come up with some answers. Tho, admittedly, we might change our minds after the next GRRM novel. After all, scientifically speaking, it is singularly unhelpful to close your mind to other possible theories.
There are only two things that none of us has ever been able to understand….
Why do sci-fi aliens always seem to have sex the same way humans do? And why the hell did anyone approve the creation of Jar-Jar Binks?