Category Archives: Musings and mischief

Pet Peeves about Twitter Complaints

I must admit to some trepidation when I thought of writing this piece. For one thing, I didn’t want to come across as too snarky, but then again if you don’t like the post you don’t have to read it. Also, there are tons of sites dedicated to how to use Twitter effectively, so anything I post here will likely be the net equivalent of shouting into the wind. However, on the off chance that you might be interested, I will address my top pet peeves about people complaining about Twitter.

1. If you don’t like it, don’t use it.

Seriously. It’s a tool. If you truly don’t have a use for instantaneous communication with people who share common interests with you, then don’t use it. There’s no point in bashing people who find it helpful and enjoyable.

Remember that revolution in the Middle East? The one where people organized by using Twitter? That seems pretty useful to me. Follow news groups to keep up with current events, follow writers to keep up with their latest works, follow knitters if you like to knit and want to find new patterns. But if none of that interests you and you honestly can’t use Twitter, then stop insulting people who can and do.

2. If you are interested in Twitter, take the time to learn how to use it BEFORE you declare it frivolous and without merit.

Too many times people fail to learn about the strengths of Twitter before they give up. Not every tweet is earth-shattering or important, but neither is everyday conversation. And that’s what Twitter is, an ongoing conversation between people of similar interests. That is why it is so important to only follow people who tweet content that you actually want to read. You know what I do when I find someone is clogging my tweetstream with things I’m not interested in? I unfollow them. It’s easy.

And in the spirit of conversation, tweets are short. People in general don’t rattle off a whole page of data when talking to other people; they speak a sentence or two, get a response, then speak again. So tweets are limited to 140 characters. Yet, if someone finds a blog post or news article that they think they’re followers might appreciate, it’s still possible to tweet the link – thus allowing for greater sharing within the character limit with a simple click of your mouse.

3. Twitter is not serious enough.

I recently read a blog post where a poet was bemoaning the death of poetry because people were tweeting poems. Again, seriously? There is just as much good and bad poetry as ever before; the internet just gives people a means to post their own work. I’ve read some poems in 140 characters that were quite beautiful, other’s terrible. And the ones the poet complained about? They were obviously joke tweets.

Yes, people joke on Twitter. Just like when you converse with other people. Not every conversation needs to be about political upheaval, the merits of Shakespeare, or how to write the Great American Novel. Grow a funny bone.

4. They complain it wastes too much time.

Like anything else, social networking can be taken too far. If you obsessively tweet and check your stream, if you let it interfere with your life to the point that you can’t get things done, then you might want to cut back. Twitter can be used for procrastination. Remember that proverbial watercooler that workers would gather around to chat, socialize, and use to avoid going back to work? Twitter is the net’s international watercooler. Use it to socialize, joke, learn new information, whatever you need to do… then get back to work. Don’t blame the watercooler because someone takes an hour and a half break to get a drink of water.

Most of the complaints I hear about Twitter stem from two things. 1. They don’t use Twitter, or 2. They don’t know how to use Twitter well. Give it a try or don’t, learn about it or don’t, but no matter what you decide, please don’t insult the people who enjoy Twitter. No one’s making you use it, and if you took the time to learn about it, I’m betting you would agree that Twitter has value – whether or not it’s valuable to you.

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Musings: What must The Thinker think?

 

 

Recently I visited the Cleveland Museum of Art, an enormous and elegant building adjacent to a beautiful park. Knowing the area well, I brought my lunch so that I could sit outside and view Rodin’s Masterpeice, The Thinker.

The Thinker was originally created by Rodin to represent Dante. The figure was intended to sit above the doorway of Rodin’s work ‘The Gates of Hell’, which would depict humans condemned to eternal torment. Of the limited number of castings of the bronze figure, this particular Dante looks across an extensively manicured park filled with greenery, animals, and statues; and dominated by a dazzlingly blue lake.

As I sat in the bright July sun, I munched take-out and admired the way The Thinker’s position and musculature gave him a certain dignity. A passing breeze chilled me, causing me to pull my wrap around me more tightly despite the afternoon’s warmth. Soon, a group of mixed ages descended the museum steps toward the Rodin. The sculpture had been positioned between the park and museum, perfectly viewed from each, and the museum patrons walked right past it. One girl glanced briefly over her shoulder, as if wondering what blocked her path; but otherwise no one noticed. No, ‘noticed’ isn’t accurate. They noticed enough to walk around, but no one TOOK notice.

At an art museum.

Of one of the most famous pieces of sculpture by one of the most talented artists in history.

Later, one woman approached and my heart lightened a bit. She raised her camera, clicked, and moved on. Fair enough, not everyone appreciates art the same way; and she took the time to capture the work on film. But my mind kept returning to the group. Why come to an Art Museum if you don’t care for art?

Finishing my lunch, I walked around the sculpture. I noticed the way the muscles rippled across his back as well as his arms. The hands were exquisitely formed and beautiful. His face was stark, his eyes unreadable. I can never tell if the eyes are closed or simply open sockets, despite the statue’s origin. After my perusal, I visited the park where another type of beauty beckoned.

Walking the circular path that surrounded the park’s lake brought me back to where I had started. This time I noted more closely the damage done to The Thinker by vandals in 1970 – the torn bottom section, the mangled feet. I thought of apathetic visitors, the woman with the camera, and vandals from decades ago.

Dante was supposed to have witnessed the suffering humans inflict on themselves, and that’s when I realized that his eyes were open.

 

 

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Musings: Then versus Than

 

 

One of my pet peeves is grammar. Mind you, I’m not a grammarian. I’m as fallible as the next person when it comes to commas, but when I spot obvious errors in meaning it makes my skin crawl. There’s a difference between accidentally typing ‘too’ instead of ‘to’ when using the phrase ‘going to the market.’ Such things can be dismissed as simple typos, and they don’t suggest ignorance of meaning. However, writing ‘going TWO the market’ indicates the writer didn’t understand the difference between the homophones – and if you’re in the business of words, shouldn’t you know that?

Most people make these simple mistakes once in awhile, but this is a common enough error that I thought a friendly reminder might be useful.

So, in the interest of clarification, THEN refers to time.

When did Goldilocks eat Baby Bear’s porridge? She broke into their house, and THEN she ate the porridge.

THAN is used for comparison.

One bowl of porridge was hotter THAN the other.

They can even be used in the same sentence.

Goldilocks established that one bowl of porridge was hotter THAN the other, and THEN she ate Baby Bear’s breakfast.

A relatively painless way to brush up on grammar is to listen to the Grammar Girl podcast. In fact, there are tons of writing websites, podcasts, online dictionaries, and other resources. When in doubt, look it up. It’s not hard.

And yes, I agree – Goldilocks is a menace, but that’s hardly the point.

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Musings: Flawed Beauty


My favorite teacup has a chip in it, right at the edge where the paint lines the rim. It reminds me of its fragility, making it all the more precious and lovely to me. Beautiful things should be treasured while they are here, for – to paraphrase Keats – a thing of beauty may not last forever. Teacups shatter, glass breaks, people grow old, and memory fades; yet might they not also be all the more beautiful because of these ‘flaws?’ If I had merely glanced at the cup, I might have missed the imperfection; but because I use it often, I notice its details every time. To know something or someone truly well means to also know their flaws, and born of that intimacy is an appreciation for their finer points. Sometimes, they are even the same thing.

 

 

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My Writing Niche- Episode 31: Weekly Challenges & Social Media

Play or download episode *here*

For current events, I briefly discuss where I am in my writing projects. Today I also discuss the value of weekly challenges such as  #FridayFlash, #SpokenSunday, and the 52/250 site. I also talk about the usefulness of social media such as Facebook, and Twitter chats such as #litchat, #writechat, and #bookchat. As always, polite feedback (critical or otherwise) is welcomed and appreciated. Thank you for your time, and have a lovely week.

*image courtesy of hiddedevries via Flicker.

**Podcast episodes (#7- present) may be downloaded from this blog. Thank you for your patience while I learn how to maneuver in these new podcasting waters.

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Musings: Nerd versus Geek?

 

For many years, the definitions of nerd and geek have been hotly debated within various circles. While they’ve been used interchangeably on occasion, both words can also vary widely according to use. I originally thought the difference was mainly social  – nerds were extremely educated or interested in certain subjects, while geeks were socially inept nerds (or sometimes merely socially inept). In fact, the term ‘geek‘ originated as a carnival term for the man who bit the head off live chickens. Can’t get much more socially inept than that; right?

But since then, both words have evolved. The definition of geek has broadened to mean someone obsessively interested in something, e.g. computer geek, grammar geek, or comic book geek. However, many people use ‘nerd’ in exactly the same context – with both positive and negative associations. Geek, while (in my opinion) more aesthetically pleasing than nerd, can also be used as a noun as well as a verb. Still though, the whole chicken biting thing…

Lately, I’ve noticed ‘geeky’ or ‘nerdy’ things cropping up more and more in pop culture. The television series, Big Bang Theory is both loved and hated – for while the value of its characters lies in their intelligence and their interests, the series itself also reinforces negative stereotypes. On the other hand, sites like Think Geek, Geek-o-System, and The Functional Nerds seem to flourish on the feeling of community shared by people with common interests  – especially in science, computers, technology, science fiction, fantasy, and even literature.

Geek Culture (or Nerdiness, what-have-you) also thrives on a feeling of inclusion. Someone wearing a shirt with a Tardis on the front, regardless of text, affirms his (or her)  Doctor Who fandom. Someone who uses ‘Smeg’ (instead of the S-word) or ‘Frak’ (instead of the F-bomb) proclaims loudly where their interests lie. Not only do they identify themselves as geeks or nerds – they do so with pride.

Although, in the past both geek and nerd – by definition – meant NOT cool, times have changed. Cool in pop culture usually means stylish and socially adept. Either the cool kids don’t know what they’re missing, or the meaning of cool itself has evolved to include typically geeky (or nerdy) things. Again, with the rise of Geek Chic in recent years, either conclusion is hardly surprising.

In fact, mainstream culture seems to be embracing geeks and nerds so much, there are even dating sites devoted exclusively to this clientelle. And while the cynic might say it’s not surprising given their past social obscurity, the more honest among us might admit that right now – as ironic as it seems – Geek is cool.

And men are not the only ones who reach for their black rimmed glasses and computer keyboards when it comes to Geek Chick and Nerd Appeal. In the computer age, when women are becoming more and more technically minded, your typical computer nerd or literary geek is just as likely to be female as male. And while there have been many women geeks and nerds in the past, only recently has geek/nerd culture started actively targeting them with sites such as The Mary Sue.

A site specifically aimed at Geek women, while attractive at first glance to many of both sexes, ultimately can be divisive (check out the comments) . By specifically tailoring the content to perceived female tastes, such sites risk alienating their target audience by reinforcing gender stereotypes. After all, whether someone wears a skirt, pants, or kilt ultimately has nothing to do with whether or not that person thinks Star Trek trumps Star Wars, Open Source is the wave of the future, or Starbuck kicks ass.

According to Merriam-Webster, the word geek comes from low German geck meaning fool, though when I looked up geck in a German dictionary it read fop. Either way, the first definition is disgusting. The second definition – an intellectually gifted person who is disliked – is, at best, a left handed compliment. The third definition (with no negative associations) is also the one that most people seem familiar with:

Geek:

1: a carnival performer often billed as a wild man whose act usually includes biting the head off a live chicken or snake

2: a person often of an intellectual bent who is disliked
3: an enthusiast or expert especially in a technological field or activity <computer geek>
According to Wikipedia however, the modern meaning of geek is derived from Robert Heinlein’s short story, The Year of the Jackpot. It should be noted though, that Wikipedia is famous for being used by both geeks and nerds.

Nerd, on the other hand, according to Merriam-Webster, has only negative associations.

Nerd:

an unstylish, unattractive, or socially inept person; especially : one slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits <computer nerds>

Though nerd, according to both Merriam Webster and Wikipedia, apparently derives from If I Ran the Zoo by Dr. Seuss, which is awesome. Seriously, how cool is that?

So the debate rages on. I’ve yet to discover a definitive difference between the terms. Since language as well as culture constantly evolve, it just may be that both terms are in flux while Geek Chic is popular. But how will they evolve? Will everyone, one day, take geek as a compliment and take nerd as an insult? Will both be positive or negative?

Personally, I think whether either word is positive or negative ultimately lies with how enthusiasts and people of intelligence define themselves. The rest of the world can go frak themselves.

 

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Ramblings and Musings and Nanowrimo 2010 Prep

Ramblings and Musings and Nanowrimo 2010 Prep

Yesterday on Twitter, some fellow writers and I discussed (read: PANICKED) how Nanowrimo was only (just over) two months away, how excited we were, and what prep work (if any) we planned to do. This naturally got me musing about all I’ve gleaned from my three previous years and possibly sharing some of this experience to help other Nanowrimos (or is it just Wrimos? I can never figure that one out).

It’s true that I’m no Shakespeare, though I do happen to think that I’m not bad. If you want to see bad, just read my very first Nanowrimo! It’s okay, since everyone’s first attempt sucks. That’s the beauty of November. You give yourself permission to write utter crap. And something beautiful is born from it like a Phoenix from the ashes – even if it’s only a deeper appreciation of books and the fact that they’re a hell of a lot of work! Fun and rewarding work maybe, but still work.

So I’m going to share some techniques I’ve used in the past. They might not work for you, after all everyone’s different, but I’m putting it out there in case it helps. I’m also thinking of blogging about Nanowrimo, both before and after, on Audioboo. It seems like a simpler way to get the point across without so much typing! I can just post the highlights of the Boo on my blog with the audio embedded on the page.

I have all sorts of lovely strategies to get myself to meet my daily word goals, but before the actual month begins I have a short to-do list too. Number one might not seem to tie in, but in my mind it does. I give myself a deadline to finish any other writing projects that I’ve stalled on over the course of the year. Right now I have a couple short stories that I haven’t finished, some flash to edit, and I want to write at least eight extra flash (4 #Fridayflash, 4 52/250 stories) so I can keep posting for those commitments during November. Last year I took the month off from flash which I really regretted. If I have the stories prewritten, I don’t need to break my stride by switching from one story to another.

There’s also some books I’d like to read first. They’re by no means a requirement, but at least I’d like to finish the books I’m already on. I know it’s months ahead, but as November approaches I switch to reading books I’ve already read many times so I can stop without feeling bad about it. Miscellaneous things come up too, so I keep a notebook handy to remind myself to include them.

Right now though, for anyone who wants to do some easy preparation for National Novel Writing Month, I suggest you listen to some podcasts in your car or while doing something else. I found some from last year on Audioboo that I downloaded. I’m already getting excited!

For anyone who is interested, I can be found at both the Nanowrimo site and Audioboo as ganymeder.

Have a great day!

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Doctor Who, Veganism, and the Great language divide

http://www.planetclaire.org/doctorwho/ninth_doctor.php

Dr. Who -BOOM TOWN (season 1)

Margaret: I spared her life.
The Doctor: You let one of them go but that’s nothing new. Every now and then a little victim’s spared because she smiled, ’cause he’s got freckles. ‘Cause they begged. And that’s how you live with yourself. That’s how you slaughter millions. Because once in awhile—on a whim, if the wind’s in the right direction—you happen to be kind.
Margaret: Only a killer would know that.

It’s amazing the way your mind wanders, how little things…quotes from t.v. shows and bits of blogs, make you think of the strangest things.

I’ve been studying Esperanto lately with my little boy, and we’ve been having a lot of fun.  And it didn’t occur to me until after we’d begun studying that the first time we’d heard of it was actually years before through Scifi. Red Dwarf features it as a second language throughout the show and Harry Harrison talks about it as the Galactic secondary language in his Stainless Steel Rat book series.  After we’d begun studying the language, I began to understand why.

Esperanto was created as a supplementary language to facilitate peaceful relations between people of different language backgrounds and cultures.  It’s not meant to replace anyone’s native language, but rather to ease communication while preserving the linguistic and cultural identity of its speakers.  In fact, Esperanto has a culture of it’s own.

Because of it’s original peaceful intent, its sometimes referred to as a Peace Movement itself.  Because it doesn’t belong to any one country, nor is it a requirement, the people who study it tend to be self motivated activists and idealists.  There are a lot of vegetarians and vegans in the Esperanto movement.

Which led me to thinking of the similarities between Esperanto and veg*nism. Both movements are considered somewhat on the fringe.  Both are taken up by a small fraction of the overall population of the Earth.  Both are considered by many as a good idea though unattainable “in real life.” Both have lofty, noble, peaceful goals.

Which led me to remember the Doctor Who quote above.  You may wonder why I’ve cited it in a post about Esperanto and Veganism; Then again, you may not.

What struck me about that conversation, the very first time I heard it, was how it illustrates perfectly the compromises and double-think we’re all guilty of in our everyday lives.  How many times have we cried out enraged against cruelty to animals while simultaneously filling our bellies with their flesh?  How many times have we fed the ground remains of some animals to the animal companions within our own homes?  The pressure for this kind of double-think is so rampant throughout our society, that most of us are completely unaware that we do it.  We’re immersed in it; it’s become part of the way we think, or rather the way we double-think ourselves, in order to rationalize our actions and be “normal” members of society.

But what is so “normal” about our society?  When our society is fractured and split by the great language divide, when our compassion is split between the animals that need to be cared about and the ones that can be abused, is being “normal” a worthy goal?

What is “normal” anyway?  I’m going to be cliche here and quote from Merriam-Webster Dictionary…

  • Main Entry: 1nor·mal

1 : perpendicular; especially : perpendicular to a tangent at a point of tangency
2 a : according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle b : conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern
3 : occurring naturally <normal immunity>
4 a : of, relating to, or characterized by average intelligence or development b : free from mental disorder : sane**

Here, I believe, lies the fundamental difference between the idealist and the “normal” people.  “Normal” to most people equals conformity and sanity, while the idealist sees conformity as insanity. How is it sane to settle for the way things are when the world could be so much better- if everyone just lived the values they already profess to cherish?  Normal people see seemingly unattainable goals (that go against the mainstream of society) as impractical.  Idealists see the seeds of change in thoughtful choices and small everyday acts of kindness.  Even Cyrano himself (in the play Cyrano de Bergerac) claims:

What say you? It is useless? Ay, I know
But who fights ever hoping for success?
I fought for lost cause, and for fruitless quest!

What does it matter if the numbers are few? If society frowns upon the person who devotes time to causes that seem fringe, hopeless and impractical?  Some things are worth fighting for.  Some things are worth speaking out for.  I may have begun studying Esperanto purely as a hobby, but I still respect it’s ideals and culture and would never disparage it.  I became vegan for other reasons: for the animals; for my conscience; and for a better, more peaceful world.  And unlike Cyrano, I don’t NEED to fight.  All I need to do is be true to myself and my ideals.  Whether or not something is attainable in my lifetime (or even at all) is irrelevant. Some things are worth doing simply because they are the right thing TO do.

And maybe, just maybe, our small numbers will make the difference.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever does.” —Margaret Mead

I think The Doctor would approve.

**In the above Merriam-Webster definition, I made the text that I wanted to draw attention to both bold and italicized.

LINKS:

To learn more about Esperanto:
http://www.lernu.net

To learn more about Veganism:
http://www.veganoutreach.org
http://www.compassionatecooks.com

Downloadable Podcasts:
Food for thought

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Language, Animals, and Veganism

Have you ever noticed how language affects people’s perceptions?  How it reflects how people and society in general think as well as influences the thoughts themselves?  I’m sure that you have, and I’ve given this a fair bit of thought lately.  As a vegan, I sometimes have to watch the way I phrase my words so that other people are not offended.  It’s not that the content of my speech is untrue or the concepts they represent are foreign to the people I’m speaking to.  It’s simply a matter of bluntness and a reflection of the difference between how most (AR) vegans and omnivores view the world.

When I look at someone eating a chicken sandwhich, I don’t think “chicken/food” sandwhich.  I think a sandwhich made from birds/chickens.  So while an omnivore might say they eat “chicken”, I would say “chickens.”  You’d be surprised how that one extra letter changes people’s perception.  I remember once, my family went to Denny’s.  I gave the waitress a “Go Veg” card and she asked me if I ate meat.  “No,” I answered.  “I don’t eat flesh or secretions.”  “Wow! That makes it sound really unappetizing!” was her response.  Well, yeah. And the funny thing was, it didn’t occur to me that I was saying anything odd.  That’s honestly how I view meat and dairy. I mean, that is what it IS. But when you phrase things to reflect the being that existed BEFORE he/she became someone’s food, it chips away at the little wall that people build up around the whole subject of animals and food.

My little 8 year old son made a similar observation not long ago.  We went to a festival and overheard a woman talking about her rabbits.  She kept talking about how “it” acted, what “it” liked and didn’t like, how some were good for food and others for pets.  My little boy turned to me and said, “I don’t like when people call animals ‘it’!”  It’s another manifestation of cognitive dissonance. If someONE becomes a someTHING, it’s okay to do whatever you want to them; right?  ‘It’ can be used for humans too, especially when the gender is unknown, but generally people refer to animals as ‘it’ even WHEN they know the sex.

I was almost thirty before I decided that eating meat (and later dairy) was not a moral thing to do, especially when we can live just fine (and in most cases BETTER) without animal products.  It took slow chips over my lifetime, and eventually a couple big dents, to destroy my cognitive dissonance so that I saw the animal on my plate.  Our whole society tells us it’s okay, so it’s only natural that people shield themselves from the unpleasant truth about meat and dairy.  Chickens become “chicken.”  Cows become “meat”, “beef”, or “steak”.  Cow’s milk simply become’s “milk” and baby cows become “veal.”  If we are truly okay with the way we treat animals as food, then we shouldn’t be afraid to call them by their proper names.  It’s not extreme, or at least it shouldn’t be.  It’s simply honest.  And if we can’t be honest about our own actions, perhaps we should rethink them.

About a year ago, on our way to Farm Sanctuary, someone told me that something I said was “Extreme.”  So I wrote a poem about how I felt.  I think it ties in to this subject perfectly, so I’ll end by reprinting it.  I hope you like it.

Extreme

Extreme… what does that word mean anyway?
You use the words that others don’t use
Live what you think, and mean what you say
Call things what they are and not hide your views

Dairy and cheese are secretions from cows.
Meat is flesh. Call it by its proper name.
“Beef” once was living, Pork- hogs, piglets, sows.
Nice euphemisms are used to kill blame.

Walk past the mass grave marked “Meat Department”
Put “Go veg” cards on the Live Lobster tank
Feel their cold prison with your fingers bent
doomed to die so butchers go to the bank

In a world where innocents have no voice,
being extreme is the only sane choice.

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Science Fiction: social commentary for the masses

Science Fiction, the misunderstood bastion of the nerd, is more than space battles and futuristic technology.  It’s the ideal medium for social commentary in a world that doesn’t welcome astute observation.  Where else could the evils of our everyday lives be addressed in a socially acceptable manner?  Modern Westerners might be bored to tears studying Greek morality plays, but many will happily while away the hours debating the morality of Star Trek‘s transporter or speciesm in Planet of the Apes.

The authors, the best ones imo, act as gadflies of our time, but long after their initial warnings their voices are still heard.  And many of them are warnings, whether it’s to watch out for the dangers of too much government, the erosion of personal liberties, or simply our own prejudices and weaknesses.  There’s nothing so disturbing as to see our foibles through the eyes of another.

Physicist‘s and Philosopher‘s alike have written non-fiction books about Star Trek.  Star Wars mythology deals with the Buddhist philosophy of non attachment.  Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse tells the story of modern day slavery with a technological twist.  The Puppet Masters (by Heinlein) addresses the Red Scare; Alien Nation – racial prejudice.

Our language has been enriched by the genre as well.  Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land introduced the term “grok.”  “Doublethink,” “Big Brother ,” and even “cyberspace” owe their existance in the English language to genre literature.

The ability to transcend time, whether a novel or other media, is the hallmark of a truly great scifi storyline.  Certainly, the same claim could be made for any classic, but the genre lends itself especially well to this criteria.  Many of today’s classic novels were written as science fiction, from George Orwell’s 1984 to (a soon to be classic imo) Corey Doctorow’s Little Brother.

So why does popular media seek to stupefy us with a continual barrage of inane nonsense?  Why do network producers air great shows like Firefly only to sabotage them?  Why tell creators that they shouldn’t spend too much time on character development?  Why insist on more violence and less plot?  Hasn’t it already been shown that the lasting appeal lies just as much in the plot and characters as well as the technology and special effects? Where is their respect for the aesthetic and intellectual taste of the masses?

Indeed, there is plenty of bad scifi to go around.  But just as you shouldn’t judge the merit of English lit by a dime romance novel, neither should the merits of Scifi be judged by cheap special effects and sexy green skinned women.  Producers, publishers, and network execs should, if nothing else, respect the interests of a segment of the population that spends an incredible amount of money on anything related to SciFi – namely NERDS.

Nerds typically come across as socially awkward though rather intelligent people, or, in the words of Merriam-Webster: an unstylish, unattractive, or socially inept person ; especially : one slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuit.  The social awkwardness may be true in many cases, but intelligence is nothing to be ashamed of.  The pursuits of technological prowess or academic excellence are worthwhile ways to spend time.  Despite network producers and movie makers that seek to dumb down our entertainment choices, scifi continues to bring in some of the biggest money too.  Just ask George Lucas or Joss Whedon.

Let’s face it.  People want a story that entertains AND makes them think.

There’s one more point I’d like to make.  Scifi is relevant to ANYONE who’s interested in stimulating their mind as well as their satisfying their thirst for action and adventure.  And if you are a nerd, so much the better. Nerds, despite the pencil-protector-glasses-wearing image, are in.  So grab a Heinlein novel and wear your pointy ears with pride.  Nerds rule the world.

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