For Me, But Not For Thee- David Pascoe
The teaser trailer for Episode Vee-Eye-Eye is out, and I imagine at least some of the Huns are excited, though I understand herself hold the franchise in some disdain. I, myself, am cautiously optimistic. Abrams has done – qualified – good things (and I’ll get to why I say that in a bit) with Star Trek, and I have hopes he’ll do something similar-but-better with the franchise nearest and dearest to my eight-year-old self’s heart.
I tried to hold out. I don’t need to see this, and besides, it’s probably crap. I mean, yeah, I was raised on Dad’s story of how he and Mom went to see Ep. 4 opening weekend in LA, and the line was three deep all the way around the block, and Mom held their spot while he went to the box office to find out the expected wait time, and the perky lass inside opened up the window and asked, “how many?” “For Star Wars?” *perky nod* “For the next showing?” *perky smile-and-nod* “Two, please,” and how he then went to find Mom and said, “Don’t say anything, just come with me.”
I watched the trilogy as often as I felt I could get away with it growing up (it hit all the right buttons in a very formative time, like happens) and listened to the Ep. 5 LP when I couldn’t do that. I was ecstatic when the Special (Snowflake) Editions were released in theaters, and went with a mess of friends (all two of ’em), and again when the prequels were released. Though I’d grown since childhood, even if George’s craft hadn’t. Consequently, I’m wary of this new thing. And then I watched it, and grinned. Well, fought a grin. Yes, I might get hurt, again, but … well: hope.
And then a college buddy tossed me a <a href=”http://www.kxly.com/news/beale-how-star-wars-ruined-scifi/29980964″>link</a>, and my blood boiled. Not just for the unfair characterization of my generation by one (I’m presuming, which is better than assuming, which makes a posterior of you and Ming and leaves me out of it (and Ming is a jerk, as all know)) but for the sneering assumption that science fiction is some sort of closed club only open to those of correct opinion and award-winning status. The right awards, of course: those for literary quality, not the Franklin award for people-will-give-up-hard-earned-lucre for your work. What really sent the steam escaping from under my collar with a animalistic howl was the blatant superiority of the smug little op-ed cloaked in weary resignation (tying in well with Sarah’s post yesterday).
Elitism. We can’t ever seem to get rid of it. I’m talking specifically about scifi fandom, here, though it applies to humanity in general, since we’re tribal by nature. I blame that whole mess at Babel a while back. Really screwed things up for the rest of us, the jerks. Anyway, this smug superiority that separates
We see this all over the place, really. Check out the people at the top of the political pyramid, our self-proclaimed leaders. The top man claims it’s fine for him to violate law and tradition, and rule by executive <del>fiat</del>privilege, but not for the next person to occupy the office in which he squats. His subordinates, from his number two on down blatantly violate the laws by which the rest of us are expected to abide. And so they target law abiding citizens for a harassment only “legal” because it’s fine when they do it. By this example, they encourage others to participate in similarly thuggish acts, such as <a href=”http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2012/05/29/the_lefts_dangerous_new_line_of_attack_swatting”>targeting</a> <a href=”http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnyegriffiths/2014/11/07/bungie-executive-swatted-in-sammamish-wa-home/”>people</a> with whom they have some imagined beef. Or, y’know, just <a href=”http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/09/02/the-guardians-village-idiot-admits-to-libel/”>libel on an international forum</a> (sure, Al Grauniad’s pet attack-chihuahua isn’t an American citizen, but he <i>is</i> part of the elitist mob of SJWs. so there’s that).
An entire generation – it seems – is trying to get in good with the cool kids and their vitally important failed economic and pseudo-scientific religious dogma, and those of us who simply want to enjoy what we enjoy become the sacrificial scapegoats in their quest for politically correct enlightenment.
Anyway, as I said, it’s rearing its ugly head, <a href=”http://www.kxly.com/news/beale-how-star-wars-ruined-scifi/29980964″>again</a>. From the location, it could be somebody hoping to build cred in preparation for WorldCon next year. A cursory – and therefore possibly incorrect – exercise of google-fu suggests the writer of the op-ed may be a journalist and film critic. Pure speculation, but we’re mad here, and I like to stir the pot. Regardless of the origins, this particular bit of nonsense claims that Star Wars ruined science fiction FOREVAR because it’s not about ideas, but about action.
Never mind the concepts of authoritarianism versus popular government, or the good/evil struggle writ large and small. Let us not speak of love and friendship, of the tug of family ties to an orphan, or the impact of the destruction of a planet at the whim of a tyrannical aristocrat, the questions of free will and destiny that are worked out in the swing of lightsaber and the explosion of spaceships. No, those aren’t important ideas like slavery and sexual identity are important ideas.
I get it. Star Wars isn’t your deal, guy. That’s cool: I’m not an enormous Trek fan, and the recent Battlestar did nothing for me. Just don’t throw up your hands in disgust when people <i>do</i> love a thing you don’t. Don’t belittle them sidelong for enjoying the actions or scope of something limited by its medium, and then claim the Matrix is the most creative scifi film of the last two and a half decades.
Because it’s not about that. Really.
It’s about drawing in new fans. Attracting people (young and old) who would otherwise look upon us Odds with contempt or – at least – bewildered confusion. I loathe most of Episode 1, but darned if my buddy’s kid doesn’t love him some Jar Jar and pod racing, and will grow up a science fiction fan because of it.
But sure, react – or not – with your ennui at where the genre has gone. Be disgusted because the Forever War hasn’t been made into a film, and the attempts at Dune have been flawed. Pine for a never-made Neuromancer that couldn’t be made when cyberpunk was The Thing, and won’t be made now because it’s not. That’s cool that you want to keep scifi pure and about Big Ideas. SFWA agrees with you, at least. The Hugo voters are all about these big ideas that were new when Gilgamesh was written, and when Homer was telling a story about a dude who just wanted to get home after a war.
The more you tighten their grasp, the more fans will slip through your fingers.
And there we’ll be, shining a light of fun stories and big heroes.
UPDATE: Message from Sarah (like a message from Fred but weirder.) Older son’s weirdest story yet, Candyworld, should be free today, though possibly not that early morning. Anyway, keep checking.