It’s Hip to be Square!

So, after a ‘request’ to stay away from the’ sci-fi thing’, because aliens go over some peoples heads and they can’t seem to fathom the fact I have a life, and interests other than sex, I’m going to avoid posting about the 2 hours of debauchery I enjoyed yesterday and instead get proper Geek on yo’ asses!

Do you see how this blog is run now? Yep, thats right, by me.

As a dumpy and disfavoured youth, I was never part of the ‘popular’ crowd, and like many of that age, I took solice in the local library. I’d devour books about gangly youths with hockey sticks who called ‘What-Ho!’ at every available opportunity, or gangs of teens who’d explore the coast of Dorset and suddenly come across a marvellous mystery.

As I got older, I – along with pretty much every child of that generation – discovered the Point series. Point Horror, Point Romance, Point everything. And yes, Point Horror was always the one currently lent out. If you found two in the school library, it was like finding gold! Even though they followed the same pattern – boy/girl falls for girl/boy. But a week before the  school prom/school trip, people were suddenly being killed under ‘supernatural’ circumstances. After an attempt on the life of our hero, they discover it’s not a ghost/monster/vampire, but actually the girl/boy they fancy!All ending up in a final showdown. Brilliant.

Then, as I got older and was allowed the more adult books in the library, I got into Shaun Hutson and Christopher Pike…but there were others on the shelf. Ones with weird covers that would actually give me the creeps. Skeletons, knobbly creatures, women with massive boobies…Hmm. All very odd. So I stuck with what I knew…all the books had pretty much the same formula as the Point Horrors, but this time there would actually be real ghosts/monsters/vampires. All very exciting.

But one day, I picked up a magazine in W H Smiths with a view to seeing which teen horror brain melting book would be out next. But on the cover was a man with a grey beard, and a big hat..and doing an interview about those forbidden looking scary books with skeletons on the cover, and knobbly creatures, and women with big boobies. How strange! Turns out, they’re pretty funny…Death is a major character who likes cats and currys (just like me), the witches are no-nonsense granny-types who’d rather have a nice cup of tea than muck about with anything else, and the capital city is run by a dictator who’s got it working more efficiently than any of the kings in it’s previous history…and then there are the ‘Wizzards’.

Death drew me in. ‘Mort’ was in the library, and I gobbled it within a day. Suddenly, I didn’t care for the brain rotting trash, I was happy giggling to myself about multi-legged luggages, and evil smelling, multi raping cats. My librarian put them aside for me – cos no one else was withdrawing them- and thats when I guess I became a Geek. Terry Pratchett dragged me down to a world of humour, happiness, and the ability to Get The Joke.

From there it was a short leap to Neil Gaimen, Micheal Marshall Smith, Douglas Adams, Alan Moore, Robert Rankin, Greg Bear, Arthur C Clarke, Isaac Asimov…I was an outsider! A rogue ‘alternative’ teenager (well, as I like to have thought at the time – but dont all teenagers think that?) into fantasy, horror and sci-fi and proud. I’d crack open a Discoworld book on a train, and within minutes someone was talking to me as a fellow fan, and recommending similar authors. I went to book signings, special film screenings of ‘Blade Runner’, filmfest alnighters of ‘The Thing’, ‘Alien’, ‘Event Horizon’ and ‘Pitch Black’, and even a couple of very geeky conventions…and always dressed up too!

I went to college, and would argue for hours in media classes about whether Deckart from Blade Runner was a robot or human (totally a robot!), if Ridley should have been male, or female – and if she could be considered ‘sexy’. Could ‘Back to the future’ be considered sci-fi? (Of course!). And the impact of science ‘fiction’ on real life – c’mon, doesn’t a flip phone make you feel just a little bit like Captain Kirk? And asimov’s laws will more than likely actually be the laws in robotics of the future. And even the little round self-cleaning hoovers from the Jetsons are here! You can totally buy them and everything!

And it was like this was all written, or shot, yesterday. George Lucas has mucked around with the Star Wars films so much, you forget it was shot 30 years ago. All these characters and stories are set in a time and space which was enjoyed by your parents, you, and will be by your children, and possibly their children! They’re timeless.  Jolly hockey stick teens soon grow old and end up on gin, wide eyed american teengers get dumped at the prom, and vampires soon loose their appeal after that pubescent spurt of hormones.

But men for generations to come are going to want to be Hans Solo. Kids are going to be scared by the drooling xenomorph for years as it sniffs Sigorney Weavers face. Won’t we all fear our loved ones being ‘bodysnatched’ or replaces by robots? Captain Kirk will always beat James Bond in a fight. Always. And at some point, just once in your life, haven’t you muttered at least one of these sentances –

‘Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads…’ – Back to the future

‘May the Force Be With You’ – Star Wars

‘E.T Phone Home’ – ET

‘I’ll Be Back’ – Terminator

‘It’s Alive! It’s Alive!’ – Frankenstein

‘Houston, we have a problem.’ – Apollo 13

‘Moolti-passs!’ – 5th Element

“Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!” – Planet of the apes

‘Open the Pod Bay Doors, Hal’ – Space Odyssey

And there’s more! Sci-fi on TV is in a whole stratosphere of it’s own. Doctor Whos is still making kids (and several adults) hide behind the sofa…Even it’s spin offs are totally capturing the world’s imagination all over again. My 6 year old neice talks about nothing else than The Sarah Jane Adventures, and personally I will never forget the heart wrenching, gut churning moment in Torchwoods ‘Children Of Earth’ where Peter Caribaldi walks into the room where his wife, and 2 daughters are waiting for him. Closes the door, a moment silence, followed by 4 gunshots after he’s told he has to give his own children to the ‘junkie’ aliens.

And that’s not all. A brilliant re-imagining of Battlestar Gallactica, Lost – which has taken Science Fiction to a whole new level. Fringe, X-Files, Flash Foward, Dollhouse, Warehouse 13..and it’s not all just aliens with ‘Like, eyes and heads, yeah?’. It’s intelligent, inspiring, and a lot more interesting than someone just having a screw.

And if you’re still not convinced, look at those important moments in science fiction – just off the top of my head –  Captain Kirk kissing Uhuru – the first ever multi racial kiss shown on TV. District 9 showing life in slums, shanty towns, and the impact of apartheits. Mary Shelley writing Frankenstien, and blowing the romantic poets she was hangin out with out of the water! And let’s not forget that pretty much most of science fiction based around human & aliens is just ‘Hey, you’re different to me, why don’t we all just get along?’

My fingers literally can’t keep up with everything that I think about this genre. I’ve only scratched the surface. I’d love to sit here all day and shoot the breeze about Call of Cthulu, George Orwell, Joss Whedon, Philip K Dick, and so, so many more! But I actually think my brain might explode in a ‘Scanners’ stylee.

And that, dear readers-who-may-or-may-not-still-be-reading, is why I will continue to be a geek, forever and always. That is why I will love it, and write about it as I see fit. I will pay no heed to the wasters and haters, and shall continue to keep the Faith.

Yes, the Force is strong in this one.

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One Response to “It’s Hip to be Square!”

  1. Sir Arthur C Clarke 90th Birthday reflections | Birthday Ideas & Advice Says:

    […] It's Hip to be Square! « Coin-Operated Girl […]

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