Indifference…And Worse.

September 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Although I have personally liked science fiction, most of my family and friends do not usually share this enthusiasm. To them, science fiction is merely another form of entertainment, just like cartoons, popular music, blockbuster movies, and video games, only differing in subject. Their usual attitudes toward science fictions range from indifference and polite disinterest to concealed disdain. Using my acquaintances as samples, even though the number of people with whom I have attempted to discuss science is small, I have also gotten the feeling that the current mainstream culture generally regard science fiction with little interest and respect.

My immediate family does not give science fiction credit much credit, unfortunately due to my enthusiasm for science fiction. Indeed, whenever we get to discuss science fiction, even remotely, it is often lumped together with other forms of “entertainment.” Most of the time, it is difficult to hold any meaningful conversations into science fiction, as my family simply DO NOT care. What is important to them is rather the usage of science fiction as an entertainment, not its content nor formal features nor distinctions from other genres. In plain words, all they want to do is figure out how to get me off of “that stuff.” In my experience, my family haven’t once treated science fiction as a serious, intellectual discourse, instead only to view it as another childish leisure activities.

Unfortunately, even my peers do not take science fiction seriously. As long as it is “fun,” they are fine with anything. As a result, not many of my friends make the distinction between Lord of the Rings, Batman: the Dark Knight, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Nor do they often think of science fiction as a mirror to reality, or even the possibility (or impossibility) of realization of SF scenarios. It is also next to impossible to talk about science fiction with my peers, since they will simply label me as a nerd and drop the subject.

From my interactions with my family and friends, as well as from the media, I have come to the realization that science fiction is still sidelined as a subculture, a separate entity that only the “nerds” and “geeks” enjoy or take seriously. Furthermore, many people seems to believe that the more recent science fiction in movies and video games are extremely male-oriented. In other words, they are made for lonely nerds and geeks. On January 21, 2008, Fox News denounced a popular SF video game series, Mass Effect, for one single sexual scene. However, their reporting was particular inaccurate. Not only they exaggerated the circumstances of the particular scene, one of their experts has never played the game, and seems to consider the notion rather ridiculous.

Nightly Thoughts

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