Thursday, October 26, 2006

Please Ms. Atwood, No More

Stardate 10-26-2006

Ah yes, Dystopian Fiction, my favorite genre within the realm of Science Fiction. If you are unfamiliar with the genre, I refer you to my favorite Dystopian novels, 1984 and Brave New World. Basically, a dystopia is the opposite of a utopia, and common thread shared by most of these novels is a Totalitarian Government that is constantly watching, listening, controling or punishing its population.

Another popular title in the genre is a novel by Margaret Atwood, called The Handmaid's Tale, the book which I have chosen to review for this post. This novel takes place in the future United States, where there is a serious decline in the population. The Govt. has decided that they need to take action to get the population levels back up, but the options that they have thought of, fertility clinics and artificial insemination, seem to be too sinful in their minds. They decide to turn to the Bible, and while studying the Old Testement they come to accounts of prophets whose wives could not have children. If the wife could not give her husband a child, they would give him their handmaid, and he would have a child with the her. And that is exactly what the Govt. decides to do. They asign handmaids to a "Commander" and his household.

In this dystopian future, the role of the handmaid has been severly limited. They are no longer allowed to read, they are allowed to leave the Commander and his wife only to go shopping at the market, and they are required to sleep with the Commander once a month in the attempt to get pregnant and help increase the population.

The premise sounds great and freaky, but Margaret just doesn't deliver. I wasn't at all freaked out by her version of the future, and I was never really truly worried what would happen to the main character if she got caught breaking the rules. And yes, you've probably already predicted that she does indeed read a magazine, and sleep with someone that she is not supposed to sleep with. Rebel!

After reading this book, I've realized that women just can't hack it when it comes to science fiction. Don't get me wrong ladies, women do have their place in the genre; as long as the're wearing gold bikinis, they're OK with me.

Lets be honest. I get that Margaret Atwood is a femanist and that her point here is how aweful things will get if we allow the Govt. to control a woman's body, but in all honesty, I'm pretty sure that a man would have done a much better job at writing this story. Maybe Ms. Atwood should try writing a spooky mystery novel or a hot and steamy romance, but I'm pretty sure I speak for us all when I say please, stay away from Science Fiction.

This post has been dedicated to Andy Kaufman, the Intergender Wrestling Champion of the World

Friday, October 20, 2006

Before Romeo & Juliet, there was Tristan & Isolde, but before Tistan & Isolde, there was Freaks & Geeks

Stardate 10-20-2006

Welcome all to my sci-fi nerd blog. I hope you will all find my posts to be even more precious then gold-pressed latnum.

For my first post, I've decided to write about the excellent, but short lived TV series, Freaks and Geeks. The show aired in the '99 fall season on NBC, but soon received the axe. Thanks to Blockbuster Online, my female and I recently viewed the whole series. The shows creators/directors/writers were Paul Feig (Arrested Development, The Office ) and Judd Apatow (Anchorman, Talladega Nights).

The show takes place in a small town of Michigan in the early '80s and is about two different groups of kids, the Freaks and the Geeks. The shows focus is on the Wier family whose daughter is a Freak and whose son, is a Geek. The Freaks are a bunch of burnouts who ditch class and listen to Pink Floyd and The Who. The geeks, of course are the nerds who love D&D, Star Wars, and shoot off model rockets. Some of my favorite episodes were about showering after gym class, forming a band, and playing Dungeons and Dragons, but perhaps one of the funniest episodes involved Ken, one of the freaks, and his girlfriend. In this episode, the girlfriend tells Ken that she was born with both male and female parts, but that her parents and the doctor quickly made a decision to "take care" of this situation, leaving her 100% female. Ken quickly and honestly lets her know that he doesn't care. In fact, he is so surprised about not caring that she used to be a "dude," that later in the episode, he starts to question is own sexuality and acutely goes to the guidance councilor to let him know that he might be gay.

All of the characters are funny, but my favorite is Bill Havechuck, seen on the left. Bill loves TV; his favorite shows are Dallas, Charlie's Angels, and Dukes of Hazard. His D&D characher is Gorthank the Destroyer.

The most recognizable face on the show is Daniel Desario, played by James Franco who has since gone on to star in all three Spider-Man movies and of course, Tristan and Isolde. His character is 18 and this is his third year as a senior. He is sort of the leader of the Freaks.

Freaks and Geeks has definitely found a place in my heart, right in between Dawson's Creek season 3 and The OC season 1.