Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hey, I may be a Nerd but I'm no SciFi/Horror/Fantasy Nerd...

Never been a SciFi, horror, or fantasy kinda guy. Never been into comic books or comic book superhero mythologies. Rarely ever read SciFi or Horror or Fantasy or Westerns or Crime. More a Bulgakov, Tolstoy, and Dickens kinda guy. I am a huge fan of Rohmer and Prime Suspect and Fawlty Towers and Dekalog, for instance.

Given this, I have never been much interested nor taken much cognizance of the SciFi/Horror/Fantasy nerd culture out there (represented these days in The Big Bang television show I am told). It took me years and a move to Austin, Texas to realise that there were actually people like The Troika from season six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer out there in the real world.

Don't get me wrong, I was an outsider in high school in Indiana. My parents moved me and my sister to Blackford County, Indiana in the 1970s from Dallas, Texas (quite a culture shock even at that time). But I was a a political and ideological outsider rather than a SciFi/Horror/Fantasy nerd outsider. Hell I don't even know if we had any SciFi/Horror/Fantasy nerds in the entire school.

I went to school after all BSW, before Star Wars. I didn't know anyone who wanted to dress up like a character from 200l: A Space Odyssey. Those I knew who were into 2001 were, if I remember correctly, into the hallucinogenic aspects of the film of it rather than the role playing aspects of it. Were there any of the latter at all? 2001 was more of a "cerebral" film (if I can use that term for a movie that seems rather sophomoric to me know) than the fabled and fairy tale Star Wars which is a throwback to World War Two era movie serials with their clear demarcation of good and evil. A comforting thought, I suppose, in a post-Vietnam world of shades of moral gray?.

Nor did I know any Trekkers or Trekkies or whatever they prefer to call themselves, the closest thing to Star Wars and comic book role playing nerds of my generation. I watched Star Trek when it was on the tube in the mid-60s and watched it occasionally in reruns but it was never a part of my cultural life. I was more into M*A*S*H* at least until it became a weekly liberal soap opera in which Radar was infantilised and Hawkeye became ever more and more the focus of the show. Don't, by the way, get me wrong here. I admire Alan Alda.

This doesn't mean that I don't watch genre stuff on the big screen or small. I love British mysteries on the small screen like Morse, Prime Suspect, Cracker, Lewis, and Wallander. And I do watch horror and SciFi on the big screen or though, as I said, I am not a SciFi or Horror groupie. I simply like "quality" cinema and television. If I like a film or TV programme I don't care whether it is drama, comedy, horror, or Science Fiction. I like it because I like a good film or TV programme.

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