When I watch shows involving spaceships and aliens I spend the entire time asking, "Where is Vecton Sector Five?""What does that blue crystal do?" "Is that alien now the woman that he just ate?".etc, etc, etc. Anyway, I thought that as a matter of urgency, I'd have to try to clear some of her misconceptions up. What follows is the text of an email I have just sent in to The Age regarding her column. Let's see, here's how it goes ...
Right, I think it's time I cleared up some of your misconceptions and queries about SF. I can't claim to be a huge nerd, just a regular fan of the SF genre (though I'm definitely not so desperate as to watch Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica).
Okay, to get to some of your queries - I'm going to quote from your article:
1) "I kept asking, "Where is Vecton Sector Five?"
This one's easy. Vecton Sector Five is right down the road from Vecton Sector Four. Do they teach you to count at The Age? Just kidding ...*
2) "What does that blue crystal do?"
The blue crystal does WEIRD SHIT (tm). As a matter of fact, you could say that WEIRD SHIT (tm) is pretty much the function of all blue crystals; it doesn't really matter what *specific* category of blue crystal it is; in all cases, it will do WEIRD SHIT (tm).
If you wonder why blue crystals do WEIRD SHIT (tm), then I would refer you to any Advanced Science Fiction text re: dramatic tension. WEIRD SHIT (tm) adds to the dramatic tension, you see. It's a well-known science-fictional fact.
3. "Is that alien now the woman that he just ate?"
4. "... Monkey (I'll give a million bucks to anyone who can explain that show to me.)"
Monkey is a show about a Monkey and a Pig and a Buddhist Priest and some other dude who I forget now who go for a long walk. They meet lots of people and have lots of adventures. The End.
Not much more to explain about the show, really. Incidentally, I read the Monkey book once, and it's highly recommended (the book, that is, not necessarily the version of it that I read). Helps give you an idea of the Chinese/Buddhist folk-tale context.
5. "What's his [the Doctors] real name?"
Doctor Who's real name is not known because he is a Man of Mystery. I refer you to my comments re: Dramatic tension and WEIRD SHIT (tm) in 2) (above).
And I'll thank you to not be so speciest: the Doctor, as we know, is not even human - he comes from Gallifrey - and for all we know, one of the longstanding practices of Gallifreyans may be not to name their young. It may seem strange and a little bit goofy to us humanoids, but who are we to cast our terran-based prejudices on the rest of the universe? Has multiculturalism TAUGHT YOU NOTHING? Excuse me.
6. "Why is his [the Doctor's] scarf so long"?
It is a phallic symbol of his masculine prowess.
7. "How come when the doctor changes he never turns out to be a short mean hairy Asian woman with calipers?"
See 6) above, re: masculine prowess. Anyway, it's the Doctor's personal choice. If he wants to indulge in a bit of transgender regeneration, that's up to him. It would be appallingly insensitive of us to cast our expectations upon him like that.
That's about all for now - I hope this has helped to clear up any misconceptions you may have had. Also - and just to show you how much of a nerd I really am - I think I'll blog this (http://willtypeforfood.blogspot.com).
Good day to you,
Tim Train, Coburg, Australia.
PS Stop writing for The Age - all they ever seem to do is churn out socialist claptrap. Go for the Herald Sun, they're much more amusing.
*Reading over my email now, I think this joke was a little nasty, but Deveny seems like she has a good sense of humour. The things nerds do with words in the heat of the moment ...