Average. Everyday. Sane. Psycho.
I’ve been trying to figure out what I wanted to write in regards to various things I’ve been reading lately about the new Doctor. As I understand Peter Capaldi is a life long Doctor Who fan who was about as obbessed with the series as David Tennant is. I think that’s wonderful that the older the actor is who plays the Doctor the more likely they are fans of the classic series which I think is wonderful. When you can work for something you love then it’s the best job in the world. It’s part of why I wanted to publish the novel. Despite everything I aboslutely love to write to the point of it being an obbession. That being said, I’ve been reading what quite a few people have been saying in regards to the long running popular show and science fiction and fantasy in general.
Lets make no mistake, I was an outsider in high school. I’m fat. I wore glasses in a time that no one wore them. For a long time, I was the only Catholic kid in a public high school where denominations like Southern Bapitist and Pentacostals reigned supreme (despite the largest church in town being the Methodist church). Admittedly, though you can’t tell from these rants, I’m smart but I also am dyslexic. So being too smart for the LD crowd made it hard and being too dumb for the honors class kids wasn’t easy so I read quite a bit. The other thing I had was the X-Files. So combined with that and the influence of the youth leader at the time I became a science ficiton nerd in high school simply so I could just escape. In that time I’ve seen geek and nerd culture become embraced by the world at large. The fact of the matter is the people who make our technology, write our entertainment and so on are the generation that came up on these things. This comes with some major problems for a genre that I once loved.
I’m not going to sit here and do the hipster thing which is I was in to xyz before it was cool. We’ve moved past the days of James St. James. Being an innovator doesn’t get you anymore points that normal. I know we all want to think we’re special but we’re not really not in the way that we all want to be. So this isn’t one of those rants. Not what I want to talk about is the lack of understanding about what is in the scifi commnunity.
I think the beauty of a piece of work is simply because you are able to find something you can idenfity with. A very good piece of work whether it is art, comics, movies books or music will have something that you can feel like the creator is speaking right too you. I’ve always liked the X-men becuase it did speak right to a feeling of being an outsider and using that isolation for good. I’ve been reflecting on my own work lately to realize there is a lack of diversity in the cast but that’s okay. If I’ve done it right there should be deeper themes in the work that will speak to other people. I don’t know if its as strong in Spring Blessings as it is in Summer Sacrafice. I think Summer Sacrafice does have more of that theme to it by virture of the fact I started my treatment for mental illness when I started writing it. I want to say that the biggest theme in that one is simply finding someone who is willing to deal with your bullshit. I think that there are ways to find things you want to express with in the confines of what we need. When they announced the new Doctor the first thing I saw was a quote from Stephen Moffat who said a female doctor would like the Queen being male. This caused people to be upset but I understand it so to speak. Why do we need a female Doctor? As I recall the Rani, an evil time lord, changed genders once and it caused her to go insane because having to adjust to being male and then going back to being female. The implication was going against one’s natural state causes one to go crazy. I think that this is wonderful if you think about it. If your natural gender isn’t what you were born with it does cause a bit of madness. More importantly if your going to slam that from a show that brought some forward thinking aspects such as the lesiban couple (written by Moffatt by the way) as well as Captian Jack Harkness then you really haven’t been paying attention.
I think that’s the major problem is the lack of postive gay role models as well as gender queer individuals. I think this is because you aren’t looking at it the right way. Hal and I have dicussed this quite a bit and his suggestion was that the enxt time someone argues for the need of a transgender hero in science fiction point them towards Jadiza Dax from Deep Space Nine. For those of you who aren’t familar Dax is a symbote that moves from host to host for quite sometime. It’s an honor to host the symbote. At the beginning of Deep Space Nine, Dax had just been transplanted from Kurson Dax to Jadiza. Kurson had been an old man and became a young female. There is even an early episode where Dax had to deal with a former lover whom she still cared for. If that isn’t a major concern then I don’t know what is.
I get it though. You’re concenred about little girls wanting to have a super hero. it’s like the arguement for wanting the Wonder Woman movie made. I’d love to see it but the next time I hear someone say they need to make a superhero movie for girls I’m going to scream. They made one it’s called Thor. But to say that there aren’t awesome female characters out there for little girls is wrong. There are plenty of kiss ass ladies out there, Princess Leia, Katniss Everdeen, Zoe Washburn, Ellen Ripley, Jean Gray, and so on. Even Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time is probably one of the best things ever. She’s a princess but also a scientist.
I think my major problem is that odd critisim but also the fact that because we have now people cowtowing what they consider nerd culture things are starting to be dumbed down and mainstream. My major complaint has always been people are trying too hard. You know, people will like what they like. I say we just go out and create. That’s all I have.
Reciently, Hal pointed out a segment from Fox and Friends talking about Fred Rogers being bad for children’s self confidence. This clip has reserfaced reciently thanks to things like Upworthy and numerous Facebook groups with a liberal bais. I know Fox and Friends can be a vile cespool of misinformation so I won’t go ape over the content of this segment. I just think that it was in poor taste to attack a man who did so much for children’s programming as well as public television and helped usher in an era of media that we all take for granted (or at least anyone born after 1983 does). Fun Fact: part of the reason you have DVR and Netflix and home movies is because Fred Rogers supported the VCR industry when it was becoming popular. Had they been banned or more regulated you wouldn’t be able to fast forward through the commerials while watching your Wife Swap and had died a good five years from one of the worse cancers out there is a little cold. Maybe one is over reacting but to be fair the core message of Mr. Rogers was pretty simple. You are special the way you are.
I am a big fan of the musical Avenue Q which presents the idea that things like Mr. Rogers and Seasme Street lied to us. That we are meant for great things and when we don’t we fall flat and are damaged. But as it seems to me that as I go through whatever I am going through at this point, it doesn’t hurt to think of yourself as a unique individual. In fact in the crux of ever class I’ve ever took in Special Education that is the case. No two people are alike and typical doesn’t mean that intervention that works for person a is going to work for prson b. I don’t see the harm in telling a child that they are special. I look at someone like my brother who is servere and profoundly handicapped and cannot think of a better way to describe him. It’s the same for my nieces and nephew who are clever and probably will accomplish more than I can ever imagine for them. There is no harm in taking pride in who you are. What you’ve done to get as far as you have. Does it mean we’ll have a generation of supermen and women running around as rocket scientists? No. We will all have paths and roads to take. Settling for less than what will make you happy is not being special.
Lately I’ve been doing a photographic study of the left side of my face which has the most scar tissue. I’ve been messing with Instagram to accentuate parts of it and so on. It might be an exersice confidence building and accepting what I look like and what will never change. I can lose weight. I can dye my hair any color I want. I can make my appeance be causual or business like. I could even wear make up to hide my scars but at the end of the day they are still there. The events that have led me to this point are always going to be there. I cannot erase them. I am special. I am unique.
I think that’s the problem with our generation and the ones behind us. We are told that we are special so much that it we’ve become apathetic to it. We hear the words and we don’t know what it means. It’s not Fred Roger’s fault. It’s the fact we accept mostly that you are special and that should be enough build confidence. I suspect it takes more than that. Accentuating what we do well. Sure there is always room for improvement but that isn’t something you tell little children.
No seriously, don’t.
I took this picture the other day of my face. It came from something I didn’t notice until my eye started twitching all over again. For those of you who don’t know I was working a job where I gained scars on my face. Namely, I was lucky enough to keep my eye unharmed and intact. This picture was an accident. My eye started twitching and my contact moved out of place and I closed my eyes hitting the button as I was trying to take selfie. I didn’t realize I had what I think is a deep scar there. I now realize how very lucky I was to move when I did.
It’s almost serene really. You can see a deep scar on my high cheek. You can’t see the scar under my eye. My facial scars have always been apart of my self portrait that I’m not very good at drawing. It’s a simple picture but the fine line of scars are sort of something I’m proud of. I had an avatar that for quite sometime that had a heavy and grotesque scar that almost mirrored my own. Someone I played with told me that I didn’t need to have the scar to look “deep” or “tragic” and proceeded to tell me this was a stereo type she was sick of. I didn’t have it to be a deep character. I had it because it’s like Frida Kalho who didn’t have a major unibrow was over exaggerated in her portraits.
It’s apart of my sort of new being really. I’m trying to learn how to like myself which is really kind of hard for me. So I’m starting on something simple. I like my scars because they mean something to me. I don’t mean ones I’ve self inflicted which are shameful but the ones I’ve gotten from being alive. We are the sum of our experiences. It is what shapes us to be a person in life. We never should be afraid of our experiences. Not all of them were good but not all of them were terrible either. Good and bad they should be both embraced. Would my life been different if I didn’t have the hard times where the scarring came from? Probably but it is who I am. I today will embrace my scars because they are hurts that have healed. They are no longer injuries that are open and bleeding. They are passed. I will move beyond my hurt and not dwell.
I will embrace my scars.