Monday, May 23, 2005


This from Drudge this morning:
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A home in Sacramento's south Natomas neighborhood is surrounded by sheet metal, and neighbors are calling it an eyesore.

The D'Souza family lives in the home on Timberwood Court, and claims the aluminium pieces are necessary to protect them from unknown neighbors who have been bombarding them with radio waves and making them sick.

"(It's) a shield to protect against radiation, because microwave radiation is reflected off of aluminium, so it's a protective measure," resident Sarah D'Souza said.
I'm thinking this may be the only way to shield myself and my family, including all three parrots and the dog, from Star Wars Overhype. I am afraid of finding a Wookie under my bed, and my dreams are haunted by Jar Jar Binks.

Yes, I'll go see it, along with the entire rest of the civilized world. But I really don't care. I remember standiing in line for an hour on 42nd Street in NYC with my pal John Morthland to see the first Star Wars movie. For someone who grew up on science fiction, it was exhilarating. Look, Gordon Dickson's alien bar scene! Aliens! A vaguely Zen-ish spiritual Force! Moreso than even 2001 with its ponderous imagery, Star Wars was a validation that I wasn't a Total Nerd, or perhaps that I was a Total Nerd but that wasn't so bad, since everybody on earth saw Star Wars and declared it a Good Thing..."Watch it you must; validate your pimply butt it can..."

But in the 27 years later, I'm tired of the whole thing. I mean, I'd really like to see Princess Leia and Queen Amidala mud-wrestling in an arena filled with screaming, drooling aliens who vaguely resemble Michael Jackson, but there are limits even to special effects, I suppose. Mostly, as a person who still reads the occasional scifi book, I've been relentlessly disappointed by Hollywood's refusal to actually produce a real science fiction movie. The closest thing was Blade Runner, and that was a long time ago. As a more-or-less libertarian, I'd love to see a real movie from a Heinlein, maybe Door Into Summer or — dare I say it? — Stranger in a Strange Land. Something from Harry Turtledove might be nice.

I mean, Lord of the Rings proved conclusively that intelligent, adult fantasy where the F/X is secondary to the story and characters has a staggering market.The secret is to actually really use the A-list writers instead of the Hollywood hacks...ah, they'll never think of that!

I'm headed to Home Depot for some of that metal siding!


Anonymous said...

I thought Charlie (flowers for Algernon) was a heck of a good science fiction movie. Also heard Bradbury argue that Singin in the Rain was an SF movie; he made a case, too.

Try some L. Neil Smith (a neighbor of yours), say, The Probability Broach or Forge of the Elders.

Jerry The Geek said...

I'm thinking Lazarus Long novels. No, too long ....
how about "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress"?

No, probably too little action.

"Tunnel In The Sky" is full of action, and "Farnham's Freehold" is a great example of Heinleinian social commentary, as is "Citizen of the Galazy".

How about "Podkayne of Mars" or "Have Space Suit, Will Travel"? Juvenile Fiction should be do-able.

Look, they made "Starship Troopers"; Hollywood should be able to at least do "Glory Road".

They'll never do "I Will Fear No Evil", I know that for sure.

Yeah, Heinlein is alive and well on MY bookshelf.

BTW, the Daniel Keyes short story (later a novel, later a movie) is spelled "CHARLY", because the protagonist spells his name that way. This is one of the finest SF novels in American literature. I'd say more in praise of this story, but I don't want to "pull a Charly 'Gordon".

Anonymous said...

Serenity (the movie) is coming out in
September. If you haven't seen the
series in DVD, I'd highly recommend
it. A very libertarian, pro gun slant.

Anonymous said...

Someone tinkering with a Magnetron tube out of a microwave oven with say (a 18 db horn in the area??)

RandomExcesses said...

I've avoided the sheet metal siding (so far), but I had some home-made peach brandy once that scared me enough that I had to cover my head with aluminum foil to block the alien transmissions...

RandomExcesses said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
RandomExcesses said...

...and I recall a friend who lived in a cramped all-metal trailer with his 90-pound malemute and seemed a tad paranoid at times. Who knew?