Saturday, December 27, 2014

Alien Aversion

I have spent a lot of time with aliens lately. As a result of this blog post, I have spent most of the Christmas season TV-bingeing on Dr. Who. With two seasons left of eight, I am coming in on the home stretch. I have enjoyed some seasons more than others, some episodes more than others, and some doctors more than others. That being said, on the whole, it's a great show, and unless things go really sideways, I intend to keep current.

While discovering a new TV series and watching one's way through is not a significant event in and of itself, it becomes more interesting when I clarify that sci-fi is not my thing--fantasy doesn't generally tend to be my thing, either. I don't do Star Wars or Star Trek, and while I have seen Lord of the Rings, I can't say I particularly cared for them. I also couldn't hack the Chronicles of Narnia. 

On the other hand, I quite like Superman (mostly Lois & Clark, Smallville, and the original movies), I thoroughly enjoyed Firefly, and I love Harry Potter. And it looks as if we can add Dr. Who to the list.

So as a general rule, I tend to avoid aliens, talking animals, and non-human creatures, but clearly there are exceptions. I have always thought it must have something to do with how much of the story line exists on earth, and how many humans are involved. I have noticed that the Dr. Who episodes I like most, for instance, are the ones that involve a personal struggle for the main characters, not so much the ones where aliens are being shot with lasers. As the alien-to-human ratio of this show generally teeters on the borderline of what I can handle, I have been thinking about this affinity (or lack thereof) to aliens and sci-fi a lot over the last several weeks.

Aside from running counter to the realistic, down-to-earth mindset with which I tend to view the world, I often just find aliens creepy. Remember that old show, Unsolved Mysteries? Yeah, I could never watch that. Admittedly, there have been a couple Dr. Who episodes where I've had to look away from the screen when the aliens came out. I have also been turning on more lights lately (and not just cuz the sun still goes down at 4:30).

The creepy aliens (Dr. Who or otherwise) never look human, never sound human, and they are rarely portrayed as having positive intent. They often have powers unseen, which makes them unpredictable.

Fear of the unknown, I guess. And a couple weeks ago, I discovered something new about this fear. While browsing Sesame Street for work, I remembered this video.

I remember being completely scared by these two Martians. I would leave the room or cover my ears and eyes if this clip (and I think the telephone one) came on during the show. I did not like their creepy voices, the way they moved, and I did not like the fact that they could travel through walls.

I was maybe five years old.

I'd all but forgotten about these creatures until a couple of weeks ago. And this, along with my other recent extraterrestrial reflections, leaves me wondering: is it the very core of my being that has me uncomfortable with the idea of aliens, or was this Sesame Street clip where the alien aversion started? I may never know.

I think I'm just glad that, as far as we know to date, the key word in science-fiction is fiction.

Now, if you'll excuse me the Doctor is about to save the planet (again).

Sunday, December 21, 2014


In the waning winter sky
the earth passes
the far corner of the sun

the darkness
creeping in


  - GB

Sunday, December 7, 2014

SOTC 135/365

An Evening Walk on Game Night (SOTC 135/365)
An Evening Walk on Game Night, a photo on Flickr by Gina Blank