nanowrimo 2010

Louderblog

Diary of a Blind Madman

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Henry Bemis, Science fiction and a bit of whining
nanowrimo 2010
louderback
Today's Lyric:
High in the misty mountains
Out by the purple highlands
Brave are the hearts that beat beneath Scottish skies
Wild are the winds to meet you
Staunch are the friends that greet you
Kind as the love that shines from fair maidens eyes.
Scotland the Brave
Traditional

         Earlier I watched the episode of The Twilight Zone titled "Time Enough at Last". You'll remember that Burgess Merideth played the bookworm Mr. Henry Bemis, who, finding himself the last man on earth, finally finds "time enough at last" to read all the books he wishes. Of course, Henry's glasses break. I find myself savagely crushed by the episode. I read incessantly. I would still do so if my eyesight permitted. I actually wept the first time I saw the episode in empathy with the protagonist. I didn't weep at this last viewing, but I feel it most poignantly having lost my very eyes, not just my glasses.

          In childhood I was so normal an extrovert as to be inconvenient, if not downright alarming, to the sedentary souls in charge of my upbringing. Then I discovered the written word. I was reading "adult" books at age six. This, for the most part, insured that I would be friendless in school. Shortly after beginning school I discovered Science Fiction. This insured, to a considerable degree of certainty, that I would be detested in addition to being friendless.

         Throughout the '60s and as late as the early '70s, I can recall being treated with revulsion when talking about science fiction. The standard comeback to admitting I liked Star Trek was always "You believe that shit?!" I can recall being told that I was probably slightly retarded by one of my teachers because "...you would have to be to read such things." It still goes on today, believe it or not, though it is no longer strictly a "Science Fiction" phenomenon. I was recently upbraided (by a Star Wars enthusiast who plays Everquest no less) for watching CSI because "It doesn't work like that..." I wonder what other peoples' sense of reality is like, seeing as how it seems so unlike my own? Do people actually think I believe television shows represent things realistically?

         I've been busy with Last.fm. I've played over 600 tracks and it is busily tracking them all. You can see what I've been up to. Last.fm has turned out to be much more commercial than I thought it and rather user-unfriendly, but I am still enjoying it quite a bit. If any of you out there use Last.fm, let me know so I can "friend" you. I am finding it borderline impossible to find any of my friends without knowing in advance that they are members.

         I have a new tape player from the wolfner library and can once again listen to audio books. I have been trying very hard to do so regularly but have often failed to keep up with my determination. I simply don't enjoy listening to books. Like Mr. Henry Bemis I find myself with time enough at last to do whatever I like and with no ability to do much of anything.

         My friend Ed told me today he is having health problems. Due to conditions relating to hypertension and other issues, he is likely to undergo some surgeries both minor and major. It is my sincere hope that the outcomes are good. Ed has had a hard time of things in recent years.

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That episode just about broke my heart, and hurts every time I see it. I avoid watching it now. Actually, it reminds me of you the last few years when I've seen it.

That's why my heart really goes out to you, because reading is my escape...and to be deprived from it...would be really horrible...and I know it is for you.

Funny, I was never made fun of for reading science fiction. I was made fun of plenty for being fat, wearing glasses and being smart, but never for *what* I read. Probably because I was on the coast...the "redneckian" attitudes seem to be somewhat different in the urban milleaux. Or perhaps it was so advanced as to often be a non-entity on the little monster's screens.






You are probably too young to have experienced SF-bigotry in its full bloom. By the '70s books were being published at the rate of more than 1000 per year and Star Trek had come and gone (it is amazing what that one show made possible in the world), and even Disney had tackled 20,000 leagues under the sea.

In the 50's and 60's SF readers who admitted it found it was possible to get beaten up by "cool" kids in greasy leather jackets and wearing DA hair cuts. It took Star Wars to make SF mainstream.

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