“Science fiction films are not about science. They are about disaster, which is one of the oldest subjects of art.”

We continue to be blessed with the most magnificent weather. The nights are cool, perfect for sleeping, and the days are hot but not intolerably hot and there’s no humidity. A slight breeze moves the leaves. The sun is bright, and the sky is blue, Crayola blue. It is the perfect day.

Yesterday was noisy. At the house next door, the summer rental, they were building or repairing something. I could hear the saw and hammers until dark. The house doesn’t get much care and what passes for a front lawn is always meadow high so I’m amazed that someone is working on the house.

The cats are sleeping on the floor in the sun. Gracie is sleeping on the couch. She is into comfort. The other day I went into the kitchen and spooked Maddie who was at the water dish. My sister has a theory about that. She claims it is a water hole survival reaction never bred out of domestic cats. They are on alert as the water hole is a perfect hunting spot, and animals drinking are easy prey. Fern, however, isn’t ever bothered. She just keeps drinking.

Science fiction movies have given me all sorts of new words and phrases. Extinction level event is one of my favorites. It is always said in a hushed voice. Many science fiction movies have plots revolving around the end of Earth or the end of humanity. Meteors on a direct collision course to Earth are a common cause. A massive earthquake affecting the entire planet is another. Aliens of a variety of ilks make their way to Earth. Some want the planet to colonize while others want the extinction of humanity. Aliens just don’t like us. I don’t know why. Maybe because we’re an unfriendly bunch who more often than not shoot to kill and ask questions later. ET is among the minority.

My dance card is empty for the weekend. Come to think of it, the card is empty until Friday and the next play. I don’t mind. I’ll just enjoy the weather and the deck.

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22 Comments on ““Science fiction films are not about science. They are about disaster, which is one of the oldest subjects of art.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Of course the fiction out weighs the science. A movie based strictly on science would be a documentary. 🙂 The last two science fiction films I saw (Martian and I can’t remember the name of the other) had a lot of science involved until the end when they got silly. Now it appears they are doing a remake of Independence Day. Which was a remake of War of the Worlds. When I was a kid in 1954 I saw War of the Worlds and had nightmares for years. I still haven’t seen any of the modern remakes. Why drudge up old memories.

    During the 1950s all the aliens wanted to destroy us because they were stand in characters for the Russian Communists. I’m surprised no one has made a movie about alien invaders who are Muslim extremists. It could be titled ‘The attack from planet Jihad’. The plot could include a President who will build a plexiglass dome over the lower 48 states and send the bill to the rest of the world. 🙂

    Another hot dry day with a possible break in the humidity for tomorrow.

  2. Richard Says:

    To shamelessly lift a line from an old Chuck Berry tune … “Hey Pedro! You have to go to de well to get de warder!” … makes y’ thankful for indoor plumbing and running water, eh? Sure it does. We have similar skies today, and the breeze, all things considered, is fairly brisk. I’m sure the pool people are all about breeze while they’re in 100°+ sun … at least they’re fairly quiet most of the time.

    I was quite surprised when, about two weeks back, I looked out the window and saw two young girls jump into the pool with their Labrador … pretty dog, but he doesn’t belong in a pool. Management wasn’t too happy about it, either. They have a fit in Fall when ducks land in the pool on their way to wherever they’re going. Sanitation ’n all that, y’ know … some people’s children.

    I’m waiting to hear the term ‘Existential Threat’ uttered by some on-screen ‘scientist’ type in today’s ‘syfy’ endeavors. Sci-fi used to be my all-time favorite genre because its framework allowed it to be used as a means to address problems unable to be addressed in more traditional styles. Sci-fi was in ‘the future,’ and wasn’t as threatening to the reader. It also had a smaller audience – but one which paid a lot more attention than the general public.

    Today’s ‘syfy’ lacks the ‘hook’ of Yesterday’s Science Fiction. Writers like Bradbury, Dick, Asimov, Heinlein, Leinster, Aldiss, etc etc laid the groundwork for those who came later. Problem is, the ‘later’ are but an pale comparison to the originals. Their ‘story lines’ are anemic, formulaic, and crafted so as to appeal to ‘The Masses.’ Creativity need not apply.

    To be sure, there are (were) exceptions … ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ and ‘Alien’ … but both of those are screen adaptations of print works by Old Masters … never mind.

    Our Musical Accompaniment for Today is by the gentleman mentioned in the opening sentence, Mr Charles (‘Chuck’) Berry, who has agreed to perform for You, the Gentle Listener, a tale replete with Loss and Redemption. and which takes place in a scenic island setting where shineth the ‘Havana Moon’ … and now, to begin …

    • katry Says:

      Richard,
      The pool people are probably quiet because they are slowly cooking in the sun.

      I think the same thing: didn’t those kids realize the pool is not for the dog? Many dogs love pools and the water. My dog, however, is not taken with swimming. She totally ignored the pond on our walk.

      I taught a science fiction English course when I was a high school English teacher. I always told my class that the best science fiction answered the question what if. The science had to be plausible and built on the science of today. That didn’t include the monsters, a whole different science fiction genre.

      I used to read science fiction all the time starting when I was young. Now I can’t remember the last one I read. I liked The Martian with Matt Damon. Their space ship used the space station as its model.

      I love this song. This is the first time I’ve heard the Berry cover. He does make it his!

      • Hedley Says:

        Richard and Kat

        If you get the chance try to listen to Steve Miller’s interview on Howard Stern. His reflections on his days as Chuck Berry’s backing band are “illuminating”

      • katry Says:

        Thanks for this, My Dear Hedley!

  3. olof1 Says:

    Heavy showers most of the day but I think I saw the sun for a few minutes some time during the day. I’ve been hit by a cold and finally fever broke out, 102,2. Normally it doesn’t so it just stays and stays for eons it feels. I’ve been tioo tired to start the dvd player, I’ve mostly been half asleep in front of the tv longing forice cream. I would have driven to a grocery store but I’m not sure that would be especially smart considering the fever 🙂

    I’ve just seen the trailer for Independence day two, not a remake but a sequel. The trailer promis a lot so I do hope the film can live up to it.

    Yes they do tend to want to kill us 🙂 I guess they see tghemselves as superior and look at us as we look at cows and pigs, easy food 🙂

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      I want some of that rain.

      The best thing is to sleep away the cold or whatever it is you caught. That’s a high fever. Ice cream sounds so good being nice and cold.

      I saw the trailer today too. I recognized the girl who was in that movie about the White House down or something like that. Tatum O’Neil was the star.

      We are totally easy food. If the aliens can get here, they are definitely superior to us.

      Feel better!!!!

  4. Birgit Says:

    I would like to add ’42’, the answer to the ultimate question of life, universe and everything. Quite useful in everyday life. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is my favorite and I’m glad I can finally see Doctor Who on TV. Just the eleventh Doctor so far but it’s the highlight of the TV week and I hope we’ll get more.
    Typical boring summer weather here, rain, sun, up to 64°F.

    • Richard Says:

      Equally as insightful as ’42’ is Tom Magliozzi’s memorable statement as uttered one fine Saturday on ‘Car Talk’ … “You can’t do it unless the number is TWO.” … RIP, Tommy …

      • Richard Says:

        Just as a general-interest ‘FYI,’ ‘Car Talk’ is still broadcast here every Saturday on the local NPR station. Here’s a link to the ‘Find A Station’ URL on the CarTalk site:

        http://www.cartalk.com/content/car-talk-directory

        Remember, you can also use iTunes to pull up stations that aren’t near you in the ‘Radio’ section of the menu … and remember, you can still download podcasts direct from the CarTalk site … collect the whole set!

      • katry Says:

        Richard,
        I found it is aired on the NPR station I listen to all the time. It seems to be on when I’m not usually in the car. Now I don’t have to be!

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      I loved all the Hitchhiker books and the movie.

      I have been a Doctor Who fan since its black and white days when it was the third Doctor Who. I remember some of his earlier companions like Sarah Smith and the robot dog. I think my favorite companion was Amy Pond.

      The day stayed sunny and cool!

      • katry Says:

        Richard,
        I miss Car Talk!

      • Bob Says:

        I also miss car talk. Click and Clack were both graduates of MIT. Rather than going into the space program they went on National Public Radio and offered automobile repair advice with a huge dose of laughter and wit. RIP Tom Magilozzi.

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        I remember when they had their mother on. She was wonderful.

      • Bob Says:

        So do I. One great line from the show was, “How do you know your Italian? You’re taller than your grandmother when you are eight.”…..LOL

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        They were funny guys!


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