...because fiction is our greatest escape from reality...

Politics, Star Trek TNG and Fiction


Sometimes, this world is a bit hard, eh?  I’ve been steadily growing sick of all the political  and religious arguing.  My husband is addicted to hours of nightly news and I’ve been slipping in earphones to block it.  My son’s school is having a carnival and I’m in charge of our room’s booth, so I’m hooked up to the email loop and lately it’s been about a fun and completely harmless fortune teller booth–which will now not be happening–and which mom is behind what.   Grr.  I grew up going to school carnivals with these things and I remember parents taking it in stride as silly fun. 

Not these days.  You can’t say BOO without someone being offended.  What ever happened to teaching our kids acceptance and respect for other cultures, beliefs, etc?  It’s gone.  Feels like people want to make the world this tight, little box without any room for diversity.  What is so hard about raising your family with your beliefs while respecting others and they way they choose to live? 

It makes me so sad. 

I think that’s why I’ve always been drawn to fiction.  As a reader, we can escape for a little while.

As a writer, we can create whole other worlds–even if they’re based on a reality setting like the one we have.  We can make our people more compassionate and caring–we can do wicked things to our villains. <g>  In fantasy and science fiction, we can just think up new settings and maybe even use a metaphor of a familiar, contemporary problem to share a message.  Write about a future when people aren’t forcing their way onto everyone else.  (Okay, after all the fun, monster/alien battles, of course.)

I used to be addicted to Star Trek TNG.  I lived nearly an hour from my work (This was in Virginia and we had to move far out of the city in order to afford a nice house–the DC area is expensive!) and I’d race home daily to catch the six o’clock reruns.  I was pregnant with our first and I’d toddle up our deck stairs and start the show winded every night.  Dinner was usually late. <g> 

My husband once asked why I loved the show so much.  He knows me, so he knew the answer.  He just liked to see me with those rose-colored glasses plastered to my face.  (Wow, miss those things.)  My answer?  In that fictional future, people and aliens were equal, treated with equal respect whether they were male, female, straight, gay, religious or not.  There was this common attitude of respect for the most part–sometimes they did come across the “not so evolved in their thinking” species. 

But people could make their own personal choices and the only basic code to follow was non-interference

We do have to have conflict in our stories and most basic conflict comes from interference and separate ideas, but we can still create great characters who use their actions to show that maybe there is a better way.  Or you can take a character who is closed-minded and open their eyes through a particularly difficult lesson. 

That blank piece of paper or monitor screen is so full of possibilities, it’s mind boggling, isn’t it? 😉


  1. January 18, 2008    

    Just a great, great post. Seriously, excellent.

    I love fiction for the escapism as well. Maybe that’s why I like Fantasy fiction so much. It isn’t like the real world. I have enough of that in everyday life.

    I don’t watch the news channels because they contain so little news, especially in the evenings. I don’t really care who got kidnapped or whatever and I can’t stand Glenn Beck.

    I could go on more but I won’t. I just wanted to tell you this was a great post.

  2. January 18, 2008    

    My earlier blog posts were heavily opinionated like this one and I kind of smoothed all that out for a little while. No more.

    Really good writers do feel passionately about things–that’s what gives us that umph to keep plugging away to be the best. And writers, for the most part, do so much studying of human character, I feel the majority of us have fairly open minds. Mine used to be more open than it is right now, but that sprung from plain old weariness. People do get fed up once in a while. I feel the old noggin peeling back open again, though. 🙂

  3. January 18, 2008    

    I love Star Trek for the same reasons, although it took me awhile to realize why I was drawn to the series. (All of them but Deep Space Nine, because I never watched that one.)

    This reminds me of when my extended fam made a big stink about Care Bears when I was a kid. I was obviously going to hell if I owned one, because the company supported Devil worship or something equally ridiculous.

  4. January 18, 2008    

    Maybe you can sneak Magic 8balls in as door prizes? 😉

  5. January 18, 2008    

    Yeah, the hubby and I got a little goofy about this silly argument. He wanted me to ask if our Ouija board idea was out then. We don’t even own one. LOL! I don’t even know how to spell it. Then we talked about dressing in Gypsy fashion. But we’re doing a science thing and it wouldn’t go.

    I didn’t watch Deep Space Nine either. I was crushed when TNG stopped.

    Care Bears and devil worship? ROFL!!! Oh man. Your family and mine Heather would have gotten along well. I had an uncle who wouldn’t even allow dice in their board games.

  6. January 18, 2008    

    I am not so into Star Trek, because the whole technology and alien angle has been a bit out of my fields of interest. I am more of the Boom Boom Spell Casting type of society, but still the idea of an utopia has been on my mind for a long time. I watched Sabrina, which carried the same ideas.

    Your post is definitely a great one. The world we live in is definitely one of great prejudices and small minded people, whereas freedom in diversity in everything has never been grater. It’s definitely a riddle for me personally.

    PS: I am just dying to share this. I have sent a manuscript to a magazine and this is the first in a great while. I never thought that I may be feeling that hoppidy hop hop again.

  7. January 18, 2008    

    Congrats on sending something out, Harry! I love the Boom Boom Spell Casting stuff. I have a witch in my WIP which is currently making the rounds.

  8. January 19, 2008    

    Oh! I definitely can’t wait for the WIP to be available for reading. I am a guy, who indulges himself in apocalyptic spells or at least more action packed ones. You gotta give a preview at a time.

    I hope I can dazzle with style, because that was what they were looking for and that particular story is a strong one from my repertoire. I shall be keeping fingers crossed. Thank god I have to wait only 30 days. I hate to be unaware for six months and then get a “Sorry, we changed guidelines before a while and you don’t fit what we are looking for.”

  9. Ken Ken
    January 19, 2008    

    Hi. Great thoughts and philosophy. I still try to be as open as possible, too. There is an Eric Hoffer Award contest for short prose and I’m sending an old story I wrote about a magician who stops the Mob from blackmailing city council and runs away with the money.

    You know, I started writing to make better worlds, too, Rinda. I didn’t like the way my life was going so I started writing better endings to my life. Anyway, always good to read your blog.

  10. January 19, 2008    

    Oh, your story sounds wonderful! I hope you win. 😉

    I bet a lot of us started writing to make a better ending for ourselves. Oh, I feel a T-shirt coming on.

  11. January 20, 2008    

    Kind of like the brouhaha over The Golden Compas, “Don’t let your kids see this movie because they’ll want to read the books and might decide to throw over authority and kill God.” How nuts is that. People can be so narrow it blows my mind. Just don’t get it. I also loved STNG.
    I read and write fiction for the good endings and a little control.

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  1. wicked little things on January 21, 2008 at 2:33 am

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