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4Captain k'alaa's Corner (for the April, 2003 ed. of the AMAFSR Newsletter)

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  • kalaahod <kalaahod@yahoo.co.uk>
    Apr 15, 2003
      Suspend Disbelief, Use Real Ideals

      The great thing about science fiction is the idea that we can suspend
      disbelief long enough to enjoy whatever television show, book, movie
      or audio drama we are listening to, and in the deepest part of our
      beings hope, even wish that some of it could come true or may come
      true. I know that most people over the age of eleven are aware that
      it is science Fiction….but it is the Science part we latch onto. In
      its many forms, sci-fi takes us to other worlds, other realities,
      other points of view, adding to our world and sparking our
      imaginations. How many times have any of us heard a science fiction
      fan say what their favorite story inspired them to do! Astronauts,
      doctors, engineers, actors, lawyers, politicians…the list is endless.

      The Man In The Mirror

      I think we as fans tend to also underestimate just what a good story
      can inspire us to achieve. There are two sides of the coin. Most
      people turn on a science fiction show, or any television show to
      escape reality, even if it is only for thirty minutes. If we could
      capture what it is that keeps us watching, that bit of inspiration
      that makes a television show a positive habit, and use it in our own
      lives to make the world a better place, I believe it would improve
      our lives and our outlooks as well. We are all the "man in the
      mirror"…we look at ourselves everyday, but what do we see? Do we see
      ourselves in our favorite science fiction? Do we hear the ideas and
      philosophies of good science fiction viscerally, and pay no heed, or
      do we take them into our hearts and souls and use those good ideas to
      help ourselves and others?

      I ask that we look more deeply into the ideals of whatever your
      favorite science fiction brings, find the positive traits that are so
      appealing, and use them as best we can in our everyday lives. It's
      not necessary to quote your favorite show ad nauseum, til your
      friends, family, school mates or coworkers tease you or turn away in
      frustration. Use the objective part of your brain. Suspend disbelief
      long enough to look at the motives of the characters, and the ideals
      the show seems to be bringing to you. Then, when you make decisions,
      or in your dealings with your fellow human beings, bring some of the
      wonder, compassion, curiosity and fun to play. It can make a
      difference in someones life, it has in mine. I have listened to
      groups of Doctor Who, Star Trek, Star Wars and Babylon 5 fans talk
      about their favorite shows (not to leave out quite a few others). The
      same theme seems to run through all these conversations. The theme of
      caring for your fellow beings, making a difference in other lives,
      and teaching us to be curious about the universe. The quest to know,
      and the inspiration to learn. The idea that what someone does can
      make a difference.

      Getting Back To Our Roots…Looking To the Future

      Science fiction began in books and newspapers. One thing I think all
      true science fiction fans should do is open their minds to the past.
      Read and watch other science fiction stories. Pay attention to
      science fiction in as many forms as possible. Old science fiction can
      tell us how far we have come, and new science fiction can tell us
      where our favorite genre is headed. Also, biographies and backstories
      of our favorite stories can show us what it takes to make good
      science fiction, and to appreciate the real human effort involved in
      these projects.

      Do You Have A Creative Streak?

      Write. Draw pictures. Take photographs. Do whatever it takes and
      wherever your interests lie to keep your creative spark flowing. When
      I was a kid, I wrote stories just for fun. I had no intention of
      allowing anyone to read them. I did this for my own enjoyment. A
      friend of mine is an avid "air guitarist"! Everyone, and I mean
      EVERYONE, has a spark of creative imagination that should never be
      allowed to wink out.

      I can almost hear someone say "but I'm…", as in "but I'm too
      old…" "but I'm too busy…" "but I'm not talented…" Tell yourself you
      will not say "but I'm". Give yourself the rare and beautiful gift of
      trusting in your creative spark. Even if no one else sees or
      appreciates it, it is your gift to yourself that counts.

      Ever since I was six, I have been a science fiction fan. It has
      sparked my imagination for decades. As I have gotten older, I have
      learned to appreciate more aspects of science fiction. I hope we all
      learn to appreciate more as time goes by, and integrate the things we
      like most into our lives in one form or another. Positive ideals and
      goals can enrich our lives and make our spirits soar.