“Aren’t you a bit old to be dealing with all the make believe stuff?”
“Isn’t all of that just for kids?”
I’ve heard them all. When I was a kid I loved it all. Stories of large robots battling even larger monsters. Magic and mystery. Space aliens and creatures from the future. All in all I couldn’t get enough. The problem came when I continued to enjoy all of these things as I began to age.
How many people have been told that they need to stop ‘playing with toys’ or any variation of the same as they’ve added on the years? There’s even a Bible verse just for the occasion. “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” 1 Corinthians 13:11. Not a direct fit but close enough to be used to guilt people into behaving differently.
How many people have then done exactly that and put away their ‘childish’ pursuits in favour of the more socially acceptable drinking, watching the news and driving cars?
Science Fiction and the like are not a condition to be cured. They aren’t just a phase that people go through (although for some, they are and if you’re happy to put them down, go right ahead). Science Fiction et al is never to be viewed as something to grow out of.
Every single one of us on this planet has the imagination to conjure so many spectacular and terrifying things. Music, art, architecture and literature give us a multitude of ways to express ourselves and the far off lands of outer space, deep in the ocean or in ancient mystical lands hand us the opportunity to escape but also to make sense of the here and now. We as a species can explore situations of morality in far off lands and allow the best or the worst to happen without there being the chance of social upheaval around us as we make our collective points.
So I say that to view all of these things as being childish or silly is to happily miss the point. Star Trek made huge comments on the world we live in but is so often seen as the show with the guy and his funny ears. Doctor Who has done much the same but is so often dismissed as the pepper pots with the plungers on them.
Stand up one and all and declare that these things are so much more than merely childish games. We have a duty to the human race to keep the minds of the future generations inspired and challenged. We should never just think that ‘At my age I should be more grown up.’ You’re never too old to expand your mind and think, to create.
After all that I need a deep breath and maybe a sit down. I am knocking on a bit. The Big 4 – 0 is only a year away today!