words in passing

Last week’s episode of Canadia 2056 was incredibly dull. I think the writers are running out of ideas (and honestly, the premise was pretty weak from the start). Good episode of Battlestar Galactica (aka Battlenerd Galactigeek) on Friday, though. The religious and heady (yet vital) philosophical themes in well written science fiction make me think that sci-fi is really coming of age. But then I see a few minutes of the impossibly bad programme Doctor Who, and I’m back to thinking that sci-fi is still largely the domain of rubbery monsters, bad acting, explosions, and unnecessarily dramatic music. Honestly, I’m embarrassed to call myself a geek sometimes. Sometimes.

Anyway… for the past few months, Friday nights have found me at a friend’s house watching BSG. Usually, I arrive early, and we spend some time talking about yoga, mindfulness, being present, &c. We draw from a common vocabulary about such things that is largely lifted from Buddhism and Tantra, but these are not academic discussions. They are grounded in a desire to make sense of our experiences. Saturday mornings, on the other hand, I usually spend in a coffee shop, working on yoga homework. Rather, trying to work on yoga homework. Mostly I seem to get distracted by snippets of the most inane conversations imaginable. A few months ago, I listened to two “men” talk for over an hour about fights they had been in. Street fights. Bar room brawls. They were comparing notes. WTF?

Recap. Friday night: meaning of life, spirituality, what does it mean to be human, blah blah blah. Saturday morning: Dumb and Dumber shooting the bull about people they’ve beat up. Am I being overly snobbish about the stupidity of other people’s conversations? I would probably have found this conversation absolutely hilarious/ridiculous/fascinating if it hadn’t distracted me from what I was working on.

It makes me wonder what people say about the conversations that they overhear me having… maybe I’m just as bad in my own way. I’m sure there’s someone in New Paltz who thinks of me as that obnoxious prick who’s always going on about secular humanism.

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Guilty pleasure

So there’s this radio drama that airs on the CBC every Friday morning at 11:30, and I simply cannot stop listening. It’s called Canadia 2056; it features science fiction, American-Canadian relations, intergalactic toilet plunging, amorous computers, a brain in a jar, romance, action, comedy. It really has it all. It’s like a mash up of Futurama, the Hitchhiker’s Guide, and this stupid audio production of the story of King Midas that I did in grade 5.

What is it that’s so compelling about radio dramas? And why aren’t there any in this country? (Or if there are, where are they?) Why do I have to outsource for my auditory amusement? Afghanada (when it was on the air, and I hope it’s coming back for a third season) also held me totally in thrall.