Wonder, imagination and public opinion

During the 1960’s writer and producers like Irwin Allen, Gene Roddenberry and Verity Lambert let their imaginations play with possibilities, exploring emerging aspects of science fiction. The emerging canvas of television time and space became a rich medium to a explore and the previously still panels of text and comics came alive in serialised form to the delight of imaginative souls.

There were certainly gaps and flaws in this new frontier but the excited fans were more than willing to put in the effort to complete the picture. An inspired humanity reached for the stars with rockets breaching the atmosphere and in 1969 we stepped onto the moon. That was 50 years ago and my science fiction child believed that we might be terraforming other worlds and exploring the time continuum by now. The 70’s held held such promise with the expansion of star fleet and a new hope form George Lucas. Special effects improved and my imagination flared with what come in the future. It didn’t matter if it was idealistic fantasy or dystopian the future was going to be filled with adventure and in my mind fan fiction was constantly coalescing with parallel narratives. I discovered role playing games in the early 80’s which allowed me to enter the story and imagine myself in a multitude of roles.

We were a never a large percentage of society, a nerdy niche of dreamers who learned quickly where it was safe to show our virtual passion. The risk of judgmental eye rolls ever present it worth it for the joy of discovering a kindred spirit.

Today science fiction has become main stream, the variety of new ideas and remakes has flooded the broadband streams. The eye rollers are still there but now they petition for a better ending and rant on YouTube, the dreamers still seek to create narrative explanations contributing to the canon of universes al the while trying not to be disheartened by the negativity and cynicism of public opinion seeking YouTube subscriptions and social media likes in a monitized political economy.

As a boy I dreamed of a science fiction mainstream community of playful ideas and imaginative contribution. What we have is certainly wonder and imagination tinged with critical public opinion, I guess two out of three ain’t bad.

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