Man, I Am Harshing My Own Mellow

by Joe Coluccio, President, Parsec

Writing is a chore. Writing is a joy.
Reading is a joy. Reading is a chore.

It is 2016 yet; I have been living my life of the 21st Century smack dab in the middle of the 20th. I have been leading my life in the sphere of my parents. I am aware of the world buzzing around me. I am aware of the growing non-cognitive consumer commercial crassness enveloping the globe, the poor in the thrall of the wealthy. I also know it was always thus. Been, to offer the other side of my titular cliche, down so long, looks like up to me.

body snatchersThe 1950s through the 1960s turn is not “Happy Days” to me. They were the decades when I came of age. Post World War II optimism tinged with a the shadowing spectre of economic depression and wrapped in the sure knowledge we would blow our middling selves apart with a searing world-ending thermonuclear explosion. My thrifty inner mother tells me to save the plastic sandwich bag for multiple use. My burning eyes still envision the beautiful bulbous mushroom shapes on the horizon.

It is passing strange, from the beginning, Science Fiction has been there for me. Has guided me down many an interesting path. Some wrong. A few so right it is hard to calculate.

In reflection, it is even more bizarre, more outré than a dense dark collapsing star, that reality shines strong from works born in imagination and considered by so many as frivolous pie-in-the-sky entertainment. I suspect many members of Parsec, know that fact as well as I do.

In America, we live in an age tempered by a practicality brought long ago from the Old World to our teetering New World. The pious dream was of the New Jerusalem. Pesky natives, not members of the Twelve Tribes, could be eliminated.  To make matters worse damn “furiners”, alien breeds, kept straggling onto our shores, badgering us to become a part of our paradise. We have been building walls so long Robert Frost might want to reconsider what makes a good neighbor.

Stories, then, as now are our salvation. Speculation, consideration, imagination and a good dollop of satire and self-parody are in order. We could do worse than sit around a campfire to speak the beauty and horror of the cosmos on a chilly night when the stars are bright.

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