I’ve mentioned once or twice about my obsession with tea, and you’ve probably heard about my bleeding disorder by now, but I wanted to share a bit more about my love for science fiction. And a little bit of fantasy (I adore Tolkien, and of course the Harry Potter books), but I think sci fi has always been the bigger draw for me.
I’ve been enamoured with the genre for as long as I can remember. Probably the earliest incarnation of it was watching the last of the original run of Doctor Who on the ABC, but since then I’ve also loved Finders Keepers (old school Aussie kids show based on a book by Emily Rodda, anyone else like this?), Round the Twist (yep, definitely including this – which other genre gets a rabbit-replicating wardrobe?), Buffy and all things Whedon, the new Who and greater Whovinerse, Stargate SG1 and many many others. What is the attraction? I think this is an odd mix of my VWD and INTJ personality – the imagination, future projecting, and the fact that so many story lines in sci fi have kids, women and the somehow disadvantaged (through illness, genetic difference or social reclusiveness) rising up and becoming strong. Heroic. Powerful. Being both an introvert and genetically different from the general population, as well as often finding myself at odds socially (try being the INTJ chick in the room when the other ladies start talking about weddings. Shudders), I really associate with a lot of the main characters in the books, shows and movies I adore.
I think it goes a bit deeper than that too. Despite not being a Rose fan, I think she sums it up perfectly here:
ROSE: But what do I do every day, mum? What do I do? Get up, catch the bus, go to work, come back home, eat chips and go to bed? Is that it?
MICKEY: It’s what the rest of us do.
ROSE: But I can’t!
MICKEY: Why, because you’re better than us?
ROSE: No, I didn’t mean that. But it was. It was a better life. And I don’t mean all the travelling and seeing aliens and spaceships and things. That don’t matter. The Doctor showed me a better way of living your life. You know he showed you too. That you don’t just give up. You don’t just let things happen. You make a stand. You say no. You have the guts to do what’s right when everyone else just runs away, and I just can’t.
So I searched endlessly for a video of this scene, because it gets me every time I watch it, and really sums up the point of science fiction for me, but to no avail! Let me know if you have one in the comments.
Ordinary people, or even less than ordinary people – the social outcasts, the poor unemployed girl, the student, spider bite victim, the slightly crazy alien who couldn’t pass his driver’s test and stole his vehicle (or is that the other way around?), the orphan, even a convicted arsonist (looking at you, Ms Summers…) all have a belief in something greater, and its just the sci fi element which is a tool for them to help others, to change the world. Ordinary people doing big, important, universe altering things.
They carry a burden, often. Something which makes simply living hard – an illness, a physical difference, a social impediment, but they just KBO (oh I love that line from Winston in Doctor Who!). In that way, they’re just like me – I’m physically and medically different from most of the people I know, and it is socially and emotionally isolating, and that’s without getting into the physical difficulties. But science fiction and fantasy stories show how those who appear the least able to contribute often make the biggest difference.
And where does tea come in? Well, all the cool kids in sci fi and fantasy drink tea:
Edit – the BBC link in youtube here seems to not want to book mark the video – skip through to the one titled – ‘How Do I Look’ from The Christmas Invasion. P.S How young does Tennant look?
Source The 8th Doctor in the Tardis just prior to his regeneration.
Source Matt Smith out being interviewed – at a high tea!
Source Hobbits and Wizards all love a good brew.
Source The ultimate intergalatic Earl Grey fan.
I’m not entirely sure why I keep seeing tea everywhere in sci fi, but it seems to be a bit of a recurring theme – it heals time lords, focuses the captains of far-flung space missions, and no trip to Mount Doom would be complete without it. Its presence in fantasy can be a little better explained – Harry, Hermoine and Ron’s Divination class holds the key. So it fits well for me – aside from being a practical tool (warming foods and drinks are good for my digestion!), there’s something meditative, healing and powerful about a good cuppa.
These three strands of my personality, of me, are pretty tightly interwoven – my genetic inheritance, and two of the things I love most in life (and help me cope with my VWD!). The little things we have that help us through struggles can make all the difference, and I’d love to hear about yours below.