Why We Need Science Fiction

June 13th, 2012

Real life.

We’re already living in a science fiction future, but we’ve still got too many things that suck.

I spent three hours waiting for tires today.  I spent four hours on this task a few weeks ago.  I don’t mind waiting as long as I have something constructive to do — some work, reading, or writing.  But twice?  They apologized for not having the tires last time, ordered them, and didn’t realize they were still missing one.  Got new brake pads installed for free, but not a lot of fun.

I’ve also had some minor medical bills sitting around for over a month.  The insurance company website (Cigna) isn’t very clear on what to do.  Everything is different from the last time I had to submit these myself.  I’m tempted just to pay them, but I’ve already paid a lot more into the monthly insurance and most of the bills should be covered.

And a friend of mine just let me know that he’s getting divorced.

In real life you have to pay taxes.  Simple or complicated, you got to do them and pay them.  Legal issues?  Insurance issues?  Usually not simple and easy.  Maintenance on the house or car?  Haircut?  Teeth cleaning?  Vet checkup?

It’s so nice to crack open a book or watch a movie where people are light-years away and their problems seem both more important and more interesting than the bullshit real life gives us on a daily basis.  With fiction, you can touch on real life issues with a single paragraph:

“He told his computer to do his taxes, investing a few minutes of his own to check the deductions.  How tedious!”

“With universal health care covered by his taxes, there was no medical bill or insurance to fight with.”

“While he was at work, the car drove itself to the garage for new tires.  He had more important things to worry about.”

As do I.  Got a few serious posts for later this week, and a full slate of research.  I also have to go back Friday to get tires…



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