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Aphelion Editorial 040

October 2000

The Senior Editor's usual drivel about whatever...

by Dan L. Hollifield

Hello and welcome!

Stop whatever you're doing! Eyes front- pay attention!-OK people, as you regular readers know by now I don't usually tell you to do something. I figure that your lives are your own and that its no one's business but yours what you choose to do with them. That's my philosophy of life as well as my political view, but I'm going to have to speak out right now on two subjects that I feel very strongly about, so bear with me and please forgive me for being opinionated.

Item #1:

You see, last week I found out that a crime had been committed. Its not much of a crime, true, no one was killed or maimed. But every reader of Sci-fi was ever so slightly injured about a year ago- myself included -and I've taken it upon myself to clue you all in.

Have you ever heard of a couple of guys named Issac Asimov and Robert Silverberg? What? The names sound familiar, but you just can't place them?

Well, last week I found out for the first time that they had a movie come out about a year ago. Did you know that? (If you did, skip ahead to Item #2, this will be old news.)

The crime was committed by the folks who did the adverts for the film. No surprize, you say? Well, it was to me. These sorry gets made all of their ads to play up on the stars and the general plot of the film, and ignored telling us who the writers of the story that the film was based upon- thus depriving those of us in the know of a really big reason to go to the theater for this movie. Sure, the stars are very talented people, but the identity of the writers would have drawn a heck of a lot more people out to see the film than just the names of the stars did. At least judging by the box office garnered by the movie. The studio could have made megabucks by simply dropping those two names. They chose not to do so and I, like many others, missed out.

Imagine that. They ignored a sure draw for Sci-fi fans. And so the movie bombed for lack of advertising- or at least proper advertising. But you now have the oppertunity to get something back, as well as see a really great film.

Ready? Alright, here's where I tell you what to do.

Drop everything, stop whatever you're doing, and run, drive, fly, teleport if you can- do not walk -to your local video outlet and buy a copy of "Bicentennial Man" starring Robin Williams. Yeah, him. And you thought that it was just a funny movie about a robot, didn't you? So did I until I started watching the tape. Then those two names fairly leapt off the screen at me. Suddenly I knew for a fact that I'd been cheated out of a major good time. Right then I got mad, but settled back to watch the film just in case the screenwriters had done such a poor adaptation that the omission was pardonable.

They didn't and it wasn't. The basic story was called "The Positronic Man" and the film not only did it justice, but I found it to be the best film in recent memory- My memory, anyway.

Buy it, watch it, tell all your friends, give copies away as birthday and Christmas presents. Do whatever you have to do, but see this movie! 'Nuff said.

Item #2:

This one's directed mainly at America, so if you don't live here then adapt my instructions to the situation in the country in which you do live.

Its an election year here in the U.S. I don't give a tinker's damn what party you support, if any, or what your politics are. To my mind, that's irrelevant. Like religion, politics causes more arguements and outrage than anything else on Earth. In short, I don't really care what, who, or if you support any particular candidate or party.

But I do care that you choose to vote. You do have a voice and I want you to use it! Go register to vote, now! (You can do that on the way to the video store- save yourself a special trip.) Then go out and vote on election day! There may not be anything that you want to vote for, but there's sure to be lots that you want to vote against. There always is, but if you don't vote you've got no right to gripe about the mess the country gets into because of your personal apathy.

I can hear some of you right now saying that your vote doesn't count for anything. Well, it damn sure doesn't if you never cast it. Do you want someone else telling you what to do with your life? Isn't it your life? Isn't it time that you seized the reins of power into your own hands and told the politicians just exactly what you think of them?

Think about it. If you don't register and don't vote, you have absolutly no control over what new laws are going to get passed. Here's an example; at one time, the U.S. Post Office wanted the right to collect the price of a postage stamp for every e-mail sent on the internet. Now that one got squashed right quick, but what if it had not been? What would have come next? Laws governing the content of webpages? Laws restricting who can have a website? Mandatory websites that you have to visit? Taxes based on the number of megabytes that your website uses? The mind simply boggles- There's no limit to what a government thinks that it can get away with. And without your vote, there's nothing to stop the buggers from passing any law they please. And nothing you could do about it.

So if you live in a country where you (?still?) have the right to vote, get out there and vote! Voting is all the control that you've got over a government. And governments have to be controled by the people that they govern, or else we're all just slaves.

Don't be a slave, go vote. Tell your government exactly what you think of the job that they do. Choose to protect your family, your loved ones, your community, your country, your lifestyle. You do have the power, exercise it wisely- don't waste it.

OK, that's the end of my little rant. Please think about it. Please vote, the way of life you save may be your own.

Thanks for your time.



2000 Dan L. Hollifield

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