Wednesday, March 2, 2011

SyFy Channel? Why to Y?

My television pretty much stays dark during the week, so it took until the weekend for me to twig to it.
The Sci Fi channel has vanished. The same shows were there, but the name wasn't. In its place is something called the Syfy channel. Whose dopey, dumbed-down idea was this, anyway?  Do the network honchos think this is the next, hip iteration of the texting-literate generation? Or that we R 2 dum 2 no betr?
Sci fi. the venerable shorthand for science fiction -- a noble genre of literature and art and entertainment in its own right, with giants like Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. Le Guin -- has been reduced by this phonetic and simple-minded un-word to something that looks like it's traded on the stock market.

I read that the execs who thought of this say it will allow them a ''broader range of content'' in programming. Terrifying words, those. Don't think for a minute that they mean more original programming, or more film classics like ''2001: A Space Odyssey'' and ``Blade Runner'' and even ''Barbarella.'' More likely infomercials. The slick thinking must go that spelling it  ''Syfy'' absolves them of any responsibility to the spirit of ''sci fi.'' The Syfy channel exhorts me to ''imagine greater.''All right, I will: I am imagining Rod Serling siccing the Kanamits on whoever thought this was a great idea. ``Let's do lunch,''  they'll say. ``You be lunch.''

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