When I was a bookworm of a kid I loved to read books from the Choose Your Own Adventure series. The books were unique in that at the end of each chapter you were confronted with 2 choices. The alternatives would be things like, “to attack the dragon turn to page 10” or “to challenge the dragon to a dance-off turn to page 15”. You’d pick an option, then read the results of that selection before facing another pair of choices. Depending on the writer, if you chose the dance-off, you and the dragon might end up as Solid Gold dancers, or you’d be a crispy noodle in Chinese dragon stir-fry.
When I’d reached the end of the book, or the end of the sequences I’d chosen, I would go back and read the book again, picking the other alternatives (fainting goats/epileptic sheep). Sometimes I would peek ahead all along. Often a different result was better. Occasionally worse. Sometimes the alternative was just different.
Diehard “Firefly” fans are finding a new energy for their cause. The cause? BRING BACK “FIREFLY”!
Resurrect a space cowboy cult TV show that died on the vine 9 years ago? Sure. Why not? Though a casualty in a string of Fox’s quick show cancellations in the 2000s, Joss Whedon’s “Firefly” found a highly devoted and rabid cult-following in its brief run. Online and mail-in campaigns, as well as paid ads to renew the show at the time fell short, but enough momentum provided for a well-received “Firefly” movie, 2005’s “Serenity”, giving fans a taste of what might have been.
So where is this renewed fan energy coming from? From Captain Malcolm Reynolds himself. Nathan Fillion, who currently stars on
ABC’s “Castle”, recently told Entertainment Weekly that he’d love to resume his role as Mal. Going a step further he said, “If I got $300 million from the California Lottery, the first thing I would do is buy the rights to “Firefly,” make it on my own, and distribute it on the internet.”
Now, of course, online reactions to this off-the-cuff statement have started pouring in. Former writers have told Twitter that they’d love to be involved. Jewel Staite, who played the sunny mechanic Kaylee said she’d be on board. A new website, “Help Nathan Buy Firefly”, even started as a means to collect pledges that would turn into donations should “Firefly” be revived. The site’s Facebook page has gained nearly 50,000 members in only 5 days! Another Facebook page, “Bring Back Firefly”, has also seen a surge in members as interest has blown-up.
While its mix of western and outer space themes was lost on some critics, “Firefly” was critically acclaimed, notable for its design and special effects, winning an Emmy for the latter. Additionally, strong writing and a great ensemble cast made it a fan favorite. Besides Fillion and Staite, the cast included, Ron Glass (“Barney Miller“), Morena Baccarin (“V“), Summer Glau (“The Cape“), Gina Torres (“Alias“) , Adam Baldwin (“Chuck“), Sean Maher, and Alan Tudyk. Christina Hendricks (“Mad Men“) had a recurring role. -Jonathan B Perry
The secret word is devotion.
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by Jonathan B Perry
I have good news and I have bad news. First, the bad news: Guys of 2020, there will be a surplus of competitive males as there never has been before at any time in history. 30 million extra men to be approximate. In just 10 years there’s going to be such a glut of guys of marriageable age it’ll seem like one endless frat party where there are maybe 2 women in the back. Granted, these extra men are in China where the population is about 1.5 billion (and where 30 million is relatively small, though not really), but still they’re not all going to stay in China and there will likely be some domino effect flopping around the globe, so you’ll need to work extra hard to trick women into hanging out excessively. Drat.
Now the good news: Ladies of 2020, there will be a surplus of competitive males of marriageable age, so the dude options will be greater and more desperate than ever before. The scarcity of women makes each of you even more valuable (think higher pedestals) and you can be choosier and make guys grovel more. Many of you look forward to this. If you hold out just a little longer, say 10 years, some of you current bachelorettes might have better luck snagging younger, awesomer studs.
Of course this imbalance all stems from China’s one child per household policy that often saw families choosing to have boys as their only child and to abort the female fetuses as a practice of population control which retained males who would theoretically provide better for their families. It’s been called gendercide. Now aware of its severe gender imbalance, the Chinese government is making a strong push to the public to look more favorably on girls, hoping to stem the tide of aborted females. So far it’s only been slightly effective (there are banners saying stuff like “Girls are swell”), and it will still take generations for things to even out.
This sort of situation hasn’t really been an issue in previous civilizations. You could draw some similarities with the imbalances after the world wars, when there was a surplus of women when many Johnnys didn’t come marching home again. It’s believed the feminist movement even gained traction from the higher number of single professional women of the 1920s and 1930s. I just thought I’d point that out.
Concerns have been voiced that this excess of single men, unable to mate, may create many more societal issues in the years to come: wars to cull the surplus males, a rise in crime (particularly rape), an increase in prostitution, a rise in homosexuality, and many more sloppy apartments.
Since it will take many decades to correct the situation in China, what other solutions might there be to help the problem? I’ve come up with a few ideas and only one of them uses bachelors as human batteries a la The Matrix.
Chinese Bachelor Solution #1: Promote religions, like Buddhism or Catholicism, where bachelors become monks or priests. You might have to lure them in with church bingo at first, but do whatever works. This would require a moderate change in the government’s stance toward religion (I’m not pushing either religion. Baptist or Methodist monasteries could be developed, just to mess with things.).
Solution # 2: Chinese mail order grooms- When one thinks of arranging spouses to order, mail order brides from places like Eastern Europe spring to mind. Now with many young Chinese men potentially unable to find mates nearby, they’ll need to cast wider worldwide nets and this may include making themselves available for marriage by mail order. Bigger boxes. More air holes.
Solution # 3: Human batteries a la The Matrix– In the movie The Matrix people lived in watery pods and existed in a dream state, while powering the evil machines. Never mind that you could put caviar on iv and call it a spa weekend. Forget that Beijing and Shanghai could be powered cleanly and cheaply from now until Chinese New Year. No, I suppose it’s not an option (or even a good human rights thing), unless you just do Gilligan-style power-maker with the coconut bicycle making electricity (come to think of it, gyms around the world could do this bit and harness the power to run their tv’s). I’m sure there’d be some way to do it, though it doesn’t really fix the mating thing, does it? Hmm. Forget this one.
Solution # 4: Men dating outside their age groups- I realize guys throughout history have been dating outside their own age group, but it’s usually been scary old rich guys dating younger helpless and/or money-grubbing women (the dudes have more cows for dowries). The Future Army of Chinese Bachelors (cool band name!) may need to consider the limited options and be more open to dating older women, widows and retirees even. And if China can find way to pump out extra females (without aborting males), say through in vitro fertilization or some genetic magic, then the extra dudes could date younger without skewing things too much for the younger guys.
Solution # 5: Cryonics? I’m just putting it out there.
Solution # 6: Find female alien life. I think there have been B-movies about this.
Solution # 7: Import women- Let’s face it, China may do well to find incentives to import women to China. It might be useful to pay women to move to China and marry Chinese men. I can see it now, in 10 years time there will be specials on 20/20 and Oprah about how China has an army of bachelors just waiting for all available women to come for marriage and money. Perhaps special women-only schools could be set up to draw female students from around the world. Maybe it could be something like marketing the acrobat schools to Bollywood dancers (that’s the group I’d aim for).
So, China has a big problem, but there are often viable solutions to difficult problems. Hopefully something can be done to improve the potential for millions of Chinese, while avoiding a catastrophic future involving millions of filthy bachelor pads.
When I re-edit, I’ll find a way to sneak in Bowie’s song “China Doll”.
The secret word is imbalance.
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Bachelor Step #1: THE BACHELOR PAD
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On my 30th birthday I reflected on how happy I am that the premise of Logan’s Run isn’t reality. In this great 70s sci-fi cult flick, starring the excellent Michael York (of Gilmore Girls fame & some other stuff) as well as 70s hotties Jenny Agutter and Farrah Fawcett, the futuristic post-nuclear society has decided to maintain population control by sending each person who turns 30 on some wheel thingy called Carrousel (DVD box spelling).
Carrousel is supposed to be a meaningful ‘ride’ that reincarnates people into newborns, which is really a bad deal if you consider that one would have to go through the stress of high school again. In all actuality, the Carrousel thingy is just killing every new 30 year-old who gets on it, thus making the movie a great gift for each friend of mine who turns 30 and isn‘t already depressed. Especially the single ones. I will be getting it for one of my brothers very soon.
In the movie, which is being remade (yes!) by Warner Brothers for an upcoming release starring Ryan Gosling, all the people in the society are fitted with giants dots on their palms called life clocks that glow green when you‘re still young, then blink red when time is up. I’m not sure why they didn’t bother with calendars, but with a giant dot, hours of fun can be spent contemplating how much time you have left before you die. I‘m thinking of fitting my grandparents with them, if only to schedule my vacations better.
The idea of population control is sort of an interesting one. A few years ago I was kidnapped to a peace museum which, as one would guess, is antiwar, but for some reason had an exhibit showing the increasingly rapid growth of the world‘s population, and apparently seemed to promote population control (they’re trying to have their cake and eat it, too). It occurs to me that pro-population control and anti-war ideas seem to be somewhat at odds with one another, but maybe that‘s just me. It would seem that war would be one of the best ways to implement population control. Or birth limits a la China. Or inadvertent single living.
As of 2004, there were just under 6.5 billion people in the world and a recent alarmist study suggested that by 2050 there should be approximately 8.9 billion on our planet living elbow to elbow, though maybe they’ll mostly hang out in New York and Beijing. These results assume continuation of the status quo and current trends: declining fertility rates, better disease preventions and treatments, lack of severe climate changes or major catastrophes like nuclear holocausts or biological warfare or the seven plagues.
I think, under these circumstances, it would definitely be in our best interest to change the environments and climates of deserts and other arid regions making them cooler and more habitable, with lusher flora and groovier fauna. Grow fruit trees. Maybe add spidermonkeys. These would be great incentives for people to start spreading out to currently undesirable areas such as the Sahara, Death Valley, Nevada, and Utah. Perhaps, like others in these regions, families could become polygamous and load the population under one roof. And have pet spidermonkeys in the orchards. Aren’t you surprised you haven’t thought of it?
In Logan’s Run the entire society was marriageless. Everybody belonged to everyone else, like in some of the finest cults. It seems the author’s vision of a futuristic Utopia is actually universal bachelordom. I suppose, as a single person, I’m doing my part to help with population control. I knew it was all very useful for something.
The secret word is Euthanasia.
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