June 25, 2005

Asimovics. Wellsitology. Ellisonics. Carditology.

There are now countless blog entries about the disintigrating popularity and reputation of Tom Cruise, who seems to be adrift in the world without Pat Kingsley. You've probably seen awkwardly posed photos of him and his new love interest, who may not have been his first choice for the role, but who is nonetheless suitable for his purposes. (Oh, silly Scarlett, you may be smarter than I gave you credit for.)

He is making great effort to convince the moviegoing public that, six weeks after meeting Katie Holmes (under circumstances no one can seem to agree on), and after a mysterious 16 days in which Miss Holmes had no contact with family or friends, he is couch-destroyingly joyful and out of his mind with bliss, and after a poorly scripted, cliche-ridden Eiffel Tower proposal, they will be getting down to the business of traditional hetero pair bonding and reproduction.

In his hard-sell of Scientology (which includes pressuring reporters and magazines to attend Scientology meetings and agree to write only positive things about it) He is also making a lot of ill-advised public noise about the evils (and pseudo-science behind) prescription drugs, specifically drugs to treat mental illness and psychiatric disorders. He sounds really misinformed and unaware of the irony of a Scientologist labeling anything "pseudo-scientific."

When chatting with Matt Lauer, Cruise is confrontational and inarticulate. A lot of his argument seems to be: "I know more than you do. I know things you don't know." Okay, Tom, if you really are trying to enlighten us, and bring us to the truth on this matter, you have to supply that information to us, and we have to find it credible. What is this, Lookin at a Thing in the Bag?

He is arrogant beyond reason, seems to have a big shiny case of acquired situational narcissism, and seems oblivious to the fact that his close knit circle of Scientology minders keeps him insulated from outside opinion and information. I also have suspicion that he's a lot like GWB, in that he (partially due to his dyslexia) doesn't do his own reading, doesn't skim several papers over breakfast, and thus is only exposed to information that reinforces his existing beliefs.

Anyhoo, as the subject line of this post alludes to, the point I'm slowly winding my way toward is this: of all the science fiction writers to start a scammy, improbable cult, I mean religion, why did it have to be that ridiculous, terrible L. Ron Hubbard, who never wrote a palatable laser gun-and-space war tale in the traditional scifi realm? He wrote some shitty books, is what I'm saying.

I'd be much happier to follow the teachings of Isaac Asimov, who was both prolific and brilliant in his work (Will Smith's take on "I, Robot" notwithstanding), because at least then you'd have some more convincing terminology and concepts to deal with, and maybe your own personal spiritual robot guide. And all proceeds from Asimovics classes would go to well-designed programs for the less fortunate. Or heck, even H.G. Wells! His religious idealogy would revolve around the imminent colonization of Earth by hostile alien forces who could at least bind us together in common purpose.

If we're going to go that far, I'd be happier to adhere to a religion whipped up by a fantasy writer like Anne McCaffrey - that way you could work the promise of an invisible guardian dragon into the mix, just for fun.

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