I can remember back in my college days when -- in a film course -- I told the professor that I honestly enjoyed 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984) -- a sequel to the much-revered 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) -- more than the original because it had an understandable and relatable story. (Yeah, I know, I know.) In fact, I've said as much in a post here online not all that long ago, and I was (cough cough) properly taken to task by some readers who called me 'ignorant' for saying such a thing. (Ask me if I give a damn.) My point was -- and remains -- that 2001 is one of those flicks that I strongly believe meant more to the audience of its day while 2010 presented circumstances that were a bit more understandable. The sequel was a flick you didn't need Cliff Notes to get into, and that's all I meant. Now, if that makes me a fool, then so be it. (Like I said, I really don't give a damn.) I'll always argue on behalf of pictures that audiences can embrace, and both 2001 and its follow-up certainly fit that bill. Who cares that one was less of the mental gymnastics? Well, I do, for one, and I've no problem saying so. I don't hate the first one; it just didn't reach me the way it did others.
Sigh. This is what being a fan of All Things Genre sometimes does to us, though. It divides us. It makes us question our worth and our opinions if we're brave enough to share them on the Information Superhighway (which I do daily). If you're not one who is tolerant of differing opinions, well then perhaps SciFiHistory.Net isn't the site for you; and you're always free to go elsewhere. Me? I like what I like. I speak my own piece. And I try to be both honest and fair. I know not every wordslinger out there operates on such a simple mission, but I do and will always try to stay true to it.
Why do I bring this up?
Well, that's because the great 2010 turns an amazing 39 years young today. It was first released on this day all the way back in 1984 (in the U.S. and behind the Maple Curtain that is Canada), and those who saw it on the big screen likely went in thinking they were going to be treated to something a bit closer to Stanley Kubrick's original. Personally -- as I've said -- I'm glad it was a bit different if for no other reason than who wants to watch an inferior knock-off of something only Kubrick himself could deliver? I know I didn't, and I'm glad those involved didn't even give that attempt a try. Leave classics alone -- especially if you know you can't compete with them -- and offer audiences a diversion that's worth either their time or the price of admission; on that scale, 2010 did just fine in my book. Feel free to disagree. Hell, feel free to start your own blog and blog about it; and I'll applaud your efforts even more.
The more? The merrier!
So celebrate diversity in Science Fiction, if that's what you take from this, and there's a helluva lot more to celebrate if you navigate over to the Daily Citation Page. In case you've missed it, here's the helpful link:
With that and an incredible 74 others genre trivia citations to enjoy, I think it's safe to suggest that there's something for everyone -- even those who disagree with my particular take on a particular SciFi classic -- so don't be discouraged. Surf on over there and find something you think it worthy of your attention, and it'll be a better day for no other reason than you learned something new and celebrated it in the way only a true genre fan can. That's ultimately what unites us more than anything else divides us, so I'll leave you to it.
As always, thanks for reading ... thanks for sharing ... thanks for being a fan ... and live long and prosper!