Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Syfy is the New Sci Fi

Looks like the Sci Fi Channel is taking a Hooked on Phonics approach and is changing its name to Syfy. Yeah, I don’t know what it means either. It just looks like “Siffy”. Supposedly the idea is to distance the network from its hapless, bespectacled, pocket-protector-wielding image:
“The name Sci Fi has been associated with geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that, as opposed to the general public and the female audience in particular,” said TV historian Tim Brooks, who helped launch Sci Fi Channel when he worked at USA Network.
True, the text messaging generation is going to love this. Unlike “Sci Fi”, “Siffy” doesn’t have that extra space in the middle. It types faster. And, much like substituting “kool” for “cool”, “bai” for “bye”, it’s more social network friendly. But Tim Brooks’ dysfunction comments are a bit “meh” if you ask me. Geeks and nerds are equated with dysfunction and antisocial behavior because we’re more obvious, it’s presumably easier to point us out in a crowd, we don’t have the broad shoulders, perfect postures, or blatant sex appeal of your typical jocks / jockettes, etc. Realistically, it’s more about appearances than it is actual social quirks. “Cool people” are just as dysfunctional as “not-cool people”. How many rock stars, movie stars, or Olympic athletes have used drugs, alcohol, self-imposed starvation, over-training, or acute promiscuity to prove this point? Could it be that we’re all not quite right in the head (to a certain degree), and that we’re all in denial?

I’m not worried. Sci-fi is cool with or without Siffy. I’m cool. My mother told me so. ;)

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