As readers of SF/F we like to think that we're at the forefront of the unusual, the different, the strange. I sometimes think that, comfortable in our endless stream of colorful and weird imaginings, we miss the truly strange and the truly different in the world that exists around us. Two things that made me think of this recently:
Hulu now offers "The Farm: Life Inside Angola", a film about life inside the Louisiana State Penitentiary, free for streaming. I watched it the other night, and it was a disturbing, haunting, bizarre experience. So many people living lives so totally, radically removed from mine, practically next door. In a structure created by the same society I live in. Many of them with no hope of ever knowing a different life. Talk about imagining the alien - yet the same could happen to literally any of us.
On Twitter, @persiankiwi is microblogging about what's going on in Tehran right now. Iran is a reality far removed from mine on the best of days; today is not the best of days. In the words of Neil Gaiman @persiankiwi's stream is "like an apocalyptic novel played out in tweets". Sobering to think that every day somewhere in the world things like this are happening, while I enjoy the afternoon sun and agonize over whether I should get some Cold Stone.
Just a little perspective to round out a lovely Sunday here in the city.