Friday, November 30, 2012

Teleportation and Libraries and Star Wars

Oh, lucky day! I've experienced "teleportation."  It was just the other day.  And it was magical.

If you've never experienced it for yourself, teleportation is the ability "in science fiction and fantasy, to move instantly from one place to another by futuristic, paranormal, or magical means."

But the way it happened was pretty simple, actually.  I was on the library chat desk and had accepted a patron with whom to chat.  And we were chatting politely: she asked a question and I was finding an answer.

But right in the middle of my typing my answer, the screen showed this message, "Guest has left chat."

What? But he was just here?  Where did he go? How did he vanish so suddenly?  The only answer: Teleportation.

Oh, you might think I'm overreacting, being dramatic, but, no, this was a full-blown "moving instantly from one place to another by futuristic, paranormal, or magical means."  Any technology which allows a person to be in one place with someone and then completely disappear from that location is sufficiently advanced enough to be indistinguishable from magic.  Just ask Arthur C. Clarke.  Hence, teleportation.

As you can see, I didn't teleport.  But I was there as another being teleported away.  And although it was fantastic to witness, it was also a great pain in my ass. Oh, yes, it was just chat, you say.  But have you ever had someone hang up on you in the middle of a phone call?  Yeah! It sucks when someone does it.  And then you attribute that modifier to their character: Hey, that guy sucked! So why is chat any different?

Can you imagine a real world with people teleporting in and out of conversations?
"Where's the copier?"
"It's over.."
"Fuck you, too."

And I was surprised to notice on my most recent viewing of Star Wars, that Luke also wondered about how teleportation could change his life when he wondered if his uncle would ever let him leave the farm:
"Not unless you can alter time, speed up the harvest or teleport me off this rock."

Star Wars creeps deny that teleportation exists in the Lucasian Cosmology, in other than very rare instances and by very dark means. But this evidence proves otherwise.

You have three options in understanding this reference, either
a) Luke made up a word that resembles a word we recognize that has an entirely different meaning, or
b) the word means something that is the same as what we think of as teleportation, but isn't real, meaning it's "science fiction," or
c) it's something real that Luke knows of, but is nearly impossible to accomplish.  How Luke would know of this rare Jedi ability just opens up other questions.

To me, the most amazing revelation would be that there is science fiction in the Star Wars universe.  That there might be novels of other worlds where beings exist who have powers and abilities which are totally unheard of in Luke's universe.  It adds another dimension to a fictional world when those characters existing in it also enjoy reading Fiction.

I love when novel include poems or song lyrics.  I like to write song lyrics, but I'm never going to form a band or even learn to play an instrument.  And I suspect the songs aren't even any good because they're all about working in the library, shelving books, cleaning the computer keyboards, etc. because I write what I know.

But when I write stories, I have my characters sing my songs.  And in my fictional worlds, my songs are awesome.  Because it's my world, dammit.  And in my world, Library Music is just as relevant a genre as Country or Hip Hop.

Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh.
Library woman.
Your hair bun is oh so right
and your sweater's oh so tight
and your intimate grasp of medieval farming techniques
helped with that paper I had to write.
Library woman.
Oh. Oh. Oh.
You keep reminding me
to call you 'Librarian'
and not, Library Woman, but
you're more woman than librarian to me.

Okay, that last part is ripped off from the Bee-Gees, but still, it's awesome, right? Yeah, I know.