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Sorry, I couldn’t help but post this. And it makes me wonder why there are so few animal sci-fi heroes. There are the Cat People in Dr. Who, and of course the Wookies. Who else.

Lesson #15: People with facial hair are probably evil.

This lesson is long overdue. I must credit this one to the original Star Trek series and to Spock specifically, unless any of you have a precursor to the “Mirror, Mirror “ episode from 1967.  In general, facial hair denotes evil.  Just look at the devil, or Hitler. Moreover, well-groomed facial hair is somehow more sinister and calculating than its bushy counterpart.

Of course, there  have been many takes on this theme since the Star Trek crew was accidentally transported to an evil mirror universe during an ion storm.  In Fringe, Fauxlivia (the seemingly evil, but then maybe just misunderstood version of Olivia from an alternate universe) has red hair, compared to Olivia’s blonde hair. In South Park, the bearded Cartman from an alternate universe turns out to be the good Cartman, while the character we know is non-bearded and evil (’Spookyfish,”  1998).  In Futurama, Flexo is a questionably evil version of Bender, who looks and sounds just like Bender except for the addition of a goatee. It’s unclear which one is truly more evil. I’m sure that there are dozens of evil facial-haired villains out there I’m not remembering right now. Can you help?

Gimme your lessons!

Please tell me any lessons you’ve learned, or ones you’d like me to write about. I have a big list of ones to come, but more heads are always better than one (hmm, sounds like another lesson).

Lesson #12: Disabled people have amazing abilities.

I’ve recently been encouraged to get this blog going again, so here it is. I was reading my new favorite blog, Space Crip, and it got me thinking about how great it is to be disabled in sci-fi.  In most cases, it comes with awesome power and few disadvantages.  Touch has solidified the fact that autistic people are clearly superheroes. Now, Kiefer Sutherland is the father of the autistic child in question on Touch. We all know Kiefer Sutherland is a superhero, so maybe it just rubbed off on his child. The kid understands the entire universe, but his kryptonite is human communication. Even someone who is higher functioning on the autistic spectrum, like Sheldon from Big Bang Theory,  is the brightest mind physics has to offer. However, Sheldon doesn’t really understand the entire universe. Higher functioning means he’s not quite as smart as Kiefer Sutherland’s kid.

Rygel from Farscape on Thronesled

Even wheelchairs come with benefits, like Professor X’s ability to read minds. People can make any disability into a superpower, even being bitten by a radioactive spider. Did Peter Parker wither away with self-doubt after he learned he could spin webs? Did he undergo spider chemo? Of course not!  He was never a monster, but a superhero.  Man, don’t disabilities look like fun . . .