Search This Blog

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Thoughts on The Magic School Bus, Alpha & Beta, and Catching Up

I used to love The Magic School bus as a kid. And honestly, who wouldn't? It was a kids show that taught you a lot about the world you lived in - unless of course that was under a rock. Who wouldn't want Ms. Frizzle as their teacher?

But rewatching it more recently, you have to wonder... Who is Ms. Frizzle? She doesn't ever use the door in her own classroom, spies on her kids when they're waiting for her to start class (at which point she pops out of nowhere), and then of course, has a magical bus that you have no idea where she got it or it's origins of being magical. This was before things like Wikipedia and Google existed, when all you had was the library and your own eyes to do your research.

And then of course it hits me. This show really isn't about learning how things work and what makes the world go around. Yes, that's the outward theme going on. It's also about experiencing the world rather than just learning about it in books. What better way to tell someone about making honey, flight, or any of the other topics in seasons 1-4, than by being able to experience them?

The show is about kids getting outdoors to see the world to "Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy," as is Ms. Frizzle's famous catchphrase.

Plus, I totally didn't realise that Ms. Frizzle was voiced by Lily Tomlin. Or that Dolly Parton was a character in one of the episodes.


 So a story idea popped into my head this morning. My mom was watching Warehouse 13, and they kept showing a promo for a new show called Alphas. And it got me thinking on a plot for a new novel - even though I'm not finished with either of my current works in progress.

But what if everyone had an Alpha and a Beta version of themselves? Sure, programs have an alpha and beta version before they're released to the public. Why can't people? In some super advanced future - or even now - previous to living your current life.... There were two previous versions?

It's a crazy idea that I'm still working on. However its just something that intrigues me. A combination of Children of Men and Brave New World, in which a person has multiple versions of their life that didn't work out. And that their current life is the final product of how their personality, choices, mistakes, whatever, shaped them in the Alpha and Beta forms to create the person you see in the mirror. Those previous forms are kept in a large warehouse or destroyed, once they're no longer needed, that way no one knows of their existence.

But what if one of those Betas, or even an Alpha, realises what's going on, and who they are... and manage to escape? Perhaps they run into others that have come to the same conclusion, and their goal is to show the world that they aren't who they believe they've grown up to be. They're entire life is a lie based on prior knowledge almost "downloaded" from another being to fix everything that was imperfect.



 It feels really great to catch up with friends. Exciting and calming, I love to see friends when they return from college. Plus, it feels like I'm finally getting my social circle back.

Everyone has been gone for so long, it's easy to lose touch with them. Some don't even come back to Washington for the summer, that it makes me sad not to see them. I don't blame them for staying in their college town for work, or whichever. It is their life.

But I do miss opportunities to hang with friends and just be able to be around people that aren't my coworkers.

So tonight was great to catch up with Lolo. I don't get to do that very often.

No comments:

Post a Comment