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Multiculturalism & Science Fiction

A couple of days ago, I signed onto the forum of the Cylon Alliance, a web-site that gives information on those SF shows that got left by the wayside (including the original Battlestar Galactica). As I've mentioned in recent newsposts, there's been a lot of heated fan debate over the Sci-Fi Channel's "re-imagining" of Battlestar Galactica in mini series form. I've pretty much completed that "rant" I was writing (which, as usual, has turned out more like reasoned argument than a rant), and will probably be posting it within the next few days, but some crazed personal caprice drove me to visit a collective of actual fans of the original.

One of the threads in the forum is discussing the fact that most of the new Galactica cast was white. Posts went back and forth on colour, other TV shows to feature multiracial casts such as Trek, ethnic typing, enlightened idealism and the like, and I noticed the topic dying down with everyone seemingly agreeing to disagree. It absolutely stunned me that all of them were overlooking the most glaring ethnic typing of all: Where were the really foreign characters?

Why does almost everyone on these shows have an American accent, even the bloody aliens? What have we had in Trek? Precisely one Russian, one Scot, one Irishman and three Brits (if you count Julian Bashir as being at least British-educated; he doesn't come across as particularly Indian or Saudi or anything). Six non-American accents across five separate series! That's a pathetic average of barely over one foreign accent in a recurring cast! Even the ruddy aliens have American accents! That's what I want to ask these so-called equal-opportunity casting personages! Where's your Aussies, mate? Where's your annoying French folk? (No, Jean-Luc doesn't count; he's not annoying and, let's face it, he's not really French either.) Your Spanairds? Your Africans (yes, without the -American on the end, you uneducated twerps)? Huh? Huh?

I know what's going on here, I do. I know what this is all about. These Yanks tout their ethnic minorities and multiracial casts, so they can act all nice and politically correct whilst pulling the wool over people's eyes and hiding that they're secretly promoting Das Amerikan Weltkultur! Irishman Colin Farrell? American accent. Englishwoman Rachel Weisz? American accent. Australia's bloody own Nicole Bloody Kidman? You just watch yourself that Stepford Bloody Wives remake when it comes out and tell me what accent she's speaking in, mate. All Races, One Accent! All Nations, One Big Mac! Yeah, I'm onto you, you evil American network casting persons, you. You Have Been Bloody Well Warned.

Oh, and don't give us that tripe about shows made in America for American audiences. That's the flimsiest excuse I've heard since... well... since that guy said the thing about... the thing, but I knew it was all lies! I did!

I think it's time we had some of that Affirmative Action stuff we keep hearing about in universities and the workplace going on in the casting agencies and shows! I represent Australians with a Beer and a Cattle Dog who want to Entertain Film Goers! (Okay, so the acronym's A.B.C.D.E.F.G. Best I could come up with under the circumstances.) We demand cultural and accentural casting that reflects the true global culture demographic: 50% American, 50% Australian!

What do we demand? Well, it's quite simple, really, we're easy to please. No more of Hugo Weaving adopting an accent when he's playing Agent Smith, and no more camouflaging of The City with digital effects - you cant fool us. It's Sydney, and the Agents (who were all played by Australians in The Matrix) ought to be stopping those Americans from Zion from getting everyone to leave the best city in the world! We want proper Australian representation on every starship in a science fiction TV show. None of these namby-pamby shuttlecraft, mate: each and every starship has to have one ute and at least one workin' dog! Who needs those useless bloody red-shirted security guards then, eh? Your battler's prince, the blue heeler, will have those pesky Borg or Klingons rounded up and into the pen - er, brig - before your annoying computer can say "Intruder Alert!" Remember Hugh Jackman's getup at the Mansion in X2? The white singlet, the jeans, the scruffy sideburns? He was almost fully A.B.C.D.E.F.G. compliant there - all they needed to change was to swap those boots for a pair of thongs and that poncy blue Mazda or whatever it was for a Holden Maloo Ute (with a dog in the back)!

We'll show you culturally-blind American peoples what multiculturalism really means - beer and rugby and lots of it!

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