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Patt Morrison Headshot

Y O Y the Syfy Channel?

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I turned on my television over the weekend and realized that the Sci Fi channel had vanished.

The same shows were there, but the name wasn't.

In its place is something called the Syfy channel.

Whose dumbed-down, look-down-the-nose idea was this, anyway?

Do the network honchos think this is the next, hip iteration of the texting-literate generation? Or that we R 2 dum 2 no betr?

Sci fi, the venerable shorthand for science fiction -- a noble genre of literature and art and entertainment in its own right, with giants like Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. Le Guin -- has been reduced by this phonetic and simple-minded non-word to something that looks like it's traded on the stock market.

I read that the execs who thought of this say it will allow them a ''broader range of content'' in programming. Terrifying words, those. Don't think for a minute that they mean more original programming, or more film classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner and even Barbarella. My guess -- infomercials, and worse. The slick thinking must go that spelling it ''Syfy'' absolves the channel of any responsibility to the spirit of ''Sci Fi.''

Just the way that reducing the name from Kentucky Fried Chicken to ''KFC'' sent the web wild with speculation on the possibility that there might no longer be any real ''chicken'' in ''KFC,'' so now will people be, with much better reason, monitoring the amount of actual science fiction content in Syfy.

The Syfy channel exhorts me to ''imagine greater.''

So all right, I will:

I am imagining Rod Serling siccing the Kanamits on whoever thought this was a great idea. "Let's do lunch," they'll say. "You be lunch."