Thursday, December 14, 2006


Jamie Bamber vs. Billy

I was a little too late to comment on the Galactica Watercooler podcast about “The Passage,” but something about it has gotten stuck in my head. Every time that someone chimes in about Dee’s relationship with some Apollo with some version of “Billy would not have done you that way, woman!” I want to throw something.

I was in the Army Reserves for six years. My experience is that military women like Kat, Dee, or Starbuck, do not go for the Billies of the world. The ones who aren’t there for a good dental plan want adventure, and going out with a Billy is a loud declaration that you are Settling Down and Starting A Family and Changing Diapers.

The scifi fandom, being mostly literary, educated homebodies (I count me in that group) see Billy’s Big Blue Eyes, and his eagerness to please, and his awkwardness, and say “He’s like a little PUPPY he’s so CUTE I want to take him HOME!”

No woman who chooses a life where she stands in a C.I.C., grabbing fistfuls of cable to network computers while hoping to buy a few seconds of time where nuclear missiles are not exploding on the hull of your ship wants a puppy. No woman who sits in a Viper cockpit dancing with Cylon Raiders and the real possibility of a fiery death in the hostile void of space wants a puppy. They eat puppies.

They may go out with a puppy if they fool themselves into thinking that is what they want, only to destroy his self-esteem and send him packing after a few months, a weeping bundle of inadequacy. See Anders' and Starbuck’s marriage. Anders has some tough guy features, and he’s an athlete, but inside he’s 100% puppy. A puppy wearing armor. Kara chooses him, thinking she’s found an essentially good man that she can live with, and ends up getting tired of him and using him for his body until someone better comes along.

I was thinking of all this when a co-worker of mine told me that she went to Cambridge with Jamie Bamber. They hung out a lot, and her best friend dated him for a few months. “He’s deadly boring,” she said, and broke up with him. A sweet guy, bookish, very attractive, and now very devoted to his wife and kids. But deadly boring. If you are angry at what I’ve said here, I offer this consolation: Jamie Bamber is, in real life, a Billy.

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