On Battlestar Galactica

Cheez Whiz and the Future

By Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Battlestar Galactica and I have an interesting relationship. It began with the old series, when I was in college. My dormmates and I would gather in my room on Sunday nights and watch television. In those dark days, the college used to shut its cafeteria on Sunday after breakfast because the town itself had Blue Laws. For those of you too young (and too fortunate) to remember such things, they were draconian behavior laws, usually based on some form of Christianity. Mostly this meant no alcohol consumption on Sundays, but in a number of places–like Beloit, Wisconsin, where I was in my freshman year–it also meant you couldn’t work on Sundays. No restaurants were open, no grocery stores were open, not even the college library was open.

We started gathering in my room because my mother sent care packages in lieu of letters. Sometimes she made homemade cookies, but mostly she sent apples, oranges, Cheez Whiz, and Ritz Crackers, the stuff of life. Other dormies contributed from their stash–mostly candy and Campbell’s Cup-A-Soup. We didn’t have a microwave–in those dark days, microwaves cost more than $1,000 (and seemed to weigh at least 1,000 pounds)–so we used one of those electric hot-water pots to make our little feast.

Another kid down the hall had a portable TV. She brought it to my room, set it on my built-in desk, and we crowded on my bed and the floor, watching Battlestar Galactica and, of all things, Dallas. To be accurate, we watched Battlestar. We  …

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