[Welcome to the Sci-Fi Lunch Break, where every day we'll be supplying you with a cool bit of audio/visual goodness to break up the monotony of the work day. You bring the turkey on rye, we'll bring you something out of this world to watch while you eat it.]
There are four brilliant minds in this 1997 clip from the dearly bereft Sci-Fi Channel but the center of attention is notoriously cantankerous (and prolific) writer Harlan Ellison. The man who wrote the Trek episode "City on the edge of Forever" feels personally wounded by the popularization of the term Sci-Fi at the degradation of science fiction, "it diminishes anything, it's like referring to the feminist movement as 'fem-lib'".
Ellison raises a few great points, the spearhead of which is that a term like Sci-Fi has become a blanket for global phenomenon, like Independence Day, that have become more successful than the legitimately intelligent works of science fiction to which all of their debts are owed. Though I may not agree with his sentiment overall, I think the debate is a wonderful one to have.
Does Sci-Fi cheapen the heritage of science fiction? Can the two not co-exist? How did Harlan Ellison survive the Great Scorn that is the re-branding of the very network on which this debate took place? If he's that passionate about dumbing down his art form, I'm amazed he didn't climb a clock tower after Syfy was unveiled.