On Saying Too Much

This a post about saying too much. All too often people speak more than they should, explain more than they should, and I will admit now that this is a personal difficulty for me. But the person I was going to bring up as an example was Anne McCaffrey. Now I will admit that this is a bit of a selfish topic. How dragons choose who to Impress has long been a fascination of many a Pern fan. Impression is described as a private miracle and there is something about it that many desire. Impression forges an intense bond and not all are comfortable with it. A dragon will be in tune with the rider, constantly tied to their thoughts and emotions. The rider must submit to the dragon’s urges during a mating flight but at all other times the dragon will be closer than a friend, closer than a lover. Always an advocate, a defender, a confidante, and a source of instant transportation anywhere on Pern and across time as well. And the risks are great–rider and dragon fight together against the deadly Threads that fall from the skies and if the rider dies the dragon suicides. If the dragon dies the rider can live but if he does he is half alive, a part of him forever gone, the death of the dragon fresh in his mind throughout the rest of his life. More often, a rider suicides when his dragon dies either by poison, knife blade, or by refusing to eat or sleep until eventually he wastes away…and yet the dragon remains a draw for dragonriders are men and women who stand apart and that contains an undeniable attraction for the misfits of the world (such as myself). So now we come to the meat of the matter. Anne McCaffrey has two documents on record about how dragons Impress. The first is the infamous Tent Peg Theory: that even if green or blue dragons did Impress heterosexual men the man would turn gay because of alleged scientific evidence that one anal sex experience turns a man gay by triggering chemicals in the brain. Understandably this was greeted by outrage by many and McCaffrey lost all credibility with the science of Impression. A second document released in 2000 (Pern’s Renewable Air Force) has a more plausible but still sketchy theory: that the young dragonets choose partners that match their sexuality through the detection of pheromones. But one statement that Anne McCaffrey is on record as saying catches it best: the dragon decides the rider complies. This would suggest then that what determines which color dragon you Impress is limited to two main factors: gender (males Impress green, blue, brown and bronze, females Impress gold) and leadership ability (followers Impress greens and blues, people who can both give and receive orders Impress browns, and leaders Impress bronzes and golds). Sexual orientation is then not among the criteria dragons look for in a rider. How much time and controversy would be saved if Anne had just stuck to “the dragon decides, the rider complies” instead of trying to explain the miracle of Impression through science. And that is a classic example of saying too much.

Published by Devin Hogg

My name is Devin Hogg. I was born and raised in Carnarvon, Ontario, Canada. I moved to Guelph, Ontario, Canada in 2009 for university and lived here ever since. In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching TV and movies, going on long walks, swimming, and practicing Chen style Tai Chi. I love to write poetry and blog regularly about topics such as mental health, sci-fi/fantasy series, faith, sexuality, and politics.

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