Saturday, November 3, 2018

What the fuck is wrong with 20% of this country, bombs, & Good Trek/Bad Trek #72 The Paradise Syndrome

Intro: I’ve loved Star Trek since I was a kid. I started by watching TNG in 6th grade. I’ve been a fan since then and though I’ve spent a lot of time watching Star Trek, I’ve never watched The Original Series. So, I’m watching and reviewing them as a fan of Star Trek, but one who’s never seen any of them. So I’m watching all the TOS episodes for the first time and saying whether or not they suck. At the end, I give examples of better and/or worse Star Trek episodes to watch that remind me of this episode. Usually, I ramble on about some bullshit before the Trek. That’s it.

I don’t think it’s hyperbolic to say that the news has been particularly fucked the past couple of weeks. I was listening to the NPR Politics Podcast. They were talking about a recent NPR survey that found that 80% of Americans think that violent rhetoric and incivility could lead to politically motivated violence. The same survey says that the other 20% need to get their fucking heads out of their fucking asses and watch the news every once in a while. 80% Think it “could” lead to violence. Yeah, we’re kind of there. We’ve been there.

Listen, I’m not saying that folks don’t sometimes deserve to be bombed. I’m sure they're out there. The thing with the bombs is that they never get to the person you think they’re going to. What kind of fucking idiot thinks that George Soros isn’t the kind of idiot who’d have someone go through his mail for him? Of course he does. He’s not just sitting there at the mailbox mumbling about how many 20% off Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupons he gets or doesn’t get. He has a person. Or maybe a whole team of people sit there and go through that stuff. They remove all the shit that’s a waste of time and gives him all the stuff that has to do with being a billionaire.

Same with the politicians who got bombed. They’re not going through every single package that comes their way. They have people. Underpaid people whose job it is to sit there and sift through all the horse shit letters and whatnot they get. That’s my problem with this. Not that politicians and oligarchs might get bombed. They won't. The postal workers and low-level employees for rich people are getting bombed. We're angry at the folks in charge and so we send bombs to other people like us.


And also, that politicians are having bombs sent their way and normal synagogue goers are getting gunned down. Jesus fucking Christ, this is all so fucked. What is the wrong with the 20% who don’t think that there’s violence on the horizon? Anywoo, the whole country is fucked, a good portion of this country is dumb as rocks and don’t consider bombs and synagogue shootings violence for some reason, and also I watched an episode of Trek. Which feels dumb at this point, but that’s what I did. It was The Paradise Syndrome. Here goes.

Recap

The gang finds itself at yet another Earthlike planet. They’re just kicking around for a little bit to investigate a planet before they try to divert an asteroid and have it not destroy the planet. But oh no, Kirk falls and gets amnesia and becomes an American Indian (?!?!) medicine man and gets married while the crew is diverting the asteroid.

Good Trek?

It wasn’t awful. I don’t think I’d call it a good Trek. It’s certainly a lot better than I thought it would be. Usually, when any kind of ridiculous looking Native Americans shows up, you’ll think that you’re going to be in for a rough ride. But it was really just kind of boring. Don't get me wrong, the portrayal of the Native Americans is pretty fucked. A whole lot of noble savage stuff. But really, it's mostly just boring.

Sometimes there's a fine line between CPR and just going to town on an unconscious child

They talk about how astronomical the odds are of running into a planet that is so remarkably similar to Earth. There are even American Indians running around. This is always the case though. Damn near every mission involves them running into an Earth-like planet. They’ve even run into actual Nazis from time to time. They've been to the ancient Rome planet. Like every planet they've been to is exactly like Earth. Why aren't they always this surprised?
Boratner

Boy, these scenes of Kirk acting his way through his amnesia are fucking brutal. You get a classic Scotty "giving it all she’s got." Which is nice. That’s such a thing that TOS is known for, but I can’t really remember him doing it all that much until now. Maybe he has and I’ve missed a few. But at the same time, I don’t think he has all that much. Maybe he really kicks it in high gear throughout the rest of the season.

Oh dear

Trek, despite its reputation for progressiveness, has always been a little weird with its portrayal of Native Americans. TNG had at least an episode where they go to a native American planet. Voyager famously had a Native character. It was awful. Nothing against poor Robert Beltran but his Chakotay was something else. He did the best with what he was given, but what he was given was absolute horse shit. I read that Voyager hired a consultant to help them with their portrayal of Chakotay. And in one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard, the Native consultant was full of shit. He was just some dude who made up a bunch of Indianey sounding stuff.
Still not as bad as any Chakotay spirit guide episode

Maybe it’s the benefit of having HD at my disposal, but Kirk’s stunt double gets so much work done. Some episodes he should really get higher billing than Shatner.

I legit LOL'd at this

It seems with the death of Kirk’s wife at the end that they were going for a cheap way to recapture some of that sweet sweet City at the Edge of Forever magic. It's cheap and I don't buy it. I actively wanted to boo my computer.
BOOOOOOOOOO


Better Trek?

If you want to watch a great episode where a character gets amnesia and has to try to figure out who they are, then I’d say go with the one where Data gets amnesia. Or whatever you call it when an android loses its memory. Data loss? Is that too on the nose? Anyhow. It’s a good one. It’s called Thine Own Self. Data has a bunch of radioactive material and loses his memory. He accidentally exposes a bunch of people to the radioactive material while he’s trying to figure shit out. It’s not the best amnesia episode, but I like it. Data was my favorite character growing up. And this is a good Data-centric episode.

Of course, the ultimate episode where a character wakes up on a strange planet and ends up with a wife he wasn’t expecting is The Inner Light. One of the best TNGs of all time. Also one of the best Treks of all time. It’s a great episode that has an ending that’s emotionally devastating in the best possible way. I know Trek is just a series of shows. Some of them can be very silly. It’s weird to watch a horseshit episode like this one and then watch The Inner Light shortly thereafter and realize just how good this show can be. So don’t watch Paradise Syndrome. Or maybe, if you want to. It’s ultimately fine, but forgettable.

Friday, October 19, 2018

See you in hell, Sears & Good Trek/Bad Trek #71 The Enterprise Incident

Intro: I’ve loved Star Trek since I was a kid. I started by watching TNG in 6th grade. I’ve been a fan since then and though I’ve spent a lot of time watching Star Trek, I’ve never watched The Original Series. So, I’m watching and reviewing them as a fan of Star Trek, but one who’s never seen any of them. So I’m watching all the TOS episodes for the first time and saying whether or not they suck. At the end, I give examples of better and/or worse Star Trek episodes to watch that remind me of this episode. Usually, I ramble on about some bullshit before the Trek. That’s it.

Boy, Sears, right? If you didn't know that company Sears is in trouble. I’m sorry you had to hear it from me, but it’s true. The company you’ve long gone to for your store brand tools and Dockers might go the way of the dodo bird. This is all very sad. People are going to lose their jobs and I’m, of course not happy about that. All of these big box stores are in trouble. Some are getting better at adapting than others. I remember a while back Sears and K-Mart merged which seemed like an odd idea at the time. I don’t get why companies like that do that when they’re in trouble. It almost seems like. They were two companies who were having a bear of a time adapting to the new economy and they thought they attach their stars to each other's wagon. That’d be like if the wonder twins joined forces and remained powerless pre-teens. They’re not gonna go too far in the crime-fighting world that way. 

I’m not an economist. I think I’ve made that clear. What I don’t get is the. I worked at a big box legacy retailer for a number of years. I worked at a Best Buy. It always confused me to the point where Best Buy just existing became a thing that people who worked there cared about. I don’t know if everyone who worked there thought that they’d be integral in the Best Buy rebuilding or what. Some people gladly saw themselves as pawns who’d have to be sacrificed for the greater good. The greater good being...keeping Best Buy afloat, I guess. That blew my mind. 

Companies go on for a while because there's a reason for them to exist. They're filling a need and people want them to exist. Then at a certain point, their whole reason for existing is to just keep on existing. On a certain level, I guess it kinda makes sense. All these companies. People shit on people all the time for engaging in the sunk cost fallacy. Which you could say I’ve been guilty of for the past forever. As a comedian, your whole journey is a constant struggle against the sunk cost fallacy. 

So maybe Sears needs to act like a comedian who's starting to realize that shits just never gonna break their way. Maybe Sears needs to move back in with its parents for a while and figure shit out. Maybe start a podcast. Learn how to sell cars. Not work retail though. 

Know what will never have to figure shit after realizing everything they've done their entire adult life is a mistake? This episode of Trek. Because it was really really good. 

Recap

I'm just doing one sentence recaps because these posts have gotten out of hand. In this one, the gang goes on a secret mission to steal a Romulan cloaking device. There are crosses and double crosses. It's pretty sick.

Good Trek?

Umm, hell yeah. I’ve heard that season three was going to be a rough ride. The first episode was pretty brutal. But this is one of the best episodes that I’ve seen so far. This is a good episode. I don’t know if it’s my favorite. It’s good. So far, even though the Klingons are the most iconic TOS villains, but man oh man, the limited times that we’ve had contact with the Romulans they’re knocking shit out of the park. This episode is great, of course, Balance of Terror is still my favorite episode. But this is right up there. I’m trying to think of any episodes aside from the Trouble With Tribbles where the Klingons really are great. And they’re good in Trouble with Tribbles, but they don’t steal the show the way the Romulans do in every episode they’re in. Maybe it’s because they use them a little more sparingly. Whereas the Klingons were such a huge deal the Romulans have really only popped up a few times. Also, the Klingons are just so silly so far. It’s really hard to take them as a credible threat so far. Where the Romulans are just so goddamn sneaky. They're great.
Spock's getting ready to slip her the old "Vulcan shocker"

I'm sure I could just go ahead and look this up, but how long ago were Romulans and Vulcans the same race? Because I think it’s been too long for everyone on both planets to all have the exact same hairstyle. I don’t know how many eons it takes for one to move on and maybe mix shit up a bit, but they are both well beyond that point. I’m no evolutionary biologist, but I have to think that even after a handful of generations, not just apart on the same planet, but on two wholly different planets, they might start to look a tad different. It's not like the Vulcans and Romulans decided to just put a little line down the middle of a country and each go their separate sides, like some kind of classic sitcom (and I do mean classic). You’d think that one of them would at least have a couple gingers running around. But nope.  Both races. Nothing but dark bowl cut.

I find Scotty's face deeply unsettling here
Okay, here’s my one qualm with this episode. The sneak onto the Romulan ship to steal the cloaking device and prevent further acts of war. How is this not a HUGE deliberate act of war? You know how the most recognizable ship in the entirety of Starfleet went into Roman space and went aboard under false pretenses and then took secret military technology and then kidnapped the commander of that ship and then hightailed it back to Federation space. Come on. This should make the whole Roman Star Empire sit up and take notice. This should cause war. This was an insane plan on behalf of Starfleet. But seriously great episode. 

Better Trek?

This is a solid one. So, watch this. If you want another episode where a beautiful Romulan gives the crew of a ship called the Enterprise the business then you'd have to go with Redemption. In that one, Denise Crosby comes back playing her own daughter. But she's also a Romulan. 
If your secret plan is based on people believing the acting of this man, then it's a bad plan

There’s also a great, albeit kinda dark episode of DS9 titled "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges" where Ben Sicko and Dr. Julain Bashir are trying to stop Section 31 from doing all kinds of underhanded shit. It’s all very exciting. It’s one of the two darkest episodes of DS9 and that puts it easily in the running for the darkest Trek that’s ever trekked. Because there are some pretty nuts implications in that one. That Starfleet just has spies in other people’s governments is pretty odd for a Star Trek. That they're completely cool with assassinating foreign dignitaries is another.

Gene Roddenberry famously hated the idea of Deep Space Nine. He thought it was too dark and didn’t care for the idea that folks on the ship might not get along. That’s because even though the whole Star Trek thing was his idea he really was the worst person for it. TNG didn’t really hit it’s stride until he was too old and infirm to do anything with it. So all the Trek folks owe him a debt of gratitude but really, Roddenberry kinda sucks when it comes to knowing what makes Trek awesome. 


Saturday, September 22, 2018

I'm in Michigan and Good Trek/Bad Trek #70 Spock's Brain

Intro: I’ve loved Star Trek since I was a kid. I started by watching TNG in 6th grade. I’ve been a fan since then and though I’ve spent a lot of time watching Star Trek, I’ve never watched The Original Series. So, I’m watching and reviewing them as a fan of Star Trek, but one who’s never seen any of them. So I’m watching all the TOS episodes for the first time and saying whether or not they suck. At the end, I give examples of better and/or worse Star Trek episodes to watch that remind me of this episode. Usually, I ramble on about some bullshit before the Trek. That’s it.


I was in Michigan when I started this. Then I forgot to finish it. Now I’m back in New York. The internet is crazy, right? Today is Saturday. Come to Featherweight in Brooklyn Sunday at 8 and/or Coco 66 in Brooklyn Monday at 8:30 hear some sick jokes. But before that check out this sweet sweet blog. 

I'm in Michigan right now. (editor’s note: Again, not anymore) Which is fun for the most part. I've been kicking around here for a while. Like they say when you're ordering food. You have to make sure that you're eyes aren't bigger than your stomach. You have to do that as well with trips to Michigan. That's a lot of time to spend in a place where you no longer actually live. 

I'm not staying in my old bedroom because there's not a bed in there anymore. But I've stopped by. And boy, the memories. If those walls could talk they'd probably say "hey, look. The guy who used to masturbate all the time is back!"

I woke up in a dog bed one morning I was here. I've been sleeping in my older sister's old room. Because in my old room there's nothing but some junk, an old dog bed, and the remnants of an old pillow. I've never really been a sleepwalker. But I sleepwalked (slept walk?) from my sister's old room and the very human bed I was sleeping in, to my old room. Where I curled up. Like a dog. Into the dog bed. 

So I'm treating this less like a trip home and more like a dry run for when I inevitably have my nervous breakdown. Which, is not the same as the movies would have you believe. It's almost become a romantic comedy trope where a guy in his thirties goes back to his hometown because he's poor and sad and then immediately gets to fuck Kirsten Dunst. The reality is a lot sadder. Also, there's a lot less of The Shins. Nothing against them. Just not my faves. 

Recap:

Here it is Spock’s Brain. This is supposed to be one of, if not the worst episode ever. The Enterprise is being intercepted by a strange ship. Being intercepted by a strange ship most foul. Everyone is pretty impressed by it. Because it's powered by ions. I don't know why we're supposed to be impressed by it. It's like the science fiction within science fiction I guess. That's what they watch shows about. They tool around the galaxy on a anti-matter powered warp drive, which sounds pretty nuts, but they're all drooling over the prospect of a ship that runs on ions. I'm not saying it's not cool, but still.
These nerds might know a lot about spaceships, but they don't know shit about gloryhole operation

A female beams aboard the Enterprise and knocks the entire crew out. When they wake up, everyone is fine. Everyone except Spock. Who now does not have a brain. So there’s that. They only have a certain amount of time before his body won’t work. Turns out he’s being used to power a planet or something dumb like that. McCoy uses some crazy contraption and uses the knowledge to put it back in. The women of the planet are pretty bummed they won’t have a brain to rule their planet. Kirk tells them that they’re going to have to make nice with the savage race of men who live on the surface. It’s all really weird. 

Good Trek?

This is supposed to be one of the worst episodes ever. And I'm almost bummed that it wasn't. It was really just okay. The whole episode was just there. I don’t even know what to criticize about it. I'm not saying there's nothing to criticize about it. I wasn't even invested enough to really criticize it. It's bad Trek. But not even fun bad Trek. It's worse than that. It's boring Trek. The worst kind of Trek. 


Scotty's hair looks really weird

Not only is Spock's Brain the name of a notoriously bad episode of Trek. This one. But I guess Spock’s Brain is also the name of a song by the band Phish. So in addition to watching this stinker, I also listened to the Phish song. 

Good Phish?

It’s okay. Not really for me. If you’re a Phish fan then I’m sure you like it. I’m not and I don’t really. I didn’t find it offensive anything. Just kind of there. It was also just kinda there. For six minutes I listened to the song and I felt nothing. So, that's probably why they named the song after this episode. 


"My name's Buck, and I like to fuck!"

So good Phish or bad Phish? I’m not really phamiliar with Phish. I had one of their albums that I listened to a couple of times. It wasn’t really for me. I also had one of their patches which I wore before I'd bought an album. Because I was a poser. I say don’t listen to the song Spock’s Brain instead listen to St. Stephen of The Grateful Dead’s Live Dead. It’s a sick album and that might be my version of my favorite Dead song. 


And watch The Magnificent Ferengi instead of this garbage. Some people have issues with Ferengi led episodes, but I’m not one of them. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some stinkers out there. Profit and Lace is very very bad Trek. But The Magnificent Ferengi is great. Funny and engaging and you get to see characters that aren’t often depicted as the most heroic be the heroes for an episode. Plus, you get one of the greatest Trek cameos of all time, one Mr. Iggy Pop plays a Vorta. 

So, that's it for this week. Hopefully the rest of season three is better or worse than this one. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Some bullshit about commercials & Good Trek/Bad Trek #69 Assignment Earth

Intro: I’ve loved Star Trek since I was a kid. I started by watching TNG in 6th grade. I’ve been a fan since then and though I’ve spent a lot of time watching Star Trek, I’ve never watched The Original Series. So, I’m watching and reviewing them as a fan of Star Trek, but one who’s never seen any of them. So I’m watching all the TOS episodes for the first time and saying whether or not they suck. At the end, I give examples of better and/or worse Star Trek episodes to watch that remind me of this episode. Usually, I ramble on about some bullshit before the Trek. That’s it.


If I had to pick a least favorite kind of commercial I’d be hard pressed. I guess I don’t have anything against commercials as a rule. I know that commercials are out there for a reason. They work. They get you to buy a company’s shit. Company’s need you to buy their shit. If you don’t, they stop being a company. Commercials are good at getting people to buy their shit. If you don’t think they work on you, you’re probably just too dumb to realize that they do at least a little bit. 

I’ve got two pet peeves when it comes to commercials though. When any actor I’ve heard shit on a previous project they’ve been involved in does a commercial I start thinking that actor is a douche. You can’t bitch about the integrity of whatever project you were in that didn’t live up to your artistic standards if you then are willing to pretend you’re very passionate about AT&T a week later. I don’t trust you. And now I don’t trust AT&T. 

It also pisses me off when I get advertised like three things in one commercial. I guess it’s all about synergy and whatnot, but I saw a commercial where a woman’s Amazon Alexa reminded her it was almost time to see Avenger’s Infinity War so she hopped in her Audi (or Lexus or whatever, I don’t remember what it was for because it was an ineffective and shitty commercial) and sped off to see the movie. Fuck that. You paid for thirty seconds. You get to sell me one thing. You’re overreaching and I resent it. That’s all I got for way of intro this week. I don’t know. Sorry. I’m gonna be in the woods of Northern Michigan for the next couple weeks. Then I’ll be telling jokes in lower Michigan for a couple weeks. If you’re around you should come and say hi. I’d appreciate it. Know what else I appreciated? This episode of Trek. It was called Assignment Earth, and I liked it. 


Recap:

This is the last episode of season 2. It’s a time travel one. The Enterprise is orbiting 1968 Earth just observing. I’m sure something will go horribly wrong. It’s fucked just how cavalierly they treat time travel. Which is kinda impossible. And if it’s possible they should treat it with a little more gravitas than they do. Things go wrong almost immediately. Which is part of the problem with time travel. Shits always going wrong. Something beams aboard. Something or someone? It’s a someone. A dude clutching a black cat. This one is off to a bonkers start and we’re not even at the opening credits yet. 
So very nonchalant 

The guy said he needs to go to Earth because he’s been sent from another planet and he needs to go there to prevent Earth from destroying itself. Kirk isn’t buying it. The guy said he’s been living on a distant planet far more advanced than earth. He’s been there a bit and now the folks on that planet have sent him back to Earth to help them out. His name’s Seven. Gary Seven. Which is a pretty cool name. 
They're not back in time to prevent the formation of ISIS. That'd be nuts if they called that though

Gary Seven is here to make sure that a nuclear missile satellite doesn’t get launched into orbit. There are some platitudes about how the arms race is ridiculous. Which is a little silly but at the same time, I’m sure it was pretty ballsy to be shitting on the idea of having more advanced weapons than the Russians. Good on late 60’s Trek.

Gary Seven is here to check up on some of his secret agents who should have been hard at work preventing the nukes from being deployed. But oh no they were both killed in a car accident. So he’s got to do it himself. Kirk and Spock are trying to stop him because they still don't buy his story. He almost sabotages it before he's beamed away. The rocket launches. And that’s either good or bad. I don't know. Nobody knows. Gary Seven takes control over it briefly, but then he gets knocked out by his secretary after he finds his way back to his office. Dames, AMIRIGHT! 
Also how I feel about NYC most days

In the end, Kirk decides his story checks out and lets him destroy the satellite. Turns out that's what was supposed to happen because it's in the Federation history books too. Seems like they should've checked those before this all went down. But then it would've been a much shorter episode. 

Good Trek?

I liked this one. I don’t think it was my favorite, but all around solid. I’d definitely give this one a recommendation. It played out a lot different than I thought it would. I love a good time travel paradox. So the Enterprise fucked up the mission. Or was it always involved in this mission? Who’s to say. It's a paradox. 
Great shot

I like when they’re going on about what it is he could be coming back to prevent and Spock and Kirk are going through all the awful shit that the 60’s had to offer. We were always fucking shit up and gearing up for a nuclear holocaust so it could be anything. We, humans, are always hurtling towards destruction. Who knows what whacky stuff he was sent to prevent us from deploying. 

Why is Spock always being sent on these missions? He’s like the only alien on the ship. Yeah, he’s smart and I’m sure his insights are very valuable on a mission such as this. But it’s happened like five times that he’s had his stupid ears discovered and it’s led to issues. Maybe he stays on the ship next time and you just keep on calling him and getting his feedback. 
The cat turns into this woman for 5 seconds and it's never explained or addressed.

I feel Gary Seven is a big part of his own mess. You know, if the dude just explained what it is he was doing out there, that would have gone a long way to making everyone believe why he was there. They all could have checked the history books together and it would've been fine. A little trust goes a long way, secret agent Gary Seven. 

I knew the cat would end up being something but I was kinda hoping it wouldn’t. I liked the idea of the actor just making a very deliberate choice that his character would have a pretty weird relationship with an alien cat wearing a weird little silver scarf. And then it did and it was even weirder. With 90 seconds to go before credits roll the cat turns into a pretty lady. Then right back into a cat. It's not explained and it makes no goddamn sense and it's awesome. 

A quick word about Captain’s logs. How is he recording these? I know I’ve made this point before, but Kirk has a log where he just says that he and Spock are still in custody and that they’re powerless. Yes, you’re surrounded by folks. You’re under arrest. How is it you have the time and wherewithal to record this supplemental log. You didn’t ask the cops to give you your log recorder back. 

Better Trek? 

I’ve said to watch Trials and Tribble-ations before. It’s one of the best time travel ones. So watch it. But since I’ve said that one too many times I’ll say go with a two-parter Past Tense. Sisko, Dax, and Bashir get thrown back in time during a pivotal part of the social justice movement in 2024. Even though they’re not supposed to interfere with anything having to do with history, Sisko realizes that in order to preserve history as they know it he’ll have to step up and take an active role in what’s about to unfold. 

There’s also a solid VOY, Relativity, where Seven has to keep on jumping through various time period Voyagers and prevent a bomb from destroying the ship. There are some fun time travel points in that one too. Really, all three of these episodes are solid and worth a watch. Particularly if you like to hear a bunch of talk about what is and what isn’t meant to be and all sorts of fun talk about paradoxes. I dig that stuff. Even though again, time travel and the consequences are all treated really like nothing here. They shouldn’t keep doing this. At any point, they’re going to completely undo the future. It shows how frustrating it'd be to be someone charged with making sure Federation captains quit messing with the timeline. It'd have to get really annoying after a while of telling these folks to just knock it off and having them completely ignore you. 

That's it for this week. I'll probably be too busy being in the woods next couple of weeks. So that's it. 

Friday, August 3, 2018

Life. Style. Blog. Glasses.

Big day in the life of any and every lifestyle blogger. I got new glasses. Glasses are a big part of being a lifestyle blogger. We literally all wear glasses. Usually, because there’s a lot of eye strain involved in studying and analyzing the latest fads and trends. Getting new glasses is exciting, but kind of terrifying. Because usually if you wear glasses you don’t see all that well. THat’s why you’re wearing glasses in the first place. You got bum peepers. That’s how that goes. 

So in order to pick out new glasses, you have to pretend you can see. It involves a lot of imagination. Because if you can’t see you can’t see how great or not great you look in your glasses. You have two options. You can repeatedly take pictures of yourself and then look at them. Meaning you’ll annoy the person whose job it is to help you pick out new glasses. Or you can go about three inches away from the mirror looking like a crazy person. Everyone is different, but I’d definitely recommend the latter. It’s the better way to really get a good look at how your mug is gonna look with the new glasses. Because even though you can get a pretty good idea how they’ll look, you really don’t. Because how often do you look at yourself that closely? Almost never unless you an actual crazy person who stares in mirrors all day. And if you’re that kind of person. maybe you shouldn’t have glasses because maybe you’re a little too into how you look. Is that what happened to your eyes? Did you strain them by looking into a mirror all the time? If that’s the case then you’re a sick fuck and you don’t deserve the honor and privilege of being bespectacled. 

There’s a lot riding on these new glasses too. You might think it’s a pretty trivial thing, but it’s not. Your glasses say a lot about you. Clear glasses mean you’re probably a hipster or an old woman. Fashion glasses mean you’re an asshole. Contacts mean you’re not wearing glasses. Fashion glasses over contacts mean you probably didn’t think that all the way through before you settled on that look. 


I went with these bad boys. 
There’s a lot riding on it because you’re stuck with it. You have to have these glasses for the next one to three years. Imagine if you went shopping for a shirt that you had to wear every day for years. You’re going to scrutinize the shit out of every choice. Imagine trying to pick out that shirt while. It’s stressful. Well. I chose them. Or rather the lady who helped me pick them out chose them. I think they’re pretty solid. I look forward to sleeping in them and wearing them while I fall off my bike until they break. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Goodbye to favorite Christian movie reviewer & Good Trek/Bad Trek #68 Bread and Circuses

Intro: I’ve loved Star Trek since I was a kid. I started by watching TNG in 6th grade. I’ve been a fan since then and though I’ve spent a lot of time watching Star Trek, I’ve never watched The Original Series. So, I’m watching and reviewing them as a fan of Star Trek, but one who’s never seen any of them. So I’m watching all the TOS episodes for the first time and saying whether or not they suck. At the end, I give examples of better and/or worse Star Trek episodes to watch that remind me of this episode. Usually, I ramble on about some bullshit before the Trek. That’s it.


A habit I’ve had for a long time come to an end this past Friday. I said goodbye to Rod Gustafson. You probably don’t know who he is. It’d be kinda weird if you did. He is, or rather was a film reviewer for a website called Parent Previews. It’s a pretty niche site. One devoted to both whether or not a movie is good but just as important whether or not a movie is Christian enough for Christians to see with their families. They didn’t review R rated movies. The one exception being the Passion of the Christ, of course. That one they liked. 

I’m not Christian but there was something I really liked about the guy. I first became aware of him through a rightwing Christian radio program in Detroit. The Bob Dutko show. I used to listen to a lot of right wing radio. It’s always fascinated by what these people are worried about. He’s one of those folks who has nine dozen kids and thinks the earth is about five thousand years old. He’s no dumb-dumb though. He has a high IQ and he’ll be the first to tell you about. 

Every Friday afternoon at around 2:00, Bob turned his show over to Rod to take a look at the movies from “a family friendly, Christian friendly perspective.” In came Rod. There was something engaging about the guy. His taste in movies was, for the most part, atrocious, but I kept on tuning in. Even when I moved away from Detroit I kept on listening online every Friday. 

My favorite segments with Rod were always when he was a film reviewer first and a Christian second. Those were the ones I liked the best. Once he told Bob that a particular film contained a bunch of nobodies. To which Bob replied something along the lines that there are no nobodies because God knows every hair on their heads. Gross right. Rod said that God may love them but none of these people had any business being in a movie. I remember on a handful of occasions he’d pan one of those awful Kirk Cameron type movies made specifically to pander to Christians. Often, he’d say that even though there’s nothing objectionable content-wise and that all the messages were good, the movie itself was very bad. I don’t know why, but I loved hearing that. And I’m gonna miss it. Good luck out there, Rod!

Know what else Rod Gustafson wouldn’t be able to recommend? This episode of Trek. It's Bread and Circuses. I’d call it a fucking mess, but Rod would never use that kind of language. 

Recap:

The crew is at a planet that is pre-warp and doesn’t know about life on other planets. So they can’t intervene. On account of the non-interference directive. They go down and it’s a planet based on the principles of ancient Rome. It’s even called Rome. They’ve had a bunch of leaders named Ceasar and they all speak English. Which nobody seems that surprised by. A bunch of horse shit ensues. A bunch of really terrible horse shit. One of their leaders is a former Federation captain. I don’t remember if he was an actual Starfleet captain and I don’t care. I’m not rewatching it. I watched it one and a half times and it was brutal both and a half times. 

The former Federation guy thinks this planet is so perfect it must be protected at all costs from future interlopers. So Kirk and his whole crew must stay and die in the pits. 

There’s some platitude swapping and Bones and McCoy end up in a live gladiator fight on TV in a painfully long and terribly choreographed fight scene. Then Uhura teaches us that it’s okay because they’ve heard about Jesus. Fin. 

Good Trek?

Was this a good episode good? No. This one is one of my least favorite ones so far. plus, I adore Uhura, but what the fuck is all this Jesus stuff doing in my Trek? I don’t want to know about the Son of God or whatever. Plus the two planets evolved in exactly the same way to the point where everyone on the planet speaks English and they had a Rome and two guys named Ceasar ruled over it, and also Christianity took hold just like on Earth, but it took an extra two thousand years? What the fuck are you trying to sell me with this bullshit because I am not buying. 
FYI, we'll still be having this debate in 350 years

You don’t want anyone else to come to your planet? Know what you don’t do, have two Federation ships disappear investigating it. Ships are gonna keep on coming. You think Starfleet is just gonna shrug off the loss of the Enterprise? That’s the flagship, boy. You gotta go see what keeps happening.  
Raise your hands if this is some bullshit

Who the hell would think that this a perfect planet? There’s legalized slavery and live battles to the death on TV. That’s the opposite of perfect. Yeah, there was no World War 1 or 2, but still. LEGALIZED SLAVERY AND BATTLES TO THE DEATH. I’m not saying that a system that eliminated war doesn’t have some strong points, but if it still has slavery and battle royalĂ©s, then maybe continue looking for a slightly more perfect planet. 
I didn't even realize this was a Christmas episode

This episode plays like a greatest hits. A bunch of other shit from better episodes is thrown into a blender and this is what we got. We’ve got a slave lady wearing tinfoil, we’ve got the crew busting out of jail cells, we’ve got a wine-swilling dandy, and overly long fight scenes. Speaking of which, of all the things that have come a long way since TOS aired fight choreography is definitely one of them. I don’t understand why these have to be this bad. They’re just so clumsy and goddamn are they also long. And the music score is awful. 
BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!


This planet is being run by a dude from a spaceship. Why are tiptoeing around like the Prime Directive still matters? It has been violated. the planet is being run by a dude from a spaceship. Whether everyone knows it or not the prime directive is out the airlock. Phaser up and interfere.  

Better Trek?

If you want to watch an even shittier episode where members of the crew are in gladiator matches then go with Code of Honor. This early TNG episode features Tasha Yar in a fight to the death when the wife of the planet's leader challenges her. This episode has the distinction of being one of the most awful Treks of all time. My favorite review of this episode was “you know it wouldn’t be considered that racist if they didn’t hire exclusively black folks to play the aliens.” Yeah, but they did. And it’s jarring. So very jarring. 

If you're looking for something better, then go with Tsunkatse. It's not the best one out there, but I like it. It's a VOY episode where Jeri Ryan's Seven fights The Rock. The goddamn Rock. It's a fun episode. It's not awesome, but it's sure as shit better than this one. 

Friday, July 27, 2018

Life. Style. Blog. Fruit.

I’ve read some of the other lifestyle blogs. They seem to all have one thing in common. They’re all sucking the dick of fruits and vegetables. 

You read Goop and they can’t wait to tell you all the great ways to enjoy fruit. I have to tell you, I’m not a fan. I think we’re getting fucked here. If any other product had the failure rate of fruit we’d have the CEOs of that company in front of Congress getting drilled by everyone. 
Here's what to do with apples, STOP BUYING INTO THEIR BULLSHIT!

They say fruits and vegetables are healthy because they have this shit called vitamins. Know what else has vitamins? Vitamins. Vitamins have a lot of vitamins. They’re made up almost exclusively of vitamins. So if you really want some vitamin C in your body. What are you doing reaching for a dumb old orange? Just reach for an actual vitamin made up 100% of vitamin C. 

I’ll admit. I like some of these things. I think that fruits taste okay sometimes. I like pineapple and oranges. Occasionally I’ll have a banana or two. They’re tasty I like them. I like salads sometimes too. I really like avocados. Or I should say that I really enjoy avocados for the roughly 20 minutes when avocados are good. Eat them too early and it’s about the densest and least flavorful thing out there. Any time after their due date and it’s a mushy rancid goop. No thanks! 

You have a Skittle and it doesn’t matter when it was bought or how long those Skittles have been sitting out. They’re going to be delicious. So what are we still fucking around with fruit for? Who is it that's behind what has to be a giant cash grab? Fruit is expensive. Way too expensive for what you’re getting. And it’s way too expensive for how long it lasts. So quit being bamboozled by fruit. 

Even worse than fruit is it's ugly relative vegetables. Gross. At least fruit tastes good sometimes. Vegetables pretty much only exist to deliver ranch to your mouth. Fuck vegetables even more than fruit. I'm done. Eat a bunch of fat and carbs and then have a vitamin. It's the same thing. You can trust this. It's on the internet. 

Alright. I gotta go. My foot's a little tingly. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Hyperbole, & Good Trek/Bad Trek #67 The Ultimate Computer

Intro: I’ve loved Star Trek since I was a kid. I started by watching TNG in 6th grade. I’ve been a fan since then and though I’ve spent a lot of time watching Star Trek, I’ve never watched The Original Series. So, I’m watching and reviewing them as a fan of Star Trek, but one who’s never seen any of them. So I’m watching all the TOS episodes for the first time and saying whether or not they suck. At the end, I give examples of better and/or worse Star Trek episodes to watch that remind me of this episode. Usually, I ramble on about some bullshit before the Trek. That’s it.


I just got around to seeing the most recent Star Wars. The one about the last Jedi. It was called The Last Jedi. It’s one of the movies that I’d read the most about before seeing it. I came across a lot of opinions about it. Well, I came across two opinions repeated ad nauseam. I read that it was the greatest movie of all time and I heard it was the worst movie of all time. And both those opinions are very very wrong. I thought it was okay. I thought it was really okay. There were parts of it I liked and parts I didn’t. All in all, it was fine. I’m glad I watched it, but I won’t be in a rush to ever see it again. And that’s fine. I don’t know what it is about the internet where we all have to be in a constant state of hyperbole one-upmanship. If you thought it was the best movie ever that’s great. I think you’re probably lying to yourself, but that’s fine. I’m glad you enjoyed it more than I did. 
All three of these people don't deserve happiness. 

If you didn’t care for the movie, that’s fine too. But was it really the worst movie of all time? Maybe it just wasn’t for you and that’s okay. Not everything has to be for everyone. What happened to that opinion? Remember when you could just not love something and go about your day. Now the internet is constantly locked in a state of hyperbole one-upmanship. There's no opinions that exist between A+++++ and the worst thing ever. The Last Jedi was a solid C. That's fine. I was a solid C student. Most things in life are average. That's why we have that word. To describe most things. 

There's a fan movement to remake it which is dumb. You can check out the petition here. They're trying to raise millions. Partly because the "diversity agenda" was rammed down our throats. For starters, it was rammed down your throat. You chose to watch it. You could have just stayed home. There's nothing easier than not watching a movie. All you have to do is literally anything else on earth. You bought tickets to see a movie and you thought there were too many women in it so now you want to remake it. I can't imagine anything more baffling than a Star Wars nerd raising money to have fewer women in their life. 

Recap:


We’re at a station and Kirk is a real grumpy Gus. He’s been summoned to take part in a war game. Where a computer takes over his ship. Then a bunch of other ships are going to confront the Enterprise. Kirk is skeptical, to say the least. Cue the dramatic music. The computer is installed and goes a tad haywire. It takes over and does well, but then destroys an unmanned ore vessel and thinks the wargames are real. Lives are lost. To make matters worse the computer decides it doesn't want to be disconnected and will kill to make sure that it isn't. 

Good Trek?

This is one of my favorite episodes so far. I put it right up there with Balance of Terror. Shatner hams it up a little bit, but that’s to be expected. He’s a bad actor. Bad actors act poorly. That’s what happens. The only thing I didn’t really get about it, and I know that it’s just a show and none of any of this is real. But what’s the point of this thing? I imagine computers were already able to do a lot of this stuff. Targeting weapons and reviewing crew rosters. I’d be surprised if computers weren’t already able to do this. Don’t they have unmanned probes in this universe? Is that really all that different. It doesn’t really make sense that some of these jobs weren't already being handled by computers. What’s really the point of having an actual navigator?
Kirk shits on the dude for being on his 5th version. That's not that many. 

The doctor was talking about paving the way for humans not to have to do this stuff anymore. Which is fine, but humans already don’t have to explore space. They’re choosing to do this. It’s not like this is some burdensome thing that folks are forced to do. Humans are out there exploring space because they want to. There’s no real need to do any of this. There was that. But other than that stupid nerd quibble, I loved this one. 

Kirk gets a little reactionary when it comes to computers doing his job. Pretty sure if the tests went well then it'd only be a matter of time before he'd be voting for a space Trump for Federation President because of promises to reopen the starship captain mines. 

This is another episode that makes Star TrekDarknessrknesss so frustrating. This would have made such an awesome movie. Why wasn’t this one made into one? I’d have loved to see this given the big screen treatment. It would’ve been great, but, instead we got a remake of a movie that in no way needed a remake. Fuck you, Into Darkness!

Better Trek?

The Ultimate Computer is great sci-fi. Watch that one. There are other episodes that have similarities, but I think The Ultimate Computer is the best of the bunch. It’s certainly not the best episode but there are similarities to 1001100 (or whatever). It's an early run TNG episode. It's not bad for a season one episode, but it's not great. Some computer linked nerds take over the Enterprise. It's really only worth watching for the jaw-dropping scene where a hologram offers to get double teamed by Picard and Riker. It's something else. 
The suspense is killing me. 

Emergence is another TNG one where the computer takes over the ship. It’s not bad. A lot of it takes place on the holodeck and those episodes usually suck but this one is not awful. It’s not the est, but it’s solidly not awful. I like The Ultimate Computer a lot better. So if you want to watch an episode about computers taking over starships then this is definitely the one I’d go with. 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Life. Style. Blog.

Now that I’m unemployed I’m really getting to lead my best life. Turns out that my best life is kind of a sad one. So I’ve been pouring through the mail here at Adamsokol.com HQ. And I think it’s time that I turn this shit into a lifestyle blog.

I guess part of the problem is that I don’t do all that much on a day to day basis. Mostly just jogging and open mics. But who knows. I don’t really want to put any of this on Facebook because every time I start writing on there I just end up sucked into a vortex of reading all that shit. And I have to say I like that I have a lot of friends and what not doing all sorts of neat stuff, but at the same time good gravy, are they really boring and hard to take in. So I guess I’d just prefer to write this shit on here. 

I’m gonna level with you though. I don’t really know what a lifestyle blog entails. I mean, I’m pretty sure I tell you what’s going on in my life. I don’t know. You’re not the boss of me. 

I googled what a lifestyle blog is. I'm pretty sure Goop is. I read a couple posts on goop.com. That’s a lifestyle blog, right? It seems to run the gamut. It’s got weird shit on there. 
From Goop: If you're the type of person who's dropping thousands on a table you don't need a blog to tell you how to live. You've got it figured out already. 



Now that I’m a lifestyle blogger I am going to do sponsored posts. That’s a thing I’m gonna get good on. I’m going to say that these places gave me money to talk about their product. And then maybe some of the times that I do that someone from the company will be reading and will be like oh shit, I forgot we forgot to send that guy some money for saying how great our widgets are. Get that check out, Susan. Or whatever. I’m really out of ideas so I’m kinda spitballing here. 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

I'm a big fat sad loser and also Good Trek/Bad Trek #66 The Omega Glory

Intro: I’ve loved Star Trek since I was a kid. I started by watching TNG in 6th grade. I’ve been a fan since then and though I’ve spent a lot of time watching Star Trek, I’ve never watched The Original Series. So, I’m watching and reviewing them as a fan of Star Trek, but one who’s never seen any of them. So I’m watching all the TOS episodes for the first time and saying whether or not they suck. At the end, I give examples of better and/or worse Star Trek episodes to watch that remind me of this episode. Usually, I ramble on about some bullshit before the Trek. That’s it.

Hi. Been a little while since I updated this. I've been busy. That's a lie. I got laid off from my job. The one where I read depressing internet comments. It was kind of a bummer even though the job itself was kind of a bummer to begin with. I never thought that losing a job that depressed me that much would end up depressing me this much. 

I always knew the job wasn’t going to last forever. Thinking that the job would last forever would be even more depressing. I always knew that it would end someday. I always just kind of figured that I’d have something going for myself by the time it did. Then it ended. And I didn’t. So here I am. 

So I got kinda bummed. But then I started feeling better. You see, I did have something lined up. A Star Trek blog. A real one. I was gonna write for that. I was gonna put in the time and write some Trek and it was gonna be great. The first Monday I was unemployed from the old job I set my alarm. I made sure to wake up early. I was going to crack my knuckles and really write the shit out of some goddamn Trek. Then I got an email. From the Trek blog informing me that they’d no longer be needing me. 

I was fired for plagiarizing this shitty blog. I didn’t even know that was possible. It is. I’d written a bunch of these. I was just kind of pumped to put them out to a larger audience. My fault. They said original content and I guess I never took that to mean stuff nobody read on here. But I was wrong. 

So then I took a couple weeks off and spent some time just staring. That’s kind of what I’ve been doing lately. Starting and feeling sorry for myself. It doesn’t sound like much but it’ll eat up a day before you know it. 


I tried getting back into watching TOS and wasn’t feeling it. They say that one of the symptoms of depression is that you stop enjoying the things that you used to be into. So maybe I wasn’t digging the TOS episodes because I was depressed or maybe it was because that this episode sucks. I don’t know. I’m almost done with season 2 so might as well just continue doing these for a while. Maybe another Star Trek site wants me to write for them again. Who knows. Here’s The Omega Glory. It was a fucking mess. 

Recap:

The gang is sent to Omega 4 in search of the USS Exeter. It’s a ship that’s been incommunicado for six months. They find the ship and everyone has been reduced to crystals. Reduced to crystals most foul. They look at log entries and it turns out that they contracted some disease from the surface that turned them all to dust. Which is dumb. But whatever. The ship’s captain, Captain Tracy is down there. So they go to ask him what’s what. Because now the away party, Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and some bag of shit redshirt all have the infection too. But if they’re on the planet’s surface the infection can’t get you. 
You hear that, PC police!

Fine so far. They get down to the surface and they find Tracey. Who’s living with a tribe of folks called “Kohms.” The Kohms are at war with a group of savages called the “Yangs.” Kirk is worried that Tracey is violating the Prime Directive of non-interference. As he should be. Because he is. Tracey is trying to figure out why these folks live so long. I guess that the Kohms can live over a thousand years. Which is neat. He wants that secret. 
Spock's watching Kirk get the shit kick out of him face is pretty great

Tracey gets wise to Kirk getting wise to him and tries to put the kibosh on Kirk putting the kibosh on his longevity scheme. Long story short, there’s absolutely no secret to their longevity. They just live a long time. And also Yang is short for Yankee and Kohm is short for Communist. Which is the dumbest fucking reveal ever. And also also, they're now immune to the space infection so they can leave whenever they want. Tracey meets his maker and everyone recites the Pledge of Allegiance. Lame. 

Good Trek?

No. This was bad Trek. I thought the reveal at the end was about the dumbest shit I’d ever seen. I mean, come on. Not only does this planet’s history mirror Earth’s but it mirrors it so much that not only do they have the same slang terms for America and China, but they have the same identical flags? I call space shenanigans. 

Fuck you. 
There were good things going for it. I like the fact that Tracey went bananas searching for a fountain of youth that doesn’t exist. The problem is that the Federation already exists in such a state. They’ve just about solved most diseases. The life expectancy of the Federation would probably be about a thousand years if they weren’t running around in spaceships getting into trouble like a bunch of goddamn idiots. 
Try phasering this one
Also, the score for when people are fighting is the worst. And people fight a lot in this episode so there’s a lot of shitty fight music. It’s also 40 times louder than anything else that happens. So every time there's a fight you have to grab the remote to turn it down because it sucks so much. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just in a bad mood still, but fuck this episode. 

Better Trek?

I’m gonna say Star Trek: Insurrection. I really like this movie. People shit on it and I think they’re fools for doing so. The worst critisism I’ve ever heard about this movie is that it has the feel of just a super long TNG episode with better effects. How does that not sound just awesome? It’s great. There’s a group of aliens who live on a fountain of youth planet. Another bunch of aliens want to harness the planet for themselves. Loud shouting matches about the Prime Directive ensue. 
There's some space dust in my eye

Maybe I should've just watched Insurrection. It's pretty awesome. Well That’s it for this week. I guess I’m doing these again. I don’t know. We’ll see.