Friday, August 25, 2017

The Wrongest Thing On The Internet & Good Trek #34 Mirror, Mirror

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 Star Trek to watch that remind me of this episode. That’s it.

I read a lot of internet comments. Partially because it’s my job. I read internet comments for a job. It’s a weird job. I’ve been doing that full time for a few years and every time I think that these weirdos won’t be able to surprise me they find a way to be so fucking nuts that I can’t help but take notice. I was reading some comments about the upcoming remake of Death Wish. I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but there’s a movie called Death Wish. Then there were a bunch of sequels. Now there will be a reboot. It’s got Moonlighting's Bruce Willis and it looks like shit. If you’re not familiar with the Death Wishes they’re about a guy whose family is attacked by gang members so he goes around New York City murdering people. Casting a dude who looks an awful lot like George Zimmerman to play a guy who murdering folks he doesn’t want in his neighborhood. 

This movie, like pretty much everything ever, has divided the internet on ideological lines. Liberals look at this movie and see a crass piece of shit that looks like it standing for vigilante murderers and young (mostly black men) having their civil rights being robbed and being murdered by cops and shitheads who think they’re cops. Conservatives love watching criminals get murdered. I don’t want to paint with too broad a brush, but they seem to like watching criminals get murdered more if the criminal is black. That’s what I’ve noticed on the internet. It’s creepy and weird and wrong. 

Anyhow, I was reading the comments regarding the controversy around this movie and I came across this gem: “Viagra ain’t got nothing on this trailer.” Hey, holy fuck. I don’t care whether the idea of a new Death Wish has you running out to buy tickets or not, what it shouldn't be doing is having you running off to buy lube. That’s gross and weird. I know he was joking but even so, that’s not cool.I like to think that he wasn’t being facetious. That he has a picture of Bruce Willis and/or Charles Bronson tacked up to his headboard. Then I think about his poor poor wife. Telling a partner what you’re into can be tough. There’s a lot of weird stuff out there. Telling her about what gets his motor going she was probably expecting something like nurses or one of the other standards. But then he sat her down and in front of the laptop, fired up the internet and made her watch the official trailer for Death Wish and explains to her that there’s been something missing from their love life. A spark that’s been gone since Death Wish 5 killed the franchise and with it his boner. Then she has to make a choice. I feel for her. 

I tell you what isn't going to be giving anyone any boners, and that’s this week’s episode of Trek. It was Mirror, Mirror and despite a crazy sex pun that I’m amazed made it past 1960’s TV censors it was a real boner killer. 

Recap:

Kirk, Uhura, Scotty, and McCoy are on a planet negotiating whether or not they can mine the planet’s Dilithium crystals. The folks who run this planet say they won’t because there’s a chance they’ll use them for war. Kirk smugly tells them that they’re super peaceful and are good folks. Which is kind of dumb because there’s already been a bunch of skirmishes. They get beamed up and oh no! Everything has changed. They find themselves in a weird backward universe where everything and everyone is violent and evil. You can tell this because Spock has a goatee. Also, he tortures someone for a simple fuck up. 
60’s America: Not cool with interracial kissing, but okay the least subtle wet pussy pun ever punned

They realize they have to try to blend in. Chekov tries to kill Kirk to get a promotion. Sulu tries to rape Uhura on the bridge. Twice. Don’t care how savage your universe is you’re probably not raping a fellow officer in full view of everyone else. 

Practice make perfucked

They realize that an ion storm caused a transporter malfunction and they need to recreate it soon in order to get back home. Hopefully, before they murdered and/or raped. Which is becoming more difficult because Spock is on to them due to Kirk not murdering the Dilithium people. There’s a lot of fights and also evil Kirk evidently has this weird kill machine in his quarters that his girlfriend wants him to use, which he declines because he’s not evil Kirk, he’s just incompetent Kirk. 

The subtle face of evil

Spock and Kirk fight. Kirk wins. McCoy risks letting his window back home close to help save evil Spock’s life. Evil Spock shows some humanity by helping them all go back to the normal universe. Where Kirk meets the good version of his evil girlfriend. 

Good Trek?

I really expected to hate this episode. I’m familiar enough with the dark mirror universe. It seems like a silly trope which gets sillier and sillier the more times they do it. I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would, but I didn’t like it. So I’ll say that no, this was not even remotely good Trek. The whole concept of an entire universe where everyone acts the opposite seems like something that actors like to do. I’m sure it can be boring playing the same character day in and day out. You want to mix stuff up. So you have the writers dream up a universe where you get to act all silly and overact the shit out an episode. 
Hey, Kirk, you're trying to keep that you're in the wrong universe a secret. Why the fuck are you recording captain's logs, you dumb shit?

Hey, listen. I know it’s a show. And it’s kind of a silly show at that. But come the fuck on. So these two societies evolved completely differently. One in which everyone is normal and one in which everyone is violent and hateful and mean and all that stuff. And someone all these same people ended up serving on the same ship which looks remarkably similar to the other one. It’s just a little too silly. Maybe if you look at it in a way where there’s just millions upon millions of alternate universes and this is the one that looks like this. But still. I think it’s a lazy plot device that led to a lot of bad performances. 
Nazi Spocks, fuck off

This strikes me as an outfit that Shatner picked out himself because he wanted to look sexy and show off his guns. So I say he deserves to have ridicule heaped upon him. Seriously. I would love to talk to a woman who watched this back in the sixties to see if he was thought of as a sexy person. He’s just so doughy and dumb looking.

60's women liked their men with all the dough and grease of a Chicago style pizza


I’m sure it looked fine back in the 60’s but Sulu’s scar is some of the absolute worst makeup effects that I’ve ever seen, but it still looks better than Spock’s goatee. 

So this different universe affected multiple planets? The whole universe is “dark.”  Everyone is dark and evil in this universe because who knows. The one planet not affected by the darkness of this dark universe is the planet that kicks off the plot. Wouldn’t they be dark and evil too? They’re still pacifists to make Kirk’s moral dilemma harder. I call bullshit.

Worse Trek?

DS9 did a bunch of episodes in the mirror universe. I’m not a huge fan of any of them. Deep Space 9 is probably my favorite show of all time. But good gravy do all the actors ham the shit out of those mirror universe episodes. Sisko is an amazing character, but drunk evil Sisko sucks (I’m sorry, Mr. Brooks). None of those DS9 ones are worse than this, but they’re not great. Especially some of the ones towards the end of the run where so many story lines were coming together then we had to spend an episode in the dark universe. It was just such a waste of time.

I also read one of the novels. TNG stayed away from the dark mirror universe, but that didn’t stop a writer from trying it. It was bad. Even for a Star Trek novel, it was bad. I don’t recall the name of it. Just that it really sucked. TNG never got into the mirror universe, but they did the next worse thing. They gave Data an evil twin. Brent Spiner is great, but Jesus Christ his episodes where he plays both Data and Lore and pretty brutal.


Better Trek?

Enterprise did two episodes in the mirror universe. They weren’t great, but they were fun in terms of fan service. Plus they redid the opening credits to reflect the dark nature of the universe. It was silly and fun. There it is. 


TNG: Parallels. One of my absolute favorite Treks. Word finds himself jumping between alternate dimensions where everything is just a little different. Luckily all them alternate universes had him serving on the Enterprise and none of the shifting just had him deposited in open space. You’d think if you jump enough times that would be a very real possibility. But alas, he doesn’t. It’s great. One of my all time favorite episodes. 


Well, that’s it for this one. Please don’t jack off to the Death Wish trailer. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Good Trek/Bad Trek #33 The Changeling & My Wife & Charlotteville

Obviously a big week for current events or what I like to call in what I like to call non-trek news. A lady was killed protesting Nazis and our President was a real raging cunt about the whole thing. Fuck that guy. 

The whole white power rally started because they were being a bunch of whiny babies over the fact that a statue of Robert E. Lee was being torn down. This pissed these idiots off. They think removing statues is the same as erasing history. That is very wrong. I do love that argument though. That removing statues of Confederate folks is somehow erasing history. If for no other reason than it implies that there’s a certain segment of America that gets all their history from statues and probably other landmarks and nothing else. These dumb dumbs imply that the only record of any of this shit happening is a bronze asshole on a horse. I'd like to think we've been writing a lot of this stuff down somewhere. I imagine these people indignantly going "45 presidents? Uhh, I don’t think so pal. I don't know what your fancy "books" say but the America I live in has had 6. You got the 4 on the mountain. You got Lincoln. You got Washington. Who we all know was the super tall and skinny one." 

It's the same with weirdos angry about the lack of white history month. I've never come across anyone angry about the lack of white history month who seems like much a history buff. Folks get angry about the lack of a white history month. You’re a grown-ass adult. There’s nothing stopping you from reading about history. I can’t imagine it really changes your life as an adult. You’re just sitting there not reading history getting angry that some kids that may or may not have been getting a better education than you did.

Well anyhow, the world is going to shit, and this episode of Trek is The Changeling and wasn't that much better than our fucked political climate. 

Recap:

This week we have The Changeling. The gang is running around and realize that a full four planets that are supposed to be brimming with life are vacant. That’s bizarre. Looks like danger is afoot. Just as they realize that a giant green beam comes out of nowhere and gives them the business. They’re in trouble until they hail whatever it is that’s shooting at them. Soon as they do they it wants to talk. They beam it on board and it’s a small self-aware probe going by the name Nomad and it thinks Captain Kirk is its creator. 

Nomad is pretty heavily armed and it think’s its mission is to go and cleanse any system it encounters that are less than perfect. Bad news for everyone it encounters because it thinks that all biological life forms are imperfect. Good news for the Enterprise it’s pretty keen on Kirk. So it’s cool for now. Nomad kills Scotty. Wipes Uhura’s mind clean. Brings Scotty back to life. And unceremoniously dispatches four red shirts. Spock does a mind meld and we learn that this was an old Earth probe that accidentally fused with another planet’s probe whose mission was cleansing impure dirt samples. 

The probe realizes that Kirk is not perfect so Nomad decides it decides to kill everyone on the Enterprise. Kirk then points out to the robot that it itself is imperfect because it confused Kirk for its creator. That blows its feeble mind and that’s it. Threat over. 

Good Trek?

It was okay. It certainly wasn’t great. I read that it was one of the few episodes that take place entirely on the Enterprise. I guess that was neat. I didn’t think it was awful, it just dragged. I don’t know if all shows were paced this terribly in the 60s or if Trek was just a particularly bad offender, but it’s a slow episode. The redone effects at the beginning look solid. But Nomad looks pretty silly. Doesn’t help that any TV made in the past fifteen years has a resolution that enables you to see the string letting Nomad float through the corridors. One thing I thought was neat were the Nomad POV shots. You get to float along with Nomad as the crew gives it the stink eye. 
I like Uhura, but singing at work should be punishable by death

Also, it seemed a bit farfetched that Kirk was the one to get in a battle of wits with a super intelligent robot. This episode was made for Spock. The fact that he’s sidelined the whole time didn’t seem right. He should’ve been the hero. 

Which as a DS9 fan was a bit of a letdown, because I was hoping by the title that maybe we'd get to see an early forebear of Odo. No such luck. Just some dumb robot who Kirk calls a changeling at one point. 


Bitches, AMIRIGHT!

The whole thing with Uhura is fucked up. Nomad wipes her mind clean. Erases all her memories, and everyone doesn’t seem to think like this is going to be a big deal. You can’t just be told about your own life and then be the same person. I think there’s a shitty Harrison Ford movie about that very thing. She is done as a person. She is done. The Uhura they all knew and loved has been lost forever and nobody gives a shit. But Nurse Chapel is there teaching her to read at a first-grade level and it’s treated like that’s just adorable. 
"No, you fucking idiot, in English"

But enough about me. I started writing this because I thought it would be fun to do a Trek blog that folks who aren’t that familiar with Trek might enjoy. I have no idea if I’m succeeding in that regard, but this week I decided to make my wife, Erica watch both this episode and two of the better Treks with me.

Wife Trek?

She says no. Much more emphatic no than I thought. I wasn’t blown away by this one, but she thought it was boring. In her defense, it was a boring episode. I’ve been watching these for a while now so I’m getting used to the pacing of these old episodes, where she has not. Watching a show that plods along this slowly can be jarring. 
Kirk giving a merciless killer a map to Earth because he’s a fucking idiot

Erica also found it fucked up that Kirk lied to Nomad and gained its trust as its creator. I guess she found this pretty immoral. She is obviously wrong about that because Kirk didn’t really have a choice. He was trying to save his ship. 

Something Erica noticed that I missed was that when Uhura gets her mind wiped she has to relearn English, but just instinctively knows Swahili. We both agree that that’s more than a little fucked. 

She also did not like the fact that it was called The Changeling. Not because she was bummed that one of Odo’s ancestors didn’t show up, but because she just thought it was a dumb fucking name. 

Better Trek?

You want probes, Trek’s got probes. The best probe episode of all time is TNG’s The Inner Light. One of the best episodes of all time. I can’t recommend it enough. In it Picard gets scanned by a probe which causes him to think that he’s another person living on a planet he’s never been to. Has the probe broken his brain or is something else going on? Never will hearing shitty flute music be so heartbreakingly sweet. 

We didn't watch this one though. We watched two Voyager episodes that deal with probes. Erica isn’t too familiar with all the Treks, but she does like Voyager the best. Really she just likes Rober Picardo’s Doctor. She suggested I change this blog to one where I just review episodes on how great The Doctor is in each episode. I would rate an episode where The Doctor is amazing in it as five hyposprays. An episode where The Doctor does not appear would get the dreaded zero hypospray rating. For example, the episode of TOS would get zero. On account of I don’t think Robert Picardo was doing much acting at that point. So anyhow I chose two Voyager episodes. 

We watched Friendship One first. Which I chose because it’s about an old Earth probe that causes havoc around the galaxy. The gist is that Earth launches a probe teaching other aliens about how to conquer the stars. A planet’s species attempts this and accidentally causes nuclear winter. Janeway has to try to help them. Erica oddly enough was not impressed with this one. She only gave it two hyposprays. Which is weird because The Doctor is in it and saves the day at the end. She also said that it contained “way too much Tuvok.” Which almost caused a fight because Tuvok is a great character and Tim Russ is just great. Then I learned that she got Neelix confused with Tuvok. Which almost caused another fight, because that’s fucking ridiculous. So I say that this is much better Trek, but she wasn’t all that impressed. 

Even though it was getting late and she wanted to go to bed we watched the season 2 episode Dreadnought right after. This is one of my favorite Voyagers. I think I may have even made this one a Good Trek before. Torres has to track down and disarm an automated missile that she programmed years before. In terms of plot, there are a lot of similarities between this one and The Changeling. I have a lot easier time believing that B'Elanna Torres is going to outsmart a super smart machine as opposed to Kirk. Kirk would try to punch it then watch as his whole ship is destroyed. I keep on going back and forth over whether I like Kirk. This week I do not. Anyhow, Erica also liked this one a lot better even though it also doesn’t have a lot of Doctor in it. She gave it three hyposprays. The Doctor is in this one even less, but the episode gets an extra hypospray because the screen time he does have he knocks it out of the goddamn park. 

I suggested we also watch The Inner Light but seeing as she knows TNG does not feature The Doctor so will have a very low hypospray rating we did not. Watch any of those three episodes as opposed to The Changeling. Maybe not Friendship One though, because it very much underwhelmed my wife despite its relatively high hypospray rating. 

That’s it for this week. Looks like next week is a Dark Mirror episode. Finally, Shatner will have an excuse to overact!


Friday, August 11, 2017

Good Trek/Bad Trek #32: I Take David Foster Wallace Down a Peg, and Who Mourns For Adonis

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 Star Trek to watch that remind me of this episode. That’s it.

These write-ups are getting long. When I first started writing these I wanted to keep them as short as possible. But really who gives a shit. This is no exception. Here's another long ass Trek write up preceded by a rambling intro. 

I, obviously, like Star Trek. Not to brag but I also like books. Not all of them. I’d have to be some kind of monster to just like books. What I don’t like about books is the way that the people who like them seem to have an inflated sense of what they are. I was talking to some folks about the book Infinite Jest. They liked it. I did not. My very uneducated opinion is WAY TOO MANY JESTS! I got a hundred or two pages in and realized that I had all the jests that I could possibly take. It didn't do anything for me so I stopped reading it. Didn’t really know who was who, and more importantly, I did not care. So I stopped that dumb ol' book and never looked back. Felt great. I was told that I did not dislike this book, I simply did not understand this book. My not getting the book tricked my stupid brain into thinking that I didn’t like it. That supposed to be a self-defense mechanism that dumb dumbs, such as myself, use in order to get over not getting something. I for one think that is horse shit.  Those two things aren’t mutually exclusive. I hate things I get. I can like things I don’t get. And I get hate things I didn’t get. There are no rules. 

Nobody tries to sell you on a book more than someone who read something they know you won't ever read. They can lie about it being "important," which is the most meaningless way adjective when it comes to media. Whether it's stand-up, books, movies, or music the word important usually just means boring as shit but pretty liberal. Whatever the overarching theme of a book is, the point of every book is to be read. I didn’t read it. So in that way Mr. Foster Wallace failed. Not only did I not read Infinite Jest, but here you are reading this. So not only did David Foster Wallace failed, but I’ve succeeded where he didn’t. Suck it, Foster Wallace. I didn’t read Infinite Jest, but I did watch this week’s episode of Trek. So both this blog and Who Mourns For Adonis is better than Infinite Jest. In terms of this episode that's not saying a lot, because this episode was pretty dumb. Also, this episode is only like 45 minutes long. It doesn’t take a million stupid boring hours like Infinite Jest did. So I guess we’ll call this one a draw. The Star Trek: TOS episode Who Mourns For Adonis is exactly as bad as Infinite Jest. You heard it here first. 

Recap

The is cruising along and fall victim to a giant green hand in space that grabs the ship. It happens. They get contacted by Adonis. A guy who claims that he is actually the Greek god Adonis. 
More like HAND about (I'm sorry)

Kirk, Scotty, Bones, and Lt. go down and deal with this joker. He has a lot of powers. He can shoot lightning bolts out of his fingers and manipulate matter. It’s pretty neat. Kirk isn’t buying it. Lt. Carolyn accepts his story. Accepts it IMMEDIATELY! 
Bones and Kirk discussing how much woman their subordinate is


The gang realizes that whenever he uses powers he ends up slightly weaker. They have a plan, but Lt. Quizling fucks it up. Due to some crafty engineering by Uhura they’re able to contact the ship and last Adonis’ power source. Then he disappears because…he was a real god all along? I don’t know. It was weird and the ending sucked. That seems like I'm leaving a bunch of stuff out but I'm not. There's a lot of just sitting around. 

Good Trek?

Not particularly. It was plodding and dumb. The ending is bananas. I mean it really ends in a way I would not have expected. He actually is Adonis? That’s messed up. Messed up and might I add it was a super dumb twist. So all the Greek gods are real then? All those gods lived on Earth and then they all just moved to this other planet? Also, why does nobody else seem to notice the ramifications of this? They all just realized that gods are real. Why are these gods not the official gods of the Federation? They’ve just been proved 100% true. It’s weird and I did not like it. 
Kirk and Bones casually discussing attacking the living God they just met with phasers
Not only do we learn that Greek gods are real, but we also learn that at least Kirk, maybe the whole Federation is still really into a monotheistic God. Kirk’s problem with Adonis isn’t that he’s a god, but that he's the wrong God. It implies that if Kirk met Bible God he would've been shitting his pants. But because this is just some dumb Greek God, that don't impress him much. I thought that Kirk was not buying his bullshit because he was supposed to be a man of science. Nope. He just already has one god and shall have no other god before that one. He’s not following the Prime Directive, he’s following the first commandment. Not entirely sure which commandment it is. Don’t feel like looking it up. I even have the page already brought up. Don’t feel like clicking the link. It’s a commandment thought. I’m sure of that. And it’s one of the top ten. 
When Scotty got smited for pulling a phaser on a literal living God because he was trying to fuck a lady he was sweet on. This episode is a mess.

I was pissed at how goddamn stupid Lt. Carolyn Palamas was. All they did was make her out to be a stupid woman the entire episode. At the beginning, they talk about how woman always quit Starfleet as soon as they meet a man. She seems to be manipulating Scotty for a free cup of coffee. Soon as Adonis makes her a fancy dress then she believes in him. She is dumb. Would’ve been a real piece of garbage in the woman department, but then Uhura takes her limited screen time and kills it. She gives Spock the business about being rushed. She’s the one who is able to rig the communications system to contact the away team. She saves the day. 
This is 50% of Choking Victim songs

There’s really not a whole lot else to say about this episode. I’ve said it wasn’t great. In addition to what I already said, it’s paced terribly. It’s a 45-minute episode where nothing seems to happen. It goes too quickly and takes forever at the same time. I do not recommend. 

Better Trek:

There are a lot of better Treks out there with god themes. I could recommend a bunch of Q episodes. I don’t think I’m going to. John de Lancie is a lot better than whoever the greased up doofus they got to play Adonis. Also, there’s a bunch of other god episodes that’d I’d go with instead. They’ve gone to this well a few times. The science and reason of the Federation have come up against the superstitions of different alien races. My absolute favorite one has to be the one where Picard meets Satan. It’s a season 4 TNG called The Devil’s Due. The Enterprise D crew stumbles on a planet that literally sold its soul to the devil for prosperity. Now the end of their free prosperity is up and the devil shows up to make good on the contract. Not only is she the devil of this planet, but tells Picard that she’s Earth’s devil too. It’s pretty bananas. Though because Picard is much better than Kirk he sees through the horse shit immediately. Because I’ll never be able to stress how much better Picard is as a captain than Kirk. Great visuals. Fun story. And the access who plays the devil seems to be having the time of her life deviling it up. It’s a solid one.

I’ve seen this episode since and I don’t think it holds up as much but Voyager’s Emanations was one of my favorites when it was originally on. Dead bodies keep on appearing on Voyager while at the same time Harry Kim gets disappeared. He finds himself on the planet where the bodies are coming from. They’re old people who’ve decided to end their lives. When they do they get killed and transported into what they think is heaven, but really is the cold void of space. Harry has to find a way to get back to Voyager while hopefully remaining alive. It’s a solid episode. Nothing amazing. When I was a kid this one blew my mind. Watching it now, I don't know why. 

Really, if you want to see the Federation going up against gods then the whole run of DS9 is something you should watch. Faith, duty, and science and how they all interact is a big theme throughout. There are aliens who live in a wormhole that an alien race views as gods. The commander of Deep Space 9 is viewed as a religious figure by those same folks much to the chagrin of the Federation brass. I could recommend a dozen DS9 episodes that deal with these themes. I’m going to though, I’m going with Who Mourns For Morn. This one is kind of a stretch, but this would be a real good episode to watch if you’re really into episodes that have “Who Mourns For” in the title. I can’t imagine that a lot of people fit that bill, but who cares. This is a great episode. Morn was an alien who lived on Deep Space Nine. He was mostly just an extra that they always put in at least one shot, usually at Quark’s bar. Morn being an anagram for Norm. After years of just having him sitting at the bar every episode, the makers decided to give us a Morn-centric episode. It’s mostly focused on Armin Shimerman's Quark unraveling a mystery. It's fun and silly and has a sense of humor about itself in a way that Trek usually doesn't. 

Well, that's it for this week. Remember that if you haven't read Infinite Jest, you're right. It's the people who've read it who are wrong.  

Friday, August 4, 2017

Good Trek/Bad Trek #31: Amok Time (and Also Some Other Stuff)

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 Star Trek to watch that remind me of this episode. That’s it.

It’s kind of silly to talk about politics like I have any kind of authority as an intro to an episode of Star Trek. Particularly since this week’s episode of Trek is about Spock going in heat. But Trump has been president for a while now. I think most of us can agree that it’s not going all that well. Still, about a third of folks are pretty pumped. Not just a little, but ecstatic. They can’t get enough of this shit. It’s weird. I remember in 2012 I was living in Washington Heights. On election night I was riding my bike home and a good portion of that ride was through Harlem. I can’t even imagine what it was like in 2008 because it was bonkers in 2012. Even though this was the second time was the second time people were really pumped. Makes sense. Obama was a long time coming. I’m not saying black Americans were the only people who should've been excited about Obama. I voted for him I liked him. But to them, it was something bigger. I was reminded of the way my grandma talks about JFK. It was the first time she got to see a Catholic president. She was very excited to see a woman president, but you know what happened there. She told me before the election that she didn’t understand these young women who weren’t voting for Hillary. “Some of us can’t wait around for a woman we like better.” Identity politics gets a bad rap. Sometimes for good reason. But I’m sure seeing yourself in the highest echelons of power means a lot. It has to do something to see someone you associate with achieve the highest office in the land. Someone you see yourself in is the person in the White House. 

That’s how dumb people seem to view Trump. I’m not saying only dumb dumbs voted for the guy. There are conservatives I have profound disagreements with that I can very much see their side. People are going to have ideological differences no matter who the president is. That’s fine. I’ve met some articulate conservatives that I’ve respected. But the only people I’ve spoken to who are really excited about how this is going are profoundly dumb people. Dumb dumbs woke up to a new America in November. One where they were finally in charge. For too long a bunch of poindexters had been pushing them around. Telling them that a coal mine probably wasn’t the basket for all their eggs. Telling them that global trade might be here to stay. Telling them that climate change was real. Telling them that Sean Hannity was an impotent chinless fuck. Telling them all kinds of facts that didn’t jive with their worldview. They’re here to tell you that they’re back and they’re letting you know in ALL CAPS. After election day they didn’t have to listen anymore. Because it’s morning in America. And this morning is really fucking dumb. 



This week’s episode of Trek was also pretty dumb. But unlike the current administration, I think it largely worked. 

Recap:

Spock is acting like a real jerk. Throwing food and temper tantrums. He’s being very unpleasant. Turns out he needs to go to Vulcan to mate. I’m simplifying because it takes them a long time to get to that point. They need to go on a mission. But they change course between their mission and Vulcan about a dozen times. Even Chekov and Sulu are making fun of the constant course changes. 

Spock is promised to a lady. But I guess if the lady chooses then she can not marry that person if her fiancĂ© fights someone else? It doesn’t really make a whole hell of a lot of sense really. But that’s what happens. And instead of having Spock fight her paramour she has him fight Kirk. I don’t know why, but that’s what happens. You’d think that if Kirk wins she’d have to marry him. And Kirk doesn’t win. Spock strangles him to death. So then you’d think that Spock would get to marry her. But he doesn’t. he just leaves. And also Kirk is alive again because he was never really dead. He was just drugged. McCoy drugged him because he knew he was gonna lose anyhow. And now Kirk isn’t in trouble with Starfleet anymore because the lady performing the pon farr ceremony was a high up muckety muck.  

Good Trek?

I thought it was solid. Not amazing, but I’d put this in the good Trek camp. Mostly due to Leonard Nimoy’s performance which I thought was super solid. I get what they were trying to do with the whole pon farr. Yeah, it’s silly but I see what they’re trying to do and I’m giving them points for that. I know this seems like I’m grading on a curve a little bit, but whatever. I knew this was coming at some point. The issue of pon farr had been done in other episodes. I think they’ve built on the mythos a little better in the subsequent episodes. This one I think is the best at pointing out the inner turmoil someone going through it would be feeling. Spock is a dude who doesn’t really want to surrounder to his emotions. 
Also, Spock is emotionally abusive towards Nurse Chapel
I love to think that the whole thing is like stand in for the Navy. I guess I always just assumed that he was a Navy guy. I looked it up. He wasn’t. He was a pilot, which doesn’t really make sense. The whole of Starfleet has such a Navy feel to it. Anyhow, I couldn't help but giggling the whole time about Gene Roddenberry thinking of this idea while on a submarine full of dudes and just being really horny and this is how this whole piece of mythos became to be.

I do like how different the Vulcan mating rituals have evolved and how even Spock finds it ridiculous. I can go either way on that. Generally when a character finds a plot point silly then it’s the show’s way of trying to have their cake and eating it too. But I thought it worked here. 
She waits until Kirk agrees to bring this up. Not cool, T'Pau.

I know it’s a show. I know it’s a silly show. And I know it’s a silly episode of a silly show. But how funny is the whole concept of pon farr to begin with? I like how in the summer there’s probably a lot more pon farrs on a count of the weather. Maybe there are more ponn farrs after sports championships and whatnot. After Vulcans kill it in the interplanetary parisses squares finals. It's just a particularly silly concept when you think that this isn't just applying to Spock, but a whole planet of people. 
How a highly logical species approach marriage. 

Okay. Without getting too graphic here. Spock goes back to Vulcan because of the pon farr. He needs to mate. Needs to have sex sooooo bad that it could kill him. He goes. fights for a little bit. Wins. His fiancĂ© chooses someone else and that’s it. Wouldn’t he still be sacked up to no end? It’s been eleven years. He's just supposed to wait another eleven years and hopefully find a mate? He still has to have some crazy urges. 

In an episode about Spock needing to mate
he's seen at his computer looking at a picture of a child. Yo, what the fuck, Trek
Why is Vulcan so baron? This is supposed to be a highly advanced people. They had faster than light travel well before the humans, yet from what I can see there are literally zero buildings. It’s a goddamn wasteland. It’s worse than every incarnation of krypton in the stupid Superman movies. The whole planet 
The Vulcan of having to have your shotgun pon farr at the VFW
Bad Trek?

Holy shit I didn't realize until half way through that this is very close to a god awful TNG episode. I love Denise Crosby. I think she’s a great actor. I love all the Treks where she did guest appearances. I really loved Trekkies. I haven’t seen Trekkies 2. Myavbbe I’ll get on that. Anyhow, Denise Crosby leaves TNG early in its run. I don't’ feel like looking it up now, but I had heard that she decided to leave because all her character’s episodes were garbage. After watching TNG's Code of Honor you can see why. This episode sucks. 
I liked this

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m not the wokest guy on earth. One of the dumbest things I’ve ever read was either Slate or Salon doing a twenty plus-year-old take down of the original Zelda for NES. I mean, come the fuck on. But Code of Honor is one of those things from your childhood that you look at now and just go "whoa, they used to let this on TV?" If someone were to ask me what the word problematic meant, I'd point to this episode of TNG because it’s a fucking disaster. I don’t know who, what, or why anyone would think this was a good idea. Tasha Yar is involved in a weird mating/fighting ritual. It’s bizarre and I don’t like it. This is one of those episodes where it’s so bad you’re like maybe I don’t like Star Trek after all. It’s very bad. All the aliens are black and are supposed to look like they’re part of an African tribe. They don't seem to have advanced technology communicate with people from other planets. It’s bizarre. There's absolutely no reason to watch this one unless you want to marvel at just how bad Trek can get. Because this is one of the worst ones out there. 
Yikes: The Next Generation


Bounty ENT. This is the first Enterprise episode I've offered and with good reason. It’s not a great show and really this isn't a great episode. It might as well be called ENT wants to appeal to younger male viewers. T’Pol is going through pon farr and is also almost naked and also needs to be slathered with gel. She tries to seduce Phlax because she's in the throes of pon farr. He won't take advantage of her in her state. There might be a lesson about consent culture in there. don't know. Don’t care. Listen. Jolene Blalock is an attractive woman. You want to watch her half naked, oiled up, and begging to be pon farred? then this is the episode for you. 

Blood Fever VOY I don’t think Tuvok gets enough credit for the fine work he did. This isn't necessarily a Tuvok episode, but it needs to be said. Tim Russ is great as Tuvok. But one of the other Vulcans starts going through his first pon farr. Tuvok tries to help him but to no avail. He chooses Torres as his mate, but she very much does not choose him back. Torres then ends up in heat. Even though she's not a Vulcan. The Vulcan wants Tom Paris to fight him for her, but Torres says fuck that shit. I'm a big Torres fan and this is one her better episodes. Kinda feel like Enterprise stole the whole woman in heat attacking male crew member who doesn't take advantage of her in her state " plot point. But what are you gonna do? It’s a good episode. Huge Roxann Dawson fan. She’s also an attractive lady. It's just that this episode has a lot more going for it than just that. It’s a real solid piece of Trek. So there you go.

That's it. We're into season two. Starting to enjoy doing this again. If you're not a dumb dumb and want to tell me why you love Trump drop me a line. If you want to prove my point by sending me an all caps message about how I'm a cuck do that too.