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.  

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