Friday, October 6, 2017

Alex Jones, #FAKENEWS, Good Trek/Bad Trek #40 I, Mudd, and Also Some Sex Robot Talk Thrown In For Good Measure

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'm in Michigan right now which is pretty nice. If you also are in Michigan then I'll be doing a show in Hazel Park at a place called Cellarman's on Saturday and you should come to it. They make an amazing basil IPA that'll knock your socks off. I'm not going to lie, that's really the main reason I'm back in Michigan. 

Come to this, please

I left on Tuesday the after the shit hit the fan over in Las Vegas. Everything that needs to be said about gun control has been said. I think what's worse is how folks respond to shit like like this. I was on Twitter getting all the hot takes and I came across Alex Jones' Twitter. I follow Alex Jones. I think he's a tremendous fraud, but he's increasingly influential for some insane fucking reason. He was reporting some bullshit. Which is normal. What gets me about Alex Jones is that he starts some crazy ass website called Infowars then he's on the radio or on that weird youtube channel and he cites his own website as a source. It's mostly just him and a couple of his friends. That's not a source. that's the farthest thing from a source. He was saying that the Vegas shooter was actually a Muslim and he was citing a special Infowars report. That's not a source. That's your crazy friend. But what's worse is that it's not just your crazy friend. It's the President and millions of other people's crazy friend. And they're all listening to what he has to say like he's not just some goddamn lunatic. 

Fake news has been in the news news a lot lately. And the real news is in the fake news a lot too. Partly because of Alex Jones and his ilk. There's a lot of shit that's wrong with the mainstream media. I don't think it's above reproach, but it takes a special kind of weirdo to seek out someone like Alex Jones for all your news needs. The dude is a fraud. He knows there's a lot of dumb dumbs out there and he's doing his damnedest to exploit them for all their worth and in America, dumdums are worth their weight in gold. And dumdums also weigh a lot so that's a lot of gold to be worth.

The whole fake news phenomenon seems like most other problems in this country in that it's been around for decades, and now that it's too late we've decided to address it. Rush Limbaugh has been the most listened to radio personality for thirty years. He's been right there on the dial but we all skipped over him and ignored him because we think of him as a laughable buffoon. And in all fairness he very much is. But he's a force. Half the country thinks of Rush and Alex Jones and Sean Hannity as not fat blowhards exploiting dumdums, but they think of them as the news. That's messed up.

We've let half the country become the guy with the blonde tips in Momento. We've let Rush Limbaugh tattoo on our arms not to believe the lies of the mainstream media for so many years and now that's where we are. Except we're all Teddy in this situation. I don't know. It's been a while since I've seen Momento, but I think that sounds right. My point is you can't get rid of it because people don't want it gone. People seek this shit out because they've been conditioned to think that these idiots are just rich SOBs exploiting their lack of critical thinking, but members of the media. You can ignore them and they use the fact that the mainstream media is ignoring them because they're too close to the truth. You can go after them and then they use that as proof that they're too close to the truth. It's not that this is out there it's that most people have come to demand that it stays there. When their crazy conspiracies and weird ideas are reported on and debunked it's because they're being attacked by the deep state and entrenched interests. We've let it go too long and now I don't really think there's any way to stop it. That's where we are and it's depressing as shit to think about. 


Know what isn't fake news? Both that this week's Trek was I, Mudd and it was pretty damned good. 

Recap:

Not expecting to like this one because of how much I hated the first Mudd episode, but here we go. We get to start with some real classic Bones. He doesn't like the cut of a new guy's gib and lets Spock know all about it. Spock likes the new guy and thinks that Bones is just being an emotional human. Good solid Bones Spock exchange to start.Alright, I'm not even at the opening credits and I'm on board. 
Love me some Bones burning Spock
Turns out that Bones was right to be skeptical of this Norman character because he immediately goes bananas and starts beating the shit out of everyone and takes over the ship. Starts beating the shit out of everyone and taking over the ship most foul. 

Norman takes over the ship and storms the bridge. Turns out that he's a robot. His name is still Norman though. He takes them to a planet that is being run by an old friend of the Enterprise, Harry Mudd. He runs this planet with thousands of pretty lady androids and one not very pretty Norman android. Turns out that even though he gets to fuck all these lady androids Mudd is getting bored with this planet and wants to leave. But the sex robots and Norman won't let him leave unless he finds them more human specimens to study and have sex with. So he has them get the Enterprise. 
Norman Ruxbin

There's a problem. Now that the sex robots and Norman have been studying Harry Mudd they know how messed up we are as a species. So they don't want to let him leave. In fact, they want to go out and take over the whole galaxy and rule with an iron sex robot plus Norman fist. 

Harry Mudd and 1/1000th of his sex robot harem

So Kirk devises a plan where he just acts like a silly goose and confuses the sex robots plus Norman with their illogic. Smoke comes out of their heads and they're defeated. And in the most ridiculous ending yet, the gang leaves Mudd on the planet with 500 robot versions of his ex-wife. Which is ridiculous but works and it made me laugh. 

Good Trek?

You know what, it sure as shit was. I didn't expect to like it. Star Trek has a pretty rough history with intentional comedy. All Treks do. Some do it better than others, but throughout the history of all the Treks, they've shown that it can be tough to make a funny episode. A lot of episodes have had some funny stuff in there, but comedy episodes can be rough. I liked this one a lot. Harry Mudd is great. I know this flies in the face of what I wrote last time I wrote about him. This is his second (of three total, I think) appearance. I guess the actor who played Mudd, Roger C. Carmel has the distinction of being the only actor to play the same character in more than one episode of TOS. not including the main cast, which is neat. He deserves it. He's so silly and over the top, but it really works. 

(If you want to read my trashing of the first Harry Mudd Episode from Good Trek/Bad Trek #8 here it is. Though, considering how much I like this one I might have to revisit it soon
Despite all my rage I keep a robot version of my ex-wife in a cage


It's weird that this one is played for such laughs considering the plot. Robots are going to take over the galaxy and leave these people on this planet as their prisoners? That's fucked up. 
I love everything this implies

There's a lot of 60's era sexism in this episode. To a pretty ridiculous degree. Uhura goes bonkers over the prospect of being pretty forever. That's pretty silly. Mudd's relationship with his ex-wife robot is pretty silly. The fact that Mudd has such a weird number of lady robots seems off. These are strong androids with their eyes on galactic domination so I know there's more to them than what I'm about to say, but according to Mudd, they're good for sex. He thinks they're just good for sex. He even says that he sees no need for male robots. So there's the one Norman and thousands of lady robots. But only like four models. That's a little weird. Who's gonna make hundreds of the same lady if you want variety? I can understand a couple, but hundreds of identical sex robots seems like the completely wrong approach to having a sex robot factory at your disposal. If you have a machine that makes you an unlimited amount of sex robots then you should maybe spice it up a bit. Mudd's ultimate sexual fantasy is to have sex with three variations of any one of thousands of similar looking brunettes. I understand having a type, but Jesus Christ Mudd. I just don't understand what the fantasy about that is. Yeah, twins is a common fantasy. I think it's a little gross, but it's a pretty common fantasy. So you have two of these robots you get the whole twin thing without being an accomplice to incest. Even triplets, okay I get it. But beyond that seems like a whole lot of overkill. What's his whole thing here? He gets bored with one and then moves onto any one of thousands of others who look and act exactly the same as the one before? That's just monogamy. Kinda. I know you're not supposed to judge people's sexual fantasies, but that seems like an odd one. And also, even the ones that aren't identical to each other look an awful lot alike. They're still brunettes of similar builds. I guess Mudd never heard that old adage about variety being the spice of life. That and that alone is my only problem with this episode. I guess he could always make new models, but still. I'm calling bullshit on this whole sex robot operation.  
The future: The more things change, the more they stay the same. AMIRIGHT, FELLAS!

The last Mudd episode had some pretty sexist undertones and this one is almost as bad, but it's just so goddamn silly. The end, where all his ex-wives are chasing him around and the caption says "nagging continues" come on. That's some 60's era gold right there. I genuinely laughed. 

Better Trek?

For a lot of TNG, the Ferengi were kind of a whole race of Harry Mudds. They were villains but mostly played for laughs. One of my favorites is Rascals. I don't think the episode is that highly regarded among Trek nerds, but I've always liked it. A transporter accident makes Picard, Keiko, Ensign Ro, and Guinan turn into children at the same time as a group of Ferengi take over the ship. It's funny to see a child aged Picard realize that twelve-year-old him doesn't have the same authority as the adult version and then have him use that to his advantage. The kid who plays young Picard obviously doesn't have the same acting chops as Patrick Stewart, but still. Also, the relationship between child Keiko and her husband is great. I don't know if it's a better episode as I really enjoyed both, but it's a good one to watch. 

Worse Trek?

If you want an episode that was going for broad laughs that's also hopelessly outdated and steeped in dated stereotypes but doesn't hold up nearly as well then go with DS9's Profit and Lace. Quark has to undergo gender reassignment, and hilarity very much does not ensue. It's pretty brutal. The Ferengi are fleshed out a lot more in DS9 than in TNG mainly due to a lot of great actors. This one is pretty brutal in retrospect though. 

Maybe Trek?

I haven't watched Discovery episode three yet. I'm hoping it's great. I'll let you know. In fact, I'm thinking about switching over to Discovery recaps for the remainder of the season. We'll see. 

That's it for this week. I think I'm doing Discovery next week. I don't know the name of the episode. So aside from that, come to a show if you're near Detroit and please stop shooting each other. And also, fuck Alex Jones. 

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