So, we’ve discovered the newest iteration of Star Trek on TV.

First, I find Michael Burnham to be a laudable character, at least, as far as her bio suggests she should be. Supposedly educated by none other than Spock’s father, Sarek, it is hinted that she might be the only human to ever have attended Vulcan schools. However, through her actions during the first episode it might be understandable to assume she is an average emotionally volatile human. Only a day or so after Capt. Georgiou discusses a command of her own, Burnham commits blatant mutiny in order to initiate what can only be considered war with the Klingons, a hereto misunderstood and feared enigma to the Federation and Strafleet; hardly a logical course of action.

Secondly, the rest of the crew seems an afterthought, barely worthy of their names appearing in the end credits. The interaction of Burnham, Georgiou, and Saru are splattered across every scene with almost no interaction from the rest of the crew. This might seem acceptable for a pilot episode, but with Trek, the ensemble cast has always been introduced with an easy simplicity in the premiere episodes. This is yet another thing that seems difficult for DSC to learn from its predecessors.

Thirdly, the Klingons seem to be taking center stage. And despite the obvious outward redesign, they also do not behave exactly like other Klingons throughout the Trek universe. This might be explained during the rest of the first season, but even then it seems as though a more fitting title for the show would be “Star Trek: Exposition of Klingons”. There also seemed to be a thick layer of a Game of Thrones paint slathered all over the interactions among the Klingons. While this may be the norm for modern TV, it is an anathema to the Trek universe. Star Trek has always had an air of big “D” drama, as it should given the varying degrees of danger the crews find themselves in, but the majority of that drama has been more than a few paces away from Soap Opera style drivel.

Lastly, the effects…this show so obviously and painfully is drawing from the JJ Abrams style of cinematography that I wonder if they might be paying him royalties. The style of Trek on TV has always been more-or-less in-line with the rest of non-sci-fi TV. That is, no flares, no tilted camera angles, dramatic close-ups only when deemed necessary. I can imagine a few people were actually mildly dizzy watching the cyclonic movements and frenzied lighting that made-up the majority of the first two episodes. This is without-a-doubt, not the Trek of old, and it may very well have changed too much.

I know quite a many people fell in love with this show as soon as it aired. Those are the people that would have also bought a pet rock, chattering teeth, or plopped down a bundle for a sliver of land on the moon. This show may, after a while, prove itself to be the incarnation of Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future, but it failed in the first 90 minutes to convince me that it isn’t much more than a marketing ploy by CBS to entice people into paying for a streaming service that will still force viewers to watch commercials and probably have buffering issues with horrifying regularity. I, for one, am not sold.

Advertisements

#45’s “MAGA”

I almost wanna make a conlang based on nothing more than “#MAGA”…It would have multiple meanings based on context.

maga – v – to conduct a brazenly open criminal enterprise while claiming otherwise

maga – n – a lie that is immediately disprovable

maga – adj – foolish on a global scale/stage

maga – adv – synonym; rudely, selfishly, ignorantly

etc…

Tweets and Twerps

If you have seen the obvious misspelling tweeted by #45 (yes, I refuse to use his name, as that is his most prized possession and his only truly marketable asset) then relax, you, like everyone else, have been bombarded in what can only be described as the increasingly common approach to news taken by most news outlets. Was there something sinister behind this tweet? That is highly doubtful as #45 seems to barely understand the consequences of his tweets, to say nothing of his actions. Was there anything other than his garden variety, disturbingly frantic, nonsensical ranting? Not likely.

What is important, at least to me, is that this one typo, this small moment, meaningless as it is, set the internet, and thus the media ablaze. Why, in the name of lemons and lime does anyone spend more than 20 seconds on whether or not this man misspelled something? Why, with the Paris Climate Agreement on the line, escalating tensions with North Korea, Iran, and Syria, does anyone worth a damn, pay any attention to this inane tweet? Because it distracts. It defocuses.

This man, who some have ridiculed, insulted, and dismissed out-of-hand, is still very much the President. Regardless of whether anyone might like him, he quite literally has his finger on the most destructive buttons in the history of mankind. Therefore, instead of celebrating his asinine twitter feed, or making memes that do not refocus him, or for that matter his seemingly inept staff, we, as a nation, as a people, should demand, not ask politely for, not request through some bureaucratic labyrinth, but demand that our elected officials (regardless of how we might feel about how they won an election) focus their time and energy on issues that are not just topical or trendy, but ones that actually effect our quality of life.

If we let ourselves be distracted by this sophomoric nonsense, and let our public officials frivolously spend their days devising schemes to lead us down those idiotic paths, then I say we are not worthy of anything else. We do not warrant leadership of the caliber we have had in the past, and we might as well turn the office of President into a 24/7 reality TV show, as that seems to be what the majority truly wants.

As a veteran of the military, it disgusts me that anyone would not demand that the President of The United States of America spend his time actually working on policy and diplomacy. I also find it disturbing that #45 seems to relish his fans (I use “fans” rather than “supporters” as most don’t seem to know what his views really are and simply LIKE him) apologetic views of his behavior. His inability to admit mistakes has already been, and will likely continue to be, detrimental to the US’s standing on the international stage, and more significantly, through the lens of history.

Star Trek Discovery vs The Orville

This is the new Star Trek Discovery trailer. And as exciting as it is, I’m uneasy about much of the aesthetic choices, most especially the Klingons. Yes, I know the Klingons have changed a few times, but never this drastically, or for seemingly just the heck of it. Some will point out that when he had the money, Roddenberry changed the look of several aliens…well, yes, he did, but he did it to what we know from the ’80s and ’90s, not this new version. I’m not trying to make the case that new aliens and a modern aesthetic are contrary to good storytelling, that judgment will need to wait until the show actually airs. However, what many fans have come to expect from Trek is a certain level of consistency, and this seems to disregard consistency for what I can only assume is renewed interest.

Keeping in mind that this show will air only its pilot on network television, and then reside behind a paywall, CBS is banking on serious interest that this trailer only barely stirs, at least in someone that has watched Star Trek most of his life. I hope that the show will have success, but given the issues they’ve had with the roll-out, delays, budget and personnel, I fear this show may be shorter lived than Enterprise was.

Meanwhile, this is the trailer for a new show on Fox, starring Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy, American Dad, and so much more. This show looks to be a lighter look at the future and space exploration, almost refreshing given the numerous dystopian themes running through much of network and cable television. This seems like a bit of a coup for Fox as “The Orville” looks more like Trek than the new Trek. It also, by using humor, might have an edge over a show that seems like it might be focusing a bit to much on the drama of space travel…and doing so in horrible stylistic contrast to its predecessors.

I will admit that I am looking forward to both of these shows, but there is reason to bet on the latter having more success than the former if nothing else but because people might want a healthy dose of funny and interesting rather than space battles galore plus drama. The current political climate might just be the thing that sets the shows against each other.

Current Political News

Not that anyone asked, but my feelings about the current political happenings in the USA can easily be summarized by the following image:

Whatever may happen in the short or long term, rest assured the period following January 20th, 2017 (’til whenever) will long be discussed and written about as one of the must tumultuous in domestic American politics.

Planet Names

In keeping with the Kala calendar totems, planet names in Kala are semi-elemental.

tsumakumetal planet — Mercury
nyepakucloud planet — Venus
kaya — Earth
tlatsakufire planet — Mars
itokuwood planet — Jupiter
kenakucircle planet — Saturn
kutankaeagle planet — Uranus
panakurain planet — Neptune
honukuturtle planet — Pluto

The suffix -ku indicates a planet, or large land area. Mars can also be called ketlaku (red planet). Saturn is named for its rings. Pluto is included but is recognized as a dwarf planet and can be called honuhiku (little turtle planet). The word kaya simply means earth and is taken from Gaia.

a silly wish

I don’t want to travel to the future to see the flying cars, self-replicating pizza, or sex robots…no, I want to go to see the society that has forgotten tribalism, ancient fairy tales, and the entire notion of “us vs them”.