The Wheel of Time Re-read: Crossroads of Twilight, Part 16
Okay guys, you can stop flagging beerdestroyer @ 2. I think the new low he or she reached of shouting first without actually being first speaks more volume than any cat picture could.
The Wheel of Time Re-read: Crossroads of Twilight, Part 9
@ 95 and @96 Oh armchair philosophy. Please remember that describing a philosophy doesn't necessarily mean one is espousing it. In any case, let's move on now.
The Wheel of Time: Towers of Midnight Spoiler Review
@ 905 El Duderino
I get called a troll for one sentence expressing my distaste of this, and then have my comment edited by a moderator? Really?
Yes. Really. Whatever your personal views, this is not the place to vent on this subject. Meanspirited remarks about any group of people--women, minorities, veterans, the Dutch, people who like dogs better than cats, whatever--don't belong here. The commenters here are showing respect--to veterans, but more importantly, to each other, some of whom are and/or know veterans. Do the same and you'll always be welcome. To everyone else: do not engage. Let's move on.
Star Trek Re-Watch Index
@ 23 EllenC Feel free to add the event to the Events Calendar, but please don't comment spam.
The Wheel of Time Re-read: Winter’s Heart, Part 20
Sorry about the BF you guys. Someone has been lax in their ritual sacrifices. I won't name names, but you know who you are... @ 349 Freelancer It's a term of endearment! Code monkeys are some of the best people in the world, with big warm fuzzy secret hearts.
The Wheel of Time Re-read: Winter’s Heart, Part 20
Hey all-- @KJacobs just gave me the heads-up on the weirdness going down here. I've passed it on to the code monkeys and hopefully we can get this fixed ASAP. So sorry!
Towers of Midnight Prediction Open Thread
@ 586 jfarish102 What @588 dmhman749 said. I whited out your discussion of the book so that you can copy and paste it into the appropriate thread. Please delete it here once you've done so (I didn't want to delete it and have you lose your comment). -Moderator
Towers of Midnight Prediction Open Thread
@ 492 Ben Telling someone to "get a life" tends to be more effective if your username isn't "I_have_no_life"... But regardless, be polite. Insults and mean-spirited attacks won't be tolerated here. -Moderator
Happy Birthday Mario!
You give short shrift to Princess Peach! Sure she's just a MacGuffin in the early games, but don't forget Super Princess Peach. Our new hero spends the game going after the Vibe Wand for "her first solo adventure." What's not feminist about that? Oh right, the fact that all of her "powers" are her emotions. Oh well. It had a promising start.
Star Trek Re-watch: “Space Seed”
@ 49 bobsandiego It's really not bad! It's not particularly good, but it's also the middle section of a 3-movie arc (2-4 are, to me, one story), and in that it succeeds rather well. Ha, I didn't know that! He was probably glad to get a more front-and-center role and didn't want to jeopardize it.
The Wheel of Time Re-read: Winter’s Heart, Part 17
All: It looks like you beat me to it, but see the previous thread re: gun control. Subwoofer & Andrew: Comment-jiggering is frowned upon and treated with the derision and scorn it deserves. I'm not going to moderate it, but the rest of the community is free to judge you accordingly. The way we judge people who cut in line, talk on the phone in the bathroom, post FIRST!!11!!!, and other mascots of scum and villainy. Nonetheless, be nice and keep it classy.
The Wheel of Time Re-read: Winter’s Heart, Part 16
Sorry to have neglected you all, I was on vacation. N.B. for the week: comments that don't say anything still count as "FIRST!!" See example above. The gun rights discussion has teetered so far off topic I have to ask you all to rein it in. Gun control in Randland: have at it! Gun control in real life/ philosophy/ political theories: there are lots of places on the internet for that, and this site isn't one of them. Keep it on topic.
The Wheel of Time Re-read: Winter’s Heart, Part 14
Of course you can suggest it. :) But I like to set an example. I used to be able to re-arrange the numbering order so that I could shift comments that said "FIRST!!" to, say, spot 11. That was fun. Alas, the upgrade required sacrifices...
The Wheel of Time Re-read: Winter’s Heart, Part 14
@ All Anyone else trying to pull a "FIRST!!" will have their comments replaced with fail macros of my choosing. If they're lucky. -Moderator
What Do Heinlein Women Want?
@ 62 ohagyo Let's keep it on topic and move on from this semantic debate.
Star Trek Re-watch: “Space Seed”
@ 46 Kebster It's never too late! There's always more to add, and thank you for the kind words. Re: Milton, perhaps the meaning was lost in translation from the original Klingon. :)
What Do Heinlein Women Want?
@ 35 dd-b and @ 38 Foxessa Please, no personal attacks.
Heinlein’s contradictory views on race
@ 28 Bill Patterson Don't make it personal. This isn't about Foxessa. @ All Please disagree respectfully, and remember that criticism (here in the neutral meaning of simply analysis) of RAH is not, in fact, the same as dislike, denigration, or even reproach of the author. Books are products of not just authors but cultures, and it can be an illuminating (and valuable) exercise to look at the latter without casting any aspersions on the former. Likewise, potentially problematic influences or elements shouldn't necessarily preclude one from finding a book valuable, interesting, or worthy. Try to keep open minds, and be at your most polite and civil when you vehemently disagree.
Star Trek Re-Watch Season 2 Wrap-Up
@ 29 DemetriosX I hadn't used it, but oh now I must! *rubs hands together* @ 35 Church Both of those are on my to-watch list, but that's a very long list. (And btw, it's really just Torie, with one "r".) I had to teach Firefox all kinds of neat words, mostly thanks to this re-watch.
Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Ultimate Computer”
@ 47 Bobsandiego !! How could we forget?? That's definitely going in the deck.
Star Trek Re-Watch Season 2 Wrap-Up
@ 18 Church We will do TAS, though probably at an accelerated pace. @ 19 DemetriosX Half-naked man-whipping! That'll be a first! Usually it's just wrestling. Woohoo! @ 21 rvanwinkle I had fond memories of Temple of Doom. Funny how that works out... @ 22 Ludon I love love love Star Trek episode titles, especially in Season 3. Something that annoyed me when I watched DS9 recently was how bland or seemingly arbitrary the titles were. @ 24 smahoney Thank you very much! :) @ 25 Church I reviewed one of the fan films, Of Gods and Men, a long while ago. It was pretty good! @ 26 slanagat Noooo! Don't watch it yet! You poor thing. We have a Secret Plan in the works to help people cope with that episode. That's a great idea re: linking to the episode. We'll be sure to do that from now on. Thanks! @ 27 jramboz We rise to challenges.
Star Trek Re-Watch Season 2 Wrap-Up
@ 9 sps49 They're not always strictly nits, but generally it's a lot of fun. The first nitpicker's guide I ever had was actually for the X-Files, and I worked backward from there. @ 10 trekkiechick Yay! So glad to hear it.
But hey, I would rather watch bad Star Trek than 90% of the crap that's on TV now. So, onward!
QFT. I haven't seen a good contemporary TV show in... I don't even know how long. @ 11 DemetriosX I've been looking forward to it, too. :) @ 12 NomadUK The Shat may get dissed. I'm just sayin'. @ 13 DemetriosX Now now, it's not a lack of understanding. Let's be fair. @ 14 Church Fun and fun? What is fun? @ 15 Mercurio2 All good choices. :) Poor Abe Lincoln. If only he knew.
Star Trek Re-Watch Season 2 Wrap-Up
@ 1 rosetintdworld Thank you so much! We do look forward to when you comment. I like the mix of discovery and familiarity myself. I grew up immersed in Star Trek, just not _this_ ST, so even the ones I haven't seen feel familiar in their ideals and values. @ 2 rickg We will! We'll probably also do much less in-depth coverage of the animated series. @ 3 toryx It's Very Special. Trust us. And your X-Files mention makes me feel old. XF is easily one of my favorite shows of all time (the first five seasons, anyway...), and if I learned anything from that show it was this: never love anything. The nosedive the series took, coupled with the unspeakably awful final film, are important reminders to me never to get too attached. (Though I keep doing it anyway.) I can't imagine the SF television landscape without Star Trek, though. @ 4 Lemnoc I'll be looking forward to it! "Inner Light" is one of those episodes I disliked immediately but kept returning to, and now enjoy immensely. @ 6 NomadUK ...I'm starting to get terrifying visions of my future. But I am super excited. @ 7 DemetriosX Oooh, now there's an idea! "Brain and brain! What is brain?" *passes out* Maybe not so good an idea... Abe Lincoln? Really? How have I not heard of this one? Re: Turnabout Intruder, remember you said that when it comes around! Just for you I promise I will give you a feminist rant to remember. :)
The Wheel of Time Re-read: Winter’s Heart, Part 6
@ 32 RobMRobM I'm just joshing you! No worries at all. Thanks for the heads-up.
The Wheel of Time Re-read: Winter’s Heart, Part 6
@ 5 RobMRobM ROBMROBM: USING ALL CAPITAL LETTERS MAKES MODERATORS CRY PLEASE HAVE MERCY That said, good idea! I'll see what I can do about a new thread. For all: if there's ever an issue (with the site or with a user), one's best bet is to either flag the relevant comment or shoot me an e-mail. Alas, puny human limitations prevent me from reading every single comment on the site, but I am super responsive to e-mails and flags if you want to grab my attention, I promise!
Star Trek Re-watch: “Assignment: Earth”
@ 32 toryx You are way too sweet! Thank you. Don't worry, we have surprises in store for Season 3, to help ease the pain. Though given that I am STILL SEWING TRIBBLES OMFG maybe I should scale those surprises back...
How to Throw an Evil Twin Party
My favorite evil twins are actually the plethora of clones that pop up over the course of The X-Files. Especially the creepy Eve girls.
Star Trek Re-watch: “Assignment: Earth”
@ 16 ecmyers You know how I feel about what they did to Watson. It's not that recent television hasn't had great directors. Kim Manners, who helmed so many X-Files episodes, was absolutely phenomenal. @ 22 NomadUK The director isn't always to blame...
Star Trek Re-watch: “Assignment: Earth”
@ 2 Shimrod You shouldn't need to feel guilty--it's not an embarrassing episode, just a boring one! @ 2 DemetriosX I liked that defense of hippy culture, too. Funny how the intense concern for America's youth culture continues, regardless of what that culture happens to be... @ 5 NomadUK You say it's fun, but did you actually get a chance to re-watch it? I swear it really is dead boring. I feel like if someone described this to me I could get excited about it, but the episode itself was so poorly paced. Re: Marc Daniels, he had a fantastic eye for tableaus and was usually great at creating dynamism in otherwise static scenes (like long-winded staff meetings). But this one... boy, I just don't know. Maybe he fell asleep, too. @ 6 Jedikalos I thought I would like it more, too! @ 9 sps49 My issue with Lincoln was that she's flustered and confused and generally incompetent. It's a personal peeve, but I can't stand shows about incompetent or otherwise useless people. I love that in Trek everyone has a role to play (even if it's just repeating the computer...) and each man and woman is confident in his or her abilities. Juxtaposing that with a hapless secretary who, gee golly, doesn't know what's going on--not interested. The only exception to this preference is Futurama, where the general incompetence is half the humor. Oh man, Extraterrestrial Nannies! A new ST Nanofictionary card.
Star Trek Re-watch: “Assignment: Earth”
HA! I had no idea it was a backdoor pilot. That makes so much more sense now!
Star Trek Re-Watch: “Bread and Circuses”
@ 27 NomadUK I mean at least that's the flip side of the boob coin. It kind of makes sense. I associate navels with babies. Not exactly sexy. @ 28 Church They were already victims of the dark one. @ 29 Tom Nackid You could have made that point without the condescension, but it's taken. As a kid I certainly flipped from channel to channel (there were maybe 15?) by flipping back and forth on the dial. Granted, that was in the futuristic '80s. If it illuminates my ignorance at all I should mention that I haven't had television in nearly a decade. It's never been part of my adult life.
Star Trek Re-Watch: “Bread and Circuses”
@ 23 Tom Nackid No, I get it. I'm just saying, if you're trying to a "Roman" episode so that people flipping from channel to channel tune in, shouldn't you have the Hollywood trappings of Rome? The Nazi planet had exact Nazi uniforms (fresh from the Paramount storage closet!). Why are these guys wearing Walmart T-shirts with chains drawn on them? @ 24 Brian2 I didn't know that! I should go check it out. @ 25 jmeltzer ...really? Navels? I thought I remembered them in "What are Little Girls Made Of?" but you're right, they're delicately hidden there, too. Is the code listed online somewhere? I'm really curious about what other naughty spots we can't see.
Star Trek Re-Watch: “Bread and Circuses”
@ 20 sps49 That's why I don't think it's a coercive bribe, but what Claudius perceives as mercy to a dying man. Creepy. @ 21 Shimrod I know, Roman slavery was unlike any other system. Many slaves were prisoners of war, and the spectrum of how bad it was ranged hugely. Some were closer to indentured servants, some very much weren't. They later earned a pretty decent number of rights, and were able to sue for cruelty, but it was still slavery. The Christians didn't have a problem with slavery itself, so I don't think it would have disappeared under Septimus' rule. Interestingly, children had it pretty terrible in the empire. They were considered property much like slaves, and parents were a child's absolute master.
Star Trek Re-Watch: “Bread and Circuses”
@ 14 Shimrod My beef with the costumes was more that, if I had been flipping through the channels, they don't look Roman by any standard I've heard (cinematic or historical). Adaptive is right. The empire lasted as long as it did for a reason. I wonder, too, what a more historically accurate theory of 20th-century Rome would look like. One thing that struck me about this episode was Septimus' explanation that a (very limited) system of entitlement took the wind out of rebellions. Once they recognized that slaves had basic rights to healthcare and food and whatnot, the slaves had a lot more to lose by rebelling. It sounds like the natural extension from that is more a strict caste system than overt slavery... @ 15 NomadUK I like violence! @ 16 sps49 Sorry, when I do lighting design I always joke "It's not a mistake, it's a design choice!"
Star Trek Re-Watch: “Bread and Circuses”
@ 1 Shimrod Good call on the name! You're right, Marcus isn't a real nomen. @ 3 jmeltzer Interesting question. If it hadn't been renewed, maybe Kirk would have inadvertently done something to guarantee the extermination of the Christians on live TV? Double-punch of network-hating and atheism! Yeah! @ 6 NEntuaby I'm confused about that myself. My guess is either the network forced it in, or it was an obligatory homage to other depictions of Rome in cinema, the long history of which had always centered on Christianity. @ 7 sps49 I don't think she was a bribe, I think it was supposed to be Claudius Marcus being "gentlemanly" (!!) and giving Kirk one last chance at "being a man." Or something. It's disgusting. @ 9 Ludon That bothered me, too. How did none of the Beagle guys escape and join the others? Are they really ALL dead after six years? @ 10 DemetriosX I promised I wouldn't nitpick history! But if you're going to nitpick... gladiators were disappearing by the 3rd century anyway (something about Christianity didn't fit right with murdering people for public spectacle...), so this has to be pre-3rd century Rome, rendering your objections moot. Not that it's a paragon of accuracy, mind you. Great article! I'm glad she also mentioned my theory that the Christianity stuff is probably the result of cinematic history rather than any deeply-held belief on the part of the writers. I am not a Christian but I have a ridiculous soft spot for those old movies, and I guess that's the only reason it didn't bother me. I consider it a trapping of doing anything "Roman" in the '60s--you have to have the Jesus stuff, it's just a package deal. @ 11 NomadUK Hurrah, someone else liked it! All the hate, man. I'm not saying it's genius but I thought it was a lot of fun. With Gladiator they weren't mistakes, they were design choices. I looooove that the movie insists Rome had this American-style historical moment of wanting to return to a populist(!) republic. HAHAHAHAHA. I wouldn't say Kirk obeys the Prime Directive here. In the end, they beam out IN FULL VIEW of all those guards. If they were allowed to do that, they should've just beamed out at ANY point leading up to the ending. I like your explanation of Merik's behavior. I think I'll take it. And that doesn't sound monotonous at all... I'd watch it! @ 12 toryx Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww
Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Ultimate Computer”
@ 43 NomadUK Oh right! I even mentioned the enslaved bit earlier and forgot to relist it. "Eden Sucks" is definitely on there. @ 44 jmeltzer Are the MotW all Lasts of Their Kind? Clearly I need to learn Photoshop and whip up some decks for us to play. Have any of you played Nanofictionary? It's a card game with Character cards (Evil Twins! Mad Scientist!), Plot cards (A wormhole opens! You kill a man!), Resolution cards (Everything burns to the ground! They all live happily ever after!), etc. You put together a story and then have to come up with a narrative that fills in the gaps. I suspect this could be very easily adapted to Star Trek...
Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Ultimate Computer”
@ 40 NomadUK I didn't think much of it as we've seen people of color in the Admiralty and in all ranks of Starfleet, which is pretty impressive. Lead roles, as you say, have a long way to go... @ 41 toryx Classic sci-fi smackdown! So, cards so far: Space Douche Power Corrupts (Not Usable On Kirk) Malevolent Computer Just Like Earth in ______ Force Federation Ideals Upon _____
Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Omega Glory”
@ 49 tpence Consider this an official moderator warning: engage with the post, not the posters, and keep politics out of this. Mean-spirited and vile ad hominem attacks are won't be tolerated here.
Signs and portents
Time Enough for Lovely Rita? Why Don't We Do It In Glory Road?
Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Ultimate Computer”
@ 32 NomadUK The first time, I was 16 and couldn't get past the apes. The second time, I was in college and gave it another go--I made it about an hour in before I started dozing off. And the last time was a few years ago at a huge public screening in a NYC park, and I STILL fell asleep at about the hour mark. I guess I could try again... Master and Commander (the movie) was great fun and I wish they would do more. I can't believe Crowe is doing crap like Robin Hood now. Maybe he needs to add another wing to his house. @ 33 ecmyers The slow bits of ST:TMP didn't bother me, so it's surprising that 2001 was so soporific. I actually have Solaris in my Netflix queue and have been meaning to check it out.
Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Ultimate Computer”
@ 11 FDRLincoln I know! It finally makes sense. But way to blame it all on humans... @ 13 NomadUK If you like the Masefield bit, you should read the Patrick O'Brien novels. I'm reading them right now and they have a lot of awe-inspiring captain-loves-his-ship moments (and great comedy, too). I completely agree with @ 24 Capper7 on the latter point. That's exactly how I read the scene. @ 14 LazarX You might be right, but I've tried three times to watch 2001 and every time I've fallen asleep. So in my book, M5 wins. :)
Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Ultimate Computer”
Whoa, gone for a holiday weekend and look what I find! @ 1 sps49 Yeah, interesting that they'd think Kirk was the issue and not that totally experimental computer thing made by the kinda crazy guy. @ 2 RachelHyland There's some great McCoy-Spock banter in this one for sure. I only remember offhand mentions of the Daystrom institute in DS9, but DS9 wasn't as interested in the research/exploration aspect that would require it to have a big role. @ 3 toryx Yeah, plot cards for sure. What other cards were there? "Earth just like ____", "Escaping from slavery"... Let's come up with a deck! @ 4 DemetriosX Definitely gross simplifications BUT I know enough technology people to have encountered the overblown, hyperbolic "THIS WILL TOTALLY CHANGE EVERYTHING I WILL HEAR NOTHING AGAINST IT" mentality. @ 5 revgeorge Pretty much anyone else in Starfleet is crazy or megalomaniacal (or both!). Remember Ambassador Asshat? And Galactic High Commander Douchenozzle? @ 9 ron m smith Not actually TV's first interracial kiss, as is widely believed. I Love Lucy did that a decade earlier. Even Star Trek had been there before--"Elaan of Troyius" has Kirk kiss an Asian woman. And if we're just talking white/black, Nancy Sinatra kissed Sammy Davis, Jr. on Movin' with Nancy. But we'll get to that when we get to that. :) @ 10 parzooman I love that bit, too. Comic genius.
Firaxis Announces Civilization V!
@ 23 toryx The Beyond the Sword expansion doesn't actually change gameplay that much. It gives you the option of late start (i.e. starting the game in the 19th century), and it gives you a few more leaders, but mostly the appeal is in the mods. Don't play the mods until you have a handle on the real game, though. It has gotten more complicated, but start with the tutorial. Sid Meier in his little Firaxis shirt will take you step by step through the whole thing, and you'll start small and build outward until you have a handle on all the little elements. And if you ever want to play multiplayer, let me know!
Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Omega Glory”
@ 42 NomadUK At least they didn't leave "The Alternative Factor" on a loop... SW: Episode I premiered on my birthday and I thought that was destiny. I can't tell you how excited I was about that movie. Now I have to think of it every time my birthday rolls around. *weeps uncontrollably* @ 43 toryx Thanks! :) And yeah, I'm looking forward to the movie discussions. @ 45 FDRLincoln Looking forward to it!
Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Omega Glory”
@ 40 FDRLincoln I don't think it's bad either. Its biggest issue was, if I recall correctly, pacing. But we'll see how I feel when we re-watch it after the series?
Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Omega Glory”
@ 35 kent_allard Haha, okay, fair point, how about "commie-haters"? I just mean if it's commies vs. commie-haters, there were options. @ 36 FDRLincoln I think you're absolutely right. ST:TMP should be evidence enough of his weaknesses as a writer. He has great characters and even some really great ideas, but the plots themselves... well. I am curious to read the original draft of this. It sounds interesting. I mean, except for Spock's powers. That's just ridiculous.
Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Omega Glory”
@ 37 tbob There are plenty of places on the internet that will validate your worldview. Don't troll here.
Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Omega Glory”
@ 28 NomadUK I don't think Roddenberry would've gone for all that god stuff, anyway... I do like thinking of the other possibilities. The Boy Scouts creed maybe? I still feel that in terms of "most likely to survive an apocalypse" a laminated, full-color Denny's menu would be higher on the survivability scale than the Constitution. "Moons over my hammy" could be easily misconstrued as sacred words, no?
Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Omega Glory”
@ 25 NomadUK And that's why he's the captain. @ 26 Church To imply that Native Americans are the uncivilized and prehistoric versions of our culture is pretty damn arrogant (and yes, racist).
Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Omega Glory”
@ 16 Church It shows the only non-white people on the planet as genocidal murderers who used bacteriological warfare to force white men back into the caves and end civilization as we know it. Yeah, racist. If it's about commies vs. democrats, then why do they have to be Asian commies and white democrats? Why aren't the commies Russian, or East German? And it's not like we didn't have democracy lovers in China (Chaing Kai-Shek's Nationalists), Japan, or our allies in South Vietnam at the time. To set them apart racially means that more than a political divide, it's an ethnic one, and I don't see how or why they had to go there. @ 19 sps49 Don't forget Brannigan saying "Hailing frequencies open" in the beginning, though I think we've seen that before. The V'GINY thing was a reference to Star Trek: The Slow Motion Picture moreso than "The Changeling." And yeah, I was underwhelmed by that premiere. And pretty grossed out by the end. I guess they're trying to "push the boundaries" on Comedy Central, but if I wanted to watch South Park I'd watch South Park. @ 22 RachelHyland Uh-oh... *gulp* @ 23 NomadUK The fact that Kirk got his ass kicked was confusing to me. He lost a man-fight to this guy THREE TIMES and then says "Let our final trial be a man-fight!" I guess he's not one to give up...
Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Omega Glory”
@ 9 sps49 New, non-recurring references only. I still say one for the whole hour. I think they'll be preoccupied with self-referential humor. Nope, nothing to do with fixing the site. I left in January and now I just moderate (and blog... sometimes). All the site-actually-being-awesome praise goes to the current Tordot commies: Bridget, Megan, Irene, Jamie, Chris, Stephanie, Michael... They are the greetest! Now I am leaving this comment thread for no raisin! (Not really, but now I have Futurama on the brain.)
Star Trek Re-Watch: “The Omega Glory”
Yay we're back! So sorry about the erratic nature of these posts recently. I unfortunately have no control over scheduling, and last week there was a big site upgrade that kind of killed this post over and over again. It's fixed now (as you see before you), so hurrah! @ 1 sps49 I just assumed that none of them could read or write at all, and that the words had been passed down verbally. It's like actual oral traditions, only stupid and racist. Agreed that Commie vs. Yank would've been just fine without adding the color wheel garbage. Futurama!! I can't tell you how excited I am. I'm going to bet on only 1 Star Trek reference tonight. What do you bet? @ 2 toryx I'm glad to see someone else reacting negatively to the fervent jingoism. At least unlike contemporary jingoistic shows the government didn't use it as a model for wartime policy... @ 3 Sonofthunder There's really no reason to watch it. @ 4 Stefan Jones Haunted house idea for Halloween! I kind of want to make that Devil Spock outfit as a costume. @ 5 DemetriosX I don't disagree.
The Wheel of Time Re-read: The Path of Daggers, Part 17
I'm hoping that blocksmith was the only one having this problem, but if any of the rest of you have found your comments getting dumped into the spam filter, please leave me a message on my wall or send me an e-mail and I'll take care of it for you. And general N.B.: please do flag inappropriate comments rather than assume I will see them. There are a LOT of comments here on Tor.com and flagging is the fastest way to get my attention. As always, if you run into ANY issues whatsoever, don't be afraid to drop me a note!
Steal this Star Trek Reboot
I couldn't possibly disagree with you enough. Television is full of "gritty" dystopian futures. There's nothing brave about it. But it took chutzpah to imagine a positive future in which mankind, though flawed, was fundamentally good and admirable. In which men and women rose up to meet seemingly impossible challenges, and overcame them with confidence and grace. In which all kinds of people stood side by side to build the kind of world that they wanted to live in. That's what Star Trek is. The last thing TV needs is another bleak, hopeless future where useless assholes struggle ceaselessly against the current. And if someone's going to do it, it shouldn't be called Star Trek.
The Countdown to Futurama Begins…
"My weight is appropriate and attractive!" "How's the family, Morbo?" "BELLIGERENT AND NUMEROUS." "Good, good, Nixon's pro-war and pro-family."
Star Trek Re-Watch: “By Any Other Name”
@ 6 NomadUK That scene really is haunting. Like I said, most redshirts just get zapped and disappear. But to see them actually be murdered, slowly, deliberately, with such cruelty and maliciousness, is disturbing. @ 8 ngogam I don't think I even registered those outfits. I'm still laughing at the criss-crossing jumpsuits from "What Are Little Girls Made Of?"
Star Trek Re-Watch: “By Any Other Name”
@1 DemetriosX It was funny, but definitely not a comedy. The murder of the yeoman in the beginning is downright disturbing, and seeing the souls of the crew trapped in these crumbly polyhedrons strewn across the corridors was definitely unsettling. @ 3 toryx You'd call his first attempt at seduction a failure? She was confused but bought into it pretty quickly. I like that you called the Kelvans "utterly inhuman." Star Trek loves to go on about how empathy and compassion are fundamentally human traits. To see a race with none of that, even in small doses, was definitely interesting. Re: the women: agreed, of course.
Star Trek Re-Watch: “Patterns of Force”
@ 18 MitchWagner It's not a revulsion for body hair generally but rather how ridiculously inappropriate it is for Spock specifically. They took the alien hero character on the show--the only one, really--and made him look like any 40-year-old 70s dude. Why? I want to unsee that! It undermines his alienness and now I'm going to have to fight the image of Spock as an open-shirted 70s cop. @ 19 NomadUK Yeah, the Tor.com system didn't like my accent characters and stripped them. Grr. @ 23 Lsana I agree, racism is a huge part of that, right down to the language. They call the Zeons "pigs" and animal metaphors are a classic way to dehumanize a group of people, othering them and encouraging people not to feel sympathy when the actual violence happens. The Jews were rats, the Tutsis were roaches, etc.
Star Trek Re-Watch: “Patterns of Force”
@ 7 DensityDuck You may have gone blind just prior to this scene, but both Kirk and Spock are shirtless when creating the laser. @ 8 Iain_Coleman It's probably just because Paramount had lots of Nazi uniforms lying around, and they're a lot more recognizable to laypeople than anything from communist Russia.
Star Trek Re-Watch: “Patterns of Force”
@ 5 WonderGirl Argh! I know that. Embarrassing typo ahoy. Fixed now. Thanks. The actor who plays Isak is quite good. I like the way we see him as a victim transform and, because of necessity and circumstance, turn to violence. I find it hard to believe that WWII had faded from memory. I just find the whole episode kind of baffling. It's not a good examination of how the Nazis came to power, and if they were just going to do a "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" episode, why Nazis? @ 6 rosetintdworld You're totally right! The Killing Game. It looks like there's an Enterprise episode, too: Storm Front. I've seen most of Voyager and totally don't remember that one... But don't worry about flames, I still have a fondness for Voyager as My First Trek. I haven't re-watched it, though.
Star Trek Re-Watch: “Patterns of Force”
@ 1 DemetriosX Because of the reasons you mentioned: Nazis and the Holocaust weren't some abstract idea in a history book, but recent enough history to have affected the lives of the men and women who worked on the show. Surely some of the people involved had Jewish loved ones or friends who survived (or didn't). And yeah, major historian fail. @ 2 toryx Agreed! It's interesting that no matter the wrapping--Nazi, Roman, Old West--the performances hold it together. We'll see how much that's true in the really awful episodes...
How To Make A Tribble
@ 18 sunan It's faux fur--I bought it at a fabric store. No actual animal hair. @ 19 Amalisa Go for it! I thought about getting one of those recordable greeting cards, recording the tribble noise, and then putting that inside the tribble, but the mechanics of getting the recorder thing to go off wound up being too complicated. @ 20 Freelancer I have a lot of tribbles to make. You'd want them to breed, too. (Also yes, I'm mad.)
Dog-Eared Cat Tales
There's also Kij Johnson's Fudoki, about a dying princess in Heian-era Japan who writes about the adventures of a cat who turns into a woman (and yet is still pretty much a cat). Not sure if that counts. :) Jo Walton wrote about it not too long ago.
How To Make A Tribble
@ 14 scissorrunner But maybe that'll pique interest in the show? @ 15 piccadillous The fabric I have is mostly 1" fur with some 2" parts sticking up (it's kind of a mixture, but the 2" bits are thin). I had to go to several fabric stores across two states to find anything, and wound up getting one color at small, suburban fabric shop (it was expensive), and the other one for super cheap at a Walmart. Good luck!!
How To Make A Tribble
@ 12 NomadUK Huh! I haven't read that book so I never saw that pattern--an interesting approach. I'll have to try that next. This one's my own design (inasmuch as using a baseball pattern is my own design). The only thing I tried that did NOT work was the hackysack pattern I linked to at the top. That many cuts and seams meant the whole thing was a) a nightmare to sew and b) horrible to look at.
How To Make A Tribble
@ 9 maryaileen Great idea with the nylons!! I like that. Oof, darts. I wanted to make it by cutting the least number of fabric pieces possible, but I applaud your efforts.
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form Nominee: Up
Oh man, you made me choke up all over again just re-reading this. I liked Up a lot, and I think your write-up illuminated a lot of things I took for granted about the movie, but I still don't love it. For one, I felt the movie never got happy or inspirational enough by the end to make up for the devastating sadness of the beginning of the movie. But mostly I kind of resented the moral message. Sure, Carl learns to appreciate the little things, but only after he's lived every single dream that he and Ellie had together from Paradise Falls to having a kid. He doesn't have to give up any dreams, it's Ellie who dies with dreams unfulfilled. The little note thing in the Adventure Book pissed me off because it was an easy way for her character to give him "permission" and say it's all OK, she didn't miss anything. I didn't have a problem at all with that being the case, because life often means sacrifices, including your dreams--but that's a lesson Carl never has to learn as he gets to have his cake and eat it, too. He gets to have the adventure with Ellie AND live out all of their shared dreams. It would have been more honest if she hadn't just waved away all of her childhood dreams for a totally manipulated emotional moment. I haven't seen it in over a year and that part still nags at me. I felt the dog bits and the action sequences were kind of boring, especially compared to similar sequences in Wall-E and Monsters, Inc, too. Though I love Dug. So while I think it's a strong film, Wall-E should have been the one on the Oscar ballot the year before.
How To Make A Tribble
@ 1 Irene Purring sound not included. But I'm glad it soothes. @ 2 JWezy You know I actually did that initially thinking the same thing, but it didn't quite work out--it's not an M.C. Escher fit. The result was a wash, and this was a lot easier to keep track of and cut (and easier to show!). Maybe I'll do the next section that way just to spice things up, though. @ 3 viridian That is so wrong! Yet I'm kind of curious...
The State of Genre TV
You forgot the big one: Futurama is returning in June! I know I should restrain my unabashed enthusiasm with cautious optimism (especially given that the movies sucked so hard), but it's one of my favorite shows of all time. YAY.
Roger Zelazny’s The Chronicles of Amber
I only recently read the first book maybe a year ago, and absolutely fell in love with it. I'm a sucker for wise-cracking protagonists, and like @ 4, I loved the idea that there are shadows of this world. There were so many genius world-building details, too, like the cards. Though I picked up the second one and loved what I was reading, I got huuuugely distracted and had to return it to the library. I keep meaning to go back and finish. Looking forward to your posts.
Star Trek Re-Watch: “Return to Tomorrow”
@ 6 NomadUK You know, I think I totally ignored the bit about seeding space as another ho-hum Garden of Eden reference. I also didn't notice the music, which might say a lot. @ 7 David_Goldfarb and @ 11 DemetriosX I have no evidence in front of me at the moment, but I definitely vaguely remember Thalassa as a goddess in my various mythology studies--possibly from the Hymn to Demeter, but I feel like I saw it elsewhere, too. You've piqued my interest--too bad I no longer have access to all those awesome university databases. @ 13 ecmyers I was going to give it a five, too, but once I started thinking about it, I became more and more impressed with what they pulled off. @ 17 Mercurio2 I agree on Diana Muldaur, though I really intensely disliked her in TNG. Here, though, she conveyed an assuredness and self-possession that was really striking. @ 20 Atrus That machine on the table definitely didn't look like it could feel or love. I still think they should've taken it, waited a few thousand years for technology to improve into Data-like androids, and then lived happily ever after.
Star Trek Re-Watch: “Return to Tomorrow”
I figured this was another episode I was going to be alone on, but Eugene surprised me with his rating. Where's the love?! *crickets*
Star Trek Re-Watch: “A Private Little War”
@ 36 rosetintdworld Nurse Chapel is indeed made of incredible awesome, and she would have been a fabulous #1. I agree that the gender politics here have been more regressive than even I was expecting. I will go from being bowled over by the progressive racial politics to being hugely disappointed in the 19th century gender politics. It's fascinating and really illuminating in terms of what these people were able to get away with (or were willing to even try to push) in '67. @ 37 DemetriosX Oh god, I really hope that advertising isn't the gauge by which we measure progress. If it is, we're all doomed. Ads targeted towards women right now are all about falling in love with your cleaning products and getting your Stupid Husband (tm) in line. *shudder* But yes, what you said. @ 38 NomadUK Does she actually want power? She doesn't seem to want any power herself, she just wants to be sure she's married to the most powerful guy. Which doesn't seem to have any perks... any power she has seems to be from her ancestral heritage. @ 40 MadelineF If he wants to play naive, there's no reason to rise to the bait. Let's move on. I will say that while this episode was atrocious, the next one features some totally awesome Nurse Chapel, an interesting female astrobiologist, and a powerful female alien. It's like a godsend after this one.
Star Trek Re-Watch: “A Private Little War”
@ 34 Church Nona's every action is in pursuit of the goal to have sex with the most powerful man on the jungle planet. That's not a "character," that's a two-dimensional stereotype. All you ever see her do is rub herbs on men, talk about how she wants firesticks, and then get assaulted and killed. Evil characters are compelling when they have dimensionality and complexity. Nona's got one goal and one aspect to her personality. She does not, to me at least, qualify. And I didn't say there were "lots" of examples--Edith was the only one I could think of.
Star Trek Re-Watch: “A Private Little War”
@ 23 and 30 Church Just because a woman is depicted as sexual doesn't mean that's a positive, empowering depiction. Nona's sexuality is inextricably linked to her aggressive hunger for power. She manipulates Kirk, betrays her husband, and betrays her people. She's pretty obviously a villain, and in the end she's punished for her behavior with sexual assault and murder. It doesn't have to be a conscious gambit on the part of the writers to "prove" something about women--it almost never is, and that's what speaks volumes. But those kinds of depictions of women are meaningful and damaging. Actual empowered female characters tend to have personalities and interests (other than sex). The best example I can think of in Star Trek is "City on the Edge of Forever." Edith Keeler has values, goals, and motivations. She's a person with thoughts and opinions, like any person out there. It's not like Star Trek can't pull off a decent female character, and that's why it's so disappointing when they fall back on these ridiculous stereotypes. And as a tangent, I've written on BSG before. @ 31 NomadUK I find it fascinating that you think it's an anti-Vietnam piece. My immediate reaction was that it was pro-war--ambiguously and almost tragically so, in the sense that war is awful and tragic but deeply necessary--but pro-war nonetheless. I'm not sure the tragedy of the episode outdid Kirk's repeated insistence that despite the inevitable, the arms race and civil war were "necessary," which my gut reacted pretty violently against. @ 32 DemetriosX You're probably right, of course. This episode just feels to me so diametrically opposed to everything that Star Trek stands for--peace, even in unthinkable scenarios; communication over conflict; and logic over impulse.

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