Today’s sleep-deprived random braindump

At about 02:00am today, for extremely obscure and specialised reasons, I saw fit to create a crude image of the starship Voyager ejecting used bio-neural gel packs from her main deflector onto the cast of The Big Bang Theory.

voyager

Because Star Trek: Voyager shits all over The Big Bang Theory.

That is all.

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Wow (interesting true 1990 facts, continued again)

So we all know the generic US police force motto, To Protect And To Serve. Actually the LAPD motto, but that’s the one we see in all the movies and it’s been adopted by other US police forces as well.

Did you know that since 1959 the New South Wales[1] Police Force motto has been Culpam Poena Premit Comes? And it means Punishment Swiftly Follows Crime?

[1] That’s the state in Australia where Sydney is. Just so you know.

That’s hardcore.

the-more-you-know

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Monday in Review

Nothing much to report, slow start to the week and work continues in a steady fashion after last week’s moments of running around.

I was vaguely amused while checking in on Eejit on Amazon (sales are still dragging, I need a new book or more publicity, and reviews are hovering at a lame-arse 22). Overall the scores are good, I’m somewhere around 4 stars.

But then Amazon has this new system, where it logs the reviews according to the genres favoured by the reviewers. And that was a bit weird.

review-eejit

Huh.

Looks like I’m moderately tanking in terms of what science fiction readers like – so much so that the religion and spirituality readers are giving me better reviews! I mean, I’ve long since made as clear as possible that I don’t care about genre and Phase 2 is going to blow the whole concept of genre out of the water for anyone who’s even remotely interested in my books or my arbitrary Phase system … but it was amusing to see.

I need to go spamming again, my visibility’s in the toilet right now.

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¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Well, it’s Sunday and I have nothing to post. If all goes well, I will be resting off a mass of burgers and booze from last night’s bash over at the in-laws’ place. It promises to be greatly enjoyable.

(Follow-up: Mission accomplished, burgers and ribs and smoked meat was had, also booze and chocolate cake and then a long rambling walk home and Pokémon hunt with my firstborn. Not hungover or stuffed today. Now have to walk back to get the car.)

Other than that, we really don’t have much planned and I’ll try to get some writing done on the ol’ phone.

Sorry. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Star Trek Discovery

I’m out of time for the day and the weekend, but I promised I’d add something about this, so here goes.

They’re showing the new Star Trek show on Netflix now, at the charmingly dated-feeling rate of one episode a week (oh syndication, will your rigor-mortis-grip on technology that has long outstripped you never rot away?).

There’s been a lot of huffing and puffing about it. There always is, with Star Trek. I find it hard to get worked up. I’m basically enjoying the show, although there are a few things I’ve found annoying so far. I don’t know if I can be bothered to get into them, but here’s a little run-down.

Yes, they changed the Klingons again. I don’t really care about that, they seem to change the Klingons all the time but they’ve sort of explained it in-universe as well, albeit stupidly. So let’s see if they do that now. It’s another semi-prequel set somewhere pre-Original Series but post-Enterprise, in the main timeline. Probably. Whatever.

The characters are … ugh. I don’t know. The new Captain (as of post-pilot episode 3) seems interesting, and the cowardly XO is fun even though Doctor Who did it better. Then there’s a gawky awkward neurotic junior officer of some kind, who I found mildly annoying, and the rest are all just a bit grey for now. But then, let’s be fair. The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager were all, to my mind, pretty iconic. The characters were all very distinctive. Even Enterprise went that way too, although it took me a season or so to get into it and see what sort of characters they were. I still think Trip (aka. Michael) and Malcolm are pretty bland, but they’re fleshing out.

The reboot movies, although they were a lot of fun and had amazing portrayals of the Original Series characters, were also pretty forgettable in a plastic sort of way. I didn’t hate them, though. They still worked for me.

I hear a lot of complaining about Michael (uh, I mean, the actual character’s name is Michael, I’m not making a Stargate Atlantis joke now), the main Discovery character … Spock’s adopted sister? Or at least an orphan raised by Spock’s parents? Okay. Actually I’m pretty okay with her, she’s at least interesting. Seems like a more edgy-extreme version of the Maquis characters of Deep Space Nine and Voyager. If edgy is the way they want to take it.

This brings me to my main point of meh about the whole show. I don’t know what it’s trying to be, but it doesn’t seem like Star Trek anymore. Which doesn’t necessarily mean a damn thing, but it affects my interpretation of the storylines.

Star Trek, to me, means these things:

It’s bright, not gritty: Even the movies were shiny and clean. Humans went into the darkness of space and they lit it up with their big shiny glowing neon pastel starships. Every time a Star Trek has tried to be dark and gritty, from Nemesis to the Nero reboot, it’s fallen on its face. The only good darkness in Star Trek is the sort with green highlighting and a Borg eye-laser coming out of the gloom.

The characters and the culture is evolved: From Picard’s adventures through Sisko’s Dominion War and Janeway’s quest to bring her crew home, the enlightenment and decency of humans in Star Trek has always been at once its most appealing, and fantastical notions. This is a human race that has gone through all the shit we’re waist-deep in right now, and come out better on the other side. Even though I may have had trouble believing it when I looked around, I’ve never failed to immerse myself in it when I watch. And when that enlightenment breaks, it’s a big deal.

There are plenty of science fiction shows where humans go out into space and act like narrow-minded aggressive selfish shitty jerks. Some of them are amazing. The Expanse is brilliant. And even Star Trek falls in a hole sometimes (boy, am I ever sick of the human snootiness over Vulcan culture). But there it is. The first episode of Discovery immediately got me almost aggressively bored by bringing basically every trending Internet social justice issue directly into the script in the clumsiest way I could imagine. That’s going to take a while for me to recover from.

It’s about exploration and learning: Just calling the new ship and show “Discovery” doesn’t mean that’s what it’s about. It’s way too early to tell and I think there’s great potential in the show’s arc, but … every other Star Trek has been about the edge, the frontier, of some great physical unknown. Space itself, the Gamma Quadrant, the Delta Quadrant. If Discovery is going to do the same thing with its new scientific discipline, and the surreal whatever-it-was that has opened up as an application of that new form of proto-bio-physics … well that’s fucking amazing (even if it’s going to be forgotten by the time The Original Series starts). I can’t wait.

Obviously, anyone who has read The Final Fall of Man will probably understand why I’d be excited about a Star Trek variant including a rogue starship that takes part in experimental research and development of a new branch of superluminal transport – and that’s just the beginning of its applications.

So.

Is it Star Trek? Uh, yes. Yes it is. It says it in the title.

Is it what I think of as Star Trek? Not really, but that doesn’t mean I hate it. And if it matters that much that I think of it as Star Trek, I’m just going to have to amend what I think Star Trek is.

Now, we’re only three episodes in, and in between times Mrs. Hatboy and I are still giving Star Trek Enterprise a go. Enterprise is definitely Star Trek, it’s just not particularly inspired or gripping Star Trek. There are glimmers, same as there are glimmers in Discovery. And while I wouldn’t have stopped watching any of the other Treks in order to watch through another show, I have done so with Enterprise. It’s not particularly gripping … but I’m getting there. It just took a season or so.

It seems pointless for me to decide either way about Discovery before finishing the series, let alone by the three-episode mark. And two of those were basically pilot. I mean, if it’s so dull and so bad that I stop watching entirely, that’s another matter – but that hasn’t happened yet. I’m mildly curious.

It may be as simple as this: The time for Star Trek is over. Roddenberry’s dream is no longer something the cultural mass-consciousness can support. Those values are no longer of … well, value to us. And so every attempt to make new Star Trek takes it further from that light. It adds buzz-issues. It makes it gritty. It rehashes the same period of time in endless continuity-reboots in an attempt to get it right. But it can’t. Because it’s not Star Trek that has changed.

It’s us.

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Once more with LBGT feeling

Another day where I could work, write a blog post, write a blog response, or edit my book … and I had to drop at least one of the above.

So my post today is the comment, once again. I went to some effort. You can find it linked below. But before I get there, I want you to know one more interesting thing about Australian politics, and it’s very telling.

The infamous survey on same sex marriage is in full swing and of course it looks good for the “Yes” side. The statistics are also breaking down very interestingly, yet predictably: A huge majority of younger voters are saying Yes, a majority (but pleasantly, not a huge one) of the elderly are saying No. And this, to take a page from the book of dreameling, makes perfect sense. This is a world they don’t understand. They grew up with homosexuality as a perversion, transsexuality as a sickness or mutation, the whole thing as a crime. I don’t blame them for voting No. But they’re wrong, and they’re making things worse for innocent people. So there’s that.

I’d never dream of telling them they’re too senile and out of it to vote. Sooner or later, old age is going to vote them out of the species altogether and we just have to do damage control until it does.

Looks like I’m writing a blog post after all.

Anyway, the main thing I wanted to mention was this: Pauline Hanson, Australia’s very own Donald Trump and Whoeverthefuck McPeabrain who runs PerusSuomalaiset these days, has proposed raising voting age to 21.

That’s still young, of course, and won’t ban all the liberal activists from the pool. And the counter-proposal to lower the voting age to 16 is just terrible. I mean, even I agree that most 18-to-21-year-olds are clueless. But if you want to say they’re not adults, go ahead and raise the age of legal adulthood back to 21 across the board. Don’t give me that USian “drive at 16, vote and join the army at 18, drink at 21” bullshit.

But this proposal is exactly what I was talking about with the elderly – deny them a vote, get the result you want. It doesn’t work like that.

But of course, this is what the bigots party wants.

Anyway, that was interesting, in a horrible sort of way. I will now redirect you to my giant comment-reply in the main Marriage Equality thread.

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Looking up!

Well, it’s Thursday after a busy week. Things have been going well at work, and although it was still a disappointing month on Amazon I am pleased to say my books finally arrived so I’ll have a few copies for the party in another week and a bit.

After stupidly losing the “we tried to deliver your package” paper and finding that R-Kioski was unable to confirm they had a package and the post office unable to confirm that they’d sent the package to R-Kioski, I finally just went into the R-Kioski and showed them my driver’s license and said “look, can’t you just go into the store-room and see if there’s a package with this name on it?”

And wonder of wonders, he did that, and I got my package.

So that got the week headed in a more positive direction. And soon the weekend will be here and there’s a barbecue on the horizon.

Nothing much else to report.

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