Saturday, May 31, 2014

Deep Space Dance with the Devil, Part 02

So I've been wanting to talk about the morality of Deep Space Nine for a while now. I'm finally launching into it, but before I get started, I wanted to take a few moments to establish some fundamentals of Star Trek morality. This week I'm talking a little bit about Starfleet captains as moral exemplars. 

"Where Silence Has Lease" is a Next Generation episode where the Enterperise gets sucked into a whole in space run by a puppy-nosed omnipotent energy being who isn't Q.

He thinks killing a third of Picard's crew is a worthwhile scientific endeavor and Picard responds by activating the ship's self-destruct mechanism. Picard will kill everyone on board Enterprise just to save a third of the crew.

You see, for Picard none of his crew is expendable. Sure, Starfleet officers have to take risks and the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, but for Captain Picard it's not a matter of treating lives like math problems. His attitude comes across as more an "assault on some is an assault on all" perspective.

And his crew backs him up. While Riker in particular is a bit hesitant, he agrees. Nagilum is forced to fabricate imaginary members of Picard's crew in a futile effort to dissuade him.

Remember in one of the good Troi episodes, "Night Terrors," the ship is caught in an anomaly of the week and no one can sleep? Folks start going crazy and plotting mutiny and Guinan is forced to lay down the law. In "Where Silence Has Lease," everyone gets it. No one on board tries to overthrow the captain, deactivate the auto-destruct, and take their sixty-seven percent chance.

Picard doesn't impose his decision to destroy the ship on his crew; he makes it on their behalf. That's a pretty big distinction.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

And the Deep Plays On

My internet access for now is spotty. My laptop has developed some (probably physical) problems I can't fix. I can't find funny YouTube videos. I can't alter images. I can't tumbl my tumblr (not that I have time). If all of my related skills haven't atrophied, I can prepare some simple texts posts and put them up when I have time.

I want to talk about Deep Space Nine. For those of you who have been paying attention, I've been thinking a lot about the morality of my favorite series named Star Trek. Mostly, it's the actions of Captain Benjamin Sisko, but there's a streak of cynicism in the series as a whole that I take some small issue with.

That will all come later. As with so many other things in life, definitions are important. Did you ever see City on the Edge of Forever? It's an Original Series episode where Kirk and Spock have to go back in time to fix some things that Doctor McCoy breaks in the near-future of the past.

The character of Edith Keeler is important. She's a pacifist who believes that--I can't really look up the exact quote these days--that one day all of the resources we currently dedicate to warfare and harming others will be used to feed, shelter, and care for others. She believes that humanity will get better in the future.

I submit that Star Trek believes that the good of mankind is a choice humankind makes; not the result of material surplus brought on by technology.

Kirk is proof of that. He and Spock arrive destitute in the past, but through hard work and education, they quickly make reputations for themselves.

I submit that the triumph of intellect, hard work, and sacrifice is a principle Star Trek is built on.

How about you guys?

Next time I'll try to talk a bit about how Starfleet captains exemplify the morality of Star Trek and how Star Trek believes in doing the right thing regardless of the circumstances (Where Silence Has Lease).

Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday Morning

I guess it wouldn't surprise all of you to know I'm not returning to Louisiana. 

I'm leaving for a bit. I'm going to try something different. "Work a little harder work another way," as it were.

I don't anticipate being in contact much. I don't know if I'll be back.

I might be pretty hard to find, but I might not be. Either way, I'm not missing and please don't look for me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Jimmy and The Muppets

From Jimmy Fallon's last late-night show before taking over The Tonight Show.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Houma Movie Club, Phase 5

In case you haven't noticed, I haven't been updating a lot lately. My job situation is getting critical and I moved out here to Los Angeles for two weeks to see if I could fare any better than I was in San Antonio. Spoilers: I did not. 

Anyway, I've been trying to make the most of my time here (job-wise; trying not to get too much of this reverse Sarlacc Pit on me is something of a secondary goal) and I've been pretty twisted up, so there hasn't been much writing getting done.

Moving onto the business at hand. This week, the Houma Movie Club is back on our regular rules: no more than two of us have seen it, has to be on Netflix, and it can't have been released more than five years ago.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Houma Movie Club: C.H.U.D.

Not much to add. We're voting this week so I'll be putting up more about that (trailers, descriptions, etc.) on Wednesday.