Wednesday, June 20, 2018

To boldly leverage IP or whatever...

Hey, remember that twelve year span where there were no Star Trek shows on TV? It was-huh? You don't? We lead very different lives. For trekkies this was known as the dark time:
Without new Star Trek to watch, people were forced to talk,
 interact with friends, even enjoy the outdoors. I shudder to think...
Pictured: Some reason.
Between 1987 and 2005 there were like fifteen Star Trek spin-offs. Ok, slight exaggeration, but in that eighteen year period, Paramount cranked out 614 episodes of Star Trek over four different series. And then after Star Trek: Enterprise went off the air for some reason, we were left with a long, Trek-less drought. With the exception of the J.J. Abrams-verse movies, which, you know, were ok but not really canon Trek, there was no new Star Trek for fans to obsess over. But then last year we got Star Trek: Discovery, and all was right with the world.

Cool? Yes. But are you sitting down? Because you should sit down. Get this, there-would you please sit down? I really don't want to be responsible for your injuries when you are figuratively blown away by this unconfirmed rumor. Ready: Ok, here goes: there are supposedly as many as five count them five new Star Trek TV...uh...things in the works.
I should probably clarify that these are five new Star Trek shows produced
by an actual production company and not by fans with a green screen.
The internet is, after all, 78% un-
substantiated rumors. The rest is porn.
I say TV things because this announcement is kind of vague so far, but CBS the company that owns Star Trek's TV rights announced that Alex Kurtzman, the new show runner for Star Trek Discovery who took over for the previous show runners who were just fired-it's a long story, has signed a five-year contract to "expand" Star Trek for television. They didn't actually say what that meant, but because the internet, there are unconfirmed details that are floating around.

"Hey, what are you talking about? I'm
super-interested in Khan's backstory."

-No one
According to Variety's shadowy, anonymous sources or as we can safely assume: according to carefully orchestrated leaks from CBS's marketing department, Kurtzman and his production company are working on several new Star Trek-ey series. a Starfleet Academy-based series, an animated series, and two what they call 'limited' series, one is still a mystery and one is a Khan origin story which-do we need that? They floated that idea awhile back and I registered my active disinterest then so for now I'll only say this: there is such a thing as too many trips to the well.

Pictured: teens experiencing drama
and, I don't know, Terellian plague?
But a Starfleet Academy show sounds sounds fun. I mean, there's like a million CW-style genre shows right now and everyone loves teens and drama, so why not do it in space? And an animated series makes sense given the success of the two Star Wars cartoons. Anyway, that just leaves the mystery mini-series. Ok, 'limited series,' but that's just prestige TV talk for mini-series. What's that about? Are you still sitting down? Great, now you'd better buckle your nerd belt because holy shit.

The rumor about that is that it might be a continuation of Star Trek: The Next Generation with Sir Patrick Stewart reprising his role as Jean Luc-Picard which is what every TNG fan has been begging for ever since we sat through the objectively terrible send-off that was Star Trek: Nemesis.
Pictured: A scene from Star Trek: Nemesis in which Picard is menaced by
his vampiric Romulan clone who also wants to destroy the Earth...for some reason.
No really, that happens in this movie. That's why I called it 'objectively terrible.'
Above: The smug countenance of
someone who knows something we
don't and is loving the shit out of it.
Anyway, while still a rumor, it does kind of line up with a weird impromptu interview Stewart gave in London where a reporter asked him if he's seen Discovery, and he seemed to think at first that he was being asked about something else.Then he just sort of smiled knowingly and said:

"No I haven't, but I may have cause to look at it very soon."

-Sir Patrick Stewart, nerd-baiting

Of course all this is like, super unconfirmed, and all we know for sure is that things are 'in development,' and that could mean next year or never. Also, if you're counting that's only four new things and Variety mentions five, but I think it's entirely possible that the under wraps mini-series and the Patrick Stewart show are the same thing. But whatever. With only one Star Trek show on TV right now, we, as a fan base are still dangerously underserved, so I for one welcome whatever Trek they want to throw our way.
Besides, more Star Trek shows means a higher likelihood
of me getting to play Th'rah'ssk'Kdhke'll, the heroic, yet flawed
 Andorian Starfleet Captain who breaks all the rules and has
 rocking' abs-which yeah, shut up, they'll add them in post. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Space Farce!

No. Just no. Donald Trump does not get to found Starfleet. I think it's fair to say that we've put up with a lot from this administration in the last year and a half, but this is too far.
"The line must be drawn he-yah!"
-Captain Picard referring 
to this exact moment
Sorry Tony Schwartz, I should have
said "author" of The Art of the Deal...
In what I can only assume to be some kind of desperate attempt to be known to historians as something other than the electoral college-ly elected President who puts children in jail, early Monday, Trump directed the Pentagon to create a sixth branch of the U.S. military. Yeah, just like that...which, I didn't know that that was how branches of the military became a thing either, but then I never thought the Republican party would be insane enough to elect the author of The Art of the Deal, but here we are.

Really? We're letting the former host of
The Apprentice establish a Space Force?
We're just letting this happen. Anyone
in the room want to say something? No?
So today, while waving his executive order around, complete with comically oversized signature, Trump announced:

"We must have American dominance in space. Very importantly, I'm hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish the Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces. That's a big step."

-President Trump, just 
establishing things all willy nilly

But where does the Air Force end and
the Space Force begin? The troposphere?
The mesosphere? We demand answers!
He then went on to invoke Plessy Vs. Ferguson...for some reason. I mean, is he just putting words together or was that a deliberate reference to pre-Brown V. Board of Education school segregation?

"We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Space Force: separate but equal, it is going to be something so important."

-Trump, nipping this in the bud

"How you say...duh?"
-Some Russian
space-guy
Apart from the bizarre phrasing, this was a weird move since exactly no one in the seconds after his crazy announcement was worried that there might be jurisdictional disputes between the Air Force and the Space Force he just made up. Weird and also terrifying. Not militarizing space has been sort of a tacit agreement between space-capable countries, and building a space military, regardless of what a 'big step' he thinks it is, flies in the face of that. Like, is there any way this doesn't prompt China and Russia to do likewise?

I mean, it's great that we suddenly care about space. It really is. What's not great is that we're turning it into another thing to fight over. But hey, at least we know that the Space Force will be separate but equal from the Air Force.
Yeah, but where does the Stargate Program fit into all of this?

Monday, June 18, 2018

They'll just put anyone on a plate these days...

Shouldn't there be a law against the President saying things that aren't true? I'm not talking about classified national security things, or lying about an affair (although that is a dick move, no argument there). I'm talking about spouting demonstrably false, straight-up bullshit designed sell your gross policies to the people foolish enough to still support you. Shouldn't there be a rule about that?
"Hmm...I'm just thinking maybe we should put something in here about
holding government officials accountable when they deliberately mislead the
public in order to further their own agen-you know what? It's probably fine."
-The Framers of the Constitution
really dropping the ball on this one
Well, Democrats and the Bible...

Anyway, I'm referring to the administration's zero-tolerance policy which is, as we speak-well, as I type, resulting in American law enforcement rounding up children of illegal immigrants and sending them to detention camps. According to the President, he doesn't want to do this, but the Democrats are forcing him to. You know, because of their avowed hatred of America. Oh, and the lame-stream media, they probably have something to do with this. And uh, I don't know, witch hunts? Hashtag sad. No collusion.

So here's the tweet where the President makes his case for voting out the Democrats who have forced-forced-him to enforce that unpopular policy he came up with:
Like, I know this is a weird thing to get hung up on given
that he's just tweeting infuriating bullshit all the time, but does
he not know the rules of capitalization? I mean, can't he get an
aide or an intern or something who could help him out here?
"Right here, but you left out
sexual assault and fraud."
First of all, fuck that. Of course it's not their forced family breakup policy. It's not. What a sack of shit. Secondly, fuck that. He's like some grade school bully grabbing a nerdy kid's hand, striking them with it and then saying stop hitting yourself. And then-huh? Ok, fine, it's not the best analogy. Instead of a ten year old beating up another ten year old, it's an old rich guy using the United States Government to traumatize children. But I think my point stands. And high taxes, high crime and obstruction? I mean, holy shit dude. Everyone currently under investigation for high crimes and obstruction please raise one leathery mitt?

So I guess what I want to know is why is anyone still into him? Well sure, racism, that explains a huge portion of the base, but also, and forgive me if this is a broad generalization, idiocy? I mean for real, I'm not trying to be a jerk, but here we are. Now, before you call me out on being unkind, keep in mind that Donald Trump thinks they're idiots too. The only difference is that they, for whatever reason, aren't picking up on the fact that he's just saying what they want to hear.
So are they though? I'll give him loyal, they are inexplicably
loyal, but are they the smartest? Also, and again, I'm nitpicking,
but I think he meant to say 'country's history' not 'countries.'
"Sure he's locking up kids, but Hillary's
emails or whatever. Benghazi!"
-Smart, loyal people

I mean, look, when I call them idiots, I'm being a smug liberal. I've learned to be comfortable with that. But when Trump asks-with no less smugness, that the country believe a transparent line of bullshit, like, say, 'I have to put children in detention camps because Democrats,' he's presupposing a seriously insulting level of stupid on the public's part. A level which unfortunately seems pretty spot on since his fans aren't abandoning him in droves which is what one would expect when someone puts children in detention camps. So what is it with him that let’s him get away with this politically unscathed?

"...goddamnit..."
-Me, after googling 
'Trump commemorative plate'
I mean, he's not articulate, he's not charming. Am I missing something? Why do people continue to support him? Has he taken their families hostage? And speaking of hostages, if I'm following his line of tweets, this only became the Democrats' fault when the public outcry started. Then suddenly the Democrats won't work with the GOP so he has to do this and the only way it will stop is to vote for more Republicans and give him what he wants. So like, where does that end? A border wall? Even more racist immigration laws? His picture on some kind of commemorative plate? Because putting Trump on a commemorative plate would undermine the credibility of commemorative plates as a...a...

Like, since when do we negotiate with hostage-takers? I mean, how about instead of rolling over, we end the lock-ups, let these kids out of child-jail and then see if we can approach immigration reform like grown-ups without the all the lying and finger pointing?
Oh...right...forgot who we were dealing with here.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Today in literal sex objects:

Do you make terrible decisions involving money? Do you have a fondness for skeevy sci-fi tchotchkes? Well then this is the fifty-five ounce, durable cast resin fictional sex-idol for you:
"What the hell is this?"
-Sexy Picard
What I'm saying is make sure you're up-
on your shots, or hyposprays or whatever.
Now if you lead a rich, full social life, you're probably asking yourself, yeah, what the hell is that? Well I'll tell you, it's a horga'hn. No really, that's what it's called. It's a sex-idol from the planet Risa. The idea is that when you-huh? Oh, Risa? I see you spent your childhood playing sports and interacting with other kids, so I'll explain. On Star Trek, Risa is sort of a vacation planet where everyone goes when they have time off from boldly going to planets which resemble the Paramount Studios back-lot. But think less Outer Banks or Niagara Falls and more caribbean swingers resort.

The horga'hn then is a trinket or souvenir people pick up while they're there. According to the people of Risa, and to the Star Trek wiki (which, yes, I have bookmarked, don't judge me), to display one publicly announces to passers by that you're looking for anonymous sex. In many ways it's like the 24th century equivalent of peacocking.
Only less douchey. 
You wouldn't want to look
like an idiot, would you?
And now you too can own one too. Albeit a resin duplicate one. And all for the low price of two hundred and fifty dollars. Yes, of money. It's available on roddenberry.com which you might remember as the site where you call also find other replica Star Trek props like combadges and phasers. There's even a line of 'crap from Captain Picard's desk.' Oh, and did I mention they have bat'leths? Yeah, goddamn bat'leths. You know, the big, unwieldy, crescent-shapped sword things klingons use to hack each other to death? Well now you can brandish an authentic aluminum one instead of some crap you made out of paper towel rolls and duct tape. I mean, if you're going to get picked up by law enforcement for waving one of these around, it might as well set you back $350.

You know, just in case someone
questions the authenticity of your
plastic Star Trek fuck-me tiki.
Anyway, back to the horga'hn. As you can imagine, the one offered on roddenberry.com is worth every cent. In this case 25,000 of them. It's prop-accurate, hand-crafted and over 11 inches tall to quote the website. How much over 11 inches? There's no way to know I guess. The important thing is that it comes with a certificate of authenticity which proves beyond all doubt that yours is a real replica resin horga'hn and not one of the many counterfit Star Trek props that flood the market every never.

So take my advice and pre-order one today, because seriously, you do not want to be the only fan at this year's Star Trek convention who doesn't have one of these sitting outside their door at the Rio Suites.
To sum up: roddenberry.com will sell you a $250 prop
from a thirty year old sci-fi TV series which they assure
you will help, not hinder, your chances of getting laid. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Theoillogical!

Look, I'm not a biblical scholar. Far from it. But I do live in America, which is like, super Christian. Not like, officially or even legally, but basically our culture is soaking, absolutely soaking in Bible juice so most of us, regardless of our personal beliefs, have at least a passing understanding of Christianity. Except when it comes to, you know, doing anything the Bibles actually says.
Don't hold your breath...
Yes, detention centers because we, as a
country have forgotten the lesson of X-Men.
Speaking of, Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaking to law enforcement yesterday used the Bible as justification for the Government's policies towards illegal immigrants, specifically when it comes to taking children away from their parents and locking them in detention centers. Which in this bleak dystopia in which we find ourselves, is a thing we do now. First, Sessions Republisplained to us how law works, because really at the very heart of this immigration debate is the fact that everyone's an idiot but him:

"Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution. If you violate the law, you subject yourself to prosecution."

-Jeff Sessions, legal expert
Pictured: A mural at detention center in Texas which, I shit you not, features a quote from
Donald Trump's Art of the Deal: "Sometimes losing a battle you find a new way to win the war."
The quote is in English and Spanish, you know, to inspire the children we're locking up.
Because I kind of got the
exact opposite impression.
But again, what do I know?
With that out of the way, Sessions went on to further wow us with his legal prowess by citing the Bible as a reason we should all shut up:

"I would cite due to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes"

-Jeff Sessions, on Jesus's  famous 
respect for governmental authority

Wait, I'm confused, is the biblical take away for Jeff Sessions that Jesus challenged Roman authority and got what he deserved?

"Don't go blaming me for this one..."
-God
Which, cool, leaving aside the fact that the First Amendment talks about keeping religion out of government even before freedom of speech, is the Attorney General suggesting that God not only gives a damn about American politics, but that he personally ordained, in some medieval divine right of kings bullshit, that the former host of The Apprentice win the 2016 election? Because I'm pretty sure our archaic electoral college system did that. Trump's just the guy that bragged to Billy Bush about sexually assaulting women and then won the election anyway because racists were bitter about eight years of a black President.

Pictured: The scene from the New
Testament wherein Jesus rounds up
all the illegal immigrant children and
 leads them off to a detainment camp.
He went on to further support his argument by pointing out the objective morality of separating children from their parents:

"Orally (?) and lawful processes are good in themselves. Consistent, fair application of the law is in itself a good and moral thing and it protects the weak, it protects the lawful."


-Jeff Sessions on how detainment camps
for kids is like, super moral you guys

Can we just go back to the part where a guy appointed by Donald Trump just extolled the virtues of consistent and fair application of the law? Because that was amazing.
Pictured: A walking, bloviating refutation of
the idea that America gives a shit about the
consistent and fair application of law.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

In further one-sided criticisms:

So remember back when we talked about how great Avengers: Infinity War wasn't? Well, I talked about it, you just let me go on and on. I know that a blog is kind of a one way conversational exchange, but still, that's no excuse.
Nope, nothing. Maybe if you try shouting even louder?
Which, incidentally, was a better
movie than Infinity War. Yeah,
I'm like a dog with a bone.
I'll take your silence as tacit agreement that Infinity War was a bloated, stakes-less mess that shows that the series and maybe even the MCU in general has gone on long enough. Well...? Still nothing? Great, I'm glad you see it my way. Well, mine and enough other people's way that the directors-yes, directors. It took two people to direct that movie. Brothers in fact, which by Pacific Rim logic should have made it work better, but here we are. Huh? Yeah, I should warn you that I'm going to spoil the movie if you're one of the eight people who haven't seen it yet.

Couldn't he just reshuffle the discards?
(note: same plot hole, different joke)
Still there? Anyway, the Russo Brothers, Anthony and Joe, gave an interview to Huffington post in which they defended one of the bigger complaints people had with the movie. That complaint being that it ends on a cliffhanger that is in no way a cliffhanger. Specifically that Thanos, in a fit of malthusian super-villainy, uses the magic rainbow wish glove to vaporize half the universe in order to reduce the strain on resources. And no, we're not talking about how he could have just wished more resources, everyone's sick of people making fun of that glaring plot hole.

No, instead they addressed the fact that the movie asks us to believe that all the superheroes that got vaporized are totally dead you guys. Like, for real. Even though Disney already has already announced a stand alone sequel for vaporizees Spider-Man and Black Panther, whose movie earlier this year was the most successful superhero movie like, ever.
"No please, we know you loved Black Panther, but he's been exploded by Thanos
and we're just too damned committed to our artistic integrity to make a sequel."

-Some Disney executive
"The fans are corporeal. Adversarial.
Linear. Time? What is this...time?"
(+10 nerd points)
According to Anthony Russo, some of the sequels get around this by taking place before Infinity War:

"...people have become accustomed to time moving linearly in the MCU. That doesn't necessarily have to be the case."

-Anthony Russo, on how 
we're just too attached too 
the concept of linear time

"Um...hurray? They uh, made it. Briefly."
-me, at the end of Aliens
Ok cool, I can accept that we're getting these sequels out of chronological order or whatever, but doesn't that kind of cast pall over them? Like if we bought for a minute that Spider-Man really did die in Infinity War, wouldn't Spider-Man Homecoming 2 be kind of a bummer? Knowing that whatever happens in it, whatever odds he surmounts or character developments occur, he's doomed to perish along with half the universe? Sort of like watching Aliens knowing that everyone but Ripley is going to die of freezer burn, off camera before Alien 3. It's a bummer.

Not anything. I mean, not even a
reality-warping gauntlet could've made
off-brand X-Men seem interesting.
But ok, fine, let's say half the population of the universe just got raptured by Bran from The Goonies, and we're in for some prequels. Russo also said something else that I think totally undercuts whatever assurances he was trying to make about his film's ending having any narrative weight whatsoever:

"Here's the thing, I think it's important to remember anything is possible in the MCU."

-Russo, un-making his point

Maybe I just want to be negative here because everyone else like the movie and I didn't, but insisting that Infinity War's ending had dire, world-changing ramifications for the MCU and then explaining that anything is possible in the MCU feels a little like saying nothing matters in the MCU. The problem with Infinity War 2's inevitable conclusion it has to undo the first one's ending so these characters can go on to do sequels. And that's fine, I like those characters, but when 'anything is possible,' there are no stakes.
"Excellent, my victory is total! Unless of course someone steals my gauntlet
and uses it to undo everything I've accomplished...but that'll probably never happen."

-Thanos, jinxing it

"You make some good points, but what
we're saying is that it was actually great."

-The Russos
Look, I don't mean to bag on the Russos, I mean, lots of people liked the movie. I think more liked it than didn't, and even those who agree with me about the ending being lame still liked the film overall. And that's cool. It just seemed a little like the directors were given the weird marketing task of explaining to fans why they should have liked it more, and I call bullshit on that. They tried ending their part 1 on what was supposed to feel like a shocking twist, but it felt neither shocking nor twisty. It felt like a fake out.

Of course Iron Man or Captain Marvel or whoever is going to un-vanish Black Panther and Drax and everyone in part 2. And of course that's going to further weaken this movie's ending. I think that's a fair criticism. On the other hand, while it doesn't make for a suspenseful cliffhanger, but I suppose it does bring it more in line with the source material. Like, think of a Marvel character. Got one? Great, chances are you just named a character who's died and come back to life at least once.
"Holy shit, I know, right?"
-Jean Grey

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Today in policy tantrums:

Arm chair: check. Psychological
opinions I'm wildly unqualified
to hold: double check. Let's go.
Larry Kudlow, the President's economic advisor went absolutely bananas on-huh? Yes, apparently the President has an economic advisor. What's that? Yeah, I thought all the President's policies were rage-based too. You'd think an advisor would be someone offering sage council and an objective opinion, but Kudlow's also kind of unhinged, so I sure they make a great team. And I know I shouldn't be making arm chair psychology calls based on watching like, one CNN interview, but then again, I totally should. I mean, what's the internet for if not baseless opinions strongly held and vigorously defended?

Nothing, that's what. Anyway, State of the Union host Jake Tapper asked Kudlow why the President called Trudeau a liar-which he did, and we'll get to that, but here's Kudlow's not-at-all childish response:

"Well he holds a press conference and he says the U.S. is insulting, he said that Canada has to stand up for itself, he said that we are the problem with tariffs. What the in factual, the non factual part of this was that they have enormous tariffs."

-Larry Kudlow on how Trudeau is being mean
"How dare Justin Trudeau work to negotiate the best possible
deal for the country he's the Prime Minister of! I mean, the nerve..."
 
Has a non-insulting word left his
word hole or a non-insulting tweet
his tweet hole since taking office?
Or really, since the campaign?
Yeah, but we are insulting. Like, the President routinely resorts to insult as a mode of communication. And Canada does have to stand up for itself. It's like, a real country.

"You know what? Here's the thing, I mean, he really kind of stabbed us in the back. He really, actually, you know what? He did a great disservice to the whole G7."

-Kudlow, about to cry, like, 
his voice cracked and everything
"Petulance as economic policy?
I'm sure this will work out great!"

-No one
The specific reason for Kudlow's breathless and rambling nutty, is that Trudeau held a press conference stating that if the U.S. didn't back off on a bunch of tariffs the Administration was planning on leveling on Canada, they'd respond with their own tariffs on American goods. In response to that, Trump pulled the U.S. out of a communiqué which I guess in political terms is some kind of joint statement by the G7 in which the member countries agreed that their joint goal was "free, fair and mutually beneficial trade." Agreement? Mutual benefit? Can't have that...

This is, and I mean no insult to junior
high kids, but this is some junior high
level bullshit. Ok, some insult...
Also, Trump wants Canada to agree to an expiration date on NAFTA so he can renegotiate it with out look like he's the one walking away from it and-look, I'm not going to pretend to understand all the nuances here, but what I can tell is that this isn't a great look for us as a country. I mean, a thin-skinned, tantrum-prone reality-show star currently under federal investigation is stomping his feet, making ridiculous demands and then calling other world leaders liars? We're not exactly leading by example here. Huh? Oh right, the liar thing.

Here's what Trump said in a press conference where he explained his reasons and then fielded questions from reporters. Questions he answered thoughtfully and fully as one would expect from someone holding hight office. Just kidding. It was an angry tweet and one he sent from Air Force One on his way out of town.
But at least it wasn't in all caps so...progress?
Stupider that this nonsense?
Hold on to your MAGA's...
Yuppers. That was Donald Trump, yes the Donald Trump, accusing someone else of being dishonest. Also his calling Trudeau out for saying Canada 'will not be pushed around,' is a little weird coming from a guy who ran on a super-klansy platform of 'America first.' But wait, because it gets stupider. Back to the interview where Kudlow goes on to admit to Jake Tapper that all this pouting and angry tweeting is also about making us look tough in negotiations with North Korea.

Just to be clear, are we cribbing our
foreign policy from Cobra Kai?
And he explained this in the most insulting and acronym-filled way possible:

"POTUS is not going to let a Canadian Prime Minister push him around. Push him, POTUS, around, President Trump on the eve of this. He is not going to permit any show of weakness on the trip to negotiate with North Korea, nor should he-"

-Kudlow, on how-holy shit,
this is about dicks...again

Again, I'm not an expert here, but the gist, as far as I can see is this: a gameshow host most of us didn't vote for is making unreasonable demands of America's largest second trading partner and then accusing them of being unreasonable for having a problem with it, all so he can look tough in front of some autocrat nobody voted for. Have I got it surrounded? Super.
As a one-quarter Canadian who's feeling 100% embarrassed about how
the guy representing the U.S. is behaving/just is, I'd just like to reiterate that Canada
is, in fact, a real country, a member of the G7 and a close ally, so could we maybe
 not talk about their Prime Minister like he's some over-reaching country clerk?