Tag Archives: politics

It’s That Time of the Menstrual Cycle Again…

28 Apr

IMG_2685

…and I feel like promoting TitleCapitalization.com.

Okay, sorry if you found the titles vulgar, but I can’t help myself sometimes. What can I do to make it up to you? Oh, I know! I ‘ll show you disturbing fiction written by not-me! Pretty sweet, huh? No? You don’t like reading about children dying of hunger and dehydration while playing video games? Well, here, read about grown adults dying of hunger and dehydration while playing video games. God, what a way to go, eh? We’re living in something of a retrograde society, degenerating and destroying ourselves at every turn. Maybe we should do something about that, inquisitive-grunting-sound?

Hammered that one in pretty good, didn’t I?

You know, some people don’t find me funny. Lol, jk. Everyone, finds, me, funny, especially commas. HARHARHARHARHARSPACEBAR! Okay, let’s get real. We all saw the trailer for The Leftovers, amirite? No? You didn’t? Here, check it out real quick.

Feeling any déjà vu? Good, that means you’re clicking the links. Don’t click that one. Ugh, you already did? Bad, that means you’re not following instructions. Click that one. Ugh, you didn’t do it yet? Good, that means you’re cautious. Hah, you thought I’d say “bad,” but you were WROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG. Also, feeling any déjà vu? Good, that means you’re reading the text.

Now that I have your attention, I’m going to gawk at the fact that my dad’s watching Veep. I NEVER thought I’d see that sh!t go down. Negat!ve-grunt!ng-sound, those fr!gg!n’ upside down !s are dr!v!ng me !nsane, so !nsane that I’m going to off!c!al!ze doing posts on the 28th of every month.

That probably j!nxed my post pattern, which has been pretty much accidental so far, but that’s okay. At least it fixed the Is, and made them bigger.

I

~D.

Okay, So…

3 Dec

Evil?

…a lot’s been going on in my world lately. I’m sure a lot’s been happening on your end as well. Things are shifting, changing. People are calling this a “very exciting time.” I think every time is that way. Think about it, when has there been a time in history that wasn’t reallyokay, maybe there were a few years that weren’t so great. But we pushed on because we new something would come out of it, we knew our strength would be rewarded. Oh, crap, not another speech. All right, let me give you a little something for being a good listener/reader. I’ve been writing a lot for this website and I’ve got an article coming out on it soon. It’s about Star Trek: The Next Generation. I know the crowd over there will enjoy it, but…

…YOU GET TO READ IT, FIRST!

So, I won’t keep you any longer. The piece is just below. Read, and enjoy. Unless you hate The Next Generation, in which case…

…nope. Nothing clever.

(Beware, this isn’t fully edited, so it may contain mispalliegnerignerigniaengs.)

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The First Year

“Space, the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

                                          —Captain Jean-Luc Picard

I avoided watching this show for far too long. After finishing the first season, two words come to mind: no regrets.

Right away, I was hooked. I’m not going to beat around the bush, I’m just telling you how I felt, and how I currently feel. I knew there would be “Talky and Techy” stuff, the warp core discussions and dilithium crystals, some political intrigue and conspiracies, the Prime Directive being tested, probably broken even, and a little action. What came out of left field, for me at least, was the spirituality, the love (not romance, love), and even the series’ fascinating sense of life. Every character is well crafted and valuable, and every episode—every episode—is not only entertaining, but memorable. It’s something you have to see to experience, so, for those who haven’t, head over to Netflix (as of December, 2013) and start watching.

I’ve got more to say, but this is mostly for those who’ve already seen it. And remember, I’ve only watched Season One, so don’t post a bunch of spoilers in the comments.

A New Beginning

Immediately, one of the biggest things that caught me off guard, in terms of character development, was that Captain Picard wasn’t just some calm, precise, flawless leader who had all the answers when problems came his way. Picard made mistakes, was often too forceful, too aggressive even and, most notably, wasn’t very good with children and more  “lax” adults. He had to evolve over time, and I saw his evolution occur in a natural, believable way. This process was simultaneous with the growth of Wesley Crusher, who I personally feel is a severely under-appreciated character. Yeah, he isn’t perfect, but I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’ve seen the first episode of Season Two, and there’s this scene with Wesley in it that had me absolutely riveted (a conversation he has with Guinan). It’s great, and it might change a few people’s minds about him, if viewed a second time.

(I honestly think a lot of the “Wesley hate” comes from the fact that he isn’t cynical, aggresive and rude, as teenage boys often are, and some people think that’s unrealistic. I personally think he’s an ideal to be looked upon, right, curious and creative. If that annoys some people, I guess they just don’t like that sort of character.)

Riker is great, especially after having played the Mass Effect series as much as I have (male Shepard’s personality seems to be based loosely on Riker and Captain Kirk from the original Star Trek series). He’s the one with the sharpest eyes, the cleanest hits and the boldest tactics, acting often as a model for Picard. I expected it to be the other way around, the young first officer learning from his captain. And, while that does happen, it’s definitely very balanced, having the captain and Riker acting as both teacher and student, back and forth. I like that, as it shows that everyone can learn and change from one another, and not just the many from the few.

Us, the Crew

The entire cast has this amazing synergy, and the writing doesn’t hurt. Yeah, in the beginning some characters were a little melodramatic, even forced at times emotionally, but by last two thirds of the season, they all stick with you, since they all have moments that make you go, “Damn, they even—*sniff*—got me to—*sniff*—TASHA!” (For anyone who cares, I’m among the few who think Natasha Yar’s death was perfectly appropriate. Not everyone has a glamorous demise. In real life, some people just get offed and that’s that, no slow motion, no sad piano music, nothing. The briefness of Tasha’s death is offset by her touching funeral, which got me right in the gut. This scene’s impact was only helped, not hurt by the fact that she died so quickly and in such a non-romantic fashion.)

Of all the crew, I think my favorites have got to be Data and Worf. They’re just so funny, and yet have some of the more dramatic episodes dedicated to them (“Datalore” and “Heart of Glory” are great episodes; do not skip them). They’re attitudes match and contrast their physical/species personas very well. Data is just as much a calculator (match) as he is a curious youth (contrast), and Worf is just as much a beast (match) as he is disciplined, loyal member of Starfleet (contrast). Again, it all comes back to the writing. The characters have received such praise, as well as the cast that brought them to life, but someone had to conceive them, someone had to have the idea, “Let’s have him see in a way we can’t, a way that may be even better than our normal vision,” and give birth to Geordi, and Dr. Crusher, and Troi.

The writer creates the foundation. Without a story, there is no show.

Beware What Awaits You!

The Next Generation doesn’t just have great characters. it also has intriguing worlds to visit. From a planet where the mildest of crimes can mean the death penalty, to one where the physical manifestation of Evil waits for its next victim, there’s plenty to see and plenty to do. The governments and societies vary widely and, because of this, have to be interacted with carefully. When dealing with a civilization that’s women are superior to its men, who will be selected to discuss diplomacy? A woman, for her strength, or a man, for his ability to seduce the alien race’s leaders? How about species so close to extinction they need to steal the children of your ship’s crew? Do you give them what they want? Is there a substitute? Why do they need the children so badly? What’s causing them to die out as they do? These are the situations that make this show so interesting.

One in particular, “Coming of Age,” was one of the better character related episodes, addressing the overall growth of the crew, as well as their loyalty to Picard, who has improved as a leader. It examines the danger of witch-hunts and how easy it is to simply say, “Something must be wrong here, because it’s bad everywhere else.” And this seems like a “simple” lesson, but complexity isn’t necessarily depth. See, we can have a uncomplicated idea with many levels. Isn’t that how life works? “All men can do great things.” Really? Can they? Why? What gives them this ability? Is it innate? Is it given to them by those around them? Is it necessary? Are these questions even necessary? Do they matter? Does any of this matter? Do “great things” matter? See, that’s a simple concept with depth, and Star Trek: The Next Generation appears to have mastered this in its clever writing (again, it all starts with the pen).

The slow introduction to the universe gives new people like myself time to adjust to everything that’s going on, while also giving veteran fans something to chew on as they look back at old episodes (I know, I watched the show with someone who has seen every episode of it multiple times). It didn’t take me long to understand the relationship between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, the importance of the Romulans, the reason for the Prime Directive, etc. Everything was accessible, without sacrificing the attention to detail that Star Trek as a franchise is known for. Great work on the part of the writers and directors, the latter having a just as difficult job, if not more difficult, than the writers (bringing all this to life must have been a daunting task).

Q

One thing I’m really glad about is that the Q aren’t overused as a race. Their power would be way too much of a deus ex machina in some of Season One’s scenarios. If you’re going to make God (or something very close) one of your characters, better not have him abuse His powers in a story about human beings. He might take away some of the fun if he appears too many times. Now, that is not to say I’m against the use of spirituality in writing, quite the contrary. The spiritual side of Star Trek: The Next Generation is one of the things that kept me going. The creative use of the soul and other incorporeal forms as storytelling tools and devices blew me away, and I can’t wait to see what they do next with it.

All in all, Star Trek: The Next Generation was a blast to watch. It’s something I think every up and coming writer/director of science fiction, or even an actor in sci-fi television and movies, should take a look at, if only to see where many concepts in the genre came from. It’s fun, original, intelligent, thought-provoking, and powerful. It has a few rough spots, but get through them, because every geode has a pile of crystals.

Until next time, this is D. Alexander wishing you a happy It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year Day!

Trek Holiday

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That’s all, folks! Thanks for reading, and thanks for giving me good things to read, too! I love you guys, really.

~D.

The Other Path

29 Nov

Man

 

Tor.com is holding a fun little six word story contest that I decided to submit to. This is my entry:

Fire engulfs Man. From ashes, monsters.

You can view more entries, or submit your own, here.

~D.

C

23 Oct

I am that I tiger.

Wow. It’s crazy how far we’ve come, isn’t it? I mean, take a look.

We started with that review of that one movie with the dolls. Then, I said something I’d like to take back, and got lazy, and didn’t post for some time. After that, I came back and told a story, turned into more of a weirdo than usual. Then there was this poorly edited version of something I wrote, followed by another poorly edited version of something I wrote that is now way different, even in terms of plot, time periods, character development, dialogue, etc. So much stuff!

Man, what else did we do? Ah, that’s right! We went on a journey together, and you heard my voice and it was awkward. I wrote a bad ending, and watched an adequate show so you didn’t have to. We followed a goat, examined terrorism, false advertised, discussed knowledge, stayed up late, talked about you, got pissed about abortion, started, got pissed about each other (or I guess it was just me being a bitch or whatever), got pissed about some superhero movie, analyzed characters. Hell, we even got you to want to follow me on Twitter less than you already did! Oh, and something about 9/11, and loving you.

I think the last thing we discussed was racism, and I’ve been away a while. Don’t worry, I’m not disappearing. I just wanted to make sure I did something special for our hundredth time together. I couldn’t come up with much, honestly. Just remembering the good times with the Legendary Heroes and whatnot.

Okay, I guess that’s everything. Here’s something to read before you go to bed, or when you wake up, or whenever. Oh, and here’s a list.

Goodnight/good morning/good evening/good space/you all need to play Beyond: Two Souls.

 

~D.

C

P.S. – I think I left out something, but I feel like I shouldn’t talk about it for some reason.

 

P.P.S. – Look at this tiger.

So Racism Finally Made It Here

26 Sep

I am what is there are eggs.

Okay, so Upworthy, a news site that recently got my attention after their excellent report on the horrors of the sex trafficking world and the beauty of recovery from it, just lost quite a few points with its followers on Facebook. Why? Here’s why.

At first, the reaction to these might very well be, “Oh, there is racial corruption going on here. We’ve got to stop it!” But, thanks to the quick thinkers of the internet, one of the first responses to this was, “For this information to be relevant, we would need to know the numerical weight of the same groups (women vs. men and people of colour vs. whites), e.g. 30% of Comedy writers are women but only 5% of award winners in that category are women.”

Needless to say, Necip Camcigil, who wrote the comment, wasn’t the only person who felt this way. It’s pretty clear that Upworthy should’ve been more careful about theses statistics. I personally feel that, even if Upworthy just so happens to be correct, the way to deal with racism is the way Morgan Freeman said we should. It’s the way that’s the least painful, in my opinion.

What do you think? Do you agree with what Upworthy  has to say, or on you on the side of its critics? Leave a comment below and let me know!

 

~D.

Is It Me, or We?

22 Sep

Cycles, they are.

In the Roarin’ 1920s, it was all about looking good now, feeling going now, and being unique, standing out. It was all about individualism. It was all about desires. These viewpoints were remnants of an old era, one that lasted forty years called the “Me Cycle.” It ended in 1923, and a new age began, an age which would one day be referred to as the “We Cycle.” The We Cycle wasn’t about the individual, it was about the group. The needs of the many outweighed the needs of the few, and responsibility was valued above desire.

The above mentioned were not the first Cycles. They have been going on a long time, and still exist today. How do I know this? A wise mentor of mine made me aware of it, and now I want you to be aware, too.

The Cycles alternate in the same way a pendulum swings: it starts at a central point, swings up one way until it hits zenith, swings back to central point, and then up to zenith again, back and forth, on and on. Both Cycles have their pros and cons, and neither is good or bad, only different. They represent the way we think and what appeals to us, in general. Now, that’s not to say we don’t all have our own personal tastes and desires and wants and needs and fears and all that jazz, but, for the most part, the consensus is there, and I don’t see it going away any time soon.

A good place to go if you want to learn more about the Pendulum Cycles is here. Check the site’s “Blog” section to keep up-to-date with current events and their relation with the We Cycle we are currently living in. Note that there are entries listing major differences between the We and Me Cycles, which you should read.

Well, that’s everything. I hope the knowledge I’ve just imparted to you leads to great rewards.

 

~D.

Amicus

1 Sep

I'll be there for yooooooouuuu.

So, it’s once again time for our usual talks. What would you like to discuss? No, no, I don’t want to talk about that. I already have something prepared for Memorial Day. Wait, you said Labor Day? Oh, well I don’t really know much about Labor Day. I only recall it having something to do with unions, pleasing them or something. Funny how we do that, try to please people, keep ’em docile, under our control. Eh, you know you do it, even to your “friends.” That’s how you can tell who your real friends are. You don’t try to please your real friends. You help your real friends, sure, but not to please them. You do that because it pleases you. That’s when you know you have a real friend.

I don’t want to talk about Obama. No, stop, I don’t want to. So what if I’m half-black, do I have to have a view on him? What if I think he’s just another guy, just another average American leader. What if I think he’s a good president, or even a great one, or terrible one, or the worst one we’ve ever had, or the best one we’ve ever had? Who cares? It doesn’t change anything, knowing what someone thinks of something. Well, I shouldn’t say that. You’d probably stop reading me if you knew what I thought of our politicians. Or, maybe you’d read me more often.

Heh, “read me,” that’s a way of putting it. That’s what’s going on here, isn’t it? You’re reading me, and when you comment, I’m reading you, and when have our little back-and-forth bits we are reading each other. We have a symbiotic relationship. You benefit me, I benefit you, but we don’t do it to please each other. We do it because it pleases us. We do it because we’re friends.

Ah, but you require me to be completely open with you to be your friend, is that it? Well, I don’t want talk about Obama, but I’ll say this: I met with a congressman once, and he told me a lot of things about what goes on up in Washington. It isn’t the prettiest sight, but there are glimmers of light to be found. I believe him, even if you don’t. I’m not here to agree with you, I’m here to be your friend. That’s the truth.

Okay, we’ve had our fun. Back to work for both of us. Oh, you want to keep talking? Tough. I know what’s good for you, and so do you.

Back to work.

 

~D.

 

P.S. – You seriously haven’t figure out what amicus means be now? Come on.