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The Crapolla According to Fek'Lar
You Know You're a Real Geek When...
you know the melting point of a beach ball is about 200 degrees F.
You've stumbled onto another issue of The Crapolla, a journal written for software professionals. No not the managers; I mean the people who do the work.
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In This Issue...
Trek's Lack of Imagination
In May Paramount Pictures is going to drag the old lady out for another romp at the box office. There's been what, five series, and 10 movies? Star Trek is a tired idea that should have been put to pasture a long time ago. And this is coming from someone who used to be a fan. The trouble is Trek stopped being about social issues of the day and started playing it safe too many times. When writers got in a bind, they just invented some techno-babble to get the heroes out in time for their massages.
Now we're going to be treated to a "re-imagining" of Trek. The helm's been handed to a guy who liked Star Wars far more than Trek. I agree that Star Wars was better at the "lived in" look than Trek, but Star Wars was also over-flogged to death by its creator. The previews have many worried that J.J. Abrams doesn't know the material. But I say we could forgive all the inaccuracies if we got a good movie.
The previews, especially what's been labeled Trailer 2, tell us quite a lot about this new approach. We start with a Corvette being chased by a cop. It is driven over a cliff by a ten-ish-year-old boy. The cop asks his name and the boy defiantly declares himself James Tiberius Kirk. A snot-nosed Kirk driving a priceless Corvette over a cliff? I mean, where'd he get those tires? Where did little Jamie learn to drive the priceless car? How did he practice? It doesn't make sense. But jumping out just before the cliff? Kirk couldn't have survived jumping out of the car! Perhaps we should remember the wisdom of Ham Salad in Hardware Wars, "Relax, kid! It's just a movie!"
I think we will have to forgive a lot. The trouble is every time we have to forgive, it detracts from the movie. We're going to have a difficult time allowing ourselves to be enveloped in the story, assuming there will be a story.
What will make a good story? Let's look at the best of the past. The Enterprise needs to be isolated. There's no help to get Kirk and company out of the jam. (Remember when a reply from Starfleet Command via sub-space radio was going to take two weeks?) The Big E needs to be exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life, and new civilizations. You know, boldly going. They need to come upon a new society. Maybe some of the crew breaks a local taboo, like screwing the Chief's daughter right after beaming down. Something about this society needs to parallel part of our own, and as the conflict is resolved, we take away a better understanding of ourselves. That was always the best Trek. That, and killing red shirts.
Unfortunately, the latest preview tells us that we're getting the entire James T. Kirk back story from sperm to Starship Captain, and two space battles. If that's what this movie is, it will fail. The audience is tired of this from Star Trek. Anyone who would green light this doesn't know the material.
Oh and by the way, could we have Trek that's science fiction? Just having a space ship doesn't make it SF. We're a society that has space ships, and space stations. Star Wars was not science fiction. Lots of space ships, pure fantasy. What's science fiction? There's usually technology involved somewhere because most of our application of science is technological.
The idea of the eugenics wars was science fiction. In Trek lore, World War III happened in the 1990s and was caused by genetically engineered supermen who didn't drink Diet Coke. That's science fiction. In The Matrix the world was a Buddhist illusion contained inside a computer. Reality was a harsh world where machines harvested humans as a power source. The humans had to choose between the bliss of ignorance, or the hard life of enlightenment.
A space battle is a nice action-packed conclusion to a story, but it's candy at best. What sustains us are the plot and ideas that demand that space battle. Don't give me a tired story about the Romulans are screwing with history, so Spock from the future needs to screw with it too. Time travel has been done to death. Been there, done that, got the paradoxes.
But I don't think this is why the next Trek is going to suck. The problem is more basic. It gets back to the notion that we're going to have to forgive the producer's crappy vision. The Enterprise being built on the ground. We can let that slide. Guys welding it in a manner than suggests the hull is made of steel? Ok, many won't catch that. All of the crew members being the same age? A little harder, but maybe we can drink the Kool-Aid. But there's this one bit none of us are going to be able to deal with. The bra.
If you'll have a look at Trailer 2, you'll see a couple shots where Captain Pervert is watching Uhura get undressed. She pulls off her top to reveal... a 20th century bra. Really? Three hundred years and no innovation in the hooter house? The warp drive has been perfected. The transporter is regularly used. Hell, they even have artificial gravity, and nothing new on the subject of lifting and separating? I'm not buying it!
By the 23rd century, women will have demanded something better, more comfortable, with a zillion options for enhancing their look. They're going to want something a little less static. Let's say a force field bra which builds pockets of anti-gravity to allow the knockers to travel seamlessly, and effortlessly. Multiple adjustments for firmness. A parameter for nipple protrusion. Macro settings would include a defense mode where anyone trying to cop a feel would be given an electric shock. Or date mode where the bra disengages when her lover takes a couple handfuls from behind "Janet Jackson" style, allowing full manual control. No more fumbling with the clasp by your all-thumbs boyfriend. Going to a French beach? The force field bra is completely transparent and filters out UV radiation while keeping you looking firm and nubile.
This is exactly the type of imagination the producers of Trek are lacking. They're stuck thinking of the stuff Gene Rodenberry invented in the 1960's. Trust me, Roddenberry would dig the force field bra. He'd wish he could have had it in the original series. We can forgive a lot of the obvious mistakes that have been made on this film. But the line must be drawn. The bra has to go! Either Zoe Saldana does a reshoot and has a topless scene (the force field bra is invisible) or the movie fails. I guarantee that if she does do the topless shot, the film will be a hit with hundreds of thousands (dare I say millions?) of teenage boys who will applaud this imaginative foray into hard science fiction, and will see the movie twenty times each.
J.J., it's up to you. Me? I'd go with the topless chick!
Steve Jobs' Sick Leave a Hoax!
Apple Insider Reveals CEO Was Really Laid Off!
Heard in the halls of various software companies.
"I didn't like children even when I was a child."
"Happy New Year, get out of my office!"
"Can I just have what I asked for without all the bullshit from you about why I shouldn't have it?"
"I can honestly say that last year sucked. At least we're employed."
"The company has turned the corner so many times, we're right back where we started."
There are people outside my house holding torches.
They pay me to think. These are my thoughts. Do you think they are getting their money's worth?
Remember: The Crapolla contains my personal opinions. That's right they're mine, so get your own! And you kids get off my lawn!
Although written with the software professional in mind, my mind tends to wander all over the place, and I sometimes write about politics, mass stoopidity, dumb things I saw, and whatever else comes to mind.
From time to time, I use salty language, thus The Crapolla is not intended for children, or certain people from the Christian Right.
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