Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Record Heat and a Song 

So, the alarm goes off this morning and the weather report comes on. Our friendly weather advisor, John Gaughn (rhymes with "wrong"), chirps, "It should be about 96 today, but with the humiture, it will feel like 109!" Whee! Immediately I thought of that scene in Star Trek 4 where the oceans start evaporating:

...which then reminded me of the beginning to Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy where, shortly before earth is blown up to make an intergalactic highway, the dolphins fly out of the oceans and aquariums up into their mother ship singing "So long and thanks for all the fish!"

The sing-along video... it's a really catchy song... really... you'll love it!
Ok, I admit, it will be stuck in your head for days, but, look! I included the lyrics so that when it does get stuck in your head, at least you have the right words:

“So Long And Thanks For All The Fish”
Composed by: JOBY TALBOT
Found Here:
So long and thanks for all the fish
So sad that it should come to this
We tried to warn you all but oh dear
You may not share our intellect
Which might explain your disrespect
For all the natural wonders that grow around you.
So long, So long, and thanks for all the fish

The world’s about to be destroyed
Theres no point getting all annoyed.
Lie back and let the planet dissolve (around you)
Despite those nets of tuna fleets
We thought that most of you were sweet
Especially tiny tots and your pregnant women.

So long, So long, So long, So long, So long,
So long, So long, So long, So long, So long,
So long, So long, and thanks for all the fish

If I had just one last wish
I would like a tasty fish
If we could just change one thing

We would all have learnt to sing
Come one and all

Man and mammal
Side by side in life’s great gene pool

So long, So long, So long, So long, So long,
So long, So long, So long, So long, So long,
So long, So long, and thanks for all the fish

Monday, July 18, 2005

Battlestar Vs. Trek 

TrekWeb posted an article on why Star Trek isn't doing well... Apparently it isn't enough like Battlestar Galactica. Now, I am a fan of both, and I agree on one hand. I do think Star Trek lost its way, and nobody cared about the storylines on the new series until they actually incorporated human drama and civil war, like the 4th season of Enterprise.

The backbones of TOS, TNG, and DS9 were human problems (racism, morality, revenge, etc.) that exist today and were rewritten in a scifi setting. Voyager and Enterprise left all that behind and asked "will they survive?!" every week, which you knew they obviously would, so it wasn't at all interesting. Voyager was like a liberalism fantasy... We can all live in harmony if we just talk about it! Problem is, nobody in their heart of hearts believes that the world can ever truly exist that way. It only works in an artificial construct, and it's too forced to be interesting. Enterprise was just boring and badly written.

I don't think Trek should be grittier, but it should address human problems. BSG does that, although it is pretty dark in comparison to Trek. I wouldn't let a child watch it like I did growing up on Trek--It's for mature scifi fans. For the creators of Trek to imply that the lack of grittiness is why Trek failed is a terrible excuse... it could never be gritty by its nature. That's just how BSG chose to address it, because its imagined future is much, much darker and less hopeful than the one Roddenberry imagined. He felt that humanity was essentially good and that its creations would alleviate poverty and disease and everyone would grow to be equals. BSG takes the Terminator route, in that its creations destroy its makers and the survivors are left with the least common denominators of being human - rage, revenge, love, escapism, civil war, etc.

It isn't a matter of time or exposure either. After all, the original SciFi series Stargate SG:1 is running on its 9th season and has spawned a more-or-less interesting second series, Atlantis. BSG has been around in one form or another since the 70s. But, their creators are intensely aware of their fans and the storylines we're looking for to keep us interested. The characters rarely stray from their original sketch and the technobabble is kept to a minimum. As implausible as the future they create is, it's never out of reach, because in the end it's just about the people on the show.

I'd recommend that Trek go back to its original storylines to save itself, but I just don't trust them anymore. Instead, I'm going to turn on the SciFi channel, which actually values its fans opinions rather than considering them a bother. Please, Paramount: Put the Star Trek down, and nobody gets hurt.



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