Terri's Cellar Door

Stuff that happens to me, Terri.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Why We Need RATM Now More than Ever...

If you're a fan of Rage Against the Machine, you're already hotly anticipating their next move. They reunited at Coachella, are touring in Australia, and rumors are swirling wild and fast. Nobody would love to see that more than me, considering that I only started listening to them after they broke up, and popular culture seemed to forget about them. In high school, I saw little white kids wearing RATM shirts, and I thought, what's so great about them? but seeing them in concert would be a dream come true nonetheless. They broke up on October 28, 2000, and subsequently missed some of the most defining points of our generation. These last 7 years have the been the most politically turbulent, the most culturally active, the most Rage-Against-the-Machine-y as I've ever seen. Until 2000, they had the opportunity to just be voices out of many. There wasn't anything to unite, divide, and then unite us all over again. And then the chance came. We needed someone who could voice our rage, and make the powers that be know that we weren't going to take it anymore. But there was no one. Eminem tried, but he had already alienated so many people that we couldn't be a cohesive voice. It didn't have to be a musical act, however, it could have been anyone. The MLK of our generation, the mavericks, the change makers. Too many people were afraid to stand up, but everybody wanted to follow. The void wasn't filled, though, and we've had 9/11, Bush stealing a presidency, the increasing fundamentalist Christian leanings of our government, and the general decline of our country as a world power, and no one to voice those feelings. The revolution was poised for a comeback, but there was no one to push us all over that cliff. Perhaps you think I'm being a little melodramatic; it couldn't be that easy, right? One single song, or band, can't bring about change of that magnitude, or make that big of a difference. Well, if you saw what I saw; if you saw the way that young people responded to Rage, you'd know that the change is not only possible, but if the stars had aligned and moved just right, it would have happened. Now, what can we do now? The rage is tempering off, and even though RATM might be coming back, there's no need for them now, right? Well, wrong. The feeling is there, we just need to harvest it and move it towards positive change. I'm not saying that we need celebrities to tell us what to do and what to believe in, and further, what to support, or disdain. However, RATM brought people who might never been on the same side of an issue. They were about as high profile as you can get with the politics that they had, and they made people, young people care. And if you've ever tried to do the same, you can understand how difficult that can be. They took young people out of our apathy, and made activists and generally angry people out of us all. And if the recent events of Jena can tell us, an angry people is a people moved to action. Action is the end result that we want. Action makes people do something like riding a bus halfway across the country to protest injustice. It makes people give money, time, and effort to put a stop to some of the most horrendous crimes against humanity. And whether that crime is locking up a Nobel Peace Prize winner, or the systematic destruction of a country and it's people for dubious means, angry people move toward solutions. So, I welcome back Rage, and though I know it's not too late, I hope that they don't forget the same. They can make it back, be relevant, stir people to action, and with this feeling, we'll achieve change.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Was Shakespeare Gay?

The short answer: um, FLAMING. I've just finished reading a fair chunk of his sonnets, and if the dude wasn't the most prancingest fairy this side of gay town, he was the gayest bisexual since gay came to Ilikeanalsexberg. So, scholars have been arguing about this for years, right? If you don't know, just take my word for it that they've been arguing about it for years. Decades, even. Which they have. But it only took me about twenty seconds and three sonnets to make that same discovery. Oh my! Wow! Shakespeare was into dudes! Who cares? I mean, here we have some of the greatest dramas of all time, and people are worried whether or not he liked to pet the trouser snake? Let's not lose focus people! It's those same people who are soooo worried about who wrote the plays. Isn't just enough that they're pretty awesome, and people read them all over the world? Why does it have to be the Duke of Glouchester or whatever? The plays say Shakespeare, so let's just say Shakespeare. Anyway, so back to him being gay, he totally likes to play the rusty trombone. Take a look that this pretty flaming piece of poetry:

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair some time declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wand'rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

And just remember; this was written about another dude. I'm sure you totally thought it was about a woman, but it's not. Not even a little. It's about a supple youth. Boy youth, just in case you were wondering. So, just trust me, this was about as gay as you can be without having a vagina. Take a look at this little piece of sparkly prose (and by sparkly, I mean gay):

A woman's face with nature's own hand painted,
Hast thou, the master mistress of my passion;
A woman's gentle heart, but not acquainted
With shifting change, as is false women's fashion:
An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling,
Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth;
A man in hue all hues in his controlling,
Which steals men's eyes and women's souls amazeth.
And for a woman wert thou first created;
Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fell a-doting,
And by addition me of thee defeated,
By adding one thing to my purpose nothing.
But since she prick'd thee out for women's pleasure,
Mine be thy love and thy love's use their treasure.

He actually he wishes that the dude was a girl! "Master mistress"? "A man.. [who]..steals men's eyes"? I mean, what? All this scholarly discussion and people are still wondering if this guy was a flamer? Why are people retarded? He totally is! I mean, at first (in the first couple of sonnets) he's all like, yeah, be a good husband and father, and find a good wife, but then he's all like, I want to have your sex, young man. Which if that doesn't raise any rainbow flags for you, your gaydar is so hopelessly broken, you'll walk in the GLAAD awards and try to strike up a conversation about football. (Ooooh, glaring homosexual man generality, my bizzle). Anyway, this post was in no way meant to be disparaging to homosexuals. It's just that if Shakespeare was one (which he totally was, or at least bisexual), people need to stop being stupid and just accept it already.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Gay Menace vs. the Lesbian Seduction

I was just thinking about how uber weak this whole lesbian/gay thing is. Here is something for you to imagine: Your grown up kid has asked you to sit down, they have something to tell you. You brace for the worst. They have tears in their eyes as they look at you and say, "Mom, Dad, I'm gay." Okay, now imagine that this is your son. For a lot of people it would mean sobs, and wails, and all kinds of theatrics. You think of the discrimination that your son will face, you'll have to forget about grandchildren, weddings, and getting to know your daughter in law. What did you do wrong? You start to question your parenting and worry about your other kids. Most likely it's not going to be a good event for you. Now, go back to the situation that I posted, and imagine that your child was a girl. Does that change your perception? Does the sin seem a little less deadly now, the lifestyle a little less crucial? For me, even though I don't want it to be, it does. And this brings me to the debate. A friend of mine was talking with a couple of her co-workers about porn. Now, this may not be a topic that you want to discuss at work, but they work in a pretty liberal environment, so it was cool. Basically the discussion was that while watching gay porn is tantamount to blasphemy, watching lesbian porn is a natural thing, because everybody knows that there is nothing more natural than watching two girls explore each other's bodies. Why does gay sex have such a negative meaning and lesbian sex such an erotic, innocent one? Well, I have a couple theories as to that (I'm sure you saw this coming if you read this blog regularly. Which I'm sure you don't). The first two have to do with the men, and the last one is concerning the women. Firstly, think about heterosexual male relationships. There has become such a stigma about showing the least bit of sensitivity when around a man's male friends. Men are not supposed to open up about their feelings, they're not supposed to want to talk and share, and they're certainly not supposed to want physical contact with their friends. So, becoming sexually intimate with another male may seem to break through that highly important male interaction. There is an intimacy in sex that brushes past all the norms of male physical contact, even moreso than it's sex with another guy. For women, physical contact is the norm. We long to cuddle with our mates when watching tv, or at the movies, girl friends sometimes hold hands, stand arm in arm, and lounge against one another. I know for a fact that my friends have sat in my lap, laid on my shoulder, and had their head in my lap. Could you imagine a guy painting another guys toenails? Even if they did that sort of thing, it's this kind of physical proximity that makes women closer to one another, almost in an intimate way. Secondly, women just don't watch porn. Well, I know that some women do, but just as men wouldn't think about snuggling in close to their best friend, they wouldn't want to watch dudes getting it on. Thus, just because there's less exposure, there's a stigma about it. Finally, there's ladies. For some reason, I dunno if this is true or not, it seems that there's this myth floating around that most woman have at least one lesbian experience. I think (if this is true) it stems from the fact that most woman are more liberal with their sexuality. Ask a woman if another woman is hot (not competition, a celebrity or something, and not asked by a guy), and if she's hot, the woman would probably say so. More like, she's attractive, or I'd date her. My friends and I go so far as to say, "I'd do her" without any actual intent on ever having sex with the woman. While women will say that another woman is attractive, or that they'd do her, that doesn't mean that they'd drop everything on the spot and go make out with her. It just means that women are so comfortable in their sexuality, that they don't mind saying things that may make them sound a little gay. There's no such wiggle room with guys, however. A man must profess before any statement sounding the least bit "homosexual", 'Not to sound gay or anything.' They say this before mentioning someones looks, hair, or even clothes. I mean sound "homosexual" as in, interested in fashion, conscious about clothing, or any of the things said that gay men are all into. My friends and I have a theory, that I'm sure we stole from somebody else: basically it states that everybody is on a slider as far as their sexuality. Meaning at 1 is 100%, never, ever thought anybody of the same sex was vaguely attractive. 10 is all out, never ever thought anybody of the opposite sex was vaguely attractive. I think that most people fall in the 3 to 6 range, with people who identify themselves as homosexuals at 7 and above. However, I don't think that anybody truly occupies the 1 or the 10 spot. Most women will say that they're somewhere in between probably 3 and 5. However, ask any (supposedly straight) dude and they will invariably say 1. Even though to have lived a life where you never, ever thought that any person of the same sex was the least bit attractive is disingenuous. Everyone has had at least one moment where they thought someone of the same sex was hot, women are just more truthful in their admission of it. So, this is not in support of one agenda or another, I just wanted to discuss the disparities. I mean, if you're going to hate it, hate it all, or none. You can't have your dirty gay porn and your cute lesbian porn. Make peace with it, and decide once and for all.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Fermi Paradox, Where Are They and the Prime Directive

People sometimes think I'm a little nuts. I mean, I come off as a normal person. I'm kinda funny and people respond well to that, but, well, let me give you a little example of what happened when I was at a party:

Some Random Guy (SRG): (laugh) Well, Terri, what do you think, are we alone in the universe?

Me: Oh no, of course not.

SRG: Yeah, and they're here probing everybody and snatching up cows, right?


Me: Seriously. If you think about it. I mean, we exist around the sun, right? So, what are the stars? Every single one of them is a sun. The night sky is filled with an innumerable number of stars, and if only a 1% of them has a planet that's habitable by beings, it's still a huge amount. So, in all those planets, in all those stars, in all those universes; well, there has to be another planet with life on it, even if we haven't found it yet.

*cricket, cricket*

This is where I tend to lose people. I mean, it seems like a logical theory: that out of all the stars in the universe, there must exist a habitable planet where life can exist. I don't think that it's that far off the wall. However, people are reluctant to admit that there might be life on other planets, even if it is presented in a completely believable, and non-crackpot way. Aliens occupy the realm of the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause in the modern mind. One is more likely to run into a fairy or an ogre than an extraterrestrial (or EBE as there are known). I actually have quite an interest with that and EBE encounters. I had my own once actually, seeing a UFO when driving between Winston Salem and Greensboro, NC. I say UFO, with the intention of conveying that I didn't know what the object was. I was driving and thought maybe the sighting was a fluke. Suddenly (about a minute later), my brother said, "You just saw that UFO, right?". I was forced to agree with him, and was left wondering what we had seen. Let me put some things straight right here: Do I believe that on some planet, somewhere, conscious beings exist totally separate from the Planet Earth? Yes. Do I believe that the beings have made contact with humans on this planet? This is where things begin to get a little tricky. I could point out dozens of credible, reliable witness testimonies about abduction and EBE encounters. However, I do like to leave things open for speculation, and don't accept anything at face value. This kind of brings us in a roundabout way to what I wanted to really discuss in the post today. That is the Fermi Paradox. I learned about the Fermi Paradox a while back and it's always puzzled me. basically it states that because the universe is millions of years old, intelligent life (if it exists) should have already been developed. Further, if developed, they have had more than enough time to create faster than light technology. If developed, then they should be able to come to Earth and interact with it's inhabitants in a globally recognized way. The main point is summed up by the question, "Where Are They?". If there are aliens, then they should be here, and we should know about them. But this brings me to the second part of this discussion. In the Star Trek Universe, there's something known as the Prime Directive. The Prime Directive basically states that anyone who has anything to do with Starfleet or the UFoP will not interfere in the processes of beings without faster-than-light travel. This quote by Captain Picard sums it up;

"...The Prime Directive is not just a set of rules; it is a philosophy... and a very correct one. History has proven again and again that whenever mankind interferes with a less developed civilization, no matter how well intentioned that interference may be, the results are invariably disastrous."

I want to take it out of the realm of a fictional tv series, because people tend to brush you off if you say that, but think about the implications. The Prime Directive exists to protect both sides of the issue. The savee can suffer all kinds of harsh effects from the sever interfering. Not the least of which is a complication on either sides of any present conflicts. We (Earthlings) may be simply too backward to be interfered with by any more intelligent life forms. Think about it: we can barely keep ourselves in check here. We have wars, children are starving, and will being able to travel the stars save our species? It is only the hope of trying to fix problems on our own planet can we seek to reach the stars. If there are beings out there who might be willing to interact with us, we are certainly not presenting an interesting partner in communication. The Prime Directive (or more accurately, something like it) may be the reason that we're not seeing an activity out in space. So, it is up to us to seek out life out there, and make it on our own.

"The Prime Directive serves many purposes. Not the least of which is to protect us. It keeps us from allowing our emotions to overrule our judgement."
-Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Goin' Down to China Town

So, I went to China, and there you have it. I feel like I should write about my good times on here, but you know, there were so many and I am sooo lazy, so there's that. I did want to post this picture, which is all the people from my group. We kinda became a little family, and we really grew to like and care for each other. Well, all except one. Anyway, everybody's there except Dr. Irwin, who I'm sure I'll post some pictures of later. I had a great time, and I can't wait to go back. BTW, my shirt says Fitch. That is all.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Music from Commercials 2: Electric Boogaloo

Oh, you thought I was done with the Electric Boogaloo thing, didn't you? Oh silly goose. Probably you don't remember me ever having done it, and I would tell you, go back and read some earlier posts, jerk. Um, I'm sorry, I didn't mean that. Or did I? Is she kidding? Anyway, today's post is about commercial music, and I've posted about it before, hence the EB part. Before I was posting about commercials that I had heard and wanted to find the songs from, and I didn't really know, so I did some research, found out, and subsequently spreaded the knowledge. I know spreaded isn't a word. Sometimes. Anyway, so, here are two songs that I figure that you could benefit from knowing the name of, or at least in the case of the first one, the artists.

1. The Yoshida Bros./Nikata Or something
You know those commercials for the Nintendo Wii? And like, the two Japanese guys are holding the Wiimotes, (digression here: Don't you just love the word WiiMote? It's like cute and fun, and it fits the object completely, however, don't say it to somebody who doesn't know, or they'll just think you have a speech impediment) and like bowing, and saying 'We would like to play?'. Okay so in the background the song is like this mixture of traditional 'Asian' sounds and kind of a hip hop beat. This is the Yoshida Brothers I discovered them about two years ago, after I heard their song Nikata. So, I went out and bought their two albums, and am still working on getting the third one. They're really good, and mix the traditional shamisen with hip hop beats, latin beats, and all kinds of wonderful instruments and music. I love both their albums, and plan to buy the rest, just as soon as I get some money.
*thanks to Wiki, I found the name of the song: "Kodo (Inside the Sun Remix)."

2. Jaime Lidell/ A Little Bit More
I heard his song 'Multiply' on NPR around the same time I heard the Yoshida Brothers on Anime on Demand. What got me was his voice, his soul inspired singing just really got me in the right place. His music had a groove, and his voice was the icing on top. His song 'A Little Bit More' is one of my favorite on an album packed with awesome tracks, and I would certainly recommend anyone interested in blues, soul, funk, or electronica, should really check it out. So, anyway, his song, 'A Little Bit More' is featured on those Target commercials.

So, I hope that you guys would go be interested in these artists, because they're all pretty cool. Also, I dunno if you remember Robert Randolph and the Family Band, but they're pretty wicked cool, and even though I don't own any of their albums, I would certainly recommend checking them out. It won't be long until I get it, and subsequently, they're going to be hella popular.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My B, I just wanted to stop a hot minute, because I look like a hot mess of a hobag

Um, I need people to stop peeking in on my life and stealing phrases that my friends and I use on a regular basis. Perhaps you think I'm being paranoid, and I'd tell you to stop being a hobag. You wouldn't know what I just called you, and that would be the point. There have been several different instances of myself or my friends coming up with phrases that are so out there, and so random, that the probability that they would have been created by another person in a similar time frame and then permeated the popular culture is slim to none. Case in point:

#1 I was watching 'My Wife and Kids', yeah? And so, anyway, the little daughter, I forget her name, called the older sister a hobag. I would like it duly noted that I, or at least England and I, made of the phrase hobag. Now, I don't have any documentation asserting to that fact, but I can honestly say that we've been using the phrase for years, and it certainly shouldn't have any significance to anyone else. Mostly because it doesn't mean anything.

This isn't the first time that this has happened. My friend Heather just heard Gerard Way of MCR fame mention 'a hot minute'. This is ridiculous. It doesn't mean anything, and my friends and I made it up. I don't even know why. This isn't a case of us hearing it somewhere and then thinking that we made it up. Such is the case with My B. About two years ago, I was with my three friends, and I was saying 'My Bad'. But I was thinking that that was too long, so I wanted something that would save me a little time. So I was like, I'm going to just say My B from now on. It's kind of become my thing, so I say it all the time. Then, about two days ago, I was coming out of the Thompson Center (doesn't matter, just a building), and I heard a guy say, "And then I was like, my b, dude." And I was like wtf?!?! I totally made that up. I mean, I made a conscious effort to bring it into the world. The same with a hot mess. The same Heather heard Horse Teeth (aka P.W.) from FOB say it. And I was like, I feel like we should get royalties. So, anyway, be on the lookout for these phrases. If you hear or see them, drop me a line, and maybe I can make some money off of this.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Hey Lincoln, What Were you Thinkin'?

Another link: Thinkin' Lincoln (a very funny comic) mentions Firefly. I'm partial to Shepard Book, myself.

Here's the comic!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Free!!! Free!!! Free!!!

I don't really like Kashi. In fact, I think it's pretty gross. However, I do like free. Free makes everything taste better. It's like the ambrosia of, um, things. So, get a free snack from them. I mean, it's free.

Get your free snack!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

A Model of Christian Charity

"Now the only way... to provide for our posterity, is to follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God. For this end, we must be knit together, in this work, as one man. We must entertain each other in brotherly affection. We must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities, for the supply of others necessities. We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality. We must delight in each other; make others conditions our own; rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, as members of the same body. So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. The Lord will be our God, and delight to dwell among us, as His own people, and will command a blessing upon us in all our ways, so that we shall see much more of His wisdom, power, goodness and truth, than formerly we have been acquainted with. We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies; when He shall make us a praise and glory that men shall say of succeeding plantations, "may the Lord make it like that of New England."

For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world. We shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God, and all professors for God's sake. We shall shame the faces of many of God's worthy servants, and cause their prayers to be turned into curses upon us till we be consumed out of the good land whither we are going.
Therefore let us choose life,
that we and our seed may live,
by obeying His voice and cleaving to Him,
for He is our life and our prosperity."

-- John Winthrop, 1630

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Bored Being the Key Word

I get bored with people very easily, and by people I mean, guys. As soon as a guy shows the least bit of interest in me (or I've decided to show interest in him), I'm totally enamored. We become involved, things skate along fine for a while, and then I dunno, all of a sudden, I'm totally bored. It doesn't matter what the basis of our relationship is, I just don't see the point in talking to them anymore. This makes me seem mean, and then our relationship ends on a bad note. I don't really care, mind you, because I don't find them interesting anymore. I guess this speaks more to my character than theirs. They don't really want to stop the relationship, but when one of two people stops returning your calls with the same fervor, there's really nothing you can do. As you can probably tell if you read this blog a lot, which I'm sure that you don't, you know that I fall in love pretty easily (Brendan Fraser being the one man that I will love forever), however staying in love, is certainly a problem. I should be entirely honest. I doubt that I'm truly in love with any of these people, but I do feel an attraction that lasts a bit longer than lust, but certainly not as long as love. Therein lies the problem. I imagine if I did just go ahead and have sex with them it would last a bit longer, but I don't, I won't, and wouldn't, and this tends to have problems. There has only been one person that this trend hasn't affected. A) Because I haven't known him as long and B) Because I've had a chance to cool my heels without any proper developments, and then come back to the table. I dunno what it is about men and women. Guys say that they want us to be direct, but if we are, they get their feelings hurt, or at the best, they stop talking to us because they think we're stalkers. Why can't you just say that you like somebody, and then if they don't just be like, sorry, and then just leave things be? Anyway, back to the point, which is really just a rant in disguise; I hope that when I really fall in love, for real, it'll be for the last time, and I can just let this thing go already. Was that a good wrap up point? Maybe, I dunno. But there you have it.

**Look forward to some interesting developments in the next week, as I finish one 'short story', and start on another one.**

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Sept. 19th is Talk Like a Pirate Day, Celebrate it, If you Dare!!!!

So, yeah, as Jess probably knows, Sept 19th is the annual 'Talk Like a Pirate' Day. And I was like, ugh, how dare they? I did some research into a equivalent Ninja day, of which I found none. Mostly because behaving like a ninja would cause a world explosion of awesome, leaving only those with a deep intense hatred of the ninja to be slaughtered in the aftermath. Needless to say, it would be terrible for everyone. Well, terrible for those people, awesome for everyone else. Upon further research, I realized that, in fact, there is a Ninja Day, and this day is called 'Every other day of the year'. Much like Black History Month is celebrated to give us a brief reprieve from Whitey McWhiterson year, 'Talk Like a Pirate Day' is a brief reprieve from the all encompassing power of the Ninja, which envelopes the world like a cloak, and constantly muffles the Pirate ruckus. So celebrate this holiday. Even my Ninja brothers and sisters, and laugh at their tired insistence that the world really cares what they have to say. Much like Black History Month.

* I didn't type this in the future, and then send them back in time for your perusal, I just wanted to have some space between posts so the bar wouldn't be so high, so I just changed the date. Just so you know.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Why Voyager is the Best Star Trek Series.... Ever

This wasn't going to be another stupid list, but I couldn't think of a better way to organize this thing, so here we go. If your any kind of Trekkie, I imagine that you've got a favorite series. Oh course, a Trekkie is a fan of the cult classic, scifi, television show Star Trek. Now if you're not really a fan, read it anyway! Cause, dang, you might learn something or get interested. If you've never heard of Star Trek before, get out from under that rock! It's going to crush your scapula. Anyway, so I've always been a fan of the franchise. Weened on TNG, left the flock on DS9. (By the way, I'm going to be using all kinds of geeky words, phrases and acronyms in this, so if you're running the Fox, go ahead and have Wiki open in another tab.) So, Voyager was my chance to get back in the game. My mom had forced me to watch TNG for years, and while I'd always enjoyed it, Voyager was of my own accord. I took the time to watch it every week, and I made the commitment. Maybe this clouds my judgment a little bit, but it doesn't make my points any less true. I should also note that I love TOS, TNG, and DS9. This isn't to say that they're not great shows, it's just that Voyager got something oh-so-right.

1. Captain Kathyrn Janeway
Okay, this first point is a no brainer. A woman, what a novel idea! I mean, you had the Shat, baldy, blacky... The only logical continuation was lady, um, y. But, it's not just the fact that she was a woman that made Captain Janeway such a bangin' Captain. It was what Kate Mulgrew brought to the role, and how they did it. She wasn't a woman first and a captain second. She was a Captain first, a diplomat, a scientist, a disciplinarian, a teacher, a friend. She was everything that a good captain should be. She didn't need to remind you that she was a woman every five seconds, she was a great captain, and that's all that needed to be said. She was tough on her crew, but tougher on herself, and when things got down and dirty, she didn't mind getting downer and dirtier. Anything to look out for her crew, and her ship.

2. It's the Brady Bunch of Star Trek's.
This is something that I'm going to touch on later, but Voyager did things differently. Melding the Maquis and the Starfleet crews together was such a stroke of genius that it certainly did merit it's own series. Think about it. To force these two crews together, who are so diametrically opposed in every way makes for undeniable drama. This made the series about the people. And it lasted. The fact that the crew was about 1/3 Maquis, and 2/3s Starfleet had implications from the first episode to the last. How could Captain Janeway make sure that the Maquis followed the Prime Directive, how could both crews mix and work together fluidly, while having such different work ethics? These are questions that were both asked and answered on the show. And of course, this brought about the most awesome merger that I have yet to witness in a Star Trek show; Tom Paris and B'elanna Torres. I mean, c'mon, they're like the Sam and Diane of Star Trek.

3. There were no Klingons, Vulcans, Ferengis, etc.
Now, a lot of people thought this was a bad thing. Take Star Trek out of the Alpha Quadrant and thereby, out of the Star Trek universe? Preposterous! But by this time, the ol' AQ had been done to death. There was no shortage of episodes about tribbles, or Klingon wars, or vacation trips to Rygel 7 (That's a real place, look it up). You're dealing with another whole universe, where you can create whatever you want. New technologies, new species, new everything is available for interaction. And the best part is; you're still putting them up against a very old school captain, and a Starfleet crew. This takes a very stale idea, and makes it totally fresh. It's almost if you're starting the whole franchise all over.

4. No Starfleet.
Now, this goes to number three, but this is a biggie. Without Starfleet there Captain J was forced to stand in for all the admirals, other captains, committees, and bureaucracy that usually makes up the UFOP. This was a stroke of genius because there are basically no rules. There is no Prime Directive, if Janeway doesn't want it to be, and this changes the dynamic of the mission. Also, it pushed the limits of what a Starfleet vessel could do. You're working with limited resources, limited replacement supplies, and limited time. It calls on ingenuity, and quick thinking. It also lets you be more free with alien technologies, and incorporating technologies into Voyager. Who would have known that the slipstream technology (that got Voyager home), could have been so seamlessly integrated into Starfleet systems? This never would have happened in the Alpha Quadrant because there was no use for it. Warp drive, would have been warp drive, would have been warp drive. And who knows how long it would have taken for the bigwigs at Starfleet to see the use in it.

5. It was a veritable, um, what's the opposite of Sausage Fest?
Besides Captain Janeway, there where huge amounts of strong female characters on the show. I think, for me anyway, that the woman were definitely brought to the foreground in this series. They were strong, smart, and just as likely to have the answer as the men. Thinking of the women from previous series, they each had a role to play, and they were each vital to the crew, but you didn't get the idea that the ship would fall apart without them. The Enterprise would have made it just fine without Uhura, but Scotty? And Kira was strong, but was she was vital as Odo? B'elanna, Kes, Seven, and Captain Janeway were just as vital as the guys (well, maybe not Kes), but they certainly seemed just as vital to the storylines as the men. And certainly had more episodes focused squarely on them (at least, it seems to me).

So there you have it. A very objective analysis, I think. What do you think? What series do you like best and why? There are tons of varying opinions on this, but I want to hear yours. Do you think that this might convince you to give Voyager a try? It really is a splendid series, and I suggest that you catch a few episodes when they come on SpikeTV.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Absence of Evidence is not the Evidence of Absence

"How did you know that it was I, approaching you?"

"You're like a black hole. A darkness that no light escapes. Nothingness. I felt nothing, I knew nothing was there..... and I knew it was you."

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket