You know, if J.K. manages to burn through that $800 million, I would totally read another heptalogy covering the same events, except in an alternate universe where it was Neville who Voldemort went for. Although if she did that, I suppose it would invalidate my "Neville Would Have Done It in Four Books" t-shirt—but I'd be okay with that.
(I'm sure it's been done in fanfic, but that's just not the same somehow.)
When I was in prison I got confused and mistakenly thought I was joining a Cat Power gang.
I just moved Sasha to the new place. We tried doing this last weekend, but she was rather unwilling to get in the carrier, and she's really good at splaying her back legs so she won't fit through the opening and then wriggling free and hiding under the couch for the rest of the evening. This time, after I managed to pick her up (this took patience, as she had realized that Something Was Wrong and was hiding under the bed) we wrapped her in a towel, and that worked pretty well. She was fairly unhappy throughout the car ride. Alas, I forgot to bring a Cat Power CD for her to listen to on the way, but it turns out she likes The Beautiful South too.
She's actually doing very well now that she's here. She's exploring, rather than simply finding the smallest space she can possibly fit into and hiding in it all weekend, which is what I was worried about. I'm sure she recognized my bed and the Poäng and stuff, so that probably helped reassure her. Also, the place smells like me and I'm playing Cat Power for her, so I'm sure that all helps.
Thoughts on watching the first and last episodes of TNG in a row:
"Encounter at Farpoint", which I shall hereafter be abbreviating as E@F because I am a nerd, don't judge me, is a pretty good story told really badly. (Not quite Babylon 5 levels of a good story told really badly, on either the goodness of the story or the badness of the telling, but still.) By first season standards it wasn't that bad, but gods, it was like the writers who were working on it said, "Okay guys, let's pick two characters for the audience to hate forever. How about... the empath and the kid? Okay, perfect."
It's hard to say why Deanna and Wesley sucked so bad for so long. I mean, both actors went on to prove weren't completely incapable of carrying a goodepisode, so was it really just the writing?
Data, in E@F, said something along the lines of "Perhaps I should stop commenting on my surroundings." But Riker told him not to stop, so he didn't. For the next seven years. Speaking of Data, why is neither the word "snoop" nor the phrase "burn the midnight oil" in his vocabulary? Why would you create a robot and not give him a dictionary? He's been alive for 26 years as of the pilot episode, how did he manage to avoid "snoop" in all that time? Don't they have The Wire in the future? Incidentally, I just looked up Data's age at the time of E@F in about as much time as it takes him to cock his head and look quizzical while he checks his databanks. We Will Not Use Indexing In The Future.
It's been said before, but—did they really have to have the French captain surrender unconditionally fifteen minutes into his tenure?
Why do the Q follow them at warp? They're the Q. They do not need to accelerate fast. They're the Q. Also, the timing of that whole sequence is about a mile off—one second, the Q are right behind them, then they're a few minutes away, then they show up thirty seconds later. I have some sympathy for writers who can't get a group to do a reading of the script to get the timing right, but by the time you're shooting it, you should probably find some friends and figure that part out.
It is completely, utterly impossible to manually dock two gigantic pieces of spaceship, with a tolerance of a few meters at most, in the gravity well of a planet no less. And if it were possible, it would require more than four instructions to the helmsman. Seriously, they are, in order: "set speed to 1/2 meter per second" (which clearly doesn't happen, incidentally), "adjust pitch angle three degrees," "all stop, we'll let inertia take us from here," and "engage locking mechanism." Also, why is Picard testing his first officer with a completely pointless maneuver that could cripple both halves of the ship when they're in a life-or-death struggle with an omnipotent being on behalf of the entire species? It's actually one of the few out-of-character moments in the pilot, which is pretty impressive when you think about it.
Oh, and while I'm nitpicking, YOU GUYS THEY TOTALLY BEAM THROUGH THE SHIELDS (repeatedly). Speaking of which, why do the Space Jellyfish beam them back to the Enterprise bridge, along with the asshole who captured its mate no less? Was there some serious behind the scenes diplomacy we never saw, or is the Space Jellyfish—who was torturing the asshole in question until Riker interfered and who just murdered a bunch of civilians with an indiscriminate orbital bombardment—really just a big ol' softy? My best theory: It was trying to beam them out into space and just missed?
It should be noted that, on the whole, the effects were pretty good for 1987 (!), mostly because they used models. If it had come out a few years later, they probably would have tried to do CGI everything (like the aforementioned Babylon 5) and that just would have been awful (like the aforementioned Babylon 5). There was a few painfully bad bits, but honestly I've seen worse in the past decade. The Space Jellyfish, for example, were actually fairly convincing.
If that's the alpha, how did the omega compare? "All Good Things..." is a decent story, and it's definitely told better. It's not as good as TNG could be—I remember when it first aired my reaction was an underwhelmed "that's it?"—but it's a genuinely good episode. To the point where it's not as fun to critique, but that's not going to stop me.
How did the whole Worf/Troi thing work, anyway? I mean, by all accounts, Klingon sex is a pretty dangerous sport. I figure either Troi was kinky by half-Betazoid standards, meaning she liked it rough, or Worf was kinky by Klingon standards, meaning he liked it vanilla. Given that Troi never showed up for work with a dislocated shoulder, a broken tibia, and bruises over half her body, I've got to assume that it wasn't the former. So the question is, which sex partner was Worf ignoring his own sexual needs for, Deanna or Jadzia?
I like it when old!Picard shouts. I like it even better when old!Picard shouts and old!Bev totally just sneaks up on him with a hypospray. When you think about it, it's actually assault, but it's okay, because she's a doctor... although she's not his doctor. Though she did play doctor with him, if you know what I mean! (I mean they had sex.)
Oh, speaking of which, it's so obvious in E@F that Jean-Luc and Bev totally got it on in the past. During the bit when Wesley comes on the bridge and Picard looks at Crusher and says "This is... your son?" I was totally waiting for the wistful piano music. Okay, I went back to talking about the pilot there instead of the finale. Seriously, though, watch that scene again, and then the scene where Jean-Luc goes down to Sickbay for no reason to talk to Bev. You could cut that awkward with a knife. It's not "I delivered your husband's body" awkward, it's "I had an affair with you, probably fathered your son, got your husband killed, and then I delivered your husband's body" awkward. (I know the affair theory is explicitly denied in "Attached", but it's always possible that some time in between the two episodes they went through one too many subspace anomalies and forgot it ever happened.)
Anyway, back to the finale. Seriously, when the future Enterprise rolls in and totally just blows the crap out of the Klingons with that gigantic retrofitted phaser cannon, it is actually the best thing ever to happen in history. All that stuff I said about the 1960s? I take it back. That moment. Pinnacle of human achievement. I should point out I'm pretty sleep deprived by this point in the blog entry.
Worf and Geordi are the only character who look 25 years older. Bev's and Picard's makeup is nice and subtle, but they only added ten years tops. (Although this is The Future, where, as E@F points out, doctors can live to 137, so maybe 70 and 80 year olds look like 50 and 60 year olds.) Riker just looks like a straight up dumbass.
There is an error in the script! Data says that the three inverse tachyon beams—and by the way, this episode is about 40% treknobabble, compared to almost none in the pilot—were all produced by the exact same ship in three different time periods, but they weren't. The future one was created by the Pasteur, not the Enterprise. Oh, BURN! How does THAT feel, Data?
So it's stated that Q is helping Picard by having him come unstuck in time (poo-tee-weet?). But the anomaly could never have been created if Picard weren't shifting in time. So... helping?
As a result of this episode, it is now a canonical fact in the Star Trek universe that all terrestrial life began in France.
I love that they brought back the horrible old uniforms for the past timeline. But they didn't bring back Deanna's terrible, terrible hairstyle. I'm guessing they showed her a still from E@F and said "Okay, Marina, here's the hairstyle we need to give you" and she said "uh, no." So they gave her a spangly headband instead, to give it that 1987 feel.
If the anomaly doubles in size every seven years, then if my (sleep-deprived) math is correct, after three and a half billion years it should be... what's two hundred million kilometers times two to the five hundred millionth power? Is it a lot?
When you think about this episode, it stops making any sense, then starts making sense, then stops again. Specifically, it stops making sense because the three timelines are all independent of each other, so how the hell does that work? It starts again when you consider that Star Trek has a canonical multiverse, in which any possibility is explored in its own branching timeline—the usual fictional interpretation of the many-worlds interpretation. If the anomaly is moving backwards in time, and if it somehow affects all possible universes, then it would make sense that the anomaly would affect all universes in which humanity evolved. (The fact that it would affect the evolution of, say, everything else including the Q is another minor detail that never gets addressed.) But if it's just a matter of any three ships in different time periods, anywhere in the multiverse, aiming an inverse tachyon beam at the same spot, surely it would be happening all the damn time? Or is it possible that the events of this episode never happened, but were just a hallucination brought on by Q, as in "Tapestry"? OR IS IT POSSIBLE that the events of this episode never happened, but were actually a hallucination brought on by early-onset Irumodic Syndrome? But hang on, there are plenty of other episodes that could also be explained by Picard having hallucinations... in fact, the whole series could be one giant Picard hallucination! The USS Enterprise is actually St. Elsewhere!
My Dad's going to post in the comments telling me I should get out more. He will not be wrong.
Of course, we got all that stuff from the Roswell aliens.
What was the most technologically innovative decade in human history? The 1990s and 2000s seem like obvious choices; the former gave us the World Wide Web and the ubiquity of the PC, while the latter gave us the ubiquity of the cell phone and broadband as well as the smartphone. But all of those developments were essentially evolutionary, and they were all focused in one sector while other industries generally languished. I'm being horribly unfair, of course, and ignoring a few small achievements like mapping the freaking human genome, but still, kind of a technological gilded age.
Personally, I'd vote for the 1960s. I mean, space is the obvious one—extraplanetary probes! Commercial satellites! People in space! People on the goddamned moon! But plenty happened on the ground, too. In computing, you have the birth of hacker culture, the Internet, and even video games, as computers began to transition from room-sized temples into something small and (relatively) cheap enough to play around with. And that's not even mentioning The Mother of All Demos, which was... I don't even know how to talk about that. Just read about it, it's insane. It was a revolutionary decade in the automotive world as it rewrote our concept of "what a car looks like"—plenty of cars from the 1960s look more like a car from the 2000s than one from the 1950s. It birthed the iconic supercar, the iconic muscle car, the iconic sports car, and saw, if not the birth, then certainly the rise, of the iconic city car. It arguably invented modern fashion, and let's not even get started on the music, though I guess I'm straying from the technology thing here. Oh! I almost forgot the Pill! There's plenty more too, of course. And just to be clear that I'm not biased, let me just say that I kind of hate the 60s because I'm sick of fighting a fifty year old culture war all the damn time and I wish the Boomers would just get out of politics already. So this is hard for me to say: their decade beat our decade.
I could be wrong. I'm happy to hear any other nominations for most innovative decade in history. Bonus points to anyone who successfully defends a decade before 1890!