I just saw the movie. I think it's been oversold a bit. It was a "B" grade movie, but an A+ franchise rescue mission.
Reading this post, this comment thread and seeing the movie, I think one of the keys to ST's success is that almost no one has challenged it. No one has made much of an effort to create a character-driven utopian series. We're all doing dystopias of one type or another -- me included.
Interesting. There's a hole in the market that no one has filled.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 9.05.2009 @ 21:09
Yeah, it's going to be all downhill from the pinnacle that you of course embody.
ST isn't trying to predict the future. Like most science fiction it's playing with ideas. That's not usually a bad thing. In fact, our willingness to examine ideas in fiction of all types is evidence that we are not yet an idiocracy.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 9.05.2009 @ 09:02
Dude: Rick is not religious.
I suspect he's found a purpose without bringing God into it. I believe that purpose may be exasperating people on both the Right and the Left.
No - just the dumb ones.
ed.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 8.05.2009 @ 22:50
And, of course, no more war.
And yet the Enterprise was suspiciously well-armed.
Maybe this was evidence that in the future governments will still talk bullshit.
"We've outgrown the need for war. But we have not outgrown the need for peaceful photon torpedo technology."
Yeah, but they only blasted teh aliens. The ones that acted like commies. Also, all the later series had captains that prided themselves on their diplomatic skills rather than warlord qualities.
ed.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 8.05.2009 @ 19:28
Never underestimate the central importance of story telling when doing analysis. Sometimes things are the way they are not for philosophical reasons, but because it works for the story telling.
Writing is subtraction as much as addition. If you try to depict every aspect of the story you end up with a mess. So you make choices to set aside one thing and emphasize another.
My guess is that Rodenberry was less interested in socialism and more interested in keeping his stories focused on the action and the usually simplistic moral point: racism bad, body stealing bad.
Later, like most of us, he no doubt tried to rationalize what were initially craft-related decisions as grand, visionary statements. I think it tends to be, 1) Story telling first and 2) Bullshit later.
You may have something there. The original series gave an inconsistent portrait of Federation Society. But there were references to the elimination of hunger and poverty as well as an episode where we learned there were only a very small number of criminals left. And, of course, no more war.
Obviously, as several commenters have made mention, those dilithium miners were selling the stuff to someone and getting well paid for it. But remember, NextGen takes place 70 years beyond the original series. And more of an effort was made in that series and Voyager to portray Federation society as something close to a Utopia.
Lots of people say they like the "hope" that Star Trek offers for a better world. Well, I know you are a well read man so I know that you realize full well that anyone who thinks Utopia is possible should be immediately locked up as a threat to human liberty.
ed.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 8.05.2009 @ 15:45
No, I have my history pretty straight. Yes, the Democrats were the party of race-baiting until they bequeathed that job to the GOP, which took it over enthusiastically.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 8.05.2009 @ 12:09
Yeah, it would be cuh-ray-zee to suspect the Party of the South (formerly the GOP,) the party that (for a while) achieved majority by overt and later covert race-baiting, the party that still contains within its ranks virtually every person who answers in the negative when asked, "would you vote for a black man," the all-white, all-anglo, all-straight party of having, shall we say, obscured motives.
Did conservatives call for states rights when we were talking about medical marijuana? No? Not so much? How about assisted suicide? How about in Bush v. Gore? Terri Schiavo? Have conservatives not called repeatedly for national laws to outlaw all abortions? Have they not pushed legislation to ban gay marriage, regardless of state's rights?
You're as big a bunch of hypocrites on this as you are on balanced budgets. You believe in state's rights when it gets you what you want, and set it aside when it gets in your way. The same old, same old.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 8.05.2009 @ 02:57
Let me tell you about Obama's supposed screw-ups: he's at about 70% in the polls. So if he's screwing up, he's doing it in a way the American people like.
I recently moved from North Carolina to California. (By way of Tuscany.) I have health insurance in NC, but when I went to CA I was rejected. Why? Pre-existing conditions. I'm in reasonably good health -- for a middle-aged guy. Rejected anyway, my property, everything I have, suddenly in jeopardy.
Name a single developed country where I'd ever have to go without health insurance. There's only one: the USA.
Fortunately I make a nice living. So I hired a guy, and the guy seems to have worked it all out. But most people can't afford to "hire a guy." Most people can't just throw money at the problem.
But this experience has pushed me from "the health insurance companies are criminal enterprises but I guess we should keep them in business," to, "the health insurance companies are criminal enterprises and I hope Obama doesn't compromise but puts these assholes out of business."
Give me a choice between the health care the French have and what we get? Not even close. No Frenchman is ever bankrupted by health expenses. Ever.
There's a lot wrong with this country. Our medical insurance system is a disgrace, our infrastructure is an embarrassment, our primary educational system is a 19th century relic, people working 40 hours a week can't feed themselves while incompetent CEO's vote themselves million dollar bonuses.
I am willing to pay more to have those problems addressed. I'm in the top tax rate, and I am WILLING to pay to fix this. I am not alone in this. An awful lot of us who are doing well are willing to pay.
Now, I'd prefer to have not let things get to this desperate pass, but we've had a country run by Republicans for most of my adult life, and Republicans, as we know, love tax cuts for rich people above all other things. So our roads, airports, ports, internet infrastructure, electrical grid, primary educational system and health care system are a disgrace. So now we end up paying more to fix problems Republicans pretended didn't exist because they didn't exist for rich people.
You know, I actually hope you guys find a way forward. But the way forward for the GOP or conservatives is not through amnesia. You are not going to get away with pretending the last 8 years under 43, and the 4 years under 41, and the Reagan years, didn't happen.
George W. Bush is yours, you own him, and you own the results of your disastrous, magical thinking policies. And now thanks to the GOP, and thanks to conservatives, we have a mile high pile of crap to shovel. It would be nice to have your help, but since you seem permanently stuck on useless, I guess we're going to have to fix your mess ourselves.
And let me tell you something: you are right to be scared. Because if we succeed -- and I think we will, at least Wall Street seems to think we will -- it will spell the end of your deluded, fantasy ideology. Unfortunately, all that is good and useful and necessary in genuine conservatism may be swept away at the same time.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 6.05.2009 @ 20:43
I believe any reasonably informed individual could easily correct Sullivan by pointing out that the $11 trillion in debt (best case scenario) - the “long term debt” that Andrew is “uneasy” about but that he blames on Bush - is a direct result of the president’s budget proposals for which he, and he alone, is responsible.
Sad stuff. Bush runs the country for 8 years, hands a massive economic crisis off to Obama, then when Obama does what every non-Fox economist says he has to do to rescue the country, it's all Obama's fault. 100%. And Bush deserves 0%.
Drivel. And worse than drivel, Rick, it's precisely the kind of irrational, my-side-must-be-right and the other-side-must-be-evil magical thinking you're attacking in this piece.
The notion that Bush is not to blame for the steaming pile of horse product he dumped on Obama is a perfect example of crazy fringe thinking. Nice try, but the country ain't buying.
The long term debt will be a direct result of trillions of dollars spent not having anything to do with fixing the economy but with advancing liberal policy objectives.
And btw - thousands of economists - about 2000 to be exact - disagree that Obama's pumping trillions of dollars into the economy is the prescription for recovery. Sorry, but that's partisan poppycock - talking points straight from the White House.
You disappoint me to be so slavishly devoted to a politician that you can't admit when he's fucking up.
ed.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 6.05.2009 @ 11:03
That is simply not true. I'm a pro-choice Democrat, but I'm willing to outlaw almost all 3d trimester abortion. And I'd like to minimize unwanted pregnancies, which would cut the number of abortions.
You want it handled at the state level? Really? You want gay marriage, assisted suicide and marijuana legalization decided the same way? Maybe we'd have a compromise there.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 6.05.2009 @ 21:34
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