Category Archives: television

Stardate: 92161.36

An answer to the disproportionate war being waged by Israel against Hamas exists in Star Trek.

Specifically in the 47 -year-old episode called, “A Taste of Armageddon.”

The starship Enterprise carries a diplomat on a mission to a couple of planets, Eminar VII and Vendikar. The entire crew of the ship stumbles into a kill zone near the planets and is declared dead by a computer that carries on a war-simulation program. Everyone on the Enterprise is told that they must begin to enter a “termination booth” that will promptly vaporize them.

This computer-generated war has been waged for over 500 years. Machines indiscriminately select citizens from the two planets, and the rules of war mandate that they must enter the termination booth and die.

Buildings still stand, infrastructure remains intact, blood and body parts don’t litter the ground. If anyone tries to stop the demands of the computer program, real war must start up again.

The computers end up being destroyed at the end of “A Taste of Armageddon,” and the two warring planets decide to negotiate a peace instead of deal with a truly bloody, messy war.

Today the United Nations Human Rights Council believes that Israel’s response to Hamas weaponry should be more proportional. This old Star Trek episode provides a good model for a more proportionate mideast war. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, could even program computers to kill an equal number of people on each side of the war.

This civilized form of warfare is only fair. Navi, switch on your TV, Star Trek holds a sensible answer to your complaint. Or else it opens up a whole new world of absurd. Take your pick.

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The New Cosmos Quandary

I’m hooked on science shows, especially the ones that deal with the creation of the universe. Science fiction is always on my reading list. Yet the new Cosmos television series sticks in my craw.

The cosmic calendar that Neil deGrasse Tyson so dramatically explores for us is riveting. After the Big Bang, human beings appeared on the scene on the last day of the year. Modern man only happened upon the planet during the last 14 seconds. We are so late to arrive to this Big Bang party.

Then Neil begins to state that humankind wields the power to alter the climate of the planet it lives on and that this is important. The machines we build, the power we use, will destroy the planet unless we change our ways.

But Neil, think of what your show brings to light. Even if humankind is the sole force of climate change, does it really matter if humans change their ways or not? Worse case scenario, most forms of life on the planet die. Did you not show us innumerable other planets in the universe with infinite possibilities of lifeforms on them? So earth loses most of its living creatures, aside from cockroaches perhaps, why is this such a monumental loss to the universe? You just brought us into focus with infinity, so who cares about the last 14 seconds?

Mankind built a now crumbling Stonehenge over five thousand years ago (or seconds ago depending on how you view it). The Great Wall of China got its start nearly 25 hundred years ago and has never been fully intact. Both castles and nuclear reactors will succumb to a heap of dust. In the grand scheme of the cosmos, everything we do is so insignificant and fragile. The earth will move on with us or without us, unless we are successful in blowing it up. Then the universe, considering its vastness, may not miss one measly planet.

In the scope of the new Cosmos series, why is climate change such a big deal? To me, that came out of left field.  The series dwells on the insignificance of mankind as it relates to the universe.

The very premise of the Cosmos series negates the consequence of a climate change focal point. Unless . . .  is there a god on our side tipping the balance? Nah, that can’t be it.

What motivates the creators?

 

 

 

 

 

Writing Challenge: Silly Miley

Miley’s performance at the Video Music Awards did cross the line; it crossed the line into absolute boredom.

I saw nothing sexually interesting nor shocking with her performance. It warranted no censure, no viewership. Miley Cyrus and the media are pushing this silly performance as something of importance when it is bland. Sexy dancing is nothing new; I don’t think Miley makes the cut.

I like Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines song and video. The video is sexy and a little facetious which makes it interesting. The video does not take itself too seriously and seems to draw the viewers in on the joke. It’s a pop song just meant to entertain us this summer.

Miley looked like a 12-year-old girl in that ill-fitting, beige bikini. Her tongue reminded me of a lizard searching out a tasty bug. The foam finger suggested she take herself off the stage. Her dance moves looked foolish and poorly done.

I guess some men prefer 12-year-old girls. Yet I wonder how many men actually found her titillating on the VMA?

She wants to shake her innocent, Disney image and become a grown-up artist. Yet the only talent she tries for is to shock. Even in that, she didn’t succeed. Yawn . . .

Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind the Gap

Dead or Alive: Cigars and Animation

According to my grandmother, live television programming was the only way to go. Watching something prerecorded was like being cheated, just not fair.

So when the Flintstones aired in September 1960, she believed a great evil was let loose on the world. It doesn’t get any more not live than animation and on prime time at that.

I thought her point of view was unique when it came to TV watching protocol. Until I found out that my husband’s grandfather held this same viewpoint.

Edie Adams was an attractive singer and actress many years ago. She also appeared in the sexy commercials for Muriel Cigars with her catch phrase of, “Why don’t you pick one up and smoke it sometimes?” Muriel Cigars, a quality cigar for only 10 cents each! (This was a long time ago.)

Edie Adams Muriel Ad

Edie Adams in a Muriel Cigar ad

Anyway, Edie married the comedian Ernie Kovacs back in the 1950s, and he died in a car crash in 1962. Well grandpa was watching TV and Edie Adams came on and started singing and dancing. He shouted out, “That’s not real, she wouldn’t be singing and dancing right after her husband died, this is prerecorded garbage.”

Grandma and grandpa were born in the 19th century and lived more time on earth without television than with it. Now, even the “live” stuff may have a few seconds of delay before airing just in case something needs to be beeped out or covered up. I don’t even want to think about what they would have said about the ease at which computers can manipulate images today.

My life is prerecorded, distorted, overloaded. How do I change this channel?