Friday, 24 April 2015


Words written c26000
Stories completed 2
Rejections 35
Acceptances 1

Watched the Star Trek episode Miri last night.  It's the one in which the Enterprise stumbles across a doppelganger of Earth (with no explanation or investigation as to why apart from a throwaway "But there you are" - genius) on which children age slowly but die shortly after reaching puberty.  What would Freud say?

Amongst the jaw-dropping events that would have Matt intoning 'Different times!' were James Tiberius:
  1. repeatedly punching a man who promptly died, and absolutely no suggestion of any kind of investigation or review or even causal link is suggested; and
  2. going doe-eyed over a child and adopting behaviour best described as grooming.  That he had the decency to do it to her face, and it was a girl were small saving graces.  Oh, and the bloke who died wasn't black, which would have given him some crassly weird full house. 
But, most alien of all, the plot relied on all members of the landing party leaving their communicators behind to be taken by the gang of artful dodgers.  Putting aside that they're quasi-military and would probably have protocols covering such an eventuality, the very idea in 2015 that an entire project team could just walk away from their phones is baffling.

But, to the makers of Star Trek the communicator was just another tool.  When I'm doing DIY I'm constantly wondering where I left that hammer, spanner, screwdriver...  That's all they saw the communicator being.

I was taken by the idea on the radio documentary about 2001 referred to in my last post that Kubrick was well aware of the coming miniaturisation of technology but felt that a room full of HAL9000 would be more dramatic.  So, maybe the Star Trek writers knew it would never happen, but needed it to to move the plot on.

More likely, they never even contemplated our addiction to information.  Because that's exactly what it is.  When I grew up post fell through our front door six mornings a week.  The phone rang occasionally.  And you spoke to people you met.

But now, I check my phone many times a day, it plans my day, sends me work, educates, informs and entertains.  And, yes, I do sometimes forget where I've put it, but take it away for any length of time and I'll show all the symptoms of a crack addict without his fix.  It's an addiction.  And one that's crept up on us where the addicted barely acknowledge that's the case.

But, maybe, if Spock and Bones had been playing Angry Birds they wouldn't have found the antidote and saved everybody.  Like I say, sometimes you just need something unbelievable to move the plot on.

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