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Review: Star Trek Discovery

As you can see from my other posts, I naturally commentate on political proceedings but I like other forms of writing as I grow tiresome of the ebb and flow of the ‘what will happen next’ current affairs. I want to do a more lighthearted piece. So I thought about what I spend most of my time doing, watching TV! I gave the new Star Trek on Netflix a watch after being hesitant at first. Part of me felt like they’d ruin it but the better half of me wanted to be immersed in the Star Trek universe once more.

Well I was aggravated but not surprised at what was going to be obvious. Star Trek: TOS pushed boundaries for it’s time mainly down to racial recognition, having one of the first regular stars in a TV show to be Black and one of the first interracial kisses (Kirk and Uhura) on TV (preceded by the kiss on none other than my grandmother’s brainchild Crossroads). Which is all well and good but you could tell they were really going to force the issue in this series. The main character, Michael Burnham is a black female as lead (shocker…!) and then the over representation of minorities goes over board. Her Captain Georgiou is an Asian female, the ships doctor and chief engineer are gay together and the former is also a black male, as the story progresses Michael’s love interest is an arabic male. I could go on but I won’t, I understand that we live in a world where these things happen, but not on this scale and all in such close proximity. I’m a stickler for authenticity and realism in shows and this hums of pandering to liberal attitudes to shows that don’t include minorities. I think it’s quite insulting to the viewer to assume that most of the crew on board a secret ship are to be mostly made up of minorities especially in the chain of command. It feels so forced that it’s unwatchable in certain episodes. The gay kiss served no purpose other than to say they put it in there, as they then (spoiler alert) kill off the doctor. Same with the party scene where they’re stuck in a time loop, they inserted random lesbians making out into the scene. It’s so in your face and the thing is you can almost bet that before this thing went to the editing suite, there was more random footage they cut.

Anyway, once you get passed the overt LGB & BME poster boys and girls, the storyline isn’t all that bad. Discovery is a secret scientific vessel that has warp capabilities like no other. Although when you come to think about it, they did try and introduce transwarp in Star Trek III : Search for Spock, but Scotty disabled it and they left the idea alone. Which makes me think that the spore drive idea will be dumped soon too. Otherwise we will wind up in an alternate timeline away from the TOS timeline, which wouldn’t make sense because they’ve already made links to it. For example (spoiler alert) Michael being Spock’s adopted sister. Which is unlikely but still plausible because he didn’t let anyone know about his crazy brother Sybok in Star Trek V : The Final Frontier.

The continuation from TOS in the sense that they’ve included the mirror universe with the Terran Empire, is one of the key plots that saves this series as it’s hardwired in all Star Trek fans, we all 1) like the idea of the multi layered space/time continuum and 2) love the science behind it all. The mycelial (?) network is a stroke of genius as it creates that never ending feeling of the vast openness of space and/or the universe(s). That is the binding of the Star Trek family, to look up at the stars and have the yearning for exploration. There’s still a pit in my stomach creating the feeling that this could become Voyager though, mainly because Discovery is missing from standard Star Trek history books, indicating that they will get derailed from the network and be stranded in an alien galaxy or gamma quadrant without the spore drive yadda yadda yadda you get the idea.

Moving on, (spoiler alert) great spin on the Lorca character turning out to be from the Terran Empire all along, yet again not surprising that the baddie turned out to be British and white (historically most American blockbusters have a British guy as the baddie, almost like they cling to the idea they have to relive beating the British colonial past over and over). From Die Hard (Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber) to Marvel Avengers (Tom Hiddlestone as Loki) there’s always a white british guy being bad!

Going forward, there needs to be more fighting with the Klingons, as that is the main reason they picked this era. I’m not sure they have it in their budget to have another battle like the Binary Stars but it’d be good to see. Yet again I think they should kill off the other gay character as he is really annoying and condescending, you can tell he isn’t a fan favourite. Although the show’s new target audience might lap up his ‘gay sassyness’ which is really grating and yet again forced. I feel slightly let down as this was made by some of the same guys from Lost and have been involved with J J Abrahms in the past, which makes sense as he had control over the movie reboot. I just thought they’d pay more homage to the existing universe and try at least to keep the existing fans on side.

The one thing I did want to bring up was the ‘new look’ Klingons, which we got a glimpse of in Edge of Darkness. They have carried on with this but you wonder where the natural progression of the species comes into it. I know it’s 100 years before Worf but how can they justify such an alteration to their genetic make up? I understand it’s probably to save time in make up and easier on the actors but for continuity purposes it bugs me. But that’s just me! Overall i’d give it a generous 7/10. Some of the acting props up my argument of them filling a quota rather than going for better actors. It didn’t blow me away like the movie reboot but it’s nice that it’s in a series format, as I feel you get more out of it. However, it does have more of a movie feel to it, almost like they shot a 10 hour movie and spliced it into sections. Whereas in TNG or TOS, they went on a different mission every episode (apart from 2 part end of season finales obviously!), i’m sure it will calm down in the next few episodes, i’m up to date as of this post (episode 10 I think). I will probably turn out to be wrong, as I think they’re slowly distancing themselves from the real trekkies and going for the new ‘all inclusive’ audience, which makes me want to dry heave.

If you’re into sci-fi then give it a watch, if not then i’d avoid it like the plague as without the love of sci-fi it’s probably unbearable to watch.

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The Proverbial Echo Chamber

I’ve been studying and watching for a long time now. Rather than express my views and argue the point with reason and logic. Over time you begin to realise you don’t make a difference. You also realise you can’t cure stupid with words. Part of me wants to give up writing as I fear words don’t carry the meaning they used too and I feel this is a direct result of the ever changing definition of words. Who decided that the government are the ones who change definitions of words? How are they qualified to do so? If there’s one last great bastion of freedom for people like me, it’s our gorgeously crafted language. For me, words carry power. The art of debate and discussion is lost in these times of offence and safe spaces. The last time I properly put the them to good use, was in the lead up to the referendum when I fought with remain supporters. We won. Yet I have watched as the dialogue became a monologue, when the words fell silent from the winning side. It seems that all was won at the time to most leave voters who had fought against the barrage of insults and the risk of alienating friends and even family members. I have experienced this first hand on both sides, I have also done my fair share of culling in the Facebook friends list. In doing so though I have started to create an echo chamber. The problem I have is that from what i’ve seen since these times, is there is no changing the minds of these people. Losing wasn’t enough for them, whilst I admire their fighting spirit as it is synonymous with the British culture I hold dear, you have to know when to cut your loses and carry on. 

It’s one long drawn out saga that feels and sounds like a broken record. It’s like being in the ring with the guy who does the slow get up at the count of 10 and says he’s ready to fight again, even though the ref has bought an end to the fight, then he feels aggrieved at the outcome. I think a lot of it is denial, as the media portrayed it as a battle already won, purely because of their biased opinions which in turn created a skewed reality for the remain side in this. Cynicism gets the better of me here where I mention that if the media tells you something, usually you shouldn’t believe it. Especially when they’ve already picked a side. To be fair it’s what made the win so sweet, was that it was considered a foregone conclusion by all major media outlets. This brings me to the current state of affairs.

The narrative is yet again skewed as they concentrate solely on May and her government and their handling or lack of, in this case, of negotiations. Mainly because it was never argued or part of the discussion in the referendum. The referendum itself was about the issue and whether or not it should go ahead, not about the substance of the issue. To me, a leave voter, I knew exactly what I was voting for. What they term now as hard brexit. As I understand it, if any part of the union exists between us then you haven’t technically left. What the remain voters want is to stay attached to the apron strings by staying in the customs union and single market, which is akin to saying “i’m leaving home” then moving into the shed at the end of the garden. Also what surprises me, is that the EU have proved the point I made all along about how they are, yet remain stay silent. These same people see how Poland and Hungary are being treated and how the EU are basically using communist regime tactics to punish the states. Also the fearsome rhetoric that emanates from Brussels of EU armies and nuclear weapons. I have started to call them the fourth reich. Especially after some of the language used by Merkel when she announced that a coalition has been formed recently, talking about a fresh start for Europe, implying that Germany was Europe or that she was the leader of Europe in some respect. Such disgusting remarks from a woman who single handed has dragged this continent into disarray. Stirring up religious and cultural resentment across Europe is nothing to be proud of. Her thinly veiled attempt at replacement migration will take years to sort out and has even made her make some u-turns in her policies. Germany is no leading light in modern day Europe, it’s also no secret that the EU was created because of Germany and their thirst for lebensraum. Take a seat Angela. 

Instead now we look to new ‘leading’ figures to show us the light and a solution to this nightmare we face. Strangely it has dropped in the lap of Poland. Their stance in standing up to the migrant quotas, even in the face of sanctions and public tensions with the EU is refreshing. They have become the new poster boys/girls of anti-EU sentiments, having taken the mantle from this toothless attempt at freedom by our majority remain cabinet. Same can be said of Viktor Orban, the PM of Hungary. I truly wish we had more politicians like him over here. He took a stand against this forced ‘invasion’ by erecting fences all along the border of his country and is trying to bill the EU for them, legend. Even though i’m not religious, Eastern European nations are taking a stand for Christianity in all forms and ensuring that the moral and cultural teachings that all of our lives are based on are protected and I have great admiration for that. Why is everyone on the other side so hellbent on trying to rip up our cultural roots? Is it out of what they perceive as guilt? It has been mentioned that some feel guilt over what European nations have achieved over the years with our colonial heritage. Taking a dim view that we offered nothing and took everything for ourselves. Can you not see that it has benefited every nation that it has touched? Have you noticed that most have wilted since we relinquished power? The only thing we didn’t get right was trying to give them one of the cornerstones to our way of life, democracy. Democracy doesn’t work in unadvanced countries. Whether it be down to the uncivilised factions that live in these countries that try to stunt the growth of the nation or whether they lack the understanding of the concept. With democracy comes power. Power in the hands of those untrained can only do damage. I won’t go into detail as I actually plan on writing a book one day soon in regards to the Empire.

My only wish is for the leave side to rear it’s ugly head and wipe remain out. I’m sick to death of sitting idly by as remain swallow whatever the soup of the day is with the mainstream media and speak as if they’re in a position of authority on the matter, as there is clearly no leadership or voice for leave. I feel they have slightly lost their way and sick of fighting a war that’s already won. It’s sad that there was division sown by our own media, you can’t blame either side for that. I’m holding out hope that this single issue is seen through to the end and not rerouted by the losing side. I’m coming back to the fray after taking some time out as I care about the future of this country and I can only see another war coming. We have a duty to lead the way and give others hope. Others like Hungary and Poland, we need to prove that it’s possible to leave this autocratic union and live your life free from the shackles of directives and people telling you what to do. That’s basically all the EU is, it’s a bully. It’s been taking our lunch money all this time and said we can sit at their table at lunch but only on the very end of the table as there’s 27 others on the table and we can’t have a say on what’s for lunch. That’s enough lunch metaphors as it’s making me hungry. 

You’ll be hearing from me soon.