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Omarosa, take 3

with 24 comments

This is the third time she has been mentioned in the blog.

In 2004 I wrote: “If you recall The Apprentice, one of Omarosa’s great failings is that she was often more interested in eating a leisurely meal than working.”

In December, 2017 I wrote: “I vaguely remember watching the first season of the Apprentice. Omarosa was the woman who everyone else hated, and she was fired midway through the season because of her poor ability to get along with her team members.”

Now, of course, we know that her back-stabbing book is coming out next week. Is anyone surprised that she would backstab the man who made her famous in the first place?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 10, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Books, Television

Black Buffy

with 25 comments

https://www.tor.com/2018/08/01/six-big-questions-about-the-buffy-the-vampire-slayer-revival/

Everything that was once white is being blackwashed.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 4, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Television

Star Trek TOS: Where No Man Has Gone Before, part 2

with 7 comments

Read part 1 of the review.

Sorry, but this is just a poorly organized mish-mosh of thoughts.

* * *

Gary Mitchell is the ladies’ man of the Enterprise. When Dr. Dehner first shows up, Mitchell tries to flirt, but she rebuffs him with a disparaging remark. Mitchell then tells his shipmate that she’s a “walking freezer unit” loud enough so she can hear him! Feminist-leaning modern viewers have called this “sexual harassment” aboard the Enterprise. The best thing about old TV shows is the political incorrectness.

But then, as Mitchell becomes more powerful and even godlike as a result of gaining super “ESP” powers, Dehner’s attitude completely changes. First she champions him at the ship meeting about what to do about Gary, and then she wants to stay on the planet with him. This is a case of Mitchell becoming more alpha, and even the feminist professional woman who disdains his hound-dog behavior changes her attitude towards him as he becomes a super-alpha.

* * *

The blonde Yeoman Smith who’s on the bridge is the cutest Yeoman ever seen on Star Trek, way cuter than Yeoman Rand. Too bad she never made it past the pilot. But it’s not Captain Kirk who she’s into, nope, it’s our friend Gary Mitchell, who she holds hands with as the ship crosses the galactic barrier. That type of behavior was removed from the series after the pilot. Uhura (absent in the pilot) was sexy, but she kept it professional (except in the evil “Mirror” universe).

* * *

The “ESP” stuff is a very 60s thing. Today nobody takes ESP seriously anymore. Sure, there are lots of movies and TV shows about people with paranormal abilities (like the X-Men), but everyone understands that it’s fantasy and not something to be taken as a serious prediction of what the future will be like. But back in the 60s, ESP was more prominent in hard science fiction. It appeared in various Heinlein novels.

In this episode, Spock is able to look at everyone’s personnel records on his computer screen (which was actually pretty forward thinking), and each record includes an ESP rating. In the future as envisioned here, ESP is taken so seriously that everyone in Starfleet is tested and rated and it’s seen as a scientific fact that some humans have a certain amount of ESP.

Of course, as the series progresses, we encounter many aliens with paranormal abilities, including Spock who is able to read minds by doing a Vulcan mind meld.

* * *

The core assumption of this episode is that if one man obtains super powers, he inherently becomes dangerous to the entire human race, and must be cast out or killed. Thus as soon as Spock determines that Mitchell’s ESP powers are increasing “geometrically,” his immediate “logical” recommendation is that he must be killed as soon as possible, or left behind on a deserted planet, put preferably killed.

However, the setup here is that Mitchell is Kirk’s best friend, and Kirk doesn’t initially have it in him to kill him in cold blood, so he decides on the less lethal option to abandon him on a nearby planet that also, quite conveniently, has an automated mining station with everything they need to fix the warp engines.

And later on, after Mitchell has escaped from his prison cell down on the planet (why does an unpopulated automated mining station have a prison cell?), and the ship has been repaired, it would appear that Kirk has gotten what he wanted, Mitchell is alive on the planet (along with Dehner who now also has super ESP powers) and Kirk can leave him there. But now Kirk has changed his mind and decides that Mitchell must be killed, and that the way to kill him is not by using the ships phasers safely from orbit, but by Kirk going man-to-man against Mitchell who has godlike powers.

This is an example, that will be repeated in many future episodes, where Kirk goes irrational alpha-male, and needs personal and physical revenge against someone who wronged him. By all logic, Kirk should have been killed in the encounter, because Mitchell is now too godlike to be harmed by the cool-looking phaser rifle (which never appeared in any future Star Trek episode), but because of an unlikely and fortuitous turn of events, and a speech, Kirk is able to bury Mitchell alive, and Dehner conveniently dies on her own without Kirk having to do the dastardly deed of killing a woman.

* * *

It seems to me that Kirk isn’t the only one behaving irrational alpha-male in this episode. Mitchell supposedly has super-intelligence in addition to super ESP powers, he is able to read, and remember with perfect recall, a large portion of the ship’s library, but somehow he’s not smart enough to realize that he could much more effectively get what he wants (perhaps transport to a human-inhabited planet so he can take over the human race, or something like that) by pretending to be harmless and benevolent, but instead he shows off his super powers and says stuff like “SOON I’LL SQUASH YOU LIKE INSECTS.”

In episode after episode, Kirk is never able to humor hostile aliens when it appears, at least to me, to be the most prudent course of action. The message is that a true alpha-male, like Kirk, or Mitchell in this episode, is unable to even pretend to be a beta male, not even for a short time, not even when it would be highly advantageous to do so.

* * *

In the briefing room aboard the Enterpise, Dehner says “a mutated superior man could also be a wonderful thing. The forerunner of a new and better kind of human being,” and down on the planet she says “before long, we’ll be where it would have taken mankind millions of years of learning to reach.”

This reflects two themes that run throughout Star Trek.

The first, is that the inevitable future is for mankind to evolve into something superior to what we are today. But that is totally false. It’s not how evolution works. There is no force that causes humans to get better with each passing century. Humans got to where we are because the environment was such that what we consider to be better humans had more descendants and passed on more genes. That type of evolution is no longer happening. Today, it’s the worst of humanity who have the most descendants and pass on the most genes. The human race is devolving and not evolving.

The only way that mankind is going to become better in the future, or even stop its decline, is through artificial means like eugenics or genetic engineering. And that brings us to the second recurring theme of Star Trek, that shortcuts like that are evil and lead to monsters like Gary Mitchell, Charlie X, or Khan Noonien Singh.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 31, 2018 at EDT am

Posted in Nerdy stuff, Television

Star Trek TOS: Where No Man Has Gone Before, part 1

with 30 comments

I was thinking that I should watch more original-series Star Trek, and instead of randomly jumping around as I’ve done in the past, I figured I should just start from the beginning, although even the “beginning” isn’t so clear cut. I decided that the beginning is this episode, which was the third episode aired but is actually the pilot episode: the second pilot episode. The first pilot, lost for a long time but now available on Netflix, didn’t have William Shatner in it, and most of the footage was recycled into a two-part flashback episode that aired later in the first season.

I know that some readers are thinking “Star Trek isn’t important, why aren’t you writing about Trump?” There has been too much writing about Trump, and Star Trek is damn important because of the very strong impression it made on nerds of my generation (late Baby Boomer and early Generation X) because every day when I came home from school, what was on TV (on Chanel 11) was reruns Star Trek. (I’m not old enough to have watched this when it originally aired.)

It’s strange re-watching the Original Series. In my memory it is so awesome, but then I watch it and it’s so dated, the special effects are so bad, the acting is so bad, and it’s so full of plot holes. Even Kirk seems less awesome than I remember. At the same time, I also see a lot of philosophical details that I missed entirely when I was younger.

Even though this pilot got some stuff wrong (such as Spock being a cowboy-like gunslinger toting around a huge phaser rifle), it sets up a lot of the recurring themes for the rest of the series, such as:

  • Kirk beats Spock at “chess” because Spock is put off by his “illogical” moves (more on this later).
  • Logical Spock argues with an emotional doctor (in this episode the female psychiatrist Doctor Dehner because McCoy isn’t around yet), with Kirk being the referee who understands both the logical and emotional points of view.
  • Kirk is concerned about the safety of his ship.
  • But then Kirk’s actions seem more like he has a personal grudge against Gary Mitchell. Alpha males don’t like to be crossed, and overreaction to being crossed is what makes people afraid to cross them in the first place.
  • Kirk gives an overacted speech that saves the day. (Speeches never save the day in real life, but it happens all the time in Star Trek.)
  • Kirk gets into a fistfight, and during the fight his shirt gets mysteriously ripped. You would think that they’d have more advanced fabrics in the future that don’t get ripped so easily.

Let’s talk some more about this “tridimensional chess” that we see Spock and Kirk playing. For starters, it’s not a real game, it’s just a prop that was designed to look cooler, more futuristic, more advanced and harder to play, than regular chess. The chess theme is pretty dated. Chess was more popular in the 1960s than it is today, partially thanks to Bobby Fischer the American chess champion of the 1960s.

Today we know that computers can outplay even the best humans at chess. Even a chess program running on your iPhone can beat the best human grandmasters. And computers operate on pure logic, so it’s totally illogical that Kirk could beat the more computer-like brain of Spock through illogical moves. I suppose the intent was to show that pure logic isn’t enough to be a Starship Captain. But for playing chess, yes, pure logic is what you need. That computers can beat any human at chess has ruined the mysteries of the game and is partly responsible for its decline in popularity.

Gene Roddenberry liked to believe that people in the future would be “better” than they are today, so they are seen entertaining themselves by playing a game of chess (perceived as a game for smart people) that was even more advanced and difficult than regular chess. The reality, at least in the short term, is that people in the future would entertain themselves by watching reality TV shows and playing mindless videogames. Gene Roddenberry total got that wrong.

In Star Trek the Next Generation, the crew is often seen playing poker, and that’s a more likely game that will be played in the future than some funky version of chess.

This post is taking me longer to write than I thought it would, so I will continue tomorrow with a review of the actual plot of the episode.

* * *

Read part 2 of the review.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 30, 2018 at EDT am

Posted in Nerdy stuff, Television

CBS CEO Leslie Moonves taken down!

with 71 comments

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/leslie-moonves-accused-sexual-misconduct-ronan-farrow-expose-1130268

Another Hollywood scum pushing SJWism taken down by the monster he helped to create.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 27, 2018 at EDT pm

Mary Ann vs. Ginger

I mentioned this in a voice chat with two college-aged gamers, and they had no clue what I was talking about.

* * *

Back in the 1960s, a billionaire couple on vacation would take a sightseeing cruise with a prole farm girl and a middle-class college professor. That wouldn’t happen today, they would do something too expensive for regular people to participate in.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 27, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Television

Westworld season 2 finale

Eh. Big deal.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 24, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Television

Anthony Bourdain in Quebec

The fifth episode of the first season was the least political episode so far. The focus was almost entirely on the food, except for a three-minute history of why the Province of Quebec speaks French.

Quebec doesn’t seem like a very exotic place to go, but the catch is that Bourdain goes during the winter, a season when regular tourists stay far away.

Bourdain mostly hangs out with some Quebecois chefs. These guys are gourmet cooks, but they are also prole. They go ice fishing, trap beaver, play ice hockey, and they have prole body types. In other words, they are fat. And of course they are fat, they do eat mass quantities of fatty foods. The big mystery is how Anthony Bourdain stayed so lean.

This episode is not for those who are afraid of cholesterol. Or those afraid of unkosher food. If you need to know why you shouldn’t be a kosher Jew, you need to watch this episode. Just about everything has cheese or cream mixed with meat, and most of the meats are unkosher. Bourdain eats normal unkosher meats like shellfish and pork, of course, but much weirder things like horse and beaver. The beaver stew looked pretty interesting. The horse tartare: that doesn’t sound very appetizing, or very safe either. But Anthony Bourdain ate it!

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 16, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Television

Anthony Bourdain goes to Libya

This is the fourth episode of Parts Unknown, and it takes place shortly after the fall of Gaddafi.

I didn’t like this episode. It was too political, too much about Bourdain celebrating the end of Gaddafi and the alleged “freedom” that Libyans could now enjoy. Looking back six years, an honest appraisement of the situation is that the average Libyan was much better off under Gaddafi. There was free healthcare and education, no sectarian violence, hardly anyone went hungry. It was a functioning socialist country. Post-Gaddafi Libya has been a never-ending civil war with rising Islamic extremism. I say that Anthony Bourdain was dead wrong in his optimism. The pessimism of commenters at alt-right blogs was dead on the money.

Leaving politics aside, Bourdain ate at a fast food restaurant that was an imitation of Kentucky Fried Chicken, and he ate a breakfast that was some batter with an egg in it that was deep fried, kind of like a combination of a donut and an egg sandwich. Bourdain is cool for not worrying about fat or cholesterol.

Bourdain attends a barbecue where a live goat is brought in and it’s slaughtered and butchered on the spot! Wow, I envy him for eating meat fresher than I will ever experience in the United States. If you tried to have a barbecue like that here, there would probably be a bunch of pansy vegans protesting the “cruelty” to the goat. Plus half of even the meat-eating guests would still be grossed out be seeing where the meet actually comes from.

Another thing I noticed is the camaraderie that men have in a sex-segregated culture. Eating out is an activity for men to do with other men, it’s not for women. And the men seem to have a good time together. Maybe Islam isn’t so bad as long as it’s not taken to crazy extremes?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 14, 2018 at EDT am

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

I watched the first three episodes on Netflix. (And there’s some good news here, Netflix has extended the series and it will not disappear from Netflix on Saturday as originally scheduled!)

Bourdain’s goal appears to be to go to places where tourists would never go. Not normal tourists, and not even SWPL hipster tourists. Bourdain is a genial fellow who’s fun to watch, and he happily eats anything put in front of him and finds something good to say about it, which separates him from SWPLs. Bourdain eats all sorts of fried fatty foods that SWPLs think would cause them to get a heart attack in seconds.

There was only one scene where I think that he didn’t happily eat something. In a tiny Indian village in the very northeast tip of Columbia, he’s served a breakfast of fried goat intestines and goat hearts, and I didn’t actually see him put a piece of intestine or heart into his mouth, and he didn’t say how delicious it was like he normally does, even though his travelling companion heartily enjoyed the breakfast.

In the second episode, he visits Koreatown in Los Angeles. Here’s a place that’s easily accessible to American tourists, but no tourist would ever go there, thus it’s still a part unknown. It’s a really ugly place, full of cheap restaurants in ugly strip malls serving Korean food seldom eaten by white people. And a Sizzler. A Korean artist takes him to the Sizzler. I believe the point of the meal was that the Sizzler was for Koreans the first taste of American food, and Koreans loved the all-you-can eat salad bar because Koreans are cheap. Anthony Bourdain had no problem eating cheap chain-restaurant food that a SWPL would never dare put in his mouth.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 13, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Television

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