There have been good episodes of TNG up until now. But I strongly feel like The Defector is our first Hot Damn episode of TNG. It’s not ‘every frame a painting’ good, but it’s a lean 45 minutes of television and it’s gripping. There’s no personal tsuris about–I don’t know–Troi grappling with drug use or Crusher having trouble at home. There’s no lagniappe drama; there’s no small, personal bullshit or character arc that Jarok’s mission folds neatly into.

Again, I kinda freewheel about what I’m going to call “VanVelding’s Starfleet TOE,” which I think I hit on just enough to quiet the voices. I’m not going crazy when I expect the Enterprise to have a home port and to be assigned to the command of an admiral, right?

The book that Derek is referring to is the one, I think, Picard and Wesley talked about in “Samaritan Snare.” It included the work of American philosopher William James.

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Monday mornings at 2:00 AM ET / 1:00 CT.

I would have liked a musical cooking montage where Riker bonds with Yuta. This episode needs an additional Riker/Yuta scene and improvements on the ones its already got. I like the dimensions of Acamarian society, but it comes at a cost of the heart of this episode, which IS Yuta.

The idea of having Riker’s emotional investment in folks get the viewer emotionally invested is a good one, but the execution is often a bit too romantically focused. It comes off forced and shallow. That’s probably because I’m a homosexual man. On an earnest level, I hope it works better on straight dudes.

Does it?

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Monday mornings at 2:00 AM ET / 1:00 CT.

Experimentation Week wraps up with the most, uh, *this* version of Morning Perfect Base.

Which is to say, I’m just playing Minecraft while talking about playing Minecraft. It only now occurs to me I should’ve tried a Madden impression, replete with obvious Minecraft tips.

Lemme know if this is your thing.

Not the Madden stuff; that’s no one’s thing. Lemme know if the Minecraft Let’s Play thing is your thing.

50 Shades of Grey (1989)

I’m still stuck in this thing where I’m kinda obsessed with how aware the writers were of the size of Devinoni Ral’s terribleness. I feel like they wanted us to think of him as appealing and then suddenly realize he’s terrible for reasons they couldn’t articulate, but I have a hard time believing they could be that bad at writing. On the other hand, the alternative is that they knew he was terrible and made Troi an idiot.

The Beige and The Bold is available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcasting platforms. It updates Monday mornings at 2:00 AM ET / 1:00 CT.

It sounds like the cardstock for most Magic cards made since Amonkhet has been bad. I’ve bought a few cards and they seem kinda crappy. Could be the power of suggestion, but I see a lot of pics of curled cards and I’ve seen The Professor’s video and read that post from the card stock guy and mostly, seen folks talk and talk and talk about it.

The pictures of curved cards are great. The open letters are adorable. The saga of returning bent cards to Wizards of the Coast’s customer service is gripping. The personal oaths to not buy more cards are—if I say so myself—brave.

But seriously, could all of you who are passionate about this get your shit together, get organized, and, y’know, do stuff to get the thing you want? It’s like watching folks posting pictures of a fire to instagram, live from the showroom floor of The Fire Extinguisher and Above Ground Pool Expo.

Magic players want to fix this, but no one seems organized enough to generate pressure on Wizards of the Coast to achieve that end. I’d be happy to forward folks I speak with to y’all, but where would I send them?

I’m not an expert on this shit, but I’m just going to shoot some ideas from the hip: you should get a name, set up some kind of virtual homebase, articulate your issue in specific terms, explain to folks how it affects them, make specific demands, and form a plan of action to press Wizards to meet those demands.

Again, I am an idiot who doesn’t know anything about organizing, but I’ve got an evening’s worth of work to put off and I can’t drink this month, so have an evening of idle thought on how to actually do this shit:

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