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All posts for the month November, 2016

Once you get past the cringeworthy Ferengi, “The Last Outpost” is a really good episode. There are so many moments between members of the crew and opportunities for them to show parts of their character, I can’t help but be very fond of this one.

I honestly prefer the heck out of this Picard. I do. His character has one of the most dramatic changes over the course of the series, and I do like that character. However, I prefer this one because it’s flawed enough to let others have the limelight that Patrick Stewart–through no fault of his own–soaks up later.

Derek and I continue to unpack the “barbarous” comment from last week. Does Star Trek successfully navigate respect for other cultures while still upholding its own values?

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.

The Way to Eden

I bet you all wanted to tune in for us side-tweeting anti-vaxxers and Simpsons references. Lucky, lucky you.

I’m pretty glad we never got Kirk hitting on Dr. McCoy’s daughter because that would be creepy. But what’s the verdict on hippies here? Good? Bad? Mislead? Fashionably hopeless?

17 to 01 is available on iTunes. It updates Thursday mornings at 2:00 AM ET / 1:00 CT. We’re also amazingly on Stitcher.

Disco Comics:
Marvel Presents
Marvel Now!
Avengers Academy
Murder World #12
Everybody Fukkin Dies Limited Seres 4 of 4

100% guaranteed to be classy and not wierd.

Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Art: Kev Walker

I could just say “ditto what I said on the previous issue,” but I won’t. I could. I really want to.

I could also bitch about how the visual icon for Avengers Arena is just “AA” in a serifed font in a circle adorned inside and out with non-serifed “A”s. It’s like they phoned in a lazy scream.

Also, the cover image is like a tournament bracket, but with blood. Creepy /s.

But given that everyone seems to die at random and not everyone has killed a person to get past the previous round I don’t–in the words of Will McAvoy–know what the fuck they’re talking about.

Basically, a book trying to call me an asshole for reading something based on its own plot looks real silly when it’s that up from the bottom of a bargain bin.

There are some surprisingly good things in one of The Next Generation’s worst episodes. Still, it strains credibility on so many levels. A few levels. Just the one level, really: how is Lutan considered so hot?! I’m sure someone finds Lutan attractive. But he’s not Christie Brinkley in 1985 hot. He’s not Jared Leto in eyeliner hot. I don’t buy it.

At least we’re on a good run with Lieutenant Yar. She’s getting a lot of focus and she generally deserves it. I can’t think of too many fights in Star Trek that are this well constructed and executed. Maybe the Kirk/Spock fight in “Amok Time”?

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

I just wanna riff on that thing I said earlier. When Trump got elected–a subject I am not going into here–I read an article about all of the world leaders who called to congratulate him and there are a lot of dicks running things right now.

Theresa May, who emerged from the chaos of post-Brexit British politics the same way Mr. Rogers emerged from The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny. The left hates her, which isn’t surprising because she’s on the right, but she proposed a minimum £35,000/year income for any immigrants wanting to settle in the United Kingdom. When Snowden’s revelations about the illegal surveillance activities of UK’s actions of Government Communications Headquarter’s came to light, she moved to make them legal. Best of all, she’s a huge supporter of the “Snooper’s Charter,” which would require ISPs to keep all of their customers’ internet records–including texts, emails, and files–for a year. Worse, it would allow police to search those records at any time without a warrant, and no specific information to be found. She thinks it’s great if police can audit everyone’s web activity for generall suspicious activity.

India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, was Chief Minister during the 2002 Gujarat riots where over a 1,000 Indian Muslims were killed–figures range from 790 to 2,500 and hundreds of Hindus died. At best, his government was negligent in stopping the violence, but the worst accusations are that they directed mobs towards Muslim citizens (the federal investigation found little because of police obfuscation). He’s a right-wing Hindu nationalist whose campaign slogan was “India First!,” but much of the money from his pro-business reforms have made their way back into much needed infrastructure reforms. The effects of his currency ban–removing some of India’s most common currencies from circulation–still remain to be seen. Doesn’t like immigrants, which I guess is an issue for India.

Shinzo Abe came returned to his role as Prime Minister of Japan on a wave of nationalist pride. He has consistently worked to roll back the Japanese constitution to broaden the role of Japan’s defense forces under a policy of “collective self-defense.” He continued to downplay the severity of Japanese atrocities in World War II and visited the Yasukuni Shrine commemorating past soldiers of Japan–which is a whole…thing. Props to the guy, he did eventually iron out the complicated history between Japan and South Korea related to comfort women in World War II, so there is that. Also not a fan of immigrants.

Vladimir Putin…enough said.

Rodrigo Duterte is the Filipino president who backs vigilante gangs hunting down folks on suspicion of being drug dealers. He called the US president the son of a whore and promises to rescind human rights protections if the Islamic State ever acts on Filipino soil. When asked of the unusually high rates of death of journalists in the Philippines, he said many of those killed had it coming. Charming fella, but no outstanding policies on immigration which makes sense because The Philippines–no offense–is a place where people generally immigrate from.

But hey, there’s still Merkel, Trudeau, um, Hollande–oh he wants to extend the French state of emergency for another six months. Sure okay. So Merkel, Trudeau, and uh, whatever is happening in Australia I guess.

New Safe Containment

The New Safe Containment for Chernobyl has started moving into position over the Chernobyl reactor. Chernobyl has been covered by an impromptu sarcophagus since the initial accident in 1986, but that was always a temporary measure. The New Safe Containment is the largest mobile, land-based structure ever built. It’s tall enough to contain the statue of liberty and it’s being slid into position over the reactor on a special track. This news came up on the 14th and it won’t be until Saturday that it’ll be in position. It’s big and slow.

But still, despite all of the news lately, including the conga line of world leaders who congratulated Trump and reminded you that wow there have been some shit elections lately, it’s good to remember that forty-odd countries can put down a billion dollars to do something for the common good.

It’s good news. Nuclear power is something that I’ve supported since, y’know, being in the Naval Nuclear Power Program. I used to think that it was a good transitional power before we went full solar. As long as we could respect its power, we could use it safely.

Sadly, it looks like the window of nuclear power is closing as renewables get better. Maybe it’s for the best; I like safe nuclear power (yes, I know this is a post about Chernobyl) as a testament to mankind’s resolute, technical prowess. Kind of a static, “we can still do these things.” As if we still went to the moon on a regular basis, but solar is the safer, more reasonable alternative. Or it will be soon.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/11/15/502165456/gigantic-shield-moves-into-place-to-cover-exploded-chernobyl-reactor

The Cloud Minders

If anyone is listening to this episode in–what I assume is the blasted, post-apocalyptic landscape of–post-2016 United States, “get you a girl who can do both” was high humor for the pre-ruin civilization.

17 to 01 is available on iTunes. It updates Thursday mornings at 2:00 AM ET / 1:00 CT. We’re also amazingly on Stitcher.

Speaking of responsible use of power, Facebook and Google are going to start being more responsible about how their funds are channeled towards false news content. I mean, there’s a segment of the public which in the aftermath of our latest election want to point the fingers at anyone but themselves over the fact that they and their candidate lost. Those guys have at long last found some corner of the world where their omnidirectional scorn passes the sniff test. Maybe if you run a channel for information that pulls in massive amounts of money, you should be responsible for what’s in that channel.

Like, Facebook and Google as news sources are not–and should not be–coin operated business. It turns out that anything powerful enough to pull in millions of dollars is worth hiring a person to do quality control for. If that cuts into your bottom line, that’s the price of doing business. That is literally a price paid for being a responsible businessperson. Bare minimum.

Especially given the hypocrisy. Facebook and Google congratulate themselves on being great venues to create a better world. And yet it’s taken them this long–and it’s a good thing they’re doing it–to actually ensure that the services they’re providing actually serving a common good. Up until that point, they generally claimed they were responsible for every good thing that happened as a result of their existence and denied responsibility for all of the bad things.

I feel like I’m rambling, but it’s good to see a course correction.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/15/technology/google-will-ban-websites-that-host-fake-news-from-using-its-ad-service.html?_r=0/

Disco Comics:
Marvel Presents
Marvel Now!
Avengers Academy
Murder World #11
Everybody Fukkin Dies Limited Seres 3 of 4

100% guaranteed to be classy and not wierd.

Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Art: Riccardo Burchielli

So Arcade has decided to reform his rep by killing a bunch of teenagers with Murder World. This is, as near as I can tell, supposed to be a departure from his MO because it’s a really big Murder World this time.

This issue tries hard to make Hazmat look like a coward for accepting her fate when it’s the end result of Marvel editorial acepting the fact that these kids will never be marketable A-listers. Except Reptil. Reptil is on TV so he’s pretty fucking safe.

I mean, it’s just whining and moral recrimination that doesn’t have any conflict except comic book characters yelling at each other about how they’re supposed to act in a way that furthers the story. And because that’s obviously a thin premise for a comic book, they have to physically assault the other person to make them listen because of course.
Pointless, boring, incredibly thin…obligatory. It feels obligatory.

Golly-geeze. I never realized the implications this episode had for non-Picard, non-Riker portion of the cast before this run-through.

I miss that Season 2 got rid of MacDougal and the orgy deck. The orgy deck added a lot of flavor.

Also: One. More. Time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEHnzFC7M9A