WTF, have you even seen it?

One William Lehman wrote something stupid about Star Trek:

Say what you will about the SJW Glittery hoo ha crowd, they get this. I speculate that they get it because while we (the guys that grew up watching STOG and said “Hey those doors are COOL, how would you do that for real? Those communicators, could you do that?) went to engineering and hard science classes and started building the future that we wanted, the aforementioned individuals where going to the soft sciences (not real sciences at all in my NSHO) and studied how cultures work.

David Gerrold who, as you know Bob, was actually there at the time as one of the scriptwriters, slapped him down quickly:

I was there. I know what Gene Roddenberry envisioned. He went on at length about it in almost every meeting. He wasn’t about technology, he was about envisioning a world that works for everyone, with no one and nothing left out. Gene Roddenberry was one of the great Social Justice Warriors. You don’t get to claim him or his show as a shield of virtue for a cause he would have disdained.

Most of the stories we wrote were about social justice. “The Cloud Minders,” “A Taste Of Armageddon,” “Errand Of Mercy,” “The Apple,” “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield,” and so many more. We did stories that were about exploring the universe not just because we could build starships, but because we wanted to know who was out there, what was our place in the universe, and what could we learn from the other races out there?

A very Annie Hall moment:



Of course for those of us who paid attention to sf fandom during that time and long after, the idea of Star Trek of all things hold up as an example of hard science fiction ruined by the social justice warriors, is hilarious. Quite a few fans, the sort of people now screaming about SWJ’s, had no time for the series whatsoever while its fandom was literally run by their greatest enemy: women.

It’s all part of an inept kulturkampf of course, run by people with the barest connection to science fiction fandom as a sort of out of control offshoot of Republican fundraising. The worst part about it is that useful idiots like Lehman actually believe the nonsense they spout.

All her Children Fought



Proof you can tell a science fiction story with only three actors and one, not entirely convincing special effect. Based on the story by Tobias Buckell, who has the story of how it came to be up on his blog. It’s an excellent example of how much you can convey with just a bit of subtle incluing, by working within genre expectations. I can’t be the only one to watch this and be reminded of Ender’s Game, can I?

Some comments: I wonder if the choice of accents for the three actors was deliberate or just a coincidence, but it works in contrasting the boy and his minder with the main character. I’m not sure the premisse of the movie is valid, the reason why it’s young boys/children being sent up there rather than adults, but it makes emotional sense.

Kill Me (Ce Soir) — Golden Earring



As a kid growing up in the eighties Golden Earring was just one of those old pop bands that had been around forever, who had a couple of hits everybody knew and of course there was that deeply scary video they did in 1984. It’s only later I knew how influential they could’ve been had they been British or American rather than Dutch. Even so, no one other than Iron Maiden covered this song; it turns out Steve Harris is a fan.

WALL-E: thriumph of the nice guy



So seeing WALL·E over Christmas again got me thinking. That love story between WALL·E and EVE, that’s pretty much the nice guy fallacy in a nutshell, isn’t it? WALL·E falls in love with EVE and pesters her while she’s doing her job, not taking no for an answer. He keeps hanging around and bringing her gifts she doesn’t need, isn’t honest about his feelings for her but seems to think that if only he brings the perfect gift she’ll like him. That by accident he does bring her just the thing she needs doesn’t alter anything. After this he stalks her to her home, interferes with her work again, makes her an accomplish in his jail break from the mental hospital for robots, keeps her in trouble with lawful authority and finally guilts her in loving him when she sees how he took care of her when she was incapitated. All that’s missing is the negging.

Yes, this may be tongue in cheek

John Carter – Borelord of Mars



Had the movie been more like the the trailer it would’ve been more successful. But having just watched it on the BBC tonight I understand why it was such a box office failure. Boy did this drag, mainly out of the misguided desire to put a framing story around it. It also doesn’t help that John Carter himself is a huge dick during most of the film and an incompentent dick at that. Or that the story itself, that of the reluctant hero unwillingly learns to fight for a greater cause than his own greed, is so predictable.

All of that is fixable though. Cut out everything in the first fifteen-twentyfive minutes until Carter is chased by Apaches into the cave with the portal to Mars/Barsoom, tighten up some of the running to and fro once he’s on Barsoom and with the Tharg, cut at least some of the “Carter gets angry, gets in a fight and gets his arse kicked” scenes, then end the movie with him calling himself John Carter of Mars. That should cut out at least half an hour of tedium and puts the focus back on the fighting and the great setting. Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom is a great place for a spectacle film, but not if you load it up with tedious extras.

I’m not sure why Disney felt it necessary to make the film the way it did, why it didn’t just film A Princess of Mars, but it’s such a shame because it could’ve been a great sci-fi romp. When it does gets going it’s a great movie to watch. The CGIed Tharg look great, the Martian technology looks cool and the low gravity jumping looks fun. A missed opportunity.