Monthly Archives: November 2007

When did Star Trek and Star Wars Jump the Shark?

TechRepublic.com: Sci-fi rant: When did Star Trek jump the shark?:

…there was the Borg Queen, and that ruined everything.

The Borg were originally defined as genderless, faceless, nameless, all-consuming man-machine hybrids with which you could not negotiate, could not overpower, and only by sheer luck and creative individuality could you ever hope to defeat-temporarily. That is until First Contact, for which the producers needed a conventional villain for the “dumb audience,” so we get Alice Krige gothed up in H.R. Giger fetish gear going all creepy-vampy on Data and retconning Locutus of Borg from a terrifying perversion of our beloved Captain Picard into a spurned cyborg concubine that Miss Borgy needed to acquire some V’ger-esque spark of humanity.

The Borg Queen single-handedly diminished the Borg from a personification of everyone’s secret fear of the dehumanizing power of technology and conformity run amok into two-bit techno-zombie henchmen of everyone’s un-fondly remembered codependent ex-girlfriend. (It’s worth noting that in First Contact, the Borg assimilate you vampire-bite style, rather than through the slow, tortuous process seen in “The Best of Both Worlds.” These are B-movie monsters now, not powerfully terrifying metaphors for identity-stripping monoculture.)

TechRepublic.com: When did Star Wars jump the shark?:

…Phantom Menace came along and, with all due disrespect to Jar Jar Binks, gave us the single worst Star Wars moment in a rapidly expanding history of awful Star Wars moments: Midi-chlorians.

Jedi, you see, aren’t made, they’re born. They’re of the blood, nobility, maybe even a master race. If your midi-chlorian count isn’t high enough, don’t even bother to apply. Anakin Skywalker was basically the equivalent of a can’t-miss basketball prospect from the mean streets of Tatooine who got a Jedi Academy scholarship despite being a punk. Yeah, that’s going to resonate with all the athletically addled dorks who used to idolize the franchise.

Yoda wasn’t awesome because he was a zen-master adept who spent centuries honing his communion with The Force, but because his little frog-pig body was jam-packed with psionic parasites. That single slap in the face to Star Wars fans was the first of many attempts by Lucas to expand and explain the mechanics of his franchise, and in the process he knocked out the foundations of what was once the coolest character concept in all of sci-fi. Thanks, George.

Fun, worthy of argument :)

In Passing: Quiet Riot’s Kevin DuBrow dead at 52

Metafilter: cum on feel the noizQuiet Riot’s Kevin DuBrow dead at 52.

It was Quiet Riot on Solid Gold that introduced me (well.. re-introduced me) to Metal and Hard Rock. His MySpace page is filling up with condolences.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Quiet Riot deserves the evolutionary credit for 80s Metal, from Ozzy’s 80s success, to Guns N’ Roses.

Thank you Kevin DuBrow.

NYTimes: Kevin DuBrow, the Leader of Quiet Riot, Dies at 52

LATimes: Singer for 1980s heavy-metal giant Quiet Riot dies

Blabbermouth: Classic QUIET RIOT Broadcast To Re-Air Today – Nov. 27, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

It’s been a challenging year. The herniated disk (I’m still suffering with it). The Comcast.net reenginerring and relaunch effort (we launched successfully and they promoted me the same day Mom was diagnosed with cancer). Handling various stability issues with Philly Future that nearly killed the site. Being with Mom as she ended up in the hospital more and more (look on the archives here – a pattern emerged from back in 2005). Learning to be a dad.

So while it’s been a struggle – I have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving and every day.

This is my last post on Mom for a while. I mentioned I would share some pictures and Richelle did prepare a terrific slideshow for her memorial service, but I think this recent one says it all.

Rita Martino

I Fooled Myself

In the past, I fooled myself into thinking I could not miss what I did not have.

I grew up without a father.

Looking at many I grew up with, sometimes I thought I had it better. I had quite a few friends with dad issues that haunt them to this day.

But now, upon reflection, it feels like I’ve simultaneously lost a Mom and a Dad.

What a strange thing to write. I must be entering the so called ‘anger’ phase.

If only life were that sequential, I could expect the emotions to wash over me, to pass me by on my way towards ‘acceptance’.

But our lives aren’t really like that are they? They happen, in a cosmic kinda level, at something resembling all at once, and our minds attempt to give it order and structure, if there are such things, they are beyond our current understanding.

All I know is that Mom did exist, and she left a legacy in me, in her other sons. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

I’m rambling on my blog. Not like me at all. I’m trying to reach for something in writing I can’t quite get to yet. And my guitar is failing me on some level.

So good night folks.

Halloween Pictures

It may have been the day before Mom’s funeral, but she wouldn’t have wanted us, especially Emma, from having some holiday fun. We may have been harried making arrangements for that Thursday, but we had a good time. I feel particularly blessed to live where we live – a true blue old fashioned Philly neighborhood. It’s a great place for Halloween.


A Great Example of Networked Journalism

EarthTimes.org: “Consumer Reports Names Their All-Star Appliances”:

“Our brand-repair histories are culled from approximately 450,000 respondents reporting on nearly 2.5 million appliances,” said Robert Markovich, editor at Consumer Reports. “Choosing a reliable brand will boost a consumer’s odds of getting a reliable model and in the end often save consumers money.”

You can even say the report was ‘crowdsourced’.

Now if only we could collate a list of safe and fun toys that parents would want to buy.