Suspend that disbelief

Hi, my name is Mark, and I’m a Star Trek nerd.  And geek.  Nice to meet you.

I’ve been watching Star Trek (and truly many different genres of Science Fiction) since the 1970s.  Yes, I’m that old.  Tell your friends.  In all that time, I have watched all the tv shows that the Star Trek universe produced, I actually have read many of the books written by people who like the topic.  I used to be able to speak and understand Klingon.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had the need to do so, and my skills have eroded.  Fortunately, I’m not a big fan of gagh.  Even so, there’s a mantra my wife and I have used many times over the years, although I think someone else coined it.  Suspension of Disbelief.

What that means is, when something is so outrageous in a work of fiction, you take it with a grain of salt or suspend the disbelief that you have to allow the plot to take its course.  It allows the story to continue and come to its conclusion, all without pointing out all the inconsistencies that you find and all the plot holes.

Since I’m on the subject of Star Trek, let’s use that.  If you’ve never watched the show (ok, I pity you), this isn’t going to make a lot of sense. Still, I’m going to continue presuming that you, dear reader, at least have a familiarity with the series and understand the characters I’m going to be referring to.

In the movie Star Trek: First Contact; a Borg cube is on its way to Earth to attack, and conquer the planet, to assimilate, or convert all its inhabitants into copies of themselves, i.e., making them all Borg.   For whatever reason, whenever the Borg attack the Federation (The United Federation of Planets), they always do it piecemeal.  One attack, one ship.  Never do they make an effort to start somewhere else and work their way around to the other planets in the Federation, as it might actually make sense to do that.  They always go for a frontal assault and fail.   Too, they almost always attack where the USS Enterprise is or can get to easily.  It’s almost as if they require the ship’s presence to do what they’re doing.  Naturally, the Enterprise can’t be destroyed or get too beat up, or worse yet lose their primary bridge crew, because if they did, how would the show/movie continue?  Long story short, it can’t.  So the Borg, or whoever is the villain, is going to lose.  Every time.  It’s almost sad that the baddies aren’t aware they will go down in flaming defeat every time.

The current Star Trek series, Discovery, requires a heapin-helping of Suspension of Disbelief.  In the current season, the ship has been brought forward 930 years from where it was, to the 32nd century where an event occurred in their recent past that they’re calling ‘The Burn’.  For some unknown reason, the material required to make their engines work suddenly, and very catastrophically, stopped working.  This caused a cascade effect whereby the majority of the Starfleet was destroyed, and the Federation, as it was known, basically ceased to be.  Star travel went from ships going from Point A to Point B in days to months, or even years in some cases.  To make matters even worse, the communication method that had been used for approximately 1,000 years no longer worked, so information was no longer easy to obtain.

To me, here’s where the SoD comes in.  Not all the entities in the series use the same method of propulsion.  Federation/Starfleet vessels, as well as the member worlds of same, employ matter/anti-matter engines, that utilize a mineral called ‘dilithium’ which is used as a catalyst in the engine to stabilize the M/AM (Matter/Anti-Matter) reaction and make for a smooth ride.  Other entities in the series don’t make use of it, and wouldn’t have been affected by The Burn, but they’re not mentioned at all in the series.  If indeed the Borg had been such a threat in the 24th century, it certainly stands to reason by the 32nd, they’d be so much a presence that there would be hundreds, if not thousands of Borg ships streaking through the quadrant.  And taking over what remained of the Federation.  But we don’t see them.  Nor do we see any Romulans, who certainly had a setback 650 years previous when their star went supernova, taking with it their home planet and its satellite, Remus.  But by the time of Star Trek: Picard, they’ve rebuilt their fortunes to have been able not only to decommission and study an inert Borg ship, but they were also able to build and staff a fleet of several hundred warships when it became necessary to attack and destroy a colony world of synthetic lifeforms.

Suffice it to say, there are a great many plot holes in the current series.  But it will be interesting to see if the writers choose to address any of them.  Or just allow disbelief to run around, unchecked.

Have you ever?

There’s not always enough things to do on vacation, and certainly dear reader, as you can obviously tell, blogging isn’t high on my to-do list.  With the silly season approaching (Thanksgiving/Christmas) and me getting my last vacation of 2020 out of the way (I still have 3 more weeks of vacation that have to be used before April 2021), I’m already debating whether or not I want to tackle the Holidailies conundrum.  I’ve tried it a couple of times but was never very prolific.  I know of several people that have been successful in it; perhaps with COVID being the catalyst, I’ll have a muse or interest in doing it this year.  We’ll see.

Honestly, I’m not huge on memes, but this one caught my eye on a blog that I follow infrequently.  It snowed here this morning, so I can’t rake leaves, so I thought I’d spend a little time getting you to know me better.  What’s the harm in that, right?  A little laughter, a little sharing, and who knows, you might want to try it yourself.  Anyway, here goes.  Enjoy!

  • Been Married – Just celebrated my 27th anniversary
  • Been divorced
  • Fell in love – Several times
  • Skipped school – A few times when I was in college, usually when I had a test, I didn’t wish to take.
  • Watched someone give birth
  • Watched someone die – My mother, in 1989.  Not something I’d like to do again, tyvm.
  • Been to Canada – Niagara Falls, Ontario.  Witnessed the Canadian Snowbirds do a flyby of the falls on our last day in town.
  • Ridden in an ambulance – Both the back and the front.
  • Been to Hawaii
  • Been to Europe – Flew into Amsterdam, Netherlands, took a bus through the Netherlands and Belgium to West Germany in 1983.
  • Been to Las Vegas
  • Been to Washington D.C. – Several times, class trips both High School & College.
  • Been to Texas
  • Visited Florida – With family and in college.
  • Visited Mexico
  • Seen the Grand Canyon in person
  • Flown in a helicopter
  • Been on a cruise
  • Served on a jury – Local trial, alleged assault.  Acquitted the defendant.
  • Danced in the rain – Many times, many storms.
  • Been to California
  • Been to New York – NYC? I used to live 90 miles north of the city and have relatives that still live there.  I presently live in the Finger Lakes region.
  • Played in the band/orchestra in school – Both.
  • Sang in the church choir – Up and just past my epiphany about organized religion.  Not since.
  • Sang karaoke – A few times when I was younger.  Not since about age 25.
  • Laughed so much you cried – Robin Williams.  Nuff said.
  • Laughed so hard you peed
  • Caught a snowflake on your tongue – Every winter.
  • Had children/adopted
  • Had a pet(s) – Cats only.  My brother had a golden retriever when we were young.  My wife had a cockatiel that lived to be 29.
  • Been sledding on a big hill – The house where I grew up had a large hill in the front yard.  I still have the family toboggan.
  • Been downhill skiing – I tried it once.  Walking pigeon-toed, for some reason, doesn’t allow you to ski downhill successfully.  Who knew?
  • Been water skiing
  • Been Ice Skating – I still have my skates.
  • Rode on a motorcycle – In my youth, and someday again.
  • Traveled to all 50 states
  • Jumped out of a plane
  • Been to a drive-in movie – Roosevelt Drive-In, Hyde Park, NY
  • Rode an elephant
  • Rode a Horse – And been stepped on by one.
  • Been on TV – Local cable television, Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Been in the newspaper – Several times for non-nefarious reasons
  • Been on the radio – Newsreader, WMCR; Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Stayed in the hospital alone – Westchester Medical Center, elective surgery, 1978.
  • Donated blood
  • Gotten a piercing – Ear piercings.  Long since closed.
  • Gotten a tattoo
  • Driven a stick shift vehicle – 1990 Ford Escort LX.  My first car, though I didn’t know how to drive it; my Dad had to drive it home from the dealership.  I soon learned, and then sold it a couple of years later and bought a used 1987 Ford Bronco II.
  • Been scuba diving
  • Lived on your own – Several years.
  • Rode in the back of a police car
  • Got a speeding ticket
  • Broken a bone – I dropped a laptop on my pinky toe.
  • Gotten stitches – Best friend growing up hit me in the ear with a 5-iron by accident.
  • Traveled Alone – I was bumped from a flight in Atlanta, and my college choir left without me.  I flew first class to Denver in 1990 and slept the whole way.

What my brain gets up to sometimes…

A couple of mornings ago, I was sitting in the bathroom before work reading various websites and articles.  One that particularly caught my attention was someone ranting about the intricacies of time travel.  To wit; if one were actually able to build a time machine, he posited that just going back in time wasn’t the most difficult issue.  What was, in his opinion, was the fact that if one were able to travel in time, one had to take into consideration not only the passage of time, but movement as well.  Movement, in this case meaning, the movement of celestial objects, and their relation to one another as time marches invariably on.

If you think back to movies like ‘The Time Machine‘, [the remake of 2002] it shows Alexander Hartigan’s machine creating a ‘bubble’ that resides outside of the normal flow of time, either going forwards, or backwards.  What doesn’t seem to be taken into consideration is the movement of the earth, considering that it rotates on it’s axis, and it moves within the solar system and the universe as well.  The movie glosses over this fact, instead showing the time bubble remaining static as the passage of the years and centuries goes on around him.  Of course the other thing is, nothing gets built upon the spot where his machine is moving, as if the screenwriter conveniently forgot or ignored that issue.  To advance the story, he needed a mostly unobstructed view, so he could observe the dresses in the window across the street being rapidly moved higher and higher on the model’s legs to show how progressive life was becoming as time moved on.

Honestly, when I was watching the movie the first time (and the second and so on) it never occurred to me that this was an issue.  Apparently it occurred to someone else, and they decided to write about it.  I’m rather glad they did.  It made me think, and then I could share it here.