Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Mr. John Rosemond

So I was recently taking a bathroom break and uncharacteristically reached for some reading material , coming out with my local newspaper. An article caught my attention specifically- a short section written by John Rosemond that completely trashed video games and elaborated exstensively on how they had negative effects on the development of children. I disagree, and feel the need to ramble about it for a while.
Now, I want to make it clear that I have nothing against Mr. Rosemond and can at least see where he comes from on his stance. However, he is looking at all the negative ways that the technology can be used and completely ignoring the positive possibilities, which are equal if not more in quality. He cites a letter which he recieved from a mother that told a tale of how she and her husband bought their children an Xbox and the system basically wrecked their family relationships. I don't doubt the validity of the story- far from it.
What I do doubt is the parenting job in this story. The mother explains how she and her husband have always restricted their children to watching a few hours of tv a week and playing solely simple, constructive games like building with Lincoln logs and magnetic bricks. Sounds good, right? But these parents are shielding their kids from real technology in the form of human development- video games have become the Lincoln Logs of the new generation. I'm not talking about Halo. Or Duke Nukem. I'm talking about the way that computer and video games and tv can be used as a learning medium to more effectively reach the new generation.
Maybe I was upset by this article because I don't like it when people try to live in the past, shielding their children from the alleged 'evils' of the millenium. Maybe it was because I can't stand parents who obviously need to better govern their children better and instead of accepting this blame their troubles on the Xbox (seriously, with all this sheltering I wouldn't be suprised if these kids when beserk over Tetris). Maybe it's because I don't like Mr. Rosemond shutting away all of the good possibilities of video games because of what appears in the article to be almost a fierce prejudice. Speaking of which, I was a little offended by the style he wrote the article in- quite literally an 'I told you so' in every way. Not at all arrogant. Wjhatever the reason this unsettled me, I think it all comes back to how we should never generalize.

The one thing that we all have to share is the fact that we must all walk our chosen path alone.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Star Trek XI

I have to say, this is starting to scare me. And at the same time, I'm starting to get excited. After all, arguably ignoring Enterprise (though Season 4 was pretty awesome), Star Trek has, in the long run, been solid through and through in both its TV series and its movies, so why would I have any reason to worry that XI would be any different? I'll tell you why- Because good ol' J.J. is trying to bring it to the younger generation. Now, said like that it sounds like a pretty good idea, but he's doing it at the expense of plot (potentially). I hate to generalize, but using Enterprise as an example, we can see that prequels are really not the way to go here. I mean seriously, they can be interesting, but there are infinitely more things you can do and more interesting plot twists you can have if you do a sequel instead of a prequel. After all, can we trekkies really ever accept different actors than Shatner and Nimoy as our beloved Kirk and Spock? It's doubtful that the majority would, but I'd like to think that I'm capable of accepting the change. That is, if the new actors are phenomenal.
Matt Damon wasn't exactly what I had in mind when I thought 'phenomenal', but here we are with rumors of him sitting in the captain's chair, fresh off the set of 'The Bourne Ultimatum'. Or is it Legacy? I never did see Supremacy. Maybe that was because the first one was your cliche hot sercret agent thriller with shoot-'em-up problem solution, predictably resolved sexual tension, and a cop-out, confusing ending that just screamed 'let's leave room for a sequel just so we can make another crapload of money.' I'm sure the books were good, though; they get high praise. Oh, wait- Disgression!
But seriously, I have nothing against Damon. I really do have mixed feelings on the prospect of his casting, seeing that I know that it means there is no room for mistake- when you cast a guy like Damon in such a classic role as Kirk it's either going to be the best thing for Trek since Connor Trinneer (I'm a bit of a fan) or the biggest disgrace since T'Pol.
And once again, everything really comes down to the script- Damon can be a solid actor when he tries, but if the script- the true soul of the movie (and yes, I may feel that way partially because I'm a wannabe scriptwriter myself)- is mediocre, the franchise might not be able to take it, and with Berman and Braga off the game anything can happen. After all, Deep Space Nine was a hit with the fans, and though Voyager's a great show it never did and still doesn't get the publicity it truly deserves, and of course by the time Enterprise actually decided to turn itself into a quality show it was too little too late my cuddly little friend. So the way I see it, XI can either redeem the franchise or finalize its significantly reduced quality. I fear for the latter, but hope eternally for the former.
Will J.J. be able to modernize the franchise without hurting the franchise? Only time will tell.

French is the language of love, so my funnies say.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Hey again.
I've finished Spin. It can be argued, I suppose, that it was somewhat a cop-out ending, but I found it ridiculously awesome. Seriously, what a book. Now I've begun on Childhood's End, which I'm ashamed to say I've never gotten around to reading even though it is a treasured piece of SciFi literature and the work of my all-time favorite author. It's pretty darn good, but I doubt it'll live up to Clarke's 2001, which I worship. My only dissapointment with CE is that Clarke found it necessary to republish the book a few years back to make it seem that the aliens came from Mars instead of the Moon, since the original version was written pre-1969 and seems a tad ridiculous now. Still, a classic is a classic- don't mess with it.
Anyway, I won't bore you with the details of my reading materials. Or another sugar-induced sermon about genetic engineering (That can wait a few days.) Instead of thinking of such deep things, I'm forced to wonder why internet access has suddenly become such an expensive thing to obtain. It used to be that while passing through my local Airport, waiting for a flight, I could jump onto Gateworld and see what was going on in the distant, West Coast Canadian land of Vancouver, but no more. Right now I'm paying another $4.99 for one hour of connection at Starbucks. Seriously, I thought that internet connectivity was a courtesy thing for customers. I mean, I am a customer- I just bought a water of fair size to get rid of the headache of last night's once again misdirected run.
Oh yeah, that. See, I've fallen into this annoying pattern of wanting to run somewhere I never have before and ending up lost out of my mind. Now I want to make it clear that I do not have a classic case of being too prideful to ask directions (as I did ask directions on the 45 minute run turned 3 hours Monday morning), but I don't ask directions because of the fun of it. I'll admit I'm hopelessly lost, sure, but now the real fun comes- I get to find my way back. And usually I do. Usually.
But you see, sometimes getting back doesn't solve all of your problems. Like the time I had a singing commitment in two and a half hours and I figure'd I'd go for an hour run, but ended up getting lost in what appeared to be a sea of farmland, arriving fifteen minutes late to the commitment exhausted and completely parched. Believe me, singing is painful when you have 0% moisture in your throat and mouth.
But I don't mean to complain or seek sympathy.
Something that's really been bugging me recently is not Hollywood itself, as I am arguably its slave as far as science fiction goes, but rather how Hollywood effects our lives. You see, I've become quite irked with how many people have ceased to acknowledge the difference between the movies and real life. Take Chicago- you can't go to Chicago without the teens in your group basing their schedules at least partially on seeing something because it was in some romantic comedy they love obsessively, the scifi geek (in my case, me) relating all of the locations to what episode of Early edition it was seen in, and people of all ages scouting out 'that art museum from Ferris Bueller', more respectively known as the Art Institute, a fascinating place. Don't even get me started on New York.
But my point is that instead of experiencing things for ourselves, we are trying to relate them to fictional things we're already familiar with. If I were a Chicagon (Chicagan?Chicagun?Chicago-un?) I know I'd get sick of people referring to the home of my favorite baseball team as 'That place Ferris caught the ball'. Just a rant, and I know it's quite hypocritical, as whenever the word moonshine is heard my friend makes an allusion to Lt. Ford, and I correct him by saying the moonshine joke was actually employed first by Daniel in the pilot and that the Ford bit was an example of scriptual redundancy. Well, whatever. I've recognized a flaws not only in others but in myself as well.

With something that could pass as love on a rainy day,
Your Klingon

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Thank God for Starbucks. If it wereen't for its blessed air-conditioned, coffee-aromaed, internet-connected (for only $4.99, though it only covers me for an hour) presence, I would not be able to throw my random sentiments out to my not-so-adoring (but oh-so-adorable) people. I'd like to apologize to anyone I confused the hell out of with my last post, seeing that I strayed from my topic just a little bit, but I'm told it was quite amusing. I'm not quite sure what to make of that.
So I've been reading a very good book called Spin. I'm sure it's positively famous or some such thing like that and that I'm just once again enclosed in my bubble of geeky ignorance, but I'd never heard of it. This is the only time in my memory when I've actually picked a random book off the Science Fiction shelf in Borders (the biggest frakking Borders you've ever seen!{Though, it still didn't have the music albums I was looking for; I'm starting to think that no one really likes the music I listen to}) and actually legit enjoyed it. Not that I've finished it. It could have a horrible ending as far as I know. Don't spoil it for me. If you want an outline of the plot, think of the Stargate Atlantis episode Epiphany. It's that, but a million times as good. Oh wait, Epiphany wasn't good at all. Except maybe for some good Mckay-Beckett bickering. Digresssion! But anyway, it brings up some great issues dealing with mortality on a large scale and whether it's right to "play the ball game when you already know the outcome". My only concern is that it's either set itself up for the coolest ending ever or the biggest cop-out finale in SciFi book history. Ok, so that's an exaggeration, but believe me, it would be bad.
It actually prompted some possible sermons for this post; I was excitedly planning during my sad, blogless nights, but after the mixed messages and slightly confusing nature of my last post I decided to just be boring and tell all about whatever the hell I want to talk about.
And here it is- the rebuttle. Genetic engineering is unethical, in my opinion, because it brings human life further away from a product of nature and more towards a product of desire. We've established that. But how exactly do you support the statement that humanity has already drifted from nature so far that it is a distinct separation? We are brought to considering the definition and ethics of human progress- We all have the line that we're afraid to cross: When do the detrimental effects that human progress (especially industrial) have outweigh the progress that is made? When is it unethical? My belief is that human progress is inevitable and, in the long run beneficial, but humans should do the best they can to lessen the blow on nature, even if that means practical sacrifice of their own. When dealing with genetic engineering issues this line is blurred- Are chosen-gender children (and clones, for that matter) more a product of nature or desire? Birth should remain a natural thing because it preserves the uniqueness of the person and makes them free of being molded as a person, as they would be if their gender or other physical characteristics had been chosen for them. Essentially, they would be bred for a purpose they themselves could not choose.

Just my two cents, sport fans.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


I told myself that I'd blog every day while I'm on my little vacation here, but unfortunately I was forced to break my promise due to a very busy day yesterday. Oh yeah, and the internet connection in my hotel is $14.99. Per day. Really though, I would've liked to. Needless to say, I've had a lot of time to think about what to blog about in this post. It's funny, though- the more time you have, the less decisive you are. I tossed around a hell of a lot ideas- continuing the story of 'Breakfast With Friends' (though that'll probably come up another time), the state of limbo that our emotions are perpetually caught in, the Darkness (yes Gavin, THAT Darkness), but nothing seemed to really suit.
So I guess it's time to counter the dark tone of last time with a sermon about happiness. And in a way, this does involve emotional flux- We all act as if happiness is just something you can just dish out. We go to the movies, read a book, sing a song, share a kiss, what have you, always looking forward and expecting that we'll gain something from the experience- and we do. But what excatly is it that we gain? Happiness. What is that? The pessimist will tell you that happinness is nothing but an illusion that comes about as a product of desire during a string of small pains, and I can certainly see where they're coming from- As I sat at dinner last night, I began to wonder just if I was really enjoying my meal and company, or if my teeth, slightly aching due to my habitual dental neglect, those two loud guys near us who were quite possibly on a steady path to exceeding tipsyness (though I'm not one to judge, as apparently I got our S&S bro all wrong), and the waiter who seemed just a bit irritable were all bugging me to the point where I chose to escape into the world of a beautiful night and pizza which was heavenly though frelling hot.
Now, I imagine that this seems to come off as uncharacteristically pessimistic of me, but quite honestly I can empathize with the views shared by those with negative views, because the proof the pessimist needs to prove his or her points is incredibly evident in this world, but it is the hidden proof that the optimist sees where others do not.
Maybe I've lost you a little bit. I would be outright lying if I told you that i did not have a tendancy to go off on a tangent, but I kid you not when I say that this makes sense in this context- the truth is that happiness is not a product of escaping evils, but is indeed a real, true thing. I claim this for exactly the same reason that an optimist differs from a pessimist- the optimist sees happiness where a pessimist sees only the surrounding perils. You see, we have this all backwards- happiness is not a product of evils, it is the ultimate good that makes the evils stand out, and we as human beings need to recognize the purity as the cause and not the effect to truly be complete.
So now I've reached the point where if I keep going I'll start rambling. And so, I leave you to your other blogging interests.

Those darn windbags.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Future Certain

In a time such as this, full of dangers that jump out in plain sight for all to see and beauties so subtle that the cynic sees them not, a future can be so very uncertain. How many of us have lied alone in beds and wondered just where we'll be in 10 years? 20? 40? The idea is a fearsome one. Will I indeed be successful? Will I be happy? Will I be alone? Unaccomplished?


Let's face it- death is scary. For many of us, fear of our uncertain future is fear of death, for they could be one and the same, or as far as we know our future could be "worse than death" if that's even possible. I believe it not to be. Not to say that death is an ultimate, horrific end in my mind. Many different people have different views on ways that death is the beginning of a new path or journey, and how it should not be feared, and that's all well and good. Heck, maybe they're right. But let me tell you something- the guy or girl that looks forward and says the disgustingly classic line 'Life's a bitch, then you die' condems themselves to a horrible existence, not just now, but later.
Life's a bitch. Sure. Following that mentality, I might as well not try to have fun now, because inevitably that fun'll come back and bite me in the aft quarters. So what's it worth? Then you die. Great. That's it, the ultimate end. "Well" says he or she who holds this mentality true to their heart, "Guess I proved my point; Life does end up sucking in the end. Whaddya know, I was right all along."
Well, I don't buy it. The way I see it, you only have one life in this form whether you believe in an afterlife or not (unless you're Buddhist or another religion with similar beliefs about rebirth, but in that case you don't remember your past lives so you feel like you only have one every time anyway), so go have fun. If it does come back to bite you, make sure that the fun outweighs the penalty.
Let me clarify- I'm not saying that you should go become a Grade-A criminal by participating in a shoot-out or getting into anything like that, because that contradicts the other philosophies that govern my reasoning, but make the best of this life as a good person, because really that's the only way you can guarantee yourself a bright future- live in the now, make sure that when you look back on what you did today, tomorrow, and next week you can appreciate your life so that no matter how brief or less brief it is, the rest of it will be downright amazing.

So some guy flipped me off in public today. Never met him. Oh yeah, and I got a new hat. Smokin'.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Puppies, Ponies, Unicorns, Jesus

Just kidding. This entry is actually to announce my new double-blogging- instead of throwing out the old theme for this blog and replacing it with my progress updates, I've decided to keep this blog the way it is and create a second one focused on my projects. So take a look at it if you can; it's called "Where it All Goes Down", URL kisskissbangborg.blogspot.com. While I'm being self-absorbed over there I'll make sure here to keep the peace and the love, and damn right I'll keep the Star Trek.

The bottle's not empty.
Your voices are all there.
My life will fight
My body for air.

Higher Purpose

So I believe that this post officially enters me into what has been declared 'Blogging for the sake of blogging', as I'm now posting even though there haven't been any major developments since my last update. I've been considering how to give this blog a higher purpose, as I'm not sure I actually like how it's going now. I've decided on what to do with it. Actually, in that case, I suppose I have made a development- I've decided what to do with the blog. You see, this blog will for the most part cease to be an outlet for stories of what's happening in my life and begin to be more of a pathetic attempt at an art form. Also, it will monitor my progress on my various projects. For example, I've begun my script for "You Got Borged" and hope to make much progress in the coming weeks. I'm considering assuming the role of the antagonist since it being so uncharacteristic of me should contribute to the strangely comedic tone of the film. Also, I hope to direct. Coup D'etat, on the other hand, is at a stand-still. I've once again hit that point in my writing where I have what I believe to be a brilliant idea, but no idea how to get the ideas out on paper. This time, I'm determined to fight through this obstacle.

If I am anything, then this is who I am.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Sunrise and Regrets

So turns out that that 6 hour Voyager marathon turned out to be over 12 hours long. The guys and I got to see the sun rise as it ended- very metaphoric in a sort of inside-out way. I have to say, both literally and metaphorically I'm more a fan of sunsets than sunrises. Sunsets are just awesome because they have not only yellows, but reds and pinks. Metaphorically, sunsets are awesome because with sunrises you look forward at what could happen in the coming day, whereas at sunset you look back and can fully appreciate how great the day was. That said, this sunrise was pretty cool, maybe just because I still had that orgasmic shot of the sun coming out from behind the planet at the end of the Voyager theme video.
Speaking of orgasmic, maybe I went a bit harsh on vertical in my last post. I apologize; you know I love you in that 'Kirk loves Scotty' type way. Not like peanut butter loves jelly, because that'd b about as sketch as some guy sitting in his car smoking in the Stop-and-Shop parking lot at 11:30 at night.

See you next time, padawans.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Dreaming of Breakfast With Friends

So one is forced to wonder why my URL is breakfastwithfriends instead of something like peaceloveandstartrek. Well, it's all part of an elaborate scheme to take over the tv and film industry. That and I'm sticking it to the man (my man justifiably_vertical, that is) as I prove that dreams of fame and fun aren't stupid and childish. But really, he's a cool guy.
You see, my original plan was to create a movie called "Breakfast with Friends" and sell it as an independent film. It was going to be a comedy that made fun of romantic comedies while at the same time being touching as it explored the deep friendships of a sort of "Breakfast Club" of the next generation. So this movie would be a huge hit, and then my myriad fans would say "Hey, I wonder if there's a 'Breakfast With Friends' blog" and they'd end up here, where they'd link to my site (scifiultraists.0catch.com) and boost its popularity so that website, my true love, would become extremely popular.
Not to say that I've aborted that plan, but I now have another reason to keep my seemingly random URL- justifiably_vertical. He and I were throwing around a joke about creating a sitcom in the vein of Seinfeld called "Breakfast With Friends" that would basically follow the day-to-day uniqueness of our ives and roamings. The thing is, I wasn't actually very serious about it, but the running joke prompted jverts to pound me for all of the dreams I had that "would never happen". I'm not sure if you've noticed, but I'm not into pessimism. After all, if no one ever had dreams, where would we be?
So all I ask of you tonight, my nonexistent readers, is to dream big, and don't ever let someone else bring you down. Oh yeah, and post something rude on justifiably_vertical's blog comments.

Bon Voyage

The Meaning of Life

And that's what it is- Peace, Love, and Star Trek... Here you are thinking I'm kidding. No joke. A friend of mine came up with the phrase a few months back, and at first I laughed it off too. Ok, so now you're thinking what a huge loser I am. A Trekkie, in all my geekiness. Well, I won't deny it. Yes, I enjoy Star Trek, and yes, my enjoyment does go to the point where I'm about to have a six-hour Voyager marathon with some friends. The truth is, when I talk about Trek like this, I don't mean the show. Or the books, or the movies...or the insanely attractive actors. I mean the idea. The reason that Trek came into being in the first place- unity. Good ol' Gene wanted to show that there was hope for the human race to unite in a time of segregation, sexism, and additional prejudices so numerous that I can't count them in binary. And in a world of terrorism, hate crimes, and a government so knee-deep in conflict it almost seems that they want to go to war, how is today any different? Really the name of this blog should just be "Star Trek" or "Peace, Love, and Hope" because those three together are the idea of Trek, plain and simple. My title is absolutely redundant.
A pacafist, coward- call me what you will, but if this blog achieves one thing, I hope it is to give any readers the feeling that there is hope for unity in any and every sense. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a Voyager marathon to rock.