“The Orville”, while not in the “Star Trek” canon, has done much to restore the episodic tradition of the Original Series of Star Trek and its successor, The Next Generation. What I mean by episodic is that for the most part each episode stands alone and is a self-contained story. While there may be some two-parters, you don’t have the half-season or longer “story arcs” which have become common in the more indulgent era of cable and binge-watching on streaming services.
“The Orville” doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it is no sense a parody. There are episodes which explore serious themes such as up-voting and down-voting on social networks.
On 2017-11-16, Seth MacFarlane, creator of the show, star, executive producer, and writer of some of the episodes, and his creative team visited Google for a presentation and question and answer session about the show. It’s well worth watching, even though there are a few naughty words which wouldn’t make it past the network censors but were apparently fine with the Cultural Marxist commissars at Google.
Note how almost every Google attendee who asked a question began it with “So?” This is how they show their submission to the collective.
In the 1967 Star Trek episode “The Trouble with Tribbles” Dr McCoy discovers “Well, the nearest thing I can figure out is that they’re born pregnant—which seems to be quite a time-saver.”
I always thought this was one of the funniest lines in the episode. It couldn’t really happen, though, could it?
This is a mite of the genus Adactylidium. It’s a lot smaller, and less furry and lovable than a tribble, but it’s essentially born pregnant. The mite is a parasite which feeds on the eggs of tiny insects called thrips. The female eats the egg and develops five to eight female offspring and one male in her body. The male impregnates the unborn females, who then eat their way out of the mother’s body. They then seek new eggs upon which to feed. The male neither feeds nor seeks new mates and dies after a few hours. The females who are successful in finding a thrips egg live for about four days, when they are eaten alive by their own offspring.
Especially when my mom comes to town, I enjoy a rich diet of period films. In a week in July, My mom and I consumed the BBC miniseries Little Dorrit. Our Mutual Friend was next for me, after which I feasted on Oliver Twist. A long tale from ’90’s television called The Aristocrats was sumptuous, visually speaking. These on-screen confections and others, including any Jane Austen fare, get me thinking: despite horrible, bizarre realities of the past, life before the 1900’s wasn’t all bad.
Yes, for the longest time it was probably better to stay home and suffer rather than consult a doctor. And suffer you did. Electricity, hot showers, well-insulated homes, widespread literacy, and other comforts of the body and mind were all luxuries of the future. Travel was slow and exhausting. Big cities were centers for disease, misery, and terrible odors. Improvement of your station was elusive. Job hours were long, rich folk snobby.
Yet as blessed as I am to have been born in 1974, I can’t help feeling as if I’ve missed out on a few attractive features of life from the early 1800’s and before.
1.) Fireplaces and easy chairs. Wouldn’t that be lovely, of an evening, to sit in front of a warm fire (hopefully chimneys have been invented) and chat with friends or family from the depths of a cushioned chair (if you were wealthy enough to afford one, in pre-manufacturing days)? Or even read a book with the aid of firelight and candles?
2.) Passing time with family and friends. Connected to #1, it would have been delightful to spend more of life sitting together after dinner–with no interference from TV or radio–reading aloud, playing music, talking or singing.
3.) Cups of hot tea. These steaming drinks being brought out in pretty serving sets look inviting. They would be comforting aids to friendly conversation. Pair it with items 1 and 2 for an ideal experience.
4.) Dances. The dancing looks wonderful. I wish contra and other dancing were more popular activities today. I keep threatening to take a dance class, but sadly, my husband doesn’t want to go.
5.) Lovely gowns. The gowns would be great fun to wear for a few hours at a time, for special occasions. Probably without the whalebone and other confining accessories. These days, fewer and fewer events call for dressing up. We could produce these elaborate pieces relatively inexpensively in our time.
6.) Beautiful countryside. Most period films give the impression that people in the old days enjoyed swathes of unspoiled green countryside, which is why I eat them up. Courting couples would get acquainted with pastoral scenes as backdrops. Peaceful mornings dawned with lilting bird song. Walking in the country or in one’s garden was a pastime. Even seeing it on screen brightens the mood.
7.) Letters and Journals. I love typing, and I think the Internet will be a tremendous resource to our progeny and to historians–if we back it up properly, not assuming that it will be around forever. However, when I see a movie character sit at a picturesque desk, get out a fresh sheet of paper, and start scratching away with an ink pen, I’m reminded that in the last twenty years, we have lost the practice of exchanging long, meaty letters and of saving our correspondence. This practice sharpened our thinking, our writing, and our connections to faraway people that we loved. Also, the majority of us, if we’re not typing up our daily adventures on a public online forum, are rotten at keeping journals. We don’t even know what to record. True, a lot of these personal journals were transformed into best-selling books of the time, so there was ulterior motivation for taking daily notes. Yet it seems like disciplined journal-keeping was common practice in those days.
8.) Sense of Wonder. Speaking of adventure journals, the world was young leading up to the 1900’s because there was so much to be discovered. English audiences of the late 1700’s were startled to read of experiences with isolated ethnic groups–the world map still had blank spots in it, and there were limited means of reaching faraway places. With pleasure they read of the hazardous explorations of Africa by Mungo Park and David Livingstone. News of India would be captivating. And the scientific and technological discoveries kept building. After hot air balloons, who knew what to expect next? There were always exciting books to read and discussions to be had.
9.) Servants. This one is a bonus, because I just thought of it. Back then, if you were the right station in life, you could get away with having–no, you were expected to have–a few servants around. They would cook the meals, do laundry, take care of the yard, and clean the house. And even though I’m content at the balance of work and play in the 21st century, wouldn’t it be pleasant, occasionally, to have a small staff that took over repetitious tasks and saw to your neglected house projects while you took some air in the garden?
All this talk of where we are headed, the clashes of the parties, the globalists and the populists, urban versus rural, deplorables against the social Justice warriors, reminds me that we are experiencing not an evolution, or a change but a tectonic perception shift of how our human universe works.
The BBC ran an excellent series called “The Day The Universe Changed quite long ago, which in a number of individual hours, with wit and incredible visuals coupled with story telling relayed how a series of events set in motion a completely new way of thinking about the things we believe to be true.
I do believe we are entering such a time, where the commonly accepted worldview of globalists, a belief in the institutions of media, higher education, and the guiding hand of an elite corps of wise ones who can guide global affairs in money, culture, peace, medicine, and welfare is burning like the Hindenburg at Lakehurst New Jersey. Oh the humanity.
Is it nostalgic for a nation to shut down the means of production in the age of robotics? When labor cost in the manufacture of goods is not the determining location factor? Does a nation concentrate and protect necessary skills for the future which include manipulation of physical objects as well as digital ones?
Can a constitutional republic exist in a world where only 10% of the citizenry is gainfully employed? I think not.
The global elitist worldview of sending manufacturing elsewhere, increasing the cost of higher education, high taxes, massive regulation, concentration of finance into a few large institutions, concentration of entertainment and news media to a handful of companies, opening borders to drive low skilled wages down, importing talent to drive high value wages down, engaging in wars without intent for victory, setting up permanent trade disadvantages for the USA has been rolling along since the 1970s. There was a brief break for the Reagan years where the Cold war was scrapped despite the efforts of the globalists to keep it going.
That era formed the thinking of several generations of people in influential circles.
Then a man from Queens comes down an escalator and the Universe Changed.
Despite the best efforts of the old guard, the new Universe is on display and people will not go back to the old mode of thinking.
The early adopters are the small business owners who can move fast, reposition wealth from the stock market to new assets in an afternoon.
Blue Collar employees see a different world for their future.
Well managed States are being rewarded with investment and new people fleeing the poorly managed states.
Academia has managed to let millions of students run up over a trillion dollars in debt (majority of them are female) and granted a large percentage of degrees with almost no useful skills attached.
I do expect this cannot be sustained.
I cannot recall an event where so many institutions have shown themselves to be beyond a shadow of any doubt incompetent, corrupt and unaffordable.
The universe did change and it will be interesting to see how people adapt to the new reality.
John make a point in his HAL post about the “Roaring 20s” approaching.
IN the last century, it was a time of technology rapidly changing the lives of middle class people with cars, radios, stock ownership and more. F Scott Fitzgerald said the coat of arms of the 20s should be crossed saxophones over a case of gin.
I wonder which Sci Fi author called the approaching age right?
William Gibson with his dark, corporate cowboy hacker world where normal family life seemed non existent.
Neal Stephenson with his linkage between ancient conspiracies and the underpinnings of modern life?
His economy based on nanotech might see the light of day.
A lot of authors just assumed nuclear annihilation so they are boring.
Who do you think painted the 2021-2030 decade the closest or the most vividly for you?