In response to “Where the Trek Begins” from The Escapist Forum: This was a great story, even though I would have skipped dinner to stay as well. But it had me laughing out loud throughout. Alas, I’ve never been a big Star Trek fan, but I know several people who are, and you’ve captured the pain of being an outsider on all the Trekky jokes…well, maybe pain isn’t the right word 😉
I’ve recently joined The Escapist, and I’m already enjoying this!
In response to “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” from The Escapist Forum: That was a wonderful story. As someone who found Star Trek TNG when I was a 7 or 8 year old girl, it would’ve been nice to have someone else to share that with me. All families have their ways of communicating, and for my mom and I it was often video games or music, but Star Trek in its many incarnations has been a big part of my life for a long time. I recently traveled to Philadelphia in large part because I wanted to see the Star Trek exhibition at the museum there. I actually messed up my timing and missed the museum, so I’m considering a trip back before it closes just to see this exhibition.
This was my favorite piece in the issue. Also, Picard is the natural choice, of course. 😉
This is a pretty touching story. Star Trek, at its core, always struck me as being aimed towards the human condition; aliens, strange worlds and exotic dangers always stood in for the more mundane problems that we as individuals, and society as a whole, faced. It was that perspective of the fantastic that made the examples and lessons easier to accept. I’m glad to see that you and your father found a common interest in the show, and that you have such fond memories of him connected to it. That’s a lot more than many others have.
In response to “Get a Life” from The Escapist Forum: I completely agree with Mr. Roswell. It’s not ill-defined what constitutes Angry Fandom, the key phrase is “Obsessed with the obsession” with “trample the things you love, and they’ll never leave you” as a runner-up. It’s like with the infatuation story, he was in love with being in love, he saw this perfectly ordinary person as the end-all-be-all of everything to do with adolescence. In the end, she was just a girl.
There’s a line from the Masters of the Universe movie that encapsulates this concept as well, about how the wicked look upon what they can’t have and see that as their destiny.
I’ve never encountered Browncoats, but I’ve met quite a few less-than-likeable X-Men fans, namely the ones who importuned “Where’s Gambit?” for each of the three movies then weren’t any less angry when he finally did show up in the Wolverine movie. I wanted to say to them, at the risk of being eaten alive, “Look, Gambit’s just not that interesting a character. These movies are about people regretting their abilities and the problems that arise from having them. Gambit just doesn’t fit into that category.” The point is, they’re overlooking the source material because they basically want to see a glorified cosplayer on the big screen.
It’s fine to be a fan, but believing that just because you bought the ticket, book, toy, or adult halloween costume, you’re somehow entitled to the direction that work takes is just pure delusion. Fans come after the fact; they’re a reactionary phenomena, the effect and not the cause.
To quote another Escapist contributor, “Fans are clingy, complaining dipshits who will never ever be grateful for any concession you make. The sooner you shut out their shrill, tremulous voices, the happier you’ll be.”
There’s also a tribal element, an “us and them” mentality that leads to this sort of thing. If you feel you belong to a certain group, you fight for that group. And the less you’re exposed to other views the more extreme views tend to get. So it feeds on itself.
I mean I love the Trek, but I wouldn’t be a Trekkie, and the opinion of Trekkies that’s held by people in general makes me hesitant to mention this. But I could definitely see that people could be pushed the other way by the same reaction. So that even when they’re not being attacked they’re on a constant defense. But I would resist the temptation to Trek is the archetype, surely politicians and political parties get that cake for this?
Don’t bother with the expansion though, it sucks.
I remember when they first announced the expansion, you were going to be able to explore all 15 decks of Voyager. Unfortunately, that didn’t exactly pan out. You do get to explore a few more places than you could before, but yeah, all in all, not really worth installing.
I got it years ago as part of the “Action Pack” that included the expansion, and Star Trek Armada I & II. I spent quite a few hours in Armada as well. The voice acting in that is excellent.
I just found the Action Pack on Amazon for $80. Must be a collector’s item now, I guess; it was a lot less when I picked it up…
To the Editor: I regret to inform you that your recent article on “Instructions for Making a Star Trek Phaser” penned by Nick Haines is incredibly dangerous and should be taken off your site immediately.
I work as a physics lab technician for a secondary school and was recently tasked to make a similar “burning” laser. After getting in touch with a local Dr of physics at Lancaster University over initial safety concerns (we have to take safety by the book in a school environment) he informed us that unless the entire class was wearing full protective goggles which protected at the correct wavelength (the full glasses that cover the sides as well as above and below the eyes) then blinding someone was incredibly likely. Even an errant reflection from a shiny or white surface would blind a child in less than a second.
I understand that you mention the need for safety glasses and also stress safety precautions should be taken, but I cannot in good faith read the article and not be offended by its content. Proper protective goggles for this type of work are both expensive and difficult to obtain (you can’t just pick them up from Best Buy etc.), as a result people will attempt this without proper protection and risk permanent sight loss. The simple act of connecting a laser to a toy phaser is also dangerous, what do people initially want to do when faced with a gun like device? As a child who knew people who owned pellet guns invariably it would start with cans, before progressing onto stray cats and then pretty much all younger siblings and friends were fair game. Lastly it looks like a toy, and unless kept permanently in a high place or locked away, it will be sought after by young children who will be able to operate it easily (heck if I was eight again I would love a laser), once again with sight loss an unfortunate inevitability.
I have nothing against burning lasers, I love physics and wear my labcoat with pride, but you can understand my concerns when basically you have a dangerous laser device being packaged to look like a toy, being built by people who may not know the true dangers of what they are making, and in a weaponised form that almost promotes the shooting of people or animals. Despite your best efforts at stressing the proper usage for this device (and I do appreciate your stressing of how dangerous it is) it would be naive to think that all people would use it in such a safe and moral way. If just one blindness was caused by your article would it be worth it?
I really don’t want to be a party pooper, I know you’re not the only site with such guides, however, you are a site I visit regularly with excellent editorial content and I am surprised you would run such an article. It is definitely cool and I can appreciate the ingenuity gone into it, heck, I have made similar props myself with my own glowing Nuka Cola Quantum bottle and a full size metal bat’leth. It’s just the fact that this is a device that is deceptively dangerous and which can cause permanent irreperable sight loss in less than a second if used incorrectly. I don’t personally think it’s worth the risk.
Thanks for reading and I hope you understand my concerns are not aimed at your magazine, just this one particular article.