Star Trek is... illogical?

   I remember watching that new Star Trek movie on TV, about a year ago. The 2009 J.J. Abrams film. I certainly wasn’t sold on the next ones. Here’s why.

   First off, there is the matter of the “red matter”. That is not a WMD, it’s a WWD – a Weapon of World Destruction. Scratch that. It’s a WSSD – a Weapon of Solar System Destruction! It’s insane! Beats the Death Star. Beats Galactus. Beats everything I ever saw or read in SF/F – except maybe for the awakening of Azathoth and the Great Old Ones, with the stars being “right” and all. But really, that “red matter” is CRAZY. If such a weapon existed, it would require an intergalactic Imperium’s Security Council just to safeguard it and prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. And you would never – ever – put it aboard one tiny shuttlecraft named Jellyfish with a lone aging Vulcan ambassador in it. ARE YOU MAD? Such a superpowerful weaponized substance should be escorted by an entire armada of Battlestars and heavy warships! This is ridiculous. It’s like putting the entirety of Earth’s nuclear warheads on a damn yacht with Madeleine Albright at the tiller, and send that craft somewhere on the high seas without further monitoring!

   How come the Federation didn’t notice the disappearance of the most dreadful weapon in the galaxy? Twenty-five years later that rift in space ought to be the most heavily guarded point in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. One huge space station plus a hundred major warships patrolling AT ALL TIMES.

   This scenario by Orci & Kurtzman makes no sense at all.

   And then there is the thing with those twenty-five years. Seriously, a ship full of Romulan convicts waited patiently in a remote corner of space for twenty-five years without being noticed, without ever interacting with the rest of the universe, without any mutiny, and without the crew going nuts and killing each other? Not one of these convicts ever said, “Fuck you, Nero! I’ll go to Romulus, and have sex with all the Romulan bitches I can find for the next twenty-five years – and then if Romulus is annihilated in 2387, so be it. But I’m not gonna wither away aboard this damn ugly depressing mining ship. Not for twenty-five years, no way!”

   And where did they get their food and water during all those years? From a replicator, all of it? For a quarter of a century? Really?

   This tremendously long wait is predicated upon ONE single assumption: Nero somewhat knows that Spock’s shuttle carries the all-powerful red matter, and he knows that the shuttle is being sucked into the very same time-rift – but time-rifts are unpredictable anomalies, and if Spock’s shuttle is sucked into the rift eighteen minutes after the Narada, on the other end of the rift (in the past) those eighteen minutes could very well become twenty-five years! Nero knows that. He’s not only a convict and a miner – he’s also an expert on time-rifts somehow...

   So, after the first six months of stealthily waiting, a few Romulans said, “Well, forget it, boss – that shuttle’s not coming! Can’t you see? It has probably escaped the rift’s gravitational pull or something... Let’s move on!”

   But Nero quelled this rebellion and said, “We’ll wait a little longer. Like, twenty more years or so.”

   It’s a farce. A joke. It is NOT AT ALL believable.

   J.J. Abrams has terrible timeline problems, and always tries to blur this blatant flaw by adding “magic” and some “parallel reality”, like we had in Lost and in Fringe.

   Hardcore Trekkies scrambled to fix that huge incoherence by claiming that the entire crew of the Narada was jailed on Rura Penthe during those twenty-five years; but that’s weak, honestly. Doesn’t solve anything, come to think of it. Reeks of desperation.

   So pardon me if I didn’t see the second Star Trek with Cumberbatch, and probably won’t see this new one either. I know Abrams will make a good movie at some point in the future. Let’s lay low and wait for a while – like, twenty-five more years.


Thank You, Evil

   Politically Correct role-playing games? Wait. Let’s talk about this for a bit...

   When I was a teen, it was still possible to pee into colossal flower beds beautifully spelling out the name of your home town, without ending up on YouTube less than half an hour later, and it was possible to play an evil priest of Arioch in Stormbringer, sacrificing innocent human farmers and infants to your villainous god, without being issued an arrest warrant or slammed into the loony bin. Just take a look at these 1988 Iron Maiden lyrics––

I am He – the Bornless One
The Fallen Angel watching you
Babylon, the Scarlet Whore
I’ll infiltrate your gratitude
Don’t you dare to save your son
Kill him now and save the young ones
Be the mother of a birth strangled babe
Be the devil’s own – Lucifer’s my name!

   Those were the days, right? We had to endure through the Satanic Panic of the eighties, but teenagers today are going through something else entirely – something that didn’t get a catchy name yet – let’s call it a “Political Correctness Steamroller”.

   I don’t know, but maybe I actually liked society better before it became just one big worldwide social data farm...

    No Thank You, Evil is cool and rather cute while the kids are 7 or 8, but I don’t think these kids will be allowed to play Stormbringer nine years from now, or listen to Iron Maiden for that matter. I’m not even sure RPGNow would carry Stormbringer today. Even Of Mice and Men: the Role-Playing Game wouldn’t make the cut, because, you know, Lennie kills a woman. Les Misérables: the Role-Playing Game would be banned too, because 11-year-old Gavroche is shot dead at the end. Child soldiers? Child murder? We couldn’t stand for that, no sir. Go sell this crap elsewhere.

   Sooner or later, in games and in fiction, we won’t be able to “kill” anything but generic, nonhuman robots and zombies. No living thing – and especially not animals. An excellent novel about thirteenth-century German and French crusaders hunting and killing lions in the Holy Land won’t stand a chance of getting published. It’s frightening, in a way.

   But the “No Evil” trend actually started back in 1989 when AD&D 2E removed all demons, devils, assassins, and psionics. Psionics are evil, apparently. Charles Xavier is an evil mastermind of the mind.

   Nowadays, if one freethinker parent chooses to let his teenage kid play an evil priest of Arioch, that kid will obviously brag about it to his friends, word will get around, the other kids’ parents will soon learn about it, disapprove, and put this matter up on Facebook. Half a million parents will then righteously “like” that denunciation.

   Is Gen X doomed because it used to play evil characters and love Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden? Absolutely not. It is doomed because a bunch of frat boys in New York and Hong Kong fucked up the economy on a global scale. There is that worldwide social data farm, and then there is also the world-encompassing financial sandbox.

   Evil didn’t do that. “Good boys” did.