It’s Federation Day!

SOLAR NEWS NETWORK HARD COPY EXTRACT 10.11.2161
IT’S FEDERATION DAY!
5 sign new UFP Constitution
SAN FRANCISCO, Earth (SNN) – Declaring it a landmark day in the history of each of their worlds, five envoys today breathed life into the fledgling United Federation of Planets with the signing of the new organization’s Constitution amid much pomp and circumstance.
“We are truly entering a brave new world of peace, exploration and security with the establishment of this Federation, declared Earth ambassador Thomas Vanderbilt, whose remarks were echoed by representatives from Vulcan, Andor, Tellar, and Alpha Centauri.
“Following the end of your world’s war with the unseen Romulan enemy, such a union as we create here today is the most logical course of action any of our peoples can take,” added Ambassador T’Jan of Vulcan.
UESPA Maj. Gen. Georges E. Picard, an aide to Vanderbilt, noted afterward the irony of the conference – which met in exactly the same fashion as the founders of the Earth’s old United Nations, who came together only 215 years earlier in the same city in the aftermath of the horrors of another costly war.*
“What is occurring here today is one sign that some good can come of such a scourge,” Picard noted.
“We defy anyone, even the Romulans, to test our resolve now for collective security,” declared AmbassadorNatha Kell of Tellar, while Sarahd of Andor spoke of future greatness for the infant union and predicted rapid expansion. Ambassador Titus Oleet signed for the newly independent Centauri system.
Today’s events were but the ceremonial endgame for the often-tumultuous negotiations, which began in earnest after the defeat of hostile forces at Cheron effectively ended the Romulan War only a little more than ayear ago. Even today, some sources reported a later fracas involving the Tellarite Kell and Sarahd.
Although those taking part today waived off revealing many specific details, the five after signing immediately convened the first-ever meeting of the UFP Council long enough to elect Vanderbilt as president, with Sarahd as vice president.
Also, the Council sources unanimously voted to continue meeting in San Francisco, with an all-new building in the design stages near the historic old Presidio fort and Golden Gate Bridge. Council sources predicted at least three months would be needed before the fledgling UFP bureaucracy would be ready for business.

Star Trek : The Enemy Within

Kirk splits in two. One good. One evil.

The evil side tears through the ship on a passion-driven hunt for sex and power.

He targets and actually abuses Yeoman Rand.

Good Kirk describes Bad Kirk: “He’s like an animal. A thoughtless, brutal animal. And yet it’s me. Me!”

Why does Kirk need to keep his bad side? Why does he insist that the villainous Kirk is still him?

We are bad

One potential reason for holding onto the bad side would be that it’s true that we have a bad side. Since we can’t deny that each of us has a bad side, maybe it’s there for a reason. Maybe we need it. McCoy, in the worst reasoning I’ve heard on any Star Trek, “We all have our darker side. We need it! It’s half of what we are. It’s not really ugly. It’s human.”

But the mere presence of a thing does not indicate its legality. That is, admitting we have a bad side does not mean we should encourage its continued presence in our lives.

We should try to see what’s it’s even there for. Why do we even have a bad side?

Just in case you don’t quite believe that we are bad, here’s the Bible.

  • YAHWEH saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5
  • How then can man be in the right before God? How can he who is born of woman be pure? Behold, even the moon is not bright, and the stars are not pure in his eyes; how much less man, who is a maggot, and the son of man, who is a worm!” Job 25:4-6
  • Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.” Ecclesiastes 7:20
  • The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9
  • We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away” Isaiah 64:6
  • For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” Mark 7:21-23
  •  “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19
  • None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.” Romans 3:10-11
  • For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23
  • For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:7-8
  • The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” I Corinthians 2:14
  • For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.” Titus 3:3

So the Bible says we’re bad. Maybe you noticed a negative review of our badness in those statements.

We are bad and we should not be. None of these excerpts command us to just shrug and say, “Oh well,” or, “So what if I was born bad?”

The glory of God is a desirable thing. It’s something pleasurable, profound, sweet, eternal, and joyous. Falling short of that glory is not something to shrug at. Falling short of that glory is not something to ignore for the sake of having an easy life.

What Star Trek got right

Given over to darkness, even a good person can create massive damage. Captain Kirk is a great guy. He’s a hero! But given a full separation from the influence of whatever light was in him turns him into a howling maniac.

What Star Trek got wrong

Good Kirk would not get weaker if Bad Kirk died. Good Kirk does not need Bad Kirk.

The whole point of this show is to reunite both sides of Kirk’s personality. Kirk’s dark side is a rapist. He attacks women. Why is he needed?

Spock explains, “We see here indications that it’s his negative side which makes him strong, that his evil side, if you will, properly controlled and disciplined, is vital to his strength.”

The evil, woman-attacking part of him gives him his strength? So every bit of power comes from an evil desire that is then tempered by a person’s good side.

This dumb conclusion has a few logical problems. I’ll just raise the questions:

  • If the evil were removed from us, would there even be any good left?
  • Are all decisions made by evil? What about the decisions to not do evil things?
  • Are control and discipline applications that our evil sides would even tolerate?

Who is the most powerful being there is? It’s god, the God. The same one that created the world, brought Israel out of Egypt, crushed nations, rose from the dead, and is coming back to finally reclaim whatever of His creation does not currently acknowledge His supremacy.

And where does His power come from? Did He ever use some inner evil power drive to source His decisions? His decisiveness was never, and will never be, evil.

Is God powered by evil?

Why should we think that we need to be powered by evil?

Star Trek : Mudd’s Women

Mudd’s a pimp. Plain and simple. He’s carting these women around to cash in on them. He’s a jerk.

On his way to deliver the ladies to their prospective husbands, Mudd gets into a bit of space danger and the Enterprise rescues him. The rescue cost the Enterprise a great deal: their (di)lithium crystal circuits are blown.

Detouring to Rigel XII, to benefit from its lithium mines, the crew of the Enterprise gets a chance to learn more about Mudd and his scheme, and to be enchanted by his lovely companions.

Kirk wants to prosecute the creep.

The women want to dump the husbands they were going to marry and go with the miners instead.

Mudd wants to keep the secret of their beauty a secret.

When the Enterprise arrives at Rigel XII, the lonely miners are pretty excited to meet the women that want to marry them.

For some reason.

But once the miners start marrying the beauties, things change. They start to lose their beauty. (Or, in Magda’s case, her hair gets messed up!) Turns out, Mudd had been giving the ladies a special Venus pill that helped that maintain their beauty.

The head miner was pretty ticked and wanted a refund. The woman he was set to marry hollers at him about how all men are the same and he should want to marry her for more than her beauty.

So she grabs another pill and returns to her pretty state.

But she didn’t take a real Venus pill. Kirk reveals that he switched it out with a false one, a placebo. Where does her physical beauty come from? Her self-confidence.

Groan

I know this is a beloved episode. I couldn’t stand it.

This was actually the first time I saw it, this one being banned when I was a kid. ( Banned by my father for, what I assume, equal parts moral objection and personal annoyance at lighthearted stuff on Star Trek. We skipped Tribbles for the latter reason.)

I noticed some holes.


Didn’t the miners wonder why these three gorgeous women were having trouble finding husbands? I know this a take-off on the old West trope of delivering pretty wives from the East and the trip not going exactly as planned. So there is a bit of logical leniency given to an update of such an old theme. But not enough leniency can be given for this to work satisfactorily for me.

When the Venus pill wears off, their hair and make-up get messed up? This is just the product of restrictive budgets on a new TV show with a shaky audience base and a bizarre premise. I get that. Still. I’m watching this show saying, “Can’t they just borrow somebody’s make-up?”

The following is less a plot hole thing and more a time vortex thing. Three-time Trek actor Gene Dynarski appears have simply changed the color of his facial hair to convince audiences that he ages normally. I’m not buying it. He’s on the Venus pill.

In Mudd’s Women, The Mark of Gideon, and 11001001

“Oh! The sound of male ego! You travel halfway across the galaxy, and it’s still the same song.”

Let’s get to this whole “your confidence makes you beautiful” thing.

There’s an obvious problem here. Eve demands to be valued for more than her looks. Then, when forced to take the pill, she’s pretty again. Only the prettiness is sourced from her own self-appointed value. The problem is that even her inner confidence seems to think that her only value is in her looks!

The placebo works only because her confidence is high. So I’m thinking if she has a lot of confidence and takes the pill, she should look the same, only feel good about herself. Instead her looks change, suddenly interesting the miner Childress.

I know there’s a thing about your external beauty reflecting, or hosting, your inner. I do not think that’s what’s going on here. Here’s the effects of Eve taking the pill:

  • Childress likes her again
  • Mudd’s sale is a success
  • Eve doesn’t have to figure out the tricky combination of being self-confident and ugly.

“I will love myself for who am I. And…oh! I’m pretty again! Neat!”

Feels like a cop-out to me. Her self-confidence was never tested. And Childress’ interest in her was never proven to be anything beyond lust. He had about three minutes with the ugly Eve, got yelled at, and then got to marry the pretty version.

“I read once that a commander has to act like a paragon of virtue. I never met a paragon.”

It comes down to image. Eve was unsatisfied with Childress’ image of her. So she rightfully asserted herself. But then her own image of herself was a bit wonky too, since it became realized in exactly the same form as her lusty miner husband-to-be’s.

Why bother announcing a new positive self-image if you’re just going to conform to what somebody else wants you to be?

Her self-image was still coming from men. That’s the problem with self-image. It can never be entirely sourced in you. You want to be beautiful just for you, not for anyone else. Yet the image of what you want to be comes from somewhere. It comes from someplace other than your own head.

So be careful where your image comes from.

“Men will always be men. No matter where they are.”

I used to daydream as a kid. Believe it or not this grown man writing about Star Trek and Doctor Who used to daydream. I would pretend to be Green Lantern when I was really little; Fred Astaire when I was even littler. And when I was a teenager, I pretended to be Pete Townshend.

I would swing my arms (still do sometimes), shout out angry young man songs (still do that too), and threaten to smash the first guitar I ever owned (providing, of course, that a second guitar was already in my possession).

I felt silly doing this, so I tried to do my own rock thing. I still swung my arms around and longed for a chance to smash a guitar. But these actions were now simply homages, not shameless copying.

After all, I was my own person.

Even in trying to distance myself from copping another’s personality, I was still being influenced – and strongly – by something from not inside myself. Even if I had dropped the smashing guitars and windmilling bit and just stuck to playing rock and roll, I still would have used A-chords and I still would have played them upon a piece of wood with long thin bands of metal affixed to it. I couldn’t possibly just start from scratch and really be my own person. Rock and roll is only complex enough to handle four or five different personality types. They’re all just riffs on the same few archetypes.

I digress…

“Being a rock star is a bit different from having self-confidence,” you say.

“Yeah, but only a bit,” I sneer. (My testy rock and roll persona seems to have reemerged…)

But truly, the differences between having self-confidence and daydreaming about being a rock star are not very great in my mind. Both admit dissatisfaction with your present self and both make a goal of becoming a version of yourself that’s based on external (ie, not from your own mind) appearances and attitudes.

In other words, you’re getting your you-ness from somewhere.

So.

Be careful where your image comes from.

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