If your day is lacking a bit epicosity…

Handel’s ‘crowning’ achievement!

And if you’re looking for a bit of intelligent political discourse in this most hazy of days, watch this:

And then there’s this. No comment necessary.

Will George Lucas ever stop tinkering with this?!

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 Voyager : Time and Again 1.04

Woo-boy!

Voyager doesn’t waste any time getting to the stupid stuff, does it?

Okay. Maybe that’s not totally fair. Voyager doesn’t waste any time getting to the stupid time travel stuff, does it?

There was a lot wrong with this series, the lazy writing probably being the most egregious and damaging problem. The worst of the storytelling problems, (including bad characterization, wasting characters, crummy dialogue, etc) is the mismanagement of time travel as a narrative tool. The final episode was ruined by this. The threat of time travel literally hung over entire seasons for me. (“Might they just pop out of this to the moment before the episode began?”)

The reason they overused time travel is because they really made it work well once or twice. Year of Hell is fantastic, for instance. I even like the one where they go back to Los Angeles in 1996. And so they just wouldn’t let the concept alone.

Think I’m exaggerating?

This is the third story of the show. And it’s the second time travel story.

Anyway!

Investigating a recently decimated world, Paris and Janeway are thrown back in time to just before the disaster happened. Instead of the dead world they beamed down to, they find themselves in a lively city.

They reckon they have a day before the planet’s destruction. So the episode chronicles Paris and Janeway’s adventures on the planet on the day before D-Day. The crew of Voyager is also working on finding their lost captain and crewmate. In a literal race against time, Voyager’s efforts and Janeway’s efforts collide in an explosive conclusion.

The Voyager crew’s attempt to rescue Janeway and Paris is exactly what triggered the planet-killing explosion. They were cutting a hole through subspace (or something) and it was nearly hitting the polaric conduit. So Janeway shoots her phaser at the fracture, forcing it closed.

This protects the polaric conduit from being hit. It sends Janeway and Paris back to their proper time and place. And it makes everybody forget what happened.

If only it could do the same for the viewers.

I’m only kidding. It does seem like Trek series generally have weak freshman seasons though.

Anyway. It’s not all bad. The twist at the end is pretty interesting I think. The idea that their attempt at saving themselves was exactly the cause of the very same disaster they are attempting to escape from is clever.

It’s theologically correct too. (Of course I went there. This is Geeks of Christ, after all). If we look at this story as an illustration for a theological truth, we’ll find one. No character in the Bible ever traveled back a day in time to save an alien planet. None that I know of anyway.

The parallel to the Biblical story here is in the failure of the rescue attempt. The crew of Voyager was trying to save Janeway and caused her destruction – and the destruction of the planet she was on. That’s exactly what goes wrong for our race. We try to fix it ourselves and the result is destruction – for us and our world.

It’s like being stuck in a hole and trying to dig your way out. You just get yourself in deeper and covered in more dirt. Unless someone comes along to pull you out, you’ll be stuck there.

Man’s biggest problem is our separation from our Creator. Our rebelliousness and selfishness keep us apart from Him. And whenever we try to dig ourselves out of this relationship mess, we just get deeper.

We try to be good and that just gets us in deeper. We start feeling confident that we’re doing life well, but the problem hasn’t been solved. We’re still not with God, no matter how good we’re being.

We do the Atticus Finch thing, thinking that we just need to be more educated, then everything will be better. Well, it might be better for a time, but the problem still persists.

No matter how smart or good we are, we’re still not on good terms with our Creator. We just dig ourselves further into that hole – just as Janeway’s problem was getting worse with every step of her rescue.

We have to be lifted out of the hole. Janeway had to surrender and admit she couldn’t do it on her own. She phasered her only known means of escape (echoing her action in the first episode when she destroyed the Caretaker array). Giving up, she was rescued for real.

Star Trek Voyager : Parallax 1.03

Parallax

The Voyager crew is united for one purpose: to get home.

They come from wildly different political and social backgrounds. Their personal histories vary. Torres carries hurt from growing up among humans as the only Klingon. Tom Paris was just released from prison for a one-off space mission that’s stranded him on the other end of the galaxy. Tuvok has a wife and family at home. Chakotay worries about his mission with the Maquis. Harry Kim is just a kid, graduated from the academy and lost on his very first mission. Janeway’s first command trapped her far from home, and far from her beloved fiancé Mark.

These people not only have their own stories that compel them to get home, they also have reasons for the trip becoming unpleasant. Some of the crew are Starfleet. And some of the crew are Maquis. There is great mistrust. They’re not always as efficient or helpful because of these differences.

But they are united in that single goal of getting home.

This is the Church.

This capsule of humanity united in a purpose. Even united in the same purpose; the Church is filled with people on their way home.

Christians have a home that is not here yet. We’re looking forward to it, expecting it to come. We’re on board with people who all have different backgrounds. Even different philosophies and politics. But we’re united in our mission to get home. Whether we’re peasants, kings, soldiers, teachers, truck drivers, or whatever – we’re going home.

Where is home?

It’s not earth. Not for Voyager, not for the Church. Earth is the setting for home in both cases, but it is not home. The most important question isn’t where home is or what’s there for you. How are you getting home isn’t even as important as this, which has haunted me my whole life: Who?

Who is home? Janeway wants to be with her man. Harry misses his girlfriend and his parents. The Church wants to go home to be with its King, Savior, Redeemer, Creator. I don’t care where we are together, as long as we’re together. And since I’ve been brought into His family, nothing can stop me from getting to be with Him. I’ll go round the moons of Nibia and round the Antares maelstrom and round perdition’s flames before I give him up!

He went much further to attain me.

Stowaways

In this metaphor, I’m not really Janeway or Tuvok. They were at home, left, and are now going back. I’ve never actually been there. I’m only looking forward to it. In that sense, I’m more like Neelix or Kes. They heard of the wonders of home and joined in. Eventually, they’ll get another stowaway in Seven of Nine.

Until they get home, they’ll be spreading peace and justice everywhere. Even though the crew and their stowaways have a long way to go, they need to be acting like they’re already there. They need to stand for the same principles that they would stand for at home.

I had a whole thing about the holodeck being like prayer. Skip that. I’ll just rest on this thought: Who is home?

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