Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
It began last night, as these things so often do, with a delivery from Amazon: Logan’s Run, not the Michael York movie which we own already, but the “spinoff” series which I think is more of a reboot. The special effects are pre Star Wars, although teevee seasons debuted around September back in the day, so it must have been about four months after the big revolution…so as you can imagine, that’s what happened to that.
Yet the sci-fi franchises which dot the landscape of seventies culture history served an auxiliary purpose, besides dazzling us with the special effects of people shooting each other with beams of light, and robots and spaceships and what-not. As one can easily recognize today by watching one episode after another, there was a need, perhaps a therapeutic one, to morally preen. Post-Watergate, the conflict was usually the way it existed in Logan’s Run: Unscrupulous bureaucrats running the city-state, keeping secrets, perhaps they were old men or perhaps robots. The drama was with their attempts to stamp out the opposition, the morally pristine hippie-children who dared to ask questions and were skeptical of the doctrines. Thus, the dystopian setting was a blend between Nineteen Eighty-Four and Star Trek, the latter of which must accept most of the blame for the uniformity and lazy writing throughout this era. I used to think that was just my perspective, from having been a “Trekkie.” More learning has persuaded me toward the conclusion that it isn’t; this is objective truth.
Our cultural schism is nicely encapsulated and represented by Star Trek, which to fans like myself, captured all sorts of passions that had nothing to do with the hippie-preening. The concept of the “final frontier” stoked my imagination. What fascinated the fans like me, were the episodes modeled after Forbidden Planet: The strong, decisive picture of manliness who leads this expedition, arrives at the alien setting with his two trusty and colorful sidekicks, and discovers some old codger with questionable scruples who runs the entire planet and has exactly one daughter running around in skimpy clothes, lacking any mother worth mentioned anywhere, who’s never seen a man before and needs to be taught how to kiss. And, there’s a mystery to be unraveled. Also, an unsolvable problem that has to be solved, or else they’ll all be marooned here forever.
But for our household, the mystery was why, when our local affiliate moved Star Trek up from six to five, Dad, who so often groused away about Star Trek being the most idiotic show on the air, suddenly started rushing home from work so he could be there at the opening credits. The point of fascination for me was the transporters, and the discovering alien planets. Then, it came to be about solving the unsolvable problems, the “What’s Captain Kirk going to do about this?” The best episodes for me are still the ones with problems-within-problems, like Friday’s Child and City on the Edge of Forever.
Years later, by the era of the Bald Captain, it became clear there is a whole different fan base, no doubt aptly represented by influential writers within the staff — they think the “plucky resourceful manly Captain” episodes are just a big waste of time, ditto for the display of special effects. They think the morally preening is the entire point. And the episodes that gratify them, are a crushing, snotty, lecturing bore to people like me.
Spock would find this “fascinating”: I struggle, in vain, to think of any one single episode out of any Star Trek franchise that offers fans like them, and fans like me, what we want. Seems the more opportunities Jean-Luc Picard and William Riker have to morally preen, and show the difference between themselves and ordinary scum of the galaxy, the less workable it is for them to show their plucky resourcefulness and problem-solving acumen. Almost like an addition equation involving a constant: P + R = K. There was, evidently, someone on the newer writing staff who thought that was the way it should work. They even had a robot to figure out what to do & get it done; the job of the humans was to react, and then dispense the snotty lecturing.
Back to Logan’s Run: The childish, “is-not-is-too” debates between the morally pure, intellectually vigorous hippies and the stodgy old martinets who ran the City of Domes, along with the “Sandmen” like Francis VII who obeyed the martinets without question — ironically — sound very much like any one of today’s exchanges about global warming. But the doctrinaire myrmidons who insist the dogma is true and that it’s too dangerous outside the city walls for anyone to venture safely into the unknown, sound less like yesterday’s Nixon administration defenders, than like today’s libs. The morally pure hippies who dare to question the doctrine, sound like they’ve been listening to Glenn Beck. Funny how that works, innit? That’s “fascinating” too.
The schism among sci-fi fans mirrors the schism among us with regard to everything else: What’s the point of life? What’s the point of the show? Some of us think it’s all about solving real problems. Others among us think the problem-solving is a waste of time, and morally preening is the entire point.
They think they are the forebearers of the ones who will one day invent Warp Drive and make all this possible — doing nothing, solving nothing, just lecturing. That, too, is fascinating, if not sane.
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