Imagination Connoisseurs take a look back at the past year and share their thoughts on what’s to come in 2021 and in their favorite genre franchises.

WW84 might be a little to 80s for people to accept.

Hi Rob and Happy New Year to all the members of the post-geek-singularity.
I’m a new subscriber to the Burnettwork, but have been an avid consumer of Nerdrotic, Mr H, the Drinker, Midnight’s Edge et al for some time now. I found your work via your contributions on their channels and I have to say I’ve become a fan of the Burnettwork in the short order.

I wanted to talk about the Fandom Menace in general and more specifically, the recent and savage evisceration of Wonder Woman 1984.

Listening to your comments on objectively good movies and all the criticism levelled at WW84 by your colleagues, I have to say that the issues raised – by and large – are unarguable.

But I think that many are rather missing the point and the context in which the movie was made.

Is WW84 a serious comic book movie or 80s comic “camp”?

WW84 seemed to me to be a movie that was intended to be a comic-book pop-corn flick made (and obviously set) in the 80s. To extrapolate – if they’d have made a Wonder Woman movie in 1984 – this would have been it.

The comics in those days (pre-crisis) were garish, far-fetched and often extremely campy: WW84 is garish, far-fetched and extremely campy. So it seems to me that WW84 is an 80s comic story come to life, shot, directed and performed as though it was made AT THAT TIME.

A note also on the “people didn’t dress like that in 80s” – well, no they mostly didn’t, but pick up a comic from that era and you’ll see big hair, lots of pink and purple… basically what we saw in the movie.

Does any of that excuse the flaws – no, it doesn’t, but as Mr H said, the movie is McDonalds – it’s shit, we know its shit, but every now-and-again – most people love a McD’s.

I enjoyed WW84 – it’s like much of the MCU output; I enjoyed those movies but I don’t think about them, talk about them or remember much about them having consumed them.

Which brings me to context.

Anyone that knows pop-culture knows that WW84 was made during a state of flux at Warners. The “dark and gritty” Snyder-Verse out, the “light and fun” AquaZam verse was in and the DCEU was going to be quietly swept under the rug and forgotten about. Then, the Snyder-Cut was slated for release and everything changed.

In any event – attacking WW84 for being tonally out of whack with the first movie (set in the SynderVerse) is, I think, a little unfair given the wealth of knowledge the Fandom Menacers have about the production.

Yes – this has been mentioned on a few streams, but it’s treated as a side-note – but I think this lack of direction and course changing in Warners / AT&T had an effect on the movie. How could it not?

I’m not excusing the movie’s flaws, but I think the vitriolic reactions to it are beyond the pale.

For me, this is becoming a theme in the Fandom Menace and it’s one that I find a little perturbing.

There seems a kind of glee seeping into the output as though we’re waiting for the next thing to come out just to tear it to pieces. And we’re gonna ENJOY tearing it to pieces.

Look at the hyperbole over “The Sun’s” reports on issues over the “The Batman” as a for-instance; it’s almost as though the Menace at large wants this to be true. And wants “The Batman” to be a disaster. Now, the party line is “we want it to be good”… but it doesn’t feel like that. It feels like the Menace wants things to fail so there can be a stream of “I told you so’s.”

It’s getting very very negative and I hope this isn’t a trend that continues: I think the Fandom Menace has done brilliant work – the Midnight’s Edge’s, Nerdrotic’s and DoomCocks of this world really have held the woke feet to the fire and I believe have affected change in some quarters (looking at you, Mando).

But honestly, the constant negativity is becoming a turn off.

The other day, I tuned into the Inquisition, heard Gary’s opening diatribe about how shit WW84 was – and turned it off; this is a first for me as I enjoy the content from Geeks and Gamers, DoomCock, Gary, Tom et al.

But – I didn’t want to listen to another four hours of how shit everything is. However, it’s not just the Inquisition – this negativity is creeping into virtually every editorial and every stream.

It’s almost as if we’re becoming what we set out to fight against. The woke crowd froths at the mouth about ists, isms and phobes everywhere and now we’re finding woke in pretty much everything and anything. We’re doing a lot of shrieking and frothing of our own.

Now, the counter-cry to this is “just give us good content!” Well, I’m beginning to fear that whatever content comes out it’s not going to be good enough.

To circle back to WW84 – I’d have liked for the analysis to be a bit more in depth, the context taken more into consideration, for pop-culture experts to realise that the garish, ott style was entirely in keeping with the comics and films of the time.

And sure, then point out all the other stuff. No-one should ask anyone to compromise their journalistic integrity – but for me it seems less about journalistic integrity and more like the Menace now has its own “we hate everything” agenda.

I’m sorry for my first correspondence to be so negative (I’m complaining about negativity, so I’m not blind to the irony here!).

So – I need to clarify – I have loved listening to the streams and editorials, all of you have produced such brilliant, brilliant content for so long – I’m a fan, you guys do wonderful work and I will of course continue to listen and support.

But I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this missive if you have time.

In any event – My thanks to you and all your peers for keeping the streams going especially over Xmas to keep those people who were in enforced isolation company – 24/7! That was a wonderful gesture and incredibly thoughtful.

Anyway – Here’s to 2021 and hopefully some genre content that we can all love.

All the best

Russ W.

 

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Star Trek: Discovery boldly went there, didn’t they? (SPOILERS)

Hi Rob and to the Post Geek Singularity.

Happy New Year to all of you. Before I go to the main topic of my letter, I would like to take note that there are Filipino films that are streaming right now on Netflix so you can check them out there in case you’re curious about Filipino cinema. There’s also a streaming service called iWantTFC that has a vast library of Filipino films and shows. If you really want to do a deep dive on Filipino content, you can check out that service. It’s free but there’s additional subscription needed to access the premium content.

Star Trek: Discovery

Anyways, in this letter, I am taking a break from my usual discussion of Filipino cinema and discuss the latest episode of Star Trek: Discovery, “There Is a Tide…” which is the penultimate episode of the third season. Beware for those who haven’t seen it because I will discuss some spoilers.

Oh my God, Rob. Oh my God….are you kidding me? Okay, let me cool down. First of all, the cold open was corny and the editing of the “braced for impact” moment was clunky. Also, in this episode, Michael Burnham became the most important figure of the universe as usual. The annoying character from episode 2 is back and he’s still the mustache twirly villain. There was also a lot of tropes. Some of the decisions of the characters were baffling. It’s just a clunky episode. But my biggest criticism is the part where they want to form a new Federation. The conversations made me cringe because they are portraying the Federation as an exclusive club for the elite that is not inclusive or welcome to discover more about the universe.

I get what they were trying to say, but they are once again fundamentally changing the Star Trek universe and how the Federation works. The writing was just bad unfortunately and the way they portrayed the Federation goes against what the show has been standing for. Their argument of making a new Federation was just weak. It’s hard to express in words because I was just baffled.

I do hope you get what I mean here. I don’t know what’s gonna happen in the season finale but I am expecting a disappointing outcome. Also, in this episode, it seems like they have forgotten The Burn already and quickly jumped to another storyline even though there’s just one episode left after this.

Anyways, that is all my letter for now. Also, I want to say thank you Rob because your shows have been my source of entertainment during quarantine. I love hearing your thoughts in entertainment news, shows, or films even though I disagree in some of them. I also want to thank you for reading my letters on-air and I hope you enjoyed them. I am going to write more as much as I can.

Also, the PSG environment is just so friendly and I hope you will all keep up the good work as we enter a new year. Thank you, stay safe, and live long and prosper.

Jay

 

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Thanks for the memories, PGS!

Hi Rob, moderators, and Post Geek Singularity,

Hopefully, this letter will be read before the New Year, though I guess it can work after the New Year as well.
2020 has finally come to an end, which I admit was a bit surprised at. I think each year feels long, but I felt like 2020 was going on forever, for some reason.

RMB in the ROBSERVATORY – have a great 2021!

I know a lot of of bad things have happened, like the pandemic, racial tensions, riots, and other things, but a lot of good things have happened as well. You expanded your brand, Rob. You successfully created 3 new shows, alongside Robservations: Winening About Movies with Elysabeth, Let’s Get Physical Media with Dieter, and Fully Articulated with Az. You also helped bring fans of entertainment together, now known as the Post Geek Singularity.

I have been a fan of yours since either AMC or Collider, I can’t recall, but did not join the live chat and send letters until 2020, as you started your channel back in 2018. That is something I regret, as I wished I had joined sooner. In the time I joined the chat and sent letters, I have come to know and be vey fond of you, your moderators, and the Post Geek Singularity. I think of us all as friends, or pen pals per se, since we pretty much write to one another on a regular basis, and have come to know much about each other, outside of our affinity for entertainment like movies, tv shows, etc..

I want to give a congrats to everyone of us for making it through another year, and I want to give a shout out to certain members of the Post Geek Singularity, as I have become aware of some impressive things they have done. Congrats to Dieter Bastian for co-hosting the new show, Let’s Get Physical Media. Congrats to Writer B.L Alley for his Arosil books. Congrats to Willow Yang for completing all of her education this semester. Congrats to all of those who became moderators (if I forget your name I apologize, since there’s a lot of you now) like Bunyon Snipe, Purple Valkyrie, Joshua Levesque, Robert Pareso, Justin Toner, Henok Ghebreghergis, MC Blacqap, Gregory Smith, and maybe Jordy Lyons (I can’t recall at the moment, if Jordy is a moderator).

I also want to give a shout out to those who don’t really appear in the chat very often anymore, but I still consider them part of the Post Geek Singularity and hope they join the chat soon since they are very missed, like Jeremie Tshibasu, Vesna Lukic, and Paula Bollers.

I know things got a little tough halfway through the year Rob, as I know you had to deal with a lot of crap from people. Rough times can happen, but the Post Geek Singularity stuck together the best we could, and we’re still here, as we stuck it out and got through it.

To wrap it up, we all made it to the end of 2020, and let’s hope 2021 will be better. I mean, I can’t imagine it being worse, but knowing my luck, I might have just jinxed it.

Thanks, live long and prosper.
Omar

 

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One Imagination Connoisseur’s epic journey through geekdom and search for a Utopian society

Editor’s Note: This letter has been edited for clarity and length.

Hi Rob.

As you have gathered I was thinking about writing my very first letter for the past 500 episode and not sure what to say. I now have what I want to say.

I thought I would start from the beginning.

I was born in Bath in Somerset England United Kingdom. I spent the first few months of my life in a village in Wiltshire called Dilton Marsh and eventually at the age of 5 my parents moved to Reading Berkshire. unfortunately a few years before I was five I had a rare form of epilepsy. This delayed my ability to learn.

For years I struggled. I feel behind in school and found interaction with pupils at school difficult either they were not into the same things I was into or they would call me names or call my mother a bitch. This would send me crazy.

At the weekends my parents would take me and my sister to my paternal grandparents house in London in an area of Battersea called the Latchmere. My Grand father was a famous author and formal war correspondant. My grandmother a part Jewish part Arabic-Egyptian women born into a Coptyic family. In the time I knew her, she was an athest. That’s another story for another time.

My grandmother told my mother that she saw potential in me and asked my mother to protect me. It was from then on that my mother would go through anything I went through practically given up her entire life for me. At this stage in life I was in a special needs school called Brookfields School in Tilehurst. My subjects were all the basic subjects Science, Maths, PSHE, RE, PE, English, Geography, Citizenship and later on Sex Education and History until I was 13.

From 13 until I left school, all my history came from historical documentaries. The documentaries gave me a sense of nationalistic patriotism. At the time I was too young and too stupid to understand how dangerous these two things can be if not kept under control.

To make matters worse, my paternal cousins were living in France – so historical discussions at home often stayed peaceful (if it was just me, my sister and my mother) but with the rest of the family, the discussions would range all over the place and get quite intense, with my Swedish Aunt taking about Swedens Empire. Or my cousin Edward talking about Napoleon Bonaparte and France and the battles between the British and the English. My grandmother would then get intensely political and would turn the entire conversation to her birth in the Sudan – or as it was know in her day as the Anglo Egyptian Sudan. She would talk about General Gordon, the manner of his murder and how in the end the British had to use machine guns and gun boats to crush any uprising and retake Khartoom.

My uncle was into history also and we would have the most interesting debates.

As my schooling progressed, I was soon introduced to World War 2 at entry level. It covered two things: The Battle of Britain and what was seen as the patriotic story of how Britian, on its own, withstood attempts from the Nazis to get Britian to surrender by trying to wipe out its airforce so that they could conduct a seaborne invasion. The other bit was the Holocaust, which I did not smile at and took in. At the time, there was a lot that people did not know about the Holocaust or the exact number of people that were killed.

The rest of history covered the Tudor period with Henry VIII’s six wives and the Great Fire of London. The history classes also exposed us to Historical people like William Shakespeare and Sir Francis Drake. Then on TV, I would watch programmes about Horatio Nelson and Wellington and Battles like Trafalger.

I would even have that discussion around the dinner table that would be about who from history would you invite for dinner. It would be Julius Ceasar and Boudica one night and then Nelson and Napoleon the next. Both a receipe for disaster, since neither would have liked each other. The other would be able the the Crimean War and other events in History.

TV in Britain at the time was basically: BBC 1,2, 3,4 ITV,1,2,3 and Channels 4 and 5. The internet was a new thing. First was the dial up which would land a dinosuar on your screen if you had no internet. Then was early broadband. Computers in the house were these big bulky heavy screens with a tower.

Outside of school and home, I had been encouraged to swim competitivately. This exposed me to great swimmers like Iain Thrope and Micheal Phelps predicessors. By the time I was 16 years old, I was a national junior champion and the second fastest swimmer in the country and a multi gold medalist in the Special Olympic Games in Glasgow.

It was when I was seven however, that I was at home after a day at school which was not going well and on the BBC was a repeat of Star Trek the Next Generation. My dad had watched the original when it was airing in the 60s and hated the next generation but watched it with me. After watching the Next generation and before DS9 and Voyager were showed, I suddenly realised that on TNG I was experiencing Shakespeare, Dickens and many of the great authors of English Literature including Arthur Conan Doyle.

I also found that Welsley apealed to me as did Data. Wesley because he seemed to be this bright boy which knew so much about Starfleet systems but had been scared of Picard ever since his fathers body was brought back home. Data because he wanted to become more human. What was strange about Data was that he felt suprior to humans but was ok to give it up.

When I watched DS9, I was exposed to Sisko – a black character who was third officer on one of the Starfleet ships at the battle of Wolf 359. What I found great about the opening sceen of DS9 was that it showed a crew of mostly human beings that were black were all acting the same way as other human beings that were not black. Even the crew memebers of other alien species were acting the same way. They looked proffessional experienced and confident and were doing everthing they could to stop the Borg from destroying Earth.

DS9 was a show that focused alot of people oppressed or destitute. However, the show did it in a very unifying way, first was how the crew from different species had to learn to accept and work together. The other was that when in crisis sisko would show his human side over the opression of black people but would not take it out on his colleagues who were mostly not black.

I will skip through this bit as DS9 was a long show and I want to fit a variety of things in. Ds9 ended with an amazing scene: as the Defiant and a few Klingon ships charge through the Cardassian lines to Cardassia, Bashir and the other human Definat crew member recite the lines from the poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” This moment, given how young I was, captivated me. Star Trek seemed to be telling me that I should aim to grow and be better than what I was and overcome my difficulties inflicted on my by my illness.

I tried to read it on my own, but I could only read a few pages at a time and then I put the book down. Thankfully my progress in school eventually gathered pace and my mother managed to find a private tutor who was also teaching at the school and set me up in private tutoring. By the time I was 16, I was on the brink of learning English at GCSE level but I had to leave school at this point so my education continuted into my young adulthood.

Eventually I got to University and now I have a degree. Star Trek gave me comfort when I needed it. However, it was the help and support of my parents and certain teachers that was why I got to University.

At the time, Star trek was projecting a common message on the tv with every advertiser. This message was that they were part of the dream that was Star Trek. At the time, this made me realise that this how people were seeing the future.

Spock was the other character I liked because although he had no disability or condition, he had his past probems and had become better for them.When the movies of Star Trek resumed, I remembered a famous moment when Patrick Stewart was telling Lilly – the women who would become Cochane’s wife – that too many retreats had been made when the Borg assimilated entire worlds of the Federation and that Picard was determined to draw the line here to preserved what was left of humanity’s history.

Then Lilly makes Picard realise that he was in the same situation as Captain Ahab, from Moby Dick, and how after years of hunting it, the whale destroyed him and his ship. I learned from this that Picard was realising if she stays and fights he will loose his home – the Enterprise. In the End The Borg are destroyed but the damaged was not undone as Star Trek Enterprise.

Although Star Trek Enterprise links to TOS, I think it is in this series that the change to where Star Trek is now from the way Star Trek was, originally. The series showed everything wrong with the timeline of the 22nd century. Sure, The United Kingdom had broken up, The European Union had collasped, and the USA … well, that fell apart, too (mostly) and captialism collasped. The Eugenics Wars happened right where they were, and the Warp five vessel was launched on time though without any weapons or security systems.

However, the show introduced Danials who was from 400 years in the future and was trying to warn Archer of the Temporal Cold War and about Silek and how important it was to capture Silek. This fails and Archers crew think he was dead. This was a total confusion to me because if Danials was from the future that Kirk and Spock’s Undiscovered country warped into, Why is Danials breaching the Prime Directrive on temproral lines, and he does this repeatedly.

And why does the Paragon colony get destroyed when there is no mention of it being destoryed in TNG or DS9 or VOY unless I had fallen asleep by then and had missed something.

Then, of course, you have the Xindi attack, so having had time to think about the series I am not sure Star Trek Enterprise supports the main timeline at all. I think despite the cold war ending successfully for Daniels’ people, I think it could be that events unfolded differently.

Season 3 of Enterprise was very 9/11. I saw 9/11 happen on the news at home with my Dad. I saw a news report live on tv showing Prime Minister Blair of the United Kingdom on a plane to see Bush and to remind him that it was him that Bush needed not Mexico. I was too young and too full of patriotic feelings and pride to understand what was going on.

I would ask my father why is all this happening. Then as the weeks went by, the news got uglier. By this time, nearly a year had past since 9/11 and suddenly everybody in the country of the UK was hearing accusations that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Bush and Blair were saying that we were going into Iraq because it was our duty to spread democracy into Iraq.

Then in London, a huge protest of “No Iraq War” was marched all the way to Westminister Palace.

I was in school preping for a school trip to the UK Parliament. I was talking with a friend over who would win between the British and Iraq tanks. Then, when I was talking to the teacher, she asked me if I supported War in Iraq. I said we would be better off letting America get all of the country and not helping them. She then tried to say that Sadam was a bad dictator and had to be destroyed is if iraq was like 1930s Germany.

I told her that removing him would spell volience and destruction for a country that had existed since the League of Nations was founded (the UN’s predecessor). I also told her that unlike Germany, Iraq was mostly Arabic peoples identifying with tribes. Sadam had enabled stability for the country and also helped to turn Iraq into a place of trade for western businesses.

I kept wondering to myself during the whole war with Iraq: “Why is Britain helping the Americans in a war the UN did not (or would not) approve? People would remind me of Britain’s imperial history of creating governments in other peoples lands to suit their needs. I thought that should not be an excuse. Britain should not be teaching America how to conquer and control Iraq. As time went on, I did what everybody else did and got on with my life.

Then in 2008 a big financial crash happened on Wall Street. The next thing, people in Britain were getting angry at Europe because we had to bail out a number of countries in the EU. At the time, my head was still thinking of Star Trek and I remember saying to myself this is not suppose to be happenning. However, it was.

Add to this that Britain was still in Iraq and Afghanistan and the country’s debt was racking up (depending on who you believe). The Conservatives blamed Labour spending too much on war. The Labour Party did not. Add to that Bliar had gone and Brown was Prime Minister and he was not popular enough to survive an election (which knowbody knew at the time). After the election of 2010, a coalition of Liberal Democrats and Conservatives got into power. This was replaced by the Conservative government five years later thanks to the unpopularity of the student tutiton fees.

I was still watching what was Star Trek and studying and developing. I had no idea that the events on this side of the pond (as they say) when linked with events on the other side of the pond (in the USA) did not relate to the wonderful future which was Star Trek Universe of Kirk and Spock.

Then I saw JJ-Trek, which was weird.

Sure, old Spock was the same but the new Kirk and Spock were different. Ulhura was mostly the same. However, Kirk was now this rule-breaker whenever it suited him. I am not sure if he was literally what General Chang In Star Trek the Undiscovered Country said at Kirk’s trial, I am pretty he was not literally like that. After all, in the TOS universe, didn’t Kirk get to where he was through learning and following the rules before learning to bend and change the rules? All military officers go through this process in reality today.

Anyway, little did I realise that this was a rebooted Star trek simply to remove “Trek” and only keep the name.

It is interesting when you say that we humans do not come out well in wars, well, sometimes we do, and in other ways we don’t. Alexander the Great was at his best when fighting when not he drank too much and had too much sex. While I was at University in my final year, I took a module called the Archaeology of Human Evolution. Darwin was in the module syllabus. However, the course took us from the missing links through the hominids to the Homo Groups which including Homo Sapiens. We also had to do the Primates.

First thing we were told which I instanstly rejected was: ‘we westerners we are weird.’ This referred to educated, industrial, rich, and democractic. Well my home country in that final year did not feel like a “weird” country, peoples reactions to things were hardly what I called British Democratic reactions, and with the cuts going on that did not sound like Britain was rich and barely industrial (well, not any more).

In the end, I calmed down and just decided to take in what the lecturer said to get my marks and get my credits to get my degree.

However, while I was learning about the Hominids I was told something interesting. We humans are decended from mainly apes but its apes that were Hominids. They looked like chimps, sounded like chimps and behaved like chimps, but they were not chimps. I was told they began at the bottom of the food chain and had to work together to survive and fend off lions attacking them as prey. They had to handle snakes and crocodiles and hippos doing the same thing. At the same time they were becoming omniverous and scavenging for food.

Then the penny dropped in my head and I understood why we humans had been warlike for so long … Hominids had to become voilent to get to the top of the food chain – because in the wild, nature is cruel and everything wants to kill and eat you. They became voilent so that predators could be killed.

The clans of hominids could grow and spread throughout Africa and evolve. Somehow those traits must have been passed down the generation it took to become Homo Sapien. It also explain why we fought each other for so long over territory.

I also learned that to begin with, Homo Sapiens were just Homo Sapiens and the idea of an identity of a state or trible came later when Humans began to organise into Societial communities and build civilisation. At this moment, I was thinking back to what Star Trek was and remembering how all those nations had survived mostly joined the United Earth Government and yet kept their own governments and their idenitities and culutures and existances as Nation states.

What amazed me about Enterprise was when Malcom Reed – the man who would invent the Red Altert signal and security protocal for Starfleet -was talking to Trip about where he would go if he could travel back in time. Malcom responded by saying 1588. Trip would say what happened in 1588, then Malcom Reed would reply so patriotically and passionately ‘England defeated the Spanish Armada.’ This was when I released that actually Lutenuent Reed was English and British felt dam proud to be that. He would also comment to Trip about how much better British schools were than American Schools after trying to get Trip to understand that if Cochrane had been a European the Vulcans would have been more willing to help humanity and would back it up by taking about British schools having a core corriculum which surved to provide a well-rounded education. This causes Trip to say “I will have you know Spider-man was laced with Metaphor.”

When it came to engaging the Xindi weapon Reed would respond to Archer after being asked if he wanted to take then on. Reed says ‘Give me the word sir.’

After finishing University, I went to the Star Trek Convention in Birmingham at the city’s exhibition centre. I was shocked that while many Doctor Who fans had flocked to Trek, some of the new fans had this funny attutide. First, it was they hated you because you did not like Star Trek Discovery. Then someone else hate Malcom Reed because he was English and they hated that. And where is this English, multicultural British town situated in the UK? In England?

The moment they found I would not support them, they then attacked me. They thought that this Spore drive was this new scifi idea that could be imagined as a instanious travel between time and space. Except the moment you point out to the them that there is no real science put in the scifi context behind this, they go nuts at you. I managed to get my picture of on the TOS enterprise Bridge set with George Takei. Then forgot to pic up the picture.

I eventually went home, but It was clear after that convention, that Star Trek is not Star Trek anymore. Would the Star Trek Igrew up with have an issue with a person who is English, with Reed being English?

I think the issue today is not just that as you say Black lives have value, but that also all lives have. As you say, we are one race but we have always – from the moment we developed tribal societies – had our own cultures and identities and now nationalities. Those identities and cultures matter as much as ethncitiy or how human you are.

I am starting to wonder if we are having first-world issues. If you go to a third-world nation today, yes, people sort of get what you are saying but their issues are basic, focused on wash facilities, child marriages, basic education for boys and girls and little support to help girls stay in school when their period hits them. Not only that, but the boys do not value the girls. Also your village could one day be peaceful and the next be rampaged by a heard of Elephants.

Also many tribes had lost the traditonal lands and culture with modern agriculural development to meet the demand of a global population of 8 billion people many of whome currently do not enjoy the way of life we all enjoy.

I am sure you remember me telling you about the book “Humankind.” Well Reutger Bregmann, the author of the book, stated in a live interview in Spain that he felt that to get to a Utiopian world, we’ll have to throw out things like you TV – or start being careful with what we watch. He also felt that you should be careful with what Kids watch too.

In his book, he says as much as some people enjoy social media, we do not need. In fact, he said that we are too often inventing things we do not need. He believes that at the very top is our obession with an ideology and an obession with a need for material possessions. He feels that if you implemented Universal basic income right, the poor move out of poverty and society becomes a society where everyone can work as a passion or to improve one’s self and humanity.

If we want to have a Uptopian society, we should be thinking of the Internet as a tool and not a toy. We need to start not going on things we don’t need, like Social media, and consuming things we don’t need in the long run. Short term, we should focus on things like education, entertainment, books and working to maintain them. New techologies could then be focused on things like improved MRI scans.

I do feel that you see we are at the moment on a different path to that of Star Trek but I think Reutger Bregmann has a point here. He is a realist and while Star Trek was a uptopian future that was idealistic, realistic and pragmatic at the moment (in a very neo-liberal world of free market economics) what Reutger Bregmann says should be taken into account when trying to establish a Utopian world. Also a Utopian world would need obstacles because without of which humans cannot trive or grow.

We live in such a world that both artificial and feels safe. Yet here we are complaining about everything. Why is this? I think its because you see we have an environment that is very peaceful and safe.

Most of the real issues have been long dealt with and so this has meant that people are creating issues out of nothing because we need to have something to complain about. I know this is not always the case, but it is alot of the time.

In these times of struggle, I am more and more grateful for the life that I have had so far and I am more determined than ever to give it up – not even to sacrifice it for COVID. All I can do is enjoy the rest of Christmas, find work in the new year when it is possible, and keep building the life that I have began to build.

A good Shakespeare play to read would be Macbeath. However, I believe we are more related to Dickens A Tale of Two Cities. ‘It was the best of times it was the worst of time we had everything before us we had nothing before us.’ This line does indeed resonate to our time every today its over 200 years old.

I am thinking about writing a short story, fictionalised around today. I am currently not sure what names to give the characters. I was hoping for something like Mr Tappling, but not him of course. But something humorous, but still related to today.

The idea is to produce a book that is a collection of short stories before writing about things like Sci-fi and full-length books.

During lockdown, I have been discovering my gifts. I hoping that writing might be one of them. I could of been an engineer but was not good at maths.

Do you have any advice for someone writing their first story? I am already slowly reading classical English literature, with the help of audible. However, I am still struggling with character creations.

Jonathan A.

 

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The problems with time travel and space donuts

Hey Rob,

I just happened to poke in on YouTube on Sunday the 18th and I happened to listen to your review of the Star Wars versus Star Trek and the fate of the streaming wars on Robservations – season number 579. Time travel is one of those topics that has always been of interest to me and ever since I started watching the original Star Trek in syndication when I was a kid back in the 70s. So when you started to go in-depth about STD’s use of the Guardian I was hooked.

I had to hear what your take was fast becoming a critical breakdown of the story and plot of STD.

Would the real Guardian of Forever please stand up? Oh. You are standing.

The Guardian of Forever as depicted in the Star Trek episode “The City on the Edge of Forever” has always been an amazing story in what Kirk has to make a choice on and what that really means for him as a leader and what it means for the rest of the franchise. The more you talked about what had happened in the STD episode just got me more frustrated with the writers and how these people have absolutely no idea how to write a character or a story.

Choices and Repercussions.

And again I will use the choice of what Spock does with Kirk in “Requiem for Methuselah” at the end of the episode with “forget” when Kirk was dealing with the death of Rayna Kapec. But I am getting off-topic here we were talking about The Guardian.

Once again The Guardian resurfaces in trek when I was a kid and the animated series came up.

The Space Donut as much of my family would call it is depicted as a time portal. Watching Spock travels back into time in “Yesteryear” meeting himself but as a child written by DC Fontana. I loved that episode, and I should mention it’s the only episode that Roddenberry recognized as official canon.

Again Choices and Repercussions.

But time was changed by a small event with Spock’s pet sehlat, I-Chaya dying. There have of course been a number or some different time travel TV shows that dealt with this situation time unfolded in a way that should have not have happened. “Voyagers”, “Seven Days”, “Logan’s Run” there are many other tv series even “Time Tunnel”, I believe.

BUT time travel is not a reset button like TV producers would have you believe, it’s a one-way street really because it’s already happened. I know that may sound rather simplistic.

But I believe this works within the context of Trek Cannon. If the Guardian is visited and it was in only shows the past in a particular way as it says of own existence, The Guardian in of itself is a fixed point in time and space. You could view the timeline from the point of where you step up onto the planet of the Guardian’s creation, not some other ambiguous planet in the form of a guy named Karl which I think is a slap in the face to Carl Sagan. That point alone makes me mad. I know this was a sticking point for you as well.

And here’s another question that I have to ask where is the Department of Temporal Investigations? Did they just suddenly disappeared? Wouldn’t they know there was a temporal incursion? Were they as an organization absorbed into the temporal accords during the Temporal Cold War that was/had taken place? Wouldn’t they be the group that monitors the Guardian?

This was an idea that should be and should have been investigated particularly with Michael Burnham in her time-traveling red angel suit or her mother’s time suit – come on man all of this is ridiculous. If anything The Agency of Temporal Investigations (if it’s a part of Section 31) should have sent a temporal assassin and killed Michael Burnham in the first place because she is the problem within the Kelvin timeline any better yet send an agent back and kill Nero for starting this whole chains of events to preserve the timeline and how does an agency that deals with temporal incursions deal with such his situation? This could lead to a whole different show altogether and maybe make Daniels a lead from the previous iterations of Trek.

Anyway, fan service of thoughts and observations as nerds do.

Be well.
Alan

 

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Why the CW’s Arrowverse is more compelling than nu-Trek’s ST: Discovery

Hey Robert and members of The Post-Geek Singularity,

I’m back again with another letter.

The CW’s Arrowverse has a lot going for it, but it is better than Star Trek: Discovery?

Today, I want to talk about The DC Comics/CW DCTV Arrowverse Shows and why I think they are better than Star Trek Discovery. Sure, some fans don’t like them for what ever reason and that’s fine if you don’t, but for me at least they are far superior than Star Trek: Discovery. The writing can be heavy handed on the shows – especially on Supergirl at times with it’s messaging and such – but when they nail it on a storyline they knock it out of the park.

Also the action and special effects for TV are good for limited TV budgets. The casts of all the shows so perfectly cast Stephen Amell as Green Arrow (Oliver Queen), Grant Gustin as The Flash (Barry Allen), Caity Lotz as White Canary (Sara Lance), Melissa Benoist as Supergirl/Kara Zor-EL (Kara Danvers) and Tyler Hoechlin as Superman (Clark Kent).

Not only are these actors and actrees great on screen off screen they are amazing human beings doing a lot of charity work and so on. They know the responsibility playing these iconic characters what it means to people and it shows. My favorite of The current DCTV shows are Supergirl , Stargirl , DC’S Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash.

I do sort of like Batwoman and Black Lightning and super can’t wait for Superman & Lois. I do think phase 1 of DCTV ended with Crisis On Infinite Earths and looking forward to phase 2 with Stargirl and Superman & Lois.

Well those are my thoughts on all these shows what are yours my friend? Keep up the super amazing work and Up Up and Away !!!

Sincerely longtime watcher listener,
Kenny Kraly, Jr. (from Ohio)

 

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Appreciating the work of Takashi Miike – the “Asian Quentin Tarantino”

Hi Robert,

Well, we’ve come just about to the end of an eventful and crazy 2020. I have never been through a year like this one and hope we never go through such a year like this again. To say everybody wanted this year to end quickly is the understatement of the last two decades. Still, I remain positive for the years ahead.

Director/filmmaker, Takashi Miike known as the “Asian Quentin Tarantino”

Anyone who knows me will say I love numerous films by Japanese director Takashi Miike. This letter will address my favourite films by the director simply known as the “Asian Quentin Tarantino”.

Over Your Dead Body (2014) is my second favourite J-Horror film alongside Hideo Nakata’s Ringu (1998). The story of the film centres around Miyuki Goto (Ko Shibasaki) who has landed the lead role of Oiwa in a new theatre adaptation of the popular folk legend Kaidan. She gets her lover Kosuke Hasegawa (Ebizō Ichikawa XI) the male lead in the production despite the fact he is a relative unknown as an actor.

Miyuki is the object of unreciprocated lust from her male co-stars Rio Asahina (Miho Nakanishi) and Jun Suzuki (Hideaki Itō). Kosuke begins an affair with Miyuki’s understudy (Hitomi Katayama). As Miyuki’s desperate obsession to keep Kosuke and his obsession for her understudy develop it begins to blur the line between fantasy and reality which may have deadly consequences.

Over Your Dead Body (2014) is a slow burn horror film that simmers building the tension that crescendos to a memorable climax. Takashi Miike utilises every directorial technique to produce a film that is effective in its pacing, rich cinematography by Toshiaki Nakazawa (13 Assassins), atmospheric use of lighting and shadow and superb production design by Yuji Hayashida. The film features a terrific performance by ever reliable female lead Ko Shibasaki.

Over Your Dead Body was a welcome return to form by master director Takashi Miike and is certainly one of his best films and one of the very best of the J-Horror genre. I highly recommended for fans of both Takashi Miike and the J-Horror genre.

First Love (2020) is an enjoyable action, crime, thriller from the legendary director. The acting is good and the film rolls long at a solid pace. The film centres around a boxer named Leo (Masataka Kubota) who is caught in the middle of a war between local Yazuka and Chinese Triad gang when he saves a drug addicted prostitute named Yuri (Sakurako Konishi).

First Love is quirky with touches of the macabre and slapstick humour making it pleasantly entertaining. It is in keeping with Miike’s ability to provide style, flair and his own unique brand of tongue-in-cheek and often macabre sense of humour, although not as dialed-up and edgier as his earlier work. However, those elements recognisable to Miike fans are there the genuine heart of the story is that of two broken people who find each other amid the chaos. The film received positive reviews from the Austin Chronicle, Film Comment and the Los Angeles Times.

13 Assassins (2010) is a jidaigeki/chanbara film released in 2010 that proved Miike is a much as deft hand at this genre as he is in J-Horror and crime thrillers. The narrative focuses on a group of assassins selected by decorated veteran samurai Shimada Shinzaemon (Koji Yakusho) who has been given the task to assassinate sadistic daimyo of the Akashi Domain Matsudaira Naritsugu (Goro Inagaki). Terrific editing by Kenji Yamashita (Yatterman), great costumes by Kazuhiro Sawataishi (Rurouni Kenshin) and superb performances earns 13 Assassins a place amongst the best of the chanbara sub-genre.

Many critics called the film a masterpiece and Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave a glowing review of the film writing, “terrifically entertaining, an ambitious big-budget epic, directed with great visuals and sound”. As for myself, it one of my favourites alongside Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece Ran (1985), Yoji Yamada’s Twilight Samurai (2003) and Fumihiko Sori’s Ichi (2008). 13 Assassins won 4 Japanese Academy Prize awards and the Asian Film Award for Best Production Design.

I like Blade of the Immortal (2017), which is a live-action adaptation of Hiroaki Samura’s very successful manga title of the same name. The film tells the story of an immortal samurai named Manji (Takuya Kimura) who becomes the bodyguard of a girl named Rin Asano (Hana Sugisaki) to avenge the death of her father by kagehisa Anotsu (Sota Fukushi) who is the leader of a band of assassins named Itto-ryu.

Manji and Rin receive assistance from Makie Otano-Tachibana (Erika Toda) a loyal follower of Kagehisa who defects to Manji as she has become disgruntled Kagehisa and the Itto-ryu. The film featured good costumes, skilfully choreographed fight sequences and terrific performances by leads Takuya Kimura and Hana Sugisaki. The film received positive reviews from critics with The Guardian, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety all praising the characterisation and the kinetic fight sequences.

One Missed Call (2003) is a J-Horror film directed by Miike at the height of the genre’s international popularity. The story begins with Yoko Okazaki (Anna Nagata) who receives an obscure text call from herself on her mobile. She and her friend Yumi Nakamura (Ko Shibasaki) listen to Yoko’s voice message dated two days in the future that ends in a horrendous scream.

Two days later, Yoko is thrown violently from an overpass and killed when she hits an oncoming train. Some of her friends receive similar calls ending in their deaths. All victims of the curse share one thing in common, they all spit out red jawbreaker candy upon death. When Yumi receives a similar call, she receives assistance from detective Hiroshi Yamashita () and their investigation discovers the calls are linked to a malevolent female spirit. Will Yumi free herself of the curse or is she doomed to be its latest victim?

Even though One Missed Call firmly contains the tropes and conventions associated with the J-Horror genre, I like the film due to the skilful direction of Takashi Miike who uses juxtaposition, black humour and macabre violence to craft a reasonably paced film that features atmospheric cinematography by Hideo Yamamoto and a reliable performance from female lead Ko Shibasaki.

This film is one of the better entries within the J-Horror genre and works as solid entertainment, providing sufficient scares and atmosphere for fans of the genre and worth viewing.

So, there are the films I consider my favourites of those directed by Takashi Miike.

To yourself, Robert, and all the members of the Post Geek Singularity, have a happy and safe New Year’s and may all everyone’s wishes, hopes and goals for 2021 come to fruition.

Sincerely,
Jason W.

 

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