Tag Archives: star trek

Captain Kirk is (will be?) a terrible captain

Recently, in an attempt to escape the real world, I started watching Star Trek: The Original Series again.

It’s the perfect form of escape, set not just in the far off future, but in distant, distant lands under the aegis of exploring for a utopian government. How much further from today’s reality could you possibly get?

A little further, it turns out.

I used to watch the show religiously on broadcast television when I was a kid, oddly enough for a similar reason I’m watching it now: to escape the terror of real life and the homework it entailed.

I still have homework, but as a husband and father, it is of a profoundly different nature than that assigned by my grade school teachers.

Oh, 20/20 hindsight, how I wish my life now could be as simple as it actually was back then, my contemporary prepubescent protestations to the contrary.

But I digress. As an adult, I found myself returning to the show every now and then, dialing up an old favorite and re-watching it just for nostalgia.

Tiny, single episode bites. Get the nostalgia hit but fail to see any overarching patterns.

But this is the first time I watched a sustained number of episodes in a small amount of time – about ten episodes in the last week.

And I discovered that Captain Kirk is a terrible captain.

I’m not talking about all the bad decisions he made that led to unnecessary loss of life, or even the sheer amount of loss of life that occurred under his command.

Those are real issues, but his incompetency is more basic than that.

Captain Kirk completely loses his head around women.

Episode after episode, he pursues one ill-advised romance after the next.

I mean, in one episode he even gets into a fight with another man over a sentient sex doll!

(Don’t believe me? Give Requiem for Methuselah another spin if you think you can handle the fully woke squick factor.)

And more often than not, he isn’t using his wily ways to save the ship. Requiem for Methuselah is a prime example of a recurring pattern of (bad) behavior: he meets a woman he finds attractive, becomes genuinely smitten (to the point that sometimes Spock has to use the Vulcan mind meld to erase the failed relationship from Kirk’s mind at the end of the episode), and chaos, heartbreak, and often a crew death or two ensues.


This man is not just in command of not just an incredibly powerful military ship (yeah, yeah, I know, “ship of exploration” – how many ships and alien crews has he destroyed, how many planet surfaces has he severely damaged?). He is also responsible for the lives of his crew and, as a representative of the Federation, maintaining peace throughout the galaxy. But hey, that green-skinned, scantily clad lady over there is really hot, so the heck with duty.

That’s a commendable trait in a captain, right? A pretty face turning your head and causing everything else to go out the window is a vital skill in the enlightened future, yes?

Even worse, he flirts with his own crew members! You know, the women under his command? How is that not, well, to be perfectly blunt, rape-y?

(Not talking about Rand – watch the end of Mirror, Mirror and Kirk’s interaction with Lt. Marlena Moreau if you want to see just how creepy and unprofessional the “great” Captain Kirk is.)

This is your captain speaking. Commence to Phase I of creepiness: Manspreading

Due to heat transfer requiring air and space being mostly a vacuum, it’s harder for men to keep their junk cool, hence Manspreading…In…Spaaaace

Oh sure, I suppose you could argue that all the men on the Enterprise (and Starfleet in general?) have this problem, as McCoy, Scotty, Sulu, Chekov, and even Mr. Spock have their own unwise romantic escapades.

Or perhaps you’d claim that he’s a product of his time because the men on the show are constantly referring to women (including fellow officers!) as “girls”. Certainly don’t see any of them (male or female) routinely calling the men “boys”!

But isn’t the Captain supposed to be above that? *cough* *cough* Picard thank you very much *cough* *cough*

It makes you wonder why any woman would want to join Star Fleet to begin with.

Yes, I know, ST:TOS was ground-breaking at the time, had a diverse cast, a positive message about Humanity, blah blah blah. It’s true, I won’t argue it. But I’m not here to nitpick about that.

I’m just pointing out that Captain Kirk was a dude bro who always assumed that if the woman was beautiful, he automatically loved her, needed her, and was allowed to aggressively pursue her. To the point that he did, at best, inappropriate things, and at worst, endangered the ship, his crew, even the galaxy.

WTF, Jim? WTF?

Hark! What yonder noise is this? I believe a beautiful woman is approaching! I MUST HAVE HER!

“I feel pretty!”

Captain Kirk couldn’t keep it in his pants, and as an adult only now seeing this for what it is, the eight-year old fanboy (yes, I said “boy” – go ahead and call me on it) in me is having a hard time reconciling my childhood hero-worship with the reality I now see in these old episodes.

Remember that every time someone whines about how horrible things are today and can’t we just go back (forward?) to the “good ol’ days”.

Because the past’s vision of a future utopia reveals a lot about said good ol’ days. And sadly it’s often this:

They’ve fallen a little short.


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I Mourn for Adonis and the other perils of fan fiction (which is still destroying America, by the way)

Not so long ago, I warned that fan fiction was destroying America.

I’ve been silent on the subject since then because of the vitriol-filled emails I got from five different fanfic authors.

Five of them. That’s what, seventy or eighty percent of the people who write fanfic, right?

Clearly, I touched a nerve.

Their impassioned death threats and photos of the front of my house left me with both a lot to think about and an extreme reluctance to go outside, let alone touch on the subject again.

Until now.

Their chief complaint, after the one about my continued existence in a living, non-tortured state, was that as someone who didn’t write fanfic, I wasn’t a special star and could therefore never know what I was talking about.

Au contraire! I have written fanfic. In fact, I can count on three fingers the number of fanfic works I’ve written:

Two Doctor Whos (one thirty years ago, one about ten years ago) and one Star Trek (about twenty-five years ago).

So I have not only fanfic writing experience, but the wisdom, when speaking of it, that comes with age.

I know, I know, you’re thinking, “Ian, you’ve written fanfic? Bullsh*t.”

I can sympathize with this assessment. If I didn’t know myself intimately (and believe me, I do), I would share that assessment.

Therefore, I offer proof.

The first Doctor Who fanfic is lost to history, so I cannot present it as evidence of my bona fides. And the second Doctor Who story was written for an audience of exactly two (myself and the Missus, who is the star of the tale), and is not meant to be shared.

Both stories are also so terrible that to read them threatens the very fabric of space-time, and as my hero, the Doctor, would never stand for that, they shall remain forever beyond your reach.

That leaves the Star Trek story. When I first hit upon the idea of using it as my rebuttal to the vile electronic hate-scrawls that filled my inbox after the first blog post, I despaired. For I believed it, too, to be lost forever.

I was dimly aware of a copy reproduced in my high school Science Fiction club newsletter, but remembering the name of and then tracking down the phone number and calling the president of the club seemed like far too much effort.

In addition, ever since the burning paper bags with copies of Star Trek: Voyager inside them started appearing on my porch, I’ve been less than enthused about the idea of interacting with the outside world.

You have no idea how difficult it is to remove melted plastic from concrete. Especially when you know what had been on that plastic.

I have looked through the translucent blue case and seen horrors beyond description.

This is the hardware responsible for proving a horrific truth. There should be a Star Trek episode where Kirk and Spock go back in time to prevent the device from ever being built. Hmm, I may have a story idea there…

Then I bought a used USB Zip drive (via mail order, of course), and started going through all the Zip disks I had stored in my garage.

It proved to be a treasure trove of old pictures, letters, school papers, and, yes, works of fiction by yours truly.

It is this recent development that now allows me to present to you, my discriminating readers, proof of two things:

1) That I have indeed partaken of the fan fiction fount, and can therefore trash talk it without consequence from the tiny but fanatic community that still perpetuates this literary crime against Humanity

2) Fanfic is, as I have always maintained, and as my story demonstrates beyond any doubt, a literary crime against Humanity

So I now present to you, mostly unedited (except for the Kirk/Spock/time-traveling Wesley Crusher threesome scene – propriety demanded I cut it), Star Trek: I Mourn For Adonis. I recommend donning Peril-Sensitive Sunglasses before reading any further.
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Posted by on 1 February 2013 in Conspiracies Out To Get Me, Fanfic


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Portrait of the non-artist as a middle-aged putz, Part II

For those of you following, this is part two of The Chronicles of Ian Attempting To Learn To Draw Purty (part one is here).

If nothing else, it should be entertaining in a watching-a-train-wreck-can’t-look-away sort of way.

The text I chose to work with for this self-guided journey is Drawing; The Head and the Figure by Jack Hamm. That said, all sketches, attempts at sketches, and oddly disturbing squiggles I have attempted here are the sole fault / responsibility of me, and not Jack Hamm.

You can’t blame an elephant trainer for being unable to teach a saw horse to use a kitty litter tray, so Jack can’t really be considered culpable for my output.

My efforts since last week started with the eyes:

I can't bear to watch this work progressing. I just want to close my eyes. All of them.

As you can see, if I keep my eye on the ball, I’ll soon have quite a following amongst the far-sighted crowd.

Once I got bored comfortable drawing eyes, it was time to move onto lips:

Looks like someone has tried to interbreed zebras with humans.

In nature, striped patterns often indicate something is highly poisonous. I think even a zombie would hesitate when confronted with lips like these.

Clearly this was an area where I needed a lot of work. Or a smudge function in my graphics editor:

These lips can't lie...mostly because they are an inanimate object.

When my model’s fever broke, the stripes on her lips faded and her mouth looked almost human again. Sadly, I don’t capture that here.

Fresh off this not-quite-a-failure ‘success’, I decided my ego needed a bruising to bring it back down to Earth.

I attempted a face again. The results were, to say the least, humbling. And not in a good way:

I bet she looks pretty good through one of my earlier efforts at an eye...

Beauty on the left by Jack Hamm, talented artist. Unconventional beauty on the right drawn by yours truly, untalented putz.

I am reminded of the original Star Trek pilot, The Cage, and the woman who was repaired by aliens who’d never seen a human before.

My main take-away lesson this week: the smaller my images are on the screen, the less horrible they look. I will be focusing on making my sketches much, much smaller going forward.

Next week, assuming I don’t feel honor-bound to try to improve the whole-face drawing skills, will be noses and then, possibly, if my noses pass the sniff test, ears.

Come back and see…if you dare.

And now, a word from our sponsor: me! My books are available!

The Santa Claus Gang:

The Santa Claus Gang: A Marlowe and the Spacewoman short story

Marlowe and the Spacewoman:

Marlowe and the Spacewoman

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Posted by on 26 January 2013 in Art!


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Is The Defrocked Missionary on your Marital Relations bucket list? Should it be?

I should have turned left at Albuquerque. Damn, now I'm stuck on some sex freak's blog.

My bucket list. Also, where a lot of my ideas come from.

This year my Xmas present to myself is giving the Missus a copy of my Marital Relations bucket list.

The rest of this blog is going to have some ‘mature content’ (my critics and detractors’ opinions aside), so if you’re looking for something a bit more family friendly, or you really don’t want the visual of me associated with some super freaky stuff, may I recommend last year’s helpful guide on properly selecting and disposing of an Xmas tree?

That post, I can guarantee, it a total turn-off.

Unless you’re into Xmas tree snuff fic.

I know you people are out there. I see the search terms that lead you to this blog.

Makes me downright queasy, some days.

Anyway, there are so many challenges and obstacles for me to overcome in the bedroom that it was hard to limit the list to just twenty items. I’m sure many of you will notice some obvious choices not on my list and feel compelled to point them out in the comments.

Just keep in mind, no matter how unlikely it may seem, that maybe, just maybe, I’ve tapped those items.

And now, without further ado, on to the list of positions and strategies I wish to adopt in the big, warm, cuddly marital bed! Since I’m sure none of these names will be unfamiliar to my typical readers, I will not bore you with definitions or diagrams.

  • Death Throes of the Red Shirt (Note to self: need Star Trek soundtrack with fight music to do this one right)
  • Run Lola Run (to avoid unwelcome interruptions, remember to load starter pistol with blanks this time)
  • The Defrocked Missionary (works best in a hotel room where a Gideon Bible is available for use as a counter-weight)
  • The Blue Meanie – Kill, Glove, Kill (blue nitrile gloves have been deemed an acceptable substitute for latex by the American Psychiatric Association if allergies are a concern)
  • Even Reverse Cowgirls Get The Blues (But Evidently Not The Flu) (can be safely attempted even when partner is feeling down and under the weather)
  • The Comfy Chair (this is exactly what it sounds like)
  • Descent Into Dante’s Inferno (need to find Far Side: Nerds In Hell poster, put on ceiling ahead of time)
  • Escape From Dante’s Paradiso (will need to remind myself about escape portion, because I won’t want to leave)
  • Lounging In Dante’s Purgatorio (not sure if reading Dante in original Italian will be all that arousing, check how Missus feels about it first, go with English translation if she’s averse to foreign languages in the bedroom)
  • Bang Bang Maxwell’s Silver Hammer (research toxicity of silver spray paint before attempting; also, will I need to apply primer first?)
  • Deep Impact (work on Morgan Freeman impression…a lot…before attempting this one)
  • Close Shave (clay sheep optional, but must have Grommit figurine on nightstand)
  • Embracing Your Lord and Savior (will need to find a clerical collar, perhaps use the one from The Defrocked Missionary?)
  • Tantric Turn and Cough (need to buy a lot more hemorrhoids cream first)
  • Run The Victory Lap (don’t really want to do this one, but the Missus is partial to it, and if I can get her to do the rest of this list, I owe it to her; also, need to clear large furniture out of living room temporarily to make space)
  • Squeeze The Potato, The Naughty, Naughty Potato (need to buy three super-sized orders of fries from McDonald’s, get ketchup packets from Burger King right before starting, make sure they’re kept warm till we’re ready for them)
  • Raid The Farmer’s Market (organic is more expensive, but ultimately more satisfying)
  • Restaurant At The End Of The Universe (will need to order take-out afterward)
  • The Wind Tunnel (get a discreet pair of noise-cancelling headphones first)
  • Oh No, Not My Nigel! (yes, as much as you’d like to think so, yes, your Nigel too)
  • Ménage à Un (if this one was any indicator, I’m a terrible lover)

A surprising number of the positions I’d like to try sound more like martial arts moves than marital arts moves, but my preliminary research indicates this is not without reason.

My usual workout routine of sitting on the cough watching television will not be sufficient preparation – I need to implement a rigid exercise program involving cardio as well as heavy lifting before I’ll be ready to try most of them.

So I guess I’ve figured out my New Year’s resolution.

All of which makes me really hope the Mayans are wrong about this apocalypse thing, because I didn’t write this list until this morning.

Plus even if I was in shape, Tantric Turn and Cough takes three days to do properly.

Three days!

I get winded just thinking about it!

Merry Xmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!

And if the only way to ensure that is to try some of the items on my list, I say go for it!

Just don’t post any pictures or videos online please.

I don’t want the competition.

And now, a word from our sponsor: me! My books are available!

The Santa Claus Gang:

The Santa Claus Gang: A Marlowe and the Spacewoman short story

Marlowe and the Spacewoman:

Marlowe and the Spacewoman

Kleencut (FREE!):

So bad it won a Voidy for the next THREE consecutive years (would have been FOUR, but 2012 was a leap year)

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Posted by on 21 December 2012 in Angst, Conspiracies Out To Get Me, Life


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Lack of sleep will boldy take you…where no one has gone before! /SWISH/

Sleep deprivation.

It has a way of running you off track.

Making you grumpy.

Impairing your ability to drive.

Most people would say this is a bad thing.

Heck, even I, when my kid screams at 3am like the boogie man is at the foot of his bed and insists he cannot return to sleep unless I sit by his side for the next hour, have been known to utter under my breath, “This is a bad thing.”

But that’s just the sleep deprivation talking.

And why else would we have airbags except for sleep-deprived drivers?

Where was I? Oh yes, Ayn Rand.

I have it on good authority that Ayn Rand was most enamored of the work she wrote while sleep deprived.

Based on what I’ve sampled, I can only surmise she wrote everything while sleep deprived.

And now the more conservative readers of this blog are about to object.

Shut up, conservative readers. I’m about to sing the praises of sleep deprivation writing.

I used to have dreams of being a serious writer.

A literary novelist.

A man of letters.

And numbers (preferably prefaced with a ‘$’).

Alas, it was not meant to be.

The closest I came was to being a man of numbers with a ‘¢‘ at the end of them.

And if you’re familiar with the terms of Amazon and Barnes & Noble, a ‘¢‘ at the end of your numbers means you aren’t getting a royalty check.

Instead, I decided to write an absurdist noir sci-fi thriller.

It’s hard to write an absurdist noir sci-fi thriller when you’re well rested.

It’s hard to write one when you’re tired.

Or drunk (keep missing the keys).

Or bent (don’t SCUBA dive with a computer unless you know in advance it’s water proof).

It is easy, however, to write one while sleep deprived.

Sleep deprivation allows you to make intuitive leaps while circumventing that pesky reason thing. This is important, if not downright critical, for any absurdist elements you are trying to incorporate into your plot.

But I would argue that sleep deprivation helps for less lofty works of literature than absurdist noir sci-fi thrillers.

Sleep deprivation will unburden you from the tyranny of logic, from the insidious restrictions of continuity. It enables the sort of ‘outside the box’ thinking that is so popular in the business world, such as at companies like Wang Laboratories, Pets.Com, and AOL-TimeWarner.

Now I’m not saying that you can stay up for eight days in a row and crank out a masterpiece like Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series.

You can crank out the first draft of the Wheel of Time series in that time.

You then need to rest up, get lots of sleep, and edit that first draft.

This, you will be surprised to learn, is the real reason why it has taken so long for all of the books in the Wheel of Time series to come out. Jordan, and his successor, needed to do a lot of sleeping in-between books.

Writing and editing are two distinct phases in the writing process, and it’s best if they don’t mix. They’re like the Jets and the Sharks – when they run into each other, violence and catchy tunes tend to erupt.

I'm not evil, just a stickler for grammar and logic

The odds of this making sense while the reader is sober are currently at 0.0043%.

Sleep deprivation turns off what I call the “douchey Vulcan killjoy gatekeeper of awesome ideas,” or what NaNoWriMo calls the “inner editor.”

(Sadly, NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaisons aren’t allowed to use the word “douchey” in their regional emails, so the management suggested “inner editor” as an acceptable substitute. This completely waters down the magnitude of evil conveyed, accurately, by the phrase “douchey Vulcan killjoy gatekeeper of awesome ideas,” and I for one refuse to pull my punches.)

Sleep deprivation gets that Vulcan drunk off his (or her) ass, allowing flawed concepts and failed logic to slip by unnoticed, or at least with no more than a reproaching arch of the eyebrow, and onto the page.

How do you think the concept of imaginary numbers came about? I’ll tell you this: it did not involve a well-rested mathematician or a sober Vulcan. Square root of -1 my ass!

So you stay awake far too long, pound out a first draft unencumbered by sanity, and then, and only then, you sleep.

Sleep allows the Vulcan, or for the more timid among you, the inner editor, to sober up.

This is important. Do not skip this step if you’re a writer!

In the editing stage, you need that pointy-eared, green-blooded fiend refreshed and alert. He’ll make himself comfortable on your shoulder and the two of you will read that first draft.

You’ll fight and struggle to understand the intent.

You’ll moan and shake your head in wonderment and horror.

You’ll strive and strain to fit the imaginative, innovative workings on the page into a context that makes sense.

If you’ve slept enough, you will succeed.

If you haven’t, I recommend sleeping on it.

Turns out, the sleep deprived writing is the easy part. It’s the editing, the putting the puzzle together into a clear picture, that’s hard.

She didn't shave her pits, either.

Is this John Galt?

Really hard.

And it is this stage, the sleeping and sobering up and thinking about what you wrote and how to shape the raw material so it makes sense, where, I believe, Ayn Rand dropped the ball.

But that could be the sleep deprivation talking.

And now, a word from our sponsor: me!
My books are available!

Marlowe and the Spacewoman:

Marlowe and the Spacewoman

Kleencut (FREE!):

So bad it won a Voidy for the next THREE consecutive years (would have been FOUR, but 2012 was a leap year)

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Posted by on 22 August 2012 in Noir, Writing


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The Great Bird of the Galaxy Has No Quality Clothes

Outsourcing is destroying our future.

A common enough refrain, especially in these tough economic times. It’s easy to blame other countries when you can’t find work.

But just because the economy is bad doesn’t mean the statement is false.

It’s true.

And I can prove it with three words:

Star Trek: TOS

OK, that last word is an acronym. But it still proves the evils of outsourcing.

What are you talking about? I hear you ask. What does Star Trek: The Original Series have to do with outsourcing? you sputter. Wasn’t it filmed in the US, providing local jobs in the entertainment industry? you feel compelled to point out.

Shut up.

I’m talking about the future, so stop letting facts get in the way and listen.

Gene Roddenberry was a genius. He realized, way back in the 60s, that we were headed inevitably and inexorably towards off-shoring, and he correctly predicted the inescapable end result.

Torn shirts.

Yes, in Star Trek, the Federation outsourced the manufacture of their uniforms to the slave sweatshops of Orion. Oh sure, they did this via shell companies, middlemen, and alien middlemen who wore shells, all to make themselves feel like they weren’t directly bolstering the slave trade and undermining the human textile industry.

But they were all the same.

And that is Roddenberry’s lasting legacy to us: a clarion call to arms, a desperate warning, subtly delivered to avoid the notice of the all-powerful and unforgiving textile outsourcing industrial complex of the 1960s.

He gave us Captain Kirk’s ever-tearing shirt.

Thank goodness these shirts are so cheap to replace!Thank goodness these shirts are so inexpensive to replace!If we used money, we could still afford more of these!
Dammit, Bones, I just bought this shirt!I'm not a piece of meat, Bones. How about dinner before tearing my poorly made shirt off?Kirk to Enterprise, time to order another gross of my shirts.

Who among the rabid fans watching the series over and over again hasn’t commented, mentally or aloud, “Why do his shirts tear so easily?”

Because they were outsourced, made by slave labor that just didn’t care how embarrassing, personally or politically, a torn shirt at the wrong moment could be.

This also explains the wide availability of cheap Star Trek uniform costumes, especially evident around Halloween: these Orion scum produce even worse quality knock-offs to sell to the general public despite ‘binding’ contracts that explicitly ban that practice.


It wasn’t just the uniforms that were outsourced, by the way. The Federation also outsourced their stardate system. Which explains why fans have been in a constant state of twisting themselves inside out trying to make sense of the seemingly random numbers thrown at us, episode to episode.

That’s because they were seemingly random numbers. The ‘system’ was cooked up by a company run by Horta drunk on rich mineral deposits that submitted the lowest bid. How in the galaxy are a bunch of sentient rocks high on Zirconium and that sleep for eons supposed to have a calendar that would make sense to ephemeral carbon-based life?

Sheer insanity!

In the 80s, Roddenberry realized his subtle message was in danger of becoming lost, so when he made Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, he had the Federation, finally cognizant of its horrible, unethical failing, move uniform production back to Earth. And look at the snazzy maroon jumpsuits we got.

That’s human (a.k.a. American) manufacturing quality for you!

It is not a coincidence that these new uniforms lasted for near on 50 years, with only minor modification. Until the dark days of the Next Gen ‘pajama’ era began.

I don’t want to go there. Who wears stretchy footie pajamas to explore the galaxy??

It’s absurd.

So there you have it. If we don’t reverse this dangerous trend of outsourcing, the quality of our clothes will continue to degrade to the point that we’ll give up getting dressed and going outside our homes. And when that happens, we won’t need to keep track of what day it is.

And that’s when the Horta will strike.

No, not the Horta! Those stone-cold killers and their crazy stardate system made me miss a date with the hot alien princess with the green skin and srpay-on bikini! It would have been an EPIC date!!!

Khaaan! Er, I mean, Hortaaaaaaaaa!

And now, a word from our sponsor: me!
My book, Marlowe and the Spacewoman, is out!

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Posted by on 6 February 2012 in Conspiracies Out To Get Me


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Fanfic is DESTROYING America! (Sam/Dean/JWatson/SHolmes/HPotter/HDresden)

Sam wiped the lamb’s blood mixed with demon’s blood from the silver knife and looked at Dean, whose breath heaved with the recent exertion of killing the monster. But when Dean looked in Sam’s eyes, he realized he was ready, nay, needed a little more…exertion.

Harry Dresden ran his withered, burnt hand across his bare, sweat-glistening chest, and glared at them from the other side of the prone demon body. “Please, you two, get a room.” A thoughtful expression came over his smoldering, lonely eyes. “Unless you’re willing to share…with me.”

The boy wizard leapt up in the air, his wand already at half-staff. “Me too!  Me too!” shouted Harry Potter. He waved his wand and shouted, “Snuggigus Fantasticus Sexicus!” and a plush king-sized bed appeared in the room of the abandoned old cabin. The four heroes fell into it at once, their clothes seemingly falling away as they tumbled into one another.

“Oh, I love you my sweet!”

“No, I love you more my shmoopy boopy toopy!”

“Wait, who are you talking to?”

“Not possible, Harry dearest! I love you the mostest. Just look at me when I look at you! No, look lower!”

“So you weren’t talking to me, you cold, heartless bastard. That makes me want you more! MOAR!”

“I see the game is afoot,” the young, modern-day Sherlock intoned as he burst into the cabin, followed a moment later by the erstwhile John Watson.

“My god, Holmes,” ejaculated Watson, “there are four naked men in that bed!”

“Your powers of observation fail you yet again, my dear John,” said Holmes, languishing atop the other men. “There are five naked men in this bed, and I predict that before this sentence is over there will be si- Ah, I see I deduced correctly.”

“Oh shut up and kiss me,” said John, his hungry mouth finding Sherlock’s and kissing it hungrily. “I’m ravenous for your love, old man.”

“I don’t think Mycroft would approve,” mumbled Sherlock between gasps of sheer pleasure. “He hates when I start without him.”

“Rick! Rick! Where are you!”

“Minmei!” shouted all six men at once. “What are you doing standing there when you can be here in bed, naked, with the rest of us?”

“Oh my,” said Mr. Sulu, beaming into the cabin, sword swinging, just in time to join the festivities.

Fanfic is destroying America. And I’m not talking about the paper-thin plots, the laughable sex scenes masquerading as character development, or the wanton intellectual property theft that fanfic represents.

I’m talking about England reclaiming us.

“Wha?” ask the naive Americans out there reading this. (“Who cares?” ask the nonchalant Canadians out there reading this.)

Fanfic is undergoing a British invasion. Doctor Who, Torchwood (which is practically fanfic in its raw form anyway), Sherlock (modern AND gaslight), Harry Potter(/Snape – eew!). The fanfic sites are being overwhelmed by the British newcomers. These ‘illegal immigrants’, as it were, are robbing American fanfic stories of valuable slots on the fanfic sites.

Even our old enemy, Japanese anime, is contemplating an alliance of convenience (no-strings-attached-allies-with-benefits?) to thrust off the new threat.

How do I know this? How did I detect this saucy, saucy threat?

I looked at the numbers (all from a prominent fanfic website on the net (ahem) I refuse to name because it employs so many non-American fanfics).

Greatest American Hero: 119 (Yes, the pinnacle of American greatness, the Greatest America Hero, has only 119 stories.)

Harry Effin’ Potter: 542,277 (And I’m not kidding about the effin’ part. Holy crap, remind me to never send my kids to a British boarding brothel school!)

Knight Rider: 52 (52!!!! Come on! It’s KNIGHT RIDER AND MADE OF AWESOME! KITT/Michael fanfic practically WRITES ITSELF!!!!)

Sherlock: 4509

Buck Rogers: 3 (3!!!!!!!! You can’t get MORE AMERICAN than Buck Rogers (and we all want MOAR MOAR MOAR Buck!))

Clearly the Americans are under threat from our supposed allies across the pond. The slimy limeys are taking over, and we, in our highly aroused and distracted state, are allowing them.

It’s a damn shame.

If you’re American (or if you’re Canadian but think Americans are awesome, as we are), it is your patriotic duty to stop whatever it is you’re doing right now and write a fanfic based on an American book/movie/TV series. Unless you were already in the process of doing just that, in which case, in the name of all that is holy, DON’T STOP!

Need some ideas?

Puff the Magic Dragon is woefully under-represented in the genre. Where else can you find a more American folklore opportunity?

Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn/Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. Freaky deaky!

Any characters created by Tom Wolfe or Tom Clancy. (And how about created by Wolfe AND Clancy? Tasty tasty.)

CNN is still American. Why limit ourselves to fiction? In this war on Britain, let’s draft ourselves some (American) fannonfic. Mmm, Anderson Cooper/Bernard Shaw. Yummy.

So yes, help us stop the British fanfic menace. And once we put the Brits down, we can start worrying about those cheap Chinese import fanfics. We can’t compete with their lower cost knock-offs, but we can erect a proud, tall barrier by using more and bigger penises in our fanfic.

And if you’re worried that plot will take up too much space, crowding out the giant genitalia, don’t. Plot in fanfic is like use of a condom in fanfic – totally unnecessary and rarely seen.

And once we have a perfect world of American fanfic devoid of plot or meaningful character development, free for our impressionable youth and adults to read, people will come to expect less of loftier works, such as books you buy online and at the bookstore or peruse at the library. Those can be devoid of depth and meaning too.

That’s when we’ll know we’ve won.

And now, a word from our sponsor: me!

Marlowe and the SpacewomanClick here to check out my forthcoming book, Marlowe and the Spacewoman, coming out January 9th, 2012 (Balloon Ascension Day)!


Posted by on 24 August 2011 in Fanfic, Other Blogs, Story


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Standards – How Do You Measure Them?

I was flipping through the channels on the TV the other night and stumbled across Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

It got me to thinking about standards.

God that is a terrible movie.  Hands down the worst of the Star Trek movies. (And if you’re thinking to yourself that there’s only one Star Trek movie, go wipe your nose and change your diaper, kiddo, and delve into the ancient history known as the 80s, or even better, the 60s too.)  Now I’m not about to rank the Star Trek movies and then justify those rankings here.  Not what I want to blog about.

(But it’s II, VI (a very close second), IV, III, I, V, in case you were curious.)

I remember seeing that movie in the theater, leaving it pretty steamed, and then reading people’s impressions on the internet (yes, the internet existed back then – we had these awesome things called newsgroups – look them up).  And a comment one chump made has hung with me all these years.  It was something to the effect of:

“As a movie, it was terrible, but as an extended TV episode, it was pretty decent.”

No, no, and no.

What the hell?  It sucked.  Period.  As a movie, as a TV show, as a concept in some fan-fic’ers imagination. It blew multicolored chunks, which in turn squeezed out multicolored turds, which turned around, fed on each other, and blew even more multicolored chunks.

No amount of spin can change that fact.

But this comment raises an interesting question.  Are all Star Trek fans loyal to the franchise to the point of idiocy?  Yes, they are.  Well, some of them, anyway.  And I say this as a huge fanboi, so stop trying to cram me into a red shirt and put those phasers down.

A more interesting question is this: what (differing) standards do we hold our types of entertainment to?  Can a terrible book be a half decent novella?  A burst hemorrhoids of a short story an avant garde poem?  Or, conversely, can a brilliant novel be a horrible movie?

Scratch that last one – it happens all the time.

The thing is, some people seem to have relative standards, which makes no sense to me.

(Pirates of the Caribbean IV fans claiming Jonny Depp made it worth sitting through, I’m talking to you!)

A story is a story, no matter the format.  And it’s awesomesauce, fecal stew, or somewhere in-between.  I don’t see how the presentation of a story to the reader/listener/viewer can change that simple fact.

The plot is tight, clever, and coherent, or it isn’t.  The characters engaging, entertaining, and complex, or flat and uninteresting.  The setting well-crafted, adroitly portrayed, or implausible and phoned in.  How can the format of the story have any impact on the quality?

Seriously?  Am I missing something?  Because in my youth I managed to write a whole bunch of short stories, poems, and novel rough drafts so awful that they could be used in the Cthulhu mythos to summon terrible, ancient evils that would end our tiny, insignificant world.  If switching the format can transform them into awesome, angel-summoning cash machines, I wanna know it.

Also, because in my universe, Star Trek V sucked no matter how you looked at it (unless you were lucky enough NOT to look at it).  As a huge fan, if there is a way to view that movie and not want to gnaw my own leg off as a distraction, I want to know it.  Need to know it.

So do you use different standards depending on the medium of the work in question?


Posted by on 2 June 2011 in Other Blogs, Story


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