Star Sturgeon

(with apologies to James White)

Yesterday I ran across an article [Link] entitled “10 Space Operas to Read Before You See Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”  This article is a list of books – supposed “Space Operas” that one should read before viewing the latest “Star Wars” oater film.

Let me start by reminding folks that I consider the whole “Star Wars” shtick to be unadulterated, odoriferous, nauseating CRAP. I have stated this previously but it is necessary to keep repeating it because the shtick glorifies slavery. Yes, the central theme is supposedly a conflict between totalitarianism and democracy but the actuality of democracy is never demonstrated. And the cancer of slavery is continually demonstrated.

The only merit of this shtick is that it provides a teaching case of Sturgeon’s Rule: 90% of everything is crap. In this instance it is the ensemble of “Science Fiction” cinema. 

I should comment that it was physically nauseating to key those last three words. Real Science Fiction and cinema are almost orthogonal. Cinema that may be considered actual Science Fiction is a rarity on the scale of chicken teeth. So to avoid having to halt periodically and sanitize my screen and keyboard, I adopt the convention of pSFcinema where the “p” stands for “pseudo”.

There is some good pSFcinema. Forbidden Planet is the epitome, mostly because of a story line plagiarized (?) from Billy Rattlelance and good acting – expected from Walter Pigeon, surprisingly from Leslie Neilson, and consistently from the supporting cast, especially the robot. 

Sadly, most contemporary pSFcinema is cartoon-like. The acting is abysmal to non-existent and the visual effects are imitations of Coyote (Road Runner?) cartoons – the old ones, not the contemporary ones which are single layered. 

This is the nature of Star Wars cinema. The cartoon effects are coyote quality but the acting pretty well died in the first reel when Sir Alec Guiness shuffled off. Not that there weren’t good genes and efforts but the scripts were basically counteracting. 

That dogs lunch, however, does not really address the CRAP issue. It is a component but there are so many components to the CRAP that an enumeration would be diverting as well as annoying.

The teaching aspect is that the Star Wars cinema balance out the good stuff. In this they have value. Because the Star Wars cinemas are so bad, there is actually room created in the universe for good pSFcinema. A couple of the Star Trek movies were fair, mostly because of Leonard Nimoy and Deforrest Kelley. Sadly they never rose to the excellence of the television versions, but then a large budget can spoil the milk.

And Star Trek actively combats slavery and tyranny and injustice and Capitalism and Nazism and …. Grail quest. Occasionally a bit preachy and evangelical. But better. Marginally.

So, as with most crap, even Star Wars has some redeeming value by making it possible for good pSFcinema to be made. 

Waiting Is.

Getting back to the article. It consists of a list of books. This gets into the realm of actual Science Fiction. And it fails. The books are almost all Star Wars genre. Which is 100% CRAP as Science Fiction. Useful for delivering babies – the ink is antiseptic even if the pages are small – but not real Science Fiction. About on the par of elected politicians being honest and honorable.

What should have been recommended was actual Science Fiction space opera: the Smiths – George O. – Venus Equilateral; and Edward Elmer – Skylark and Lensman series; Asimov; Anderson; ….;. But NOT Star Wars CRAP.

This omission is crucial to these bounders. If the people who worship the Star Wars CRAP were exposed to actual Science Fiction, the religion would collapse. And that would damage the cash flow.


Electoral Reformation

One Day. Back to Gym. Where I saw the first attack commercial from the state bigot. This caused me to reflect and I have developed a conjecture: the problem is that the parties are unable or unwilling – probably the latter – to offer candidates that are acceptable to the majority of citizens.

So I want to offer up an idea to alter the situation. Every time we have to elect a new official, senator or dog catcher, we select a name at random from the rolls of eligible voters. That person, regardless of any other characteristics will hold that office. If they go off and serve, so much the better than what we have now because they will be an unknown quantity and ignorant – in all likelihood – of the job. And if they do nothing then we are no worse off than we are now because they will be doing no active damage.

And they get to hold office only once. Period. Which is an inducement for them to actually do something because they can’t be selected again.

And we don’t have evil grasping politicians making our lives worse.

Thankful Listness +2

Five Day. Back to gym. With a fill-in clerk who was fifteen minutes late. And hence I had to reduce my exercise duration by ten minutes to get back on schedule.

This raises the question: if we can’t trust Marshall Medical North [Link] management to open a gym on schedule how can we trust them to run a hospital. The answer is that we can’t. So this is a thankfulness since we have found out not to go to this hospital before we got killed or maimed.

I am also thankful that Thanksgiving is over. All that is left is unhealthy left-overs that can be discarded in a day or so.

I am thankful for the Arab government [Link] contractor who is supposed to pick up the recyclables this morning but almost certainly will not on the excuse of yesterday. This teaches us that capitalists are less trustworthy (and more venial) than government.

Not that Arab government is much to be thankful for. It is, however, one baby step above chaos but not incompetence.

I am also thankful for Black Friday, mostly because it reminds us of the evil of Capitalism and the stupidity of Bogs (and a few Geeks.) It never ceases to amaze me how industriously Bogs will wait on queue to “save” money on rubbish they don’t need but have been brain washed into wanting. In this regard, I am also thankful for Bogs lest the Capitalists have to get creative in their prevarications aka advertisements.

I am unthankful that the month of two noxious holidays is near upon. Much stupidity is to be endured as well of movement obstruction and an atmosphere of general idiocy.


Thankful Listness

Today is “Thanksgiving Day.” No gym, because its a holy day. In that regard it has a singular positiveness – it’s a secular holy day, so it’s not an instance of the mystical and superstitious bogs imposing their prejudices and villainy on the rest of us. That doesn’t mean they won’t try; I haven’t been to a “Thanksgiving” repast in years without the deity being invoked in horribly human, Us-Them fashions. One thing I have never understood is that if the deity created humans deliberately then why should he/she/it prefer one flavor of human over another.

And if only the good die young, wouldn’t that favor be placed on the ones being discorporated?

I am not sure what I have to be thankful for. My existence? Birth was beyond my control; it followed from sexual congress of my parents. They may have wanted pregnancy but I doubt that had any conception of what they would be getting.

My family? Again, my natal family is beyond my control. And I should like to say beyond my deep appreciation. They are mostly EXTRO Bogs with the usual antipathy shading into hatred for INTROs and Nerds/Geeks. What is amazing is that I will put up with their presence for a while due to some not understood social obligation. And then go home thoroughly sickened both physically and psychologically.

My constructed family. Certainly I am thankful for FD SCP. But I have that every day and need not a holy day for it. I am of mixed mind now because we spent Two Day at Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill’s premiere hospital. The reason was the FD SCP needed some plumbing adjustments; for me, and less for her, it was an exercise in vertical copulation and borderline incompetence.  She was unconscious most of the time and missed much of the disaster.

No, not a disaster ass in conflagration or such, more like a series of absolutely avoidable screw-ups. We were supposed to be there at 0530 for 0630 surgery. That kept slipping until 1045 because the cutter was indisposed. I knew better than to ask whether his problems were managerial, chemical, or physiological. Happily the crowd of other people’s relatives in the hospital stock yard – the conditions such that if we were cattle the FDA would close down the facility for cruelty and lack of sanitation – was smaller than usual if not more restrained. The noise level in this place was such that the staff abandoned their electronic public address system and walked about imitating town criers. The cutters were livid and nasty because they had to wait to reassure the chief relative over the telephone; evidently face-to-face reports are not part of contemporary medical practice. I suppose they also have a hireling to take the money to bank?

Couple that with an atmosphere of imminent wailing by the interminable large groups of relatives gathered for operations with failure probabilities less than 1%. I could understand the gathering if the probability of survival was half or less but more certain than the motorcar trip to/from hospital? Makes one wonder how Bogs still exist.

So scant thankfulness for anything there other than FD SCP and I surviving our visit to hospital. Which did make me thankful for Semelweis and Lister. I can also say I that I was singularly unthankful for the foodstuffs. Amazing how much sodium can be packed into otherwise tasteless dietitian designed offerings. The coffee, imported from a nearby Starbucks was the best thing and those who read this blog know my ratings on that.

I can also say that after this I had a certain empathy for the British at the battle of Isandlwanda where the callous thought absence of others did them in. One expects rather more of medicalists whose priorities seem not even on treatment.

But we both survived and I suppose I should be thankful of that.

The air temperature is below the phase change of water into ice, and with the gym closed for some devious reason, I am unthankful for being unable to exercise my corpus. And I shall have to eat unusual foodstuffs this afternoon and I shall be deeply unthankful for that, but deeply thankful for simethacone and oil of peppermint.

I shall also be thankful for this not being the next major holiday which will not be secular and will have an order of magnitude more superstition harassment. And I will be thankful when this day of thankfulness is over. Nothing like a ridiculous social torture to make one appreciate reality.

I should append that I am also thankful that I will not have to venture out on the morrow to spend money. I have already received innumerable (not really but beyond my interest or desire) advertisements. I was especially taken with the one from Sam’s Club: the offerings were so boggish as to make me wonder how long it will be before the nausea subsides and I will even think of trading with them. Into the new year I expect.

I am unthankful, however, that I will be unable to do needful acquisition for a while because of all the Bogs out chasing false bargains and adamantinely packaged rubbish. Whether physical presence or internet clogging, their odious, nauseating subservience to capitalist disease is clogging.

Semantic Politics

What name attaches to people who are political supporters of pedophiles?

Could it be pedophilephile?

Only in Alibam can people who claim to be Christianists -vehemently – cast their vote for Pedophiles with pride and assurance.

Rather makes one wonder which is worse, the candidate or his supporters?

Torroid Trepidation

Five Day. End of Week In. And change of regime at gym. This morning’s podcast was an episode of Destination Linux and during a boring (deeply) bit about gaming on Linux (more later,) I strayed to the monitor and a new item caught my eye. So as soon as I got home and abluted, I looked it up.

Seems some fellow in Ohio went to his local McDougal’s and asked for a “steak bagel.” When he was informed none were available, he drew his small arm and menaced the clerk with threatened violence and profanity. [Link] Since the McDougal’s had no security cameras, the irate undiner has probably escaped.

As a physicist, it is almost a redundant admission that I enjoy a good bagel. With a schmear. So in this regard I would like to sympathize with the fellow.

But I cannot. First of all, he went to McDougal’s. This is the second worst Amerikan company for depraved indifference and criminal negligence with regard to everything but corporate profits. (The first is, obviously, MalWart.) So the mere act of going to a McDougal’s is an indictment of the fellow’s integrity and intelligence, perhaps even sentience.

Next, a McDougal’s Bagel? This is a bagel in name only. It bears the same relationship to a real bagel that Wonder Bread bears to a French baguette. With the helpful addition of tons of sodium and other life decreasing additives.

And lastly, a “steak bagel”? This sounds rather like the level of abomination of impregnating both one’s grandmothers. I personally only put  a schmear on mine and admittedly it is an inferior schmear mostly because the Alibam dairy industry is incapable of competently producing cream cheese. 

And we can be pretty well certain that the beef in that “steak” is not brisket. Probably the cow equivalent of “chicken nuggets.” 

So if this were a just world, the fellow would have destroyed the McDougal’s and been discorporated by constables in the subsequent shoot-out. Both are so guilty of abomination as to be worth no concern.

There is the question of how the workers would have been spared. They are more to be pitied than detested. While they have scant moral fiber, these are difficult times and one has to do what paid work one can find. The managers are another matter. 

It is hard to find a decent bagel in Alibam. Not quite impossible. But very close. Ohio, however, is a bit more enlightened than Alibam. But this is something they should have a day of public shame over.