Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Sense of Wonder

After finishing Deep Space Nine the other day, I proposed to a few friends that "What You Leave Behind" is essentially the end of Star Trek, or more specifically, a hypothetical series trilogy starting with TOS (and its films), continuing on to TNG, and ending with DS9. I thought that DS9 matured the themes of the Original Series and brought them to a sort of sublime conclusion, and that all other Star Trek that came afterwards were real "spin offs" insofar as they branched out or diverged from what I now consider a thematic arc across TOS-TNG-DS9. I think this might only work if you divorce yourself of the notion of a Roddenberry "vision" that must be or was always at play, and that divorced from "what Gene wanted," TOS-TNG-DS9 was about how hubris meets sacrifice, how history and empire are made of small people acting out roles larger than they can comprehend or accept, and that at the end, space is and never was "home," no matter how hard we tried to make it.

Or maybe WYLB was just a real, legit "ending" -- an ending that surpassed the attempts to "end" the previous series, for whatever their motivations. I liked how O'Brien takes his annoying-ass family back to Earth, how Sisko "dies" and literally leaves this mortal plane, how Odo and Kira shed no tears as they say goodbye. None of this bringing Spock back to life, none of this fuzzy poker playing ending where we assume the adventure continues: people finally have to deal with loss. But maybe what made DS9 for me was the episode "Waltz," where a hallucinating Dukat breaks down in front of his hostage Sisko that he should have killed all the Bajorans during his time as leader of the occupation, Sisko sneaks up behind him as he rants, smacks him in the back of the head with a metal bar, and then grits this line through his teeth. "And that's why you're not an evil man," before he runs off to escape.

I said all of that to distract you and myself from the crushing truth that winter will soon be upon Gambier, and I the winter-weary type in summer, will soon find I can only have so much fun throwing my cat into the snow to see what she'll do. I suspect that Irene will probably be okay as she's got fur.

Monday, November 21, 2011

On The Move

I'm probably flying over Ohio right now, heading home to California. I've got mixed feelings about Mt. Vernon and Gambier, a lot of which I've chalked up to learning how to be middle class, for realz this time. That is, having professional relationships, chatting in sitting rooms, and never seeing the kind of semi-bohemian lifestyle that I led for eight years ever again. Now people buy houses and go antiquing to fill them with stuff; they don't scrounge around the Internet to pick up milk crates and pressed-wood furniture just to have a kitchen table, or find a terrible but sturdy piece of wood and cover it with an equally-terrible table cloth because, well, you accepted your fate. The stories we tell about our furniture are different now.

And I hesitate to use "we" here, but I suspect I can't fight this tide, as the pull of class (the reality of class) melts me both physically and mentally into a gigantic grilled cheese of terrible food metaphors about selling out. God that was so bad, I'm going to end this paragraph prematurely.

I say this as if there's a "real" to be kept, when this may be fate of sorts. Granted too I'm lucky, considering how the economy has been treating others like me, but you never really get a sense of those sociological concepts like assimilation or socialization until you actually take historical stock of them. I don't have the confidence of Bourdieu to say I can see this dispassionately -- I'd say I'm at the Camus stage of the "French philosophical stages of acceptance" -- but I can't avoid the trajectory my family has taken from living 10 or more to a house to all my aunts and uncles (and my mom) stepping so far away from the immigrant life.

If I'm throwing loaded dice in some terrible crapshoot of fate, I wonder if it's Marshall Berman's maelstrom of change or some appalling American Beauty/Donny Darko/bullshit white person problem suburbia ass leakage that I'll be losing with. Either way, it's dissatisfaction, but one is solved by obsessive changes while the other is only solved by rebellious teenagers (I hate those things).

One thing is certain, I will refuse to tuck my polo shirts in on the weekends. Occupy my pants!

Monday, April 11, 2011

For Spammers, I Give No Quarter

I'm taking a break from a desperate moment of dissertation writing, having been drawn out by spammers spamming spam on the comments. Look, I know no one says a darn thing to me on this blog, but come on, do you really think that you're going to get someone to click on your links from here?

I think I just tried to apologize to them. Bad writing! Bad!

In other news, mom and Al were here this weekend and a good time was had by all. I would say, however, a better time will be had by me as I've got a pyrex full of shrimp stir-fry, a pot of chicken curry, a quarter-bag of beef jerky, and a half-loaf of pan de leche. This, my friends, is bachelor food supplemented by home cooking -- and it is good.