Monday, May 10, 2010

Wherein I salute the RedLetterMedia Guy.

I'd like to take a moment and just show my deep admiration and respect for the Redlettermedia guy, the one behind the pizza rolls and youtube reviews.

It's nice to find another guy out there like myself who dislikes First Contact. I keep talking to Trek fans who opine that it's up there with TWOK, and I just get confused and wonder why. Nicholas Meyer's masterpiece, TWOK is one of my favorite films of all time, while First Contact... First Contact isn't even the Borg's finest moment in TNG. He pointed out a bunch of crappy stuff in FC that I didn't even notice.

One I was kinda hoping he would have was the excessive use of red laser pointers. Ya know what I mean, on all the fucking Borg heads. Like, in Best of Both Worlds, it was pretty much just Locutus who had it, so it was actually kinda cool and interesting when he talked into the camera and it shone intermittently. It was a nice cinematic touch, the light of the red laser flickering over the camera image. But then they put em on all the Borg in FC and it just ended up looking cheap and kinda silly. Carried over to the Voyager episodes too.

I'm actually just kinda surprised and pleased to find a voice like his on youtube, which is so full of just... videos that are funny because of their randomness. Ya know, stuff that's funny, but in a retarded sense. Really kinda lazy stuff. But I find kind of a kindred soul in those reviews. It's just like conversations I would have with my intelligent friends, about silly shit in Star Trek or some other scifi thing we're both interested in, but in video form and with really good editing. It's also the first time in a long while I've actually laughed out loud at something online multiple times, instead of a chuckle or a smile. Which is what most people do when they see something and type "lol."

One of the things that he points out in his First Contact review is the uncanny ability of the ship's computer to take a very simple and vague command like "Mid 22nd century attire" and somehow deliver exactly what the cast members need, without any further parameters. This reminded me of the absolute worst example of this phenomenon, which took place in a TNG episode called "Schisms." This episode was about interdimensional muckety mucks entering our universe and abducting Enterprise crewmembers for some weird experiments, like replacing a dude's bodily fluids with polymers or some shit.

Anyways, a few of em all gather together and decide to share their experiences so they can recollect what horrors happened to them. They go into the holodeck and ask the computer to construct stuff they remember from their abductions. This is where the shit goes crazy. They ask for stuff like metal tables or chairs, and the computer somehow knows exactly what size and model to give them. Or, they'll give out vague parameters like "table, medium height." Like... WTF? How the hell does the computer know what the fuck a medium height for a table is? Or if Riker tells it to make a "large table"... what qualifies as large? Four feet by eight? Six by six? It's just so damn silly... I was laughing all throughout this scene.

Just think how easy game development must be in the future, where all you have to do to design a holodeck level is to ask for a vague sort of environment. "Computer, trees... medium height!" "Computer, enemies, large, with guns... big guns, made out of metal of some kind."

I hate DS9: The Defiant

The Defiant is the single worst part of DS9. DS9 is awful, and a big part of it is the Defiant.

Here we've got a ship that's a brick. Seriously, that's basically what it is, a brick in space. You ask me to describe the Defiant to you, that's all I can come up with. It's a turd. It's a little turd brick and that's about all I can do. The thing looks godawful. What is one of the reasons that people like Star Trek? Well, because Star Trek has beautiful ships. There's an aesthetic appeal that drew me in when I was a boy growing up. The Enterprise is probably the most iconic spaceship in pop culture, god bless Matt Jefferies for his innovation and vision. You look at the Enterprise, and while it might seem a bit impractical, the design itself is unlike anything that we had traditionally thought of as a spaceship. It is not a rocket with fins. It is not a lazy ass giant triangle. It is a saucer connected to a cylinder with a neck and long graceful warp nacelles at the back. That's ingenuity. That is something that we don't see everyday and it looked great and endured through the decades. Starfleet ships have proudly carried on that Jefferies visual aesthetic until the Defiant.

The Defiant just looks terrible. It's got this retarded looking snout up front, with the deflector dish. Only it's not even a dish, it's this weird triangular blue thingy that we've never ever seen before. But they say it's a deflector dish, so whatever. Then you've got the inconsequential warp nacelles on the sides. Except they don't look like nacelles, they're stuck on and basically part of the hull. And uh... there's not much else. You've got the weaponry, but they aren't really displayed either. I've never really seen the phaser cannon ports.

So it looks ugly. Visually, it's a disaster. There's nothing redeeming about the design. But now let's discuss the actual ship.

The actual ship itself, as written, is a fucking joke. It is a joke that is not funny. It strikes me as something that a fanfiction writer on usenet would be embarrassed to show people. This ship is tiny, about the size of four or five runabouts, but apparently is the most powerful goddamn ship in the universe. This ship possesses phase cannons that seem to rip apart battleships in one or two volleys. This tiny ship is portrayed as being as powerful as 2 or 3 Galaxy class starships, apparently. This is a fucking retarded idea. This is idiocy. There is nothing as stupid as this in television history. This is a fanfiction ship. This is something that someone would write as being the hero ship in fanfiction. There is no goddamn way that I am gonna sit and watch a show that employs an ubership that is small, fast, and more powerful then much larger battleships. I don't watch anime. I don't like to watch complete garbage. This ship is an insult to Star Trek.

Why even bother making any regular ships at all? Why do anything but make these ultra powerful pocket battleships that have phase cannons that rip through shields and oh yea... it's got ablative armor, so even if you somehow knock the shields down, there's still not much you can do? This is just retarded. The ship is insanely overpowered and completely ridiculous. Whatever happened to the beautiful Trek ships of yore? Can't we just be happy with nice curved saucers and regular phasers? Do we need phase cannons that are tiny but severely overpowered? What is this? I know it's designed to defeat the Borg, but that's no excuse for something this monstrous, this over the top, and this ugly. Plus, the Borg's greatest advantage was their ability to adapt. So even if you have phase cannons and quantum torpedoes, the Borg will just adapt to them and you're still screwed.

The Defiant is everything wrong with DS9. It is a blight on Trekdom, and I am so glad that at least JJ Abrams's reboot will wipe that eyesore from existence.

Which class to play for Mass Effect 2?

The Soldier seems the best to me, because canon Shepard is a soldier. So it seems logical to do what canon Shepard does. Going canonical, so to speak. I really like writing "canon", because you see so many fucktards online spelling it "cannon" while talking about Star Trek or Star Wars, it's really annoying. So it's empowered to spell it "canon" because that's how it's supposed to be spelled. Canon.

Also, the Soldier gets to use the assault rifle, which is probably the best gun in the game. Ya know, it fires really rapidly, has a pretty good range, and looks nice. Good all-rounder.

Lastly, the Soldier from ME1 had Immunity, the best ability ever. It pretty much made you invulnerable. I really enjoyed using Immunity and soaking up tons of damage. Now there doesn't seem to be any Immunity in ME2. But I'm gonna go and find out if that is indeed the case. Maybe we're wrong and Immunity is in ME2. Or maybe it got changed into another ability and actually got an improvement. Or maybe it's gone and I'll find out and get really pissed off and write up my thoughts on its loss. So we'll see. We'll see indeed.

BTW, they showed the first 12 minutes of ME2 on Gamespot. Apparently, you'll be able to collect spaceship models to display on a wall in your ready room. Spaceship models are awesome. Cause in a tense dramatic moment, Shepard could get really pissed off and throw his assault rifle around, knocking the spaceship models to the ground. And then Miranda Lawson will reach down and pick one up and go "You broke your little ships."

DS9 and shields.

Well, the thing is... DS9's big space battles never had any ships with shields. Seriously, you watch them. No shield bubbles on any of em. It's ridiculous.

I didn't see shield bubbles on any ships, at all. No shields in Star Trek? Thank you DS9, you lousy piece of shit. Ugh.

Me, I've always been a stickler for the bubble shields. Conformal shields just look boring by comparison. Mind you, I grew up watching the TNG series, so I'm very very used to the bubble shield look. It's kinda ingrained in my consciousness. When I think of shields, I think of blue bubbles. There's a majesty and a pageantry to them. You get the feeling that the bubble is protecting you from harm. They're more visually impressive. The only time we got to see shields in the original series films, Star Trek The Motion Picture, they also used bubble shields. You could just sense the power of the Enterprise's bubble shields as they held against the destructive green power of V'Ger. It was awesome. The bubble shield, not the movie. God, that movie was boring.

And ya know, while Generations was also a terrible film, I really liked the visual look of the shields. Even when they got penetrated by that Bird of Prey. You could see the blue little shield light up as the disruptor bolts pierced them. You couldn't get that with conformal shields, no siree bob. And remember when the Enterprise actually fired back at them and the phaser fire was sorta streaming in every which direction, as it dissipated against the green bubble shield of the BoP?

I really like bubble shields. Conformal shields just don't do it for me. They don't say Star Trek. There's no visual splendor there. But uh, getting back on topic there... see, the thing is... the DS9 battles don't even show conformal shields. They don't. They just don't show shields period. No shields at all.

The evidence shows that yes, Deep Space 9 itself has shields. Apparently space stations are allowed to have shields, but not the ships. If there are shields, they're invisible. Since I believe shields flare up and are not invisible, well... there aren't any shields. This sort of thing ruins my immersion. When I watch Star Trek, I have certain expectations. I expect ships with saucers and two nacelles, and shields, and some spiffy colored uniforms. I demand them, in fact. DS9 broke two of those cardinal rules.

DS9 did have spiffy colored uniforms, but uh... I thought those jumpsuits looked a bit worse then TNG's Season 3 outfits, honestly. TNG's Season 3 overhaul was one of the best in living memory, though. They kept Riker's awesome beard, gave Worf a better looking metal sash, got rid of Sonja Gomez, painted that technical looking design on the pillar behind Picard's chair, changed his armrests so you didn't have to flip them up, and gave us the second best looking uniforms in the history of Trek. The collar, a stroke of genius. No more need to see all of their exposed necks like that. And the belt added stature and poise. Might also have been responsible for the Picard Maneuver, not sure about that. But god bless Robert Blackman for crafting those new uniforms.

This is a good example of what we should've always seen in DS9:the Defiant vs Lakota battle.

Nice, visible bubble shields in that scene. This is good. This is what we deserve. This is a pretty well done scene. I approve of this.

Also, Susan Gibney is awesome and I wish we'd seen her more often.

In conclusion, I had major issues with DS9. Lack of shields being one of the more obvious ones.

I really hate the internet sometimes.

So, I'm going on Youtube and come across this uh, one lady by the name of NixiePixel. She apparently likes to play video games. Now, she's also this really attractive redhead. And so... she's this attractive redhead who plays video games and uploads videos onto youtube where... she talks about video games?

Now see, this is just unfair. This is just fucking frustrating and unbelievable. Lady, I don't need this in my life. How the hell am I supposed to go on living? Why would I want to view your videos, of you being really hot and attractive and talking about video games? I don't need this distraction in my world. It's fucking painful here. I'm trying to live my life like a somewhat normal human being.

See, I've got a problem. I'm one of those guys who is instantly attracted to a gamer girl. It's really not anything I've ever really tried to hide. I don't want this. I don't need it. But, inevitably... something happens in my head somehow and I can't stop being attracted to a girl who likes to play video games. It's got a hold over me. They're kinda irresistable. So if you're a really attractive girl who plays video games, it's just murder. I can't deal with it. I have to try to avoid the siren call of this lady. Or, this girl maybe. She seems kinda young. But she's hot and she plays video games and has videos about video games. It's just not right.

Why would I want to expose myself to that sort of longing and temptation and frustration? What is in it for me? How could I continue on with that sort of unobtainium? I just can't, it's impossible. I cannot view the videos. I cannot even venture to look at her, it's like staring into the sun. You might go blind from the radiance, the beauty. It's like if you don't, your eyes might just wear out their welcome. It's a terrible situation. I can't believe I had the misfortune of finding this. It's just awful, and uh... I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

I can't do it, maybe someone else could. She apparently has over 13,000 subscribers on youtube, for obvious reasons. Me... I personally cannot fathom how it's possible to watch her videos. It's undoable to me. It'd just lead to pain and misery and a dark feeling of loss and self-loathing. There's no way. It's out of the question. You think you can tolerate anything, but then you run up against something like this. Well, this is my Olympus Mons. She's just too much. I've gotta try and get her, the very idea of her existence, out of my brain, and out of my thoughts. It's just too much to bear, I'm sorry. The world is fucked up, and I'm trying to make my little way in it as best as I can. There's no reason to go out and watch the videos of this attractive redhead gamer girl, it's just inviting a lot of frustration and no good can come of it. It's just hard. It's a hard life to lead. I guess I wanted to warn others about this problem.

It's um, it's a real crying shame.

Hey, David Jaffe looks like Jeremy Renner.

Well, David Jaffe is a cool dude. Very entertaining and open about his world, his life.

And uh, he also resembles Jeremy Renner. I was watching the Hurt Locker again recently and had this odd feeling all throughout. Something peculiar was nagging at the back of my consciousness. And it just occurred to me why. Jeremy Renner, the star of The Hurt Locker, is kinda a younger, slightly thinner version of our Mr. Jaffe. It's really quite uncanny. I hoped to actually post this insight on David Jaffe's blog but he apparently turned off all comments. That's a shame. But I felt like the truth needed to be heard. This is kinda cool actually. If you don't know, Jeremy Renner was also the Marine in 28 Weeks Later, and the star of the tv series The Unusuals. But yea, you go look and David Jaffe could almost be Jeremy Renner's twin brother. That's really nifty, IMO.

Rethinking the Pegasus.

I was recently thinking about the TNG episode The Pegasus again. Looking back on it, I have to say... I really don't think I can buy Picard's decision there.

Admiral Pressman wants to recover a Federation cloaking device from the Pegasus, Riker's old ship. They find it and Riker tells Picard, who knows that it's a blatant violation of the Treaty of Algernon. The cloak also works as a way to phase through matter. So they get trapped inside the asteroid with the Pegasus and have to use the cloak to escape. Picard spills the beans to the Romulans and Pressman and Starfleet Intelligence get into big trouble or something.

Maybe this makes me a bad person, but when I think about the episode now, I can't help but come to the conclusion that the power and usefulness of the cloaking device is probably worth violating the treaty. That's a huge tactical advantage that the Federation just gives up. I feel like, in the greater scheme of things, it would have been better to have reclaimed the device like Pressman wanted, instead of what Picard ended up doing.

It seems like it worked pretty well, since the Enterprise does use it and manages to escape without any disastrous consequences. There's no guarantee that there would be a war with the Romulans. They're just developing it, they aren't outfitting the entire fleet with the things. I think the tactical advantage of having interphasic cloaking devices is worth it. Think how many lives could've been saved in the Dominion War if they had had the technology and used it then.

And ya know, some have speculated that Pressman and Starfleet Intelligence were really working for Section 31. This is kinda weird, cause you'd think that such an important mission would've been handled by a ship crewed entirely by loyal Section 31 agents, instead of given to that ol' softy Picard, who's probably well known for his strict ethical code. It falls apart, doesn't it? Ah well, Section 31 was a shitty idea. Just one of numerous bad ideas from that DS9.

Technically... they were violating the treaty. But in a practical sense, they were working on something that would have been an immense boon to the Federation and its security. I guess I'm just looking at the situation from the perspective of a human in today's world, instead of a Picard with evolved morals in a utopian future.

Ya know, thinking about Starfleet admirals... it's tough to actually find a good one. From the TNG seasons, I think my favorite one is Necheyev. She was really unpleasant, but it seemed plausible that she was at least competent and working for Starfleet's best interests. Everyone else seemed to be really corrupt or under an alien influence or incompetent.

Maybe that's why Janeway got promoted to Admiral.