Star Trek TOS- The Man Trap
Let's just start with the obvious- this episode title makes me goddamn giggle everytime I read it. To picture this fluffy lizard monster making men swoon gives me the chuckles. Go fluffy lizard creature (other than the murder thing).
But I am getting desperately distracted. For me, there isn't much to say on TOS' first episode. Everytime I try to do a full watch of TOS, I always restart at the beginning, which means I have seen this episode way too many times. And hands down, the best part is Sulu and his beautiful plant Gertrude.
I wish I had more to say, but I really just had a nice cleanser of my sanity yesterday, having had therapy for the first time in 3 weeks. So my brain is fairly cleansed and I just kinda want a nap? That's my kind of day.
Yep. That is all. And that's all I figure about the Man Trap, anyway.
How wonderfully fitting so that my personal blog needs can match the Star Trek episode I wanna talk about!
Anyway, here we are on a Thursday to begin a new weekly thing I want to do for my sanity: Star Trek Thursdays!
I know that isn't the satisfying alliteration that people might want, but Thursdays have been my least favorite days of the week since I was like, 6. My theory is that Monday is dreary, but fine, Tuesday you start hitting your stride, Wednesdays are neat because they're like the sweet spot of getting your act together, Friday is the last day of the work/school week, and of course the weekend is... the weekend. But Thursday is this weird spot where my excitement for the week is running out of steam and it's like, a lame tease for Fridays. So I've always hated it.
But as my career has been doing better, I made a quality of life decision where I will go to work slightly later (sorry if that's flexing my freelancer privilege) and extend my morning tea drink and watch the most recent Star Trek.
And with the final episode of Star Trek: Discovery's third season, I will start by doing a little writing warm-up each Thursday! So, these new Thursday blogs won't quite be reviews or personal blogs or just reactions, but a sort of blend of the three depending on the week.
We got the gist? Okay? Okay. Now I'll get to talking about the actual episode and WE BETTER because I really liked this one.
Let's start with the bad just to get it out of the way.
I am bummed and concerned about the implications of Saru leaving Discovery. At the very least, it didn't feel clear that he'd be coming back to the ship and that greatly upsets me. Doug Jones is arguably one of my favorite actors and Saru was the anchor that made me adore Discovery even at its weakest points. While I know people come and go (like we always knew Pike was temporary) the thing is that Saru felt so... integral to Discovery. I can understand wanting to finally make Michael "Captain Burnham" finally, and she definitely deserves it. I'm just v stressed about possibly losing my favorite lanky alien.
What I liked about a lot of this season was a decrease in the Kelvin inspired action-bonanza. Yes, Trek always had some action going on, but I appreciate more episodes that focus on societies and ideals and curious science. While the rest of the season was better than others, this final episode was pretty hardcore action-y and it was... fine? I just don't prefer it.
I think Osyraa might've been the best Discovery villain so far and her death felt just sort of... anti-climactic. Like, I think a charm of old Star Trek villains is how the captains would run into them and then some time would pass, they'd evolve or become scarier, and they'd find new ways to tackle them. I was kinda hopeful that could happen with Osyraa & the Emerald Chain. But alas, she's just... dead.
I'm meh on the new uniforms. I've always been a big fan of the old ones, though.
NOW TO THE GOOD!
Disabled super-genius is *chef's kiss*. Give me that sweet, sweet representation.
The b-plot of Tilly and the crew trying to blow up the nacelles felt really older Star Trek and I like it.
Owo+Keyla always makes me happy, but also Owo+Keyla is not confirmed either so 0_0
The baby family unit of Adira, Stamets, and Culber makes me very happy. Also making Gray a real character over time also makes me happy. He's probably going to end up a hologram and I am very okay with that. I want to see more of them.
I think after all the trials she went through this season, Burnham absolutely deserves this captain's post. I also am so happy that a captain gets a love interest. It's good comeuppance for all the BS struggle she's had to deal with. Not just this season, but the past 3.
It feels like we got a weird 3 season prologue to how the proper captain got their chair and it's kinda weird but I also kinda like it? But maybe I'm at a point where I'm attached to the crew enough to be like "yep, this is good".
So, as Captain Burnham's adventure begins, so does my Star Trek blogging. (As well as a couple other secret things I hope I can talk about more in the future).
But for now, I'm settled. Next week (until I am graced with a new season of something something Trek), let's start at the beginning of TOS and go from there.
....And yes, that means we're gonna get real gay.
July 24th: Creative Arts
I spent my entire childhood with one goal: to write a book.
When you're miserable and feel like dying, you really hang onto one thing to feel like you have purpose. For me, that was it.
Years later, though, with several books written and medication and a comfortable level of stability, i have to look back and ask: so what now?
Just like living, creating was this race to beat out my disorder. To do as much as I could before I lost the game.
But what do I do now that (much to my surprise) I've won?
It's really bizarre, because you're not quite capable of doing things exactly the same anymore. And weirder, you don't even know if you want to.
For example, I still love writing books. I do have two projects I'm soft working on because I like the ideas of them and want to explore what I create. But is it my aggressive, need-to-be-done-or-I'll-die aspiration anymore?
Not really. And that's weird to swallow.
I have other hobbies i want to explore. For example, i want to learn piano. I want to sing more. I even want to play with fashion a bit,which is really wild, but considering I grew up where the two fashion styles were "Cheerleader" or "scared of your own body" I didn't really think it was an option). But holy hell is quirky, nerdy fashion fun. So is concepts like Disney-bounding or (more in my case) "Trek"-bounding, where I turn something from a favorite show into a normal outfit. That's neat as hell. I love putting secret references in things.
And of course there's streaming. I love it. I enjoy working off the energy of a crowd and using my weird encyclopedic knowledge and singing and whatever to make the experience more fun and zany. Sure, it helps I play things wrong and am a stubborn goofball, but I like that. I like just being me and it being cool and exciting.
That's where I'm at, I guess. I'm still Stephanie the writer, but I'm more than just Stephanie the author. It isn't me abandoning my dreams or ruining everything the scared, hurt me fought for. Instead, it's me finally getting to be a more well-rounded person that the younger me never was healthy enough to be.
In itself, that's an amazing step of evolution. All I have to do now is keep fighting for it.
July 17th: Twitch Manifesto
Hello folks. If y'all are new to me, you might not know I stream. I keep things slightly separated, having a separate Instagram and Twitter for the channel and going under a name.
However, it's not like I'm trying very hard to hide my name. Hiding who I am isn't a thing I'm good at nor do I like.
But gist is, who I am online is something still forming. But i think I'm finally hitting an understanding of who that is. If I'm being honest, I knew before. I just was stubborn and was trying not to be pigeon-holed, but it's not pigeon-holing if it's who you are, right?
Anyway, what I mean to be saying is that I am a singer. I am a gamer. I am a storyteller. So role-playing game where I create a character with a story and I make my own goofy challenges and I sing fitting music to accompany the journey?
That's where I belong.
I don't need to be anyone else.
So, in other news, I am doing a Fallout 3 play-through and starting my Mass Effect adventure back up. I am singing angsty rock for the former, 80's jams for the latter. And that sounds right and fun. It's more who i am.
It's funny how easy it is for me to make mistakes and try being other people. It's almost like i was raised that way, to fit other people's ideas. And I fall back into it so quickly and with such ease that I don't even realize I'm doing it until it starts hurting and feeling really wrong. I do that with work, with life, with my goddamn hobbies. Streaming has absolutely nothing to do with my upbringing, but boy did I start trying to be a more typical streamer for a bit, playing Valorant and whatnot. Granted, i still like Valorant and will still play, but does it make it my thing? Is it the streaming that make me helplessly giggle and revved up by the end? Absolutely not.
I enjoy the stories. Nothing quite hits the same as Punchy Tits running around the wastelands with only her fists and baseball bats at her side, Strength and Agility at 10 but Intelligence at 1, hunting down her scientist father.
Like seriously, just from hearing about her what did he expect? For her to survive a day by herself in a Vault? Absolutely not.
I'm just rambling now, but even trying to be like people I like wasn't working. I love simmers and sim building, but trying to be myself during that? Not my forte. So while I find sims building relaxing, it isn't really what I'm good at entertaining with.
So back to weird characters and stupid self-challenges and adventure I go. and I'm pretty happy about that.
I should just be me everywhere else, too, shouldn't I? The goofy, nerdy, thoughtful kind, right?
Time for me to do something else, some showering and editing and writing then more editing and the whole gambit. But I think it's good to sit down and be like "fuck yeah, you distracted weirdo, just be you".
That felt more cathartic and comforting than should be legal.
Happy Friday, folks, and keep being yourselves, too.
Right off the bat, I am NOT here to pretend I am some great sociological mind. I am just a casual psychology fan trying to figure out the things in my life, and today I am transfixed by anti-vax. And to get anything done today, I have to get it out.
So I think there's a serious element of the anti-vax movement that is rooted in control.
The more the internet exists, and the more information is out there. When it comes to parenting, that is a double edged sword. There's more to help you and learn to take better care of your kids, but there's also more knowledge of the horrible dangers of the world.
And, unfortunately, with all the threats out there, vaccinations are one of the biggest "scary" things that parents feel like they can control. They can't stop kidnappers or erase guns or execute all drunk drivers before they get within a mile radius of their kids. But vaccinations? Those are something they have direct and deliberate influence over.
Now, I will choose not to go into the gross implications of preferring a dead kid over a possibly autistic/disabled one. That's a different societal problem that is multiple levels of ableist and awful. But it is a problem so I'll touch upon it quickly here: being autistic doesn't doom your kid, even if vaccinations did make people autistic (which they don't). So always choose life.
But back to the point.
Faced with theoretical threats aimed at their children, these parents are grasping at straws for possible danger and trying to eliminate it. Even if it doesn't make sense, even if it's ill-advised. Because they are scared for their babies and, even if there's a chance they could be endangered, they don't want to take that chance. Because vaccinations seem a lot more of a direct threat than history-book illnesses (even though that's proven untrue).
But hey, we're trying to think middle-to-upper class parent and the exercise of control they try to put on the world in hopes of the "best interest" of their child.
I don't mean to seem mocking in my proverbial air-quotes, but at the end of the day, while the psychological fear makes sense, it's the fact it stays so short-sighted and reactionary that becomes the problem.
Everyone is so afraid for their children and only want the best for them. That makes sense. Having vaccines put into your kids when they're so young giving you some anxiety, especially after some stories you read on the internet scared you, makes sense. But then basing an entire life ideology around it just feels like a scenario where one is letting the fear win.
It's like if one person read a bunch of stories about kids getting hit by drunk drivers so they never took their kids in a car again and didn't let them get their license. The fear is real and the threat feels real. But tearing your whole life down in the process, and cutting them off from people, doesn't.
In the end, it hurts a kid more than protects them.
I don't expect to change any minds with this little blog, and if anyone finds it, I'm sure it'll probably just be people who already agree with me. Confirmation bias and all. But I can't help but think this is a new, dangerous brand of helicopter parenting that is rooted in uncontrolled fear-based reactions. The feelings make enough sense, but possibly making your kids unable to go to school or possible carrier for diseases that could kills others is just going too far.
People need to see past their own noses and get a glance at the big picture, but when you're scared, staring at this one puzzle piece you feel like you can control is easier. Safer.
Even if its at the cost of your own kid's safety and the safety of kids around them.
Okay, yes, the title sounds pretty dramatic. But I think it helps make the point.
While I've worked hard to be as inclusive as possible in my life (I figure I should do that much since I'm a disabled young woman with no money to donate and no license to volunteer) I do know I have trouble with ableist language. Not just because it is so common, but BECAUSE I used it to identify myself for so long.
And we explaining these is not like I want a pat on the back; I don't deserve one. Everyone should be getting better about this shit. But I was thinking maybe if someone heard it from a messy person who's trying, because I get sometimes going from using them to shifting your own language patterns can seem daunting.
So this is me changing things, fucking up, and still trying to be better.
If we start basics, my disordered ass was using psycho, crazy, spazzy, etc. for YEARS to describe myself. So it's been weird and difficult to phase out, but at the very least I've been using it towards me, not anyone else. I am very careful about that. I slip up every so often with my dog (he is VERY energetic at times) and feels like an extension of me, so that's my bad.
I feel very happy that I never was team use the r-word, but I have been a meek, weak little goblin about telling people to not use it. But I am excited to say that I've started telling friends not to use it, making it a banned word on my stream, and disengaging from any use of it. If people want to reclaim it, awesome. But I am not one of those people and I don't think it's my place to try.
But my biggest weakness, by far, is using the phrase: "am I blind?" and I'm not proud of it. It's laced to my absolutely terrible sense of direction, and the fact I get lost in real life and video games ALL THE TIME. And considering I play open world video games all the time, it facilitates a lot of "boy am I lost" moments. I've been trying to switch it out with classics like: "Am I even trying to be a living human?" which I guess corpses might not like, but we can have that conversation later.
I'm improving with time, though, and anyone else can, too.
Happy Monday, friends. Let's all be better.
As none of you know, because I haven't been blogging much, I've been trying to live my most authentic, shameless life. Well, I finally took the biggest step necessary towards that and it has relieved me of so many stress and expectations.
And yet, at the same time, it's caused a lot of chaos and pain in me.
I told my parents that they weren't good ones to me. Even neater, I exposed all the things about me that I'd been keeping secret from them because they filled me with such shame and trepidation that I didn't feel like it was worth it: bisexual, autistic me.
Considering a lot of people on the internet knew that but they didn't is... well, kinda proves part of the problem.
I don't want to re-hash all the reasons I feel like they did it all wrong. I'm tired of that. There's only so many times you can describe the ways they made your struggles about them before it feels like some tired script to a repetitive Hollywood movie that's going to get green-lit just because Oscars are coming up and boy do we need some depressing Oscar-bait.
This is the first time, though, that I've "broken up" with someone and it be a "temporary" thing. Most times, i lay out my cards and say "fuck it, bye". I'm not good with the in-between. Maybe it comes with the autism thing or just comes with me. Not quite sure on that yet.
But supposedly we're on a break. I opened up about all the things that hurt and asked for space. I don't know if space was me being an intelligent, mature human or me just putting off the inevitable. I think that's the true reason I'm struggling with this situation: I no longer feel fear that they'll "find out" and the jig will be up and I have to deal with them. I literally told them I won't be their therapist anymore.
However, at the same time, I didn't use my old "I can't deal with this situation so it's over now" bravado. It's harder to do that when on some level, I like my parents. Just not as... well, y'know, parents.
So I'm in this limbo where I don't expect better of them, I know we've reached a tipping point, and I just have to pray they learned something by the time I talk to them because otherwise...
Well, it'll really be over, won't it?
At least, until they decide to do something about things. Because I can't keep trying. It's taking so much out of me. Just in the past week I was able to get so much more done without any weight of their existence on me. Trust me, I get how messed up that sounds, but it was like I came out about everything. It's like I was three times in the closet for like a decade and I finally got to shrug that shit off because it was killing me.
If I'm lucky, maybe we can be something again down the road. That's what I'd like and hope, but it would require a lot of soul searching and from what I've seen... it's just not their thing. I hope it could become their thing. But all I can do is see and accept that maybe, at the end of this "break" things might just stay really, really broken.
I can't be quiet about it anymore, though. I'd prefer a broken teacup shattered on the floor for everyone to stare at than be some shameful thing I hide in my shelves.
Shameless, authentic me is the happiest me. And I can't keep tossing myself in and out of the closet just because my parents may not be the good kind for me. It hurts too much and it's helped make a mess out of an already understandably messy human.
I'm 24; it's about time to just focus on me and what I want for the first time in my goddamn life.
If I wasn't a cheap bitch, this would be a Last of Us 2 review. Alas, I have some other things to pay off and am in post-quarantine application hell, so no, not quite on the table.
Before we go any further, warning for spoilers for The Last of Us 2. Turn back if you'd like to remain unspoiled (though goodness knows the internet has probably spoiled you already).
But that is hardly going to stop me from talking about the insane Metascore climate and how this reminds me of a very similar situation that happened to a very different community: the book-lover community reaction to Go Set a Watchman (the sequel to the beloved To Kill a Mockingbird).
At the end of the day, both stories started with a beloved adventure that changed people, that made them fall in love with the characters, world, and push the boundaries of their perspective. Unsurprisingly, people latched onto these open-and-shut experiences, revering them. At least, they seemed open and shut, the story and characters encased in their "perfect" endings like petrified mummies, preserved in our memories forever.
Until they weren't.
So let's start with telling the story of Go Set a Watchman.
For decades, To Kill a Mockingbird (TKAM) has been one of the most evangelized and renowned novels in American history. Scout's coming-of-age story changed so many people while reading it, making them question justice, inequality, and the nature of humanity. Just like young Scout, readers admired her father, Atticus Finch, and saw him as this pinnacle of righteousness, goodness, and progress. After all, that's how his daughter saw him. Harper Lee perfected this infectious peek into the eyes of a young girl having to come face to face with the harsh truths of the world, and her father seemed to be a rare good person leading it.
Go Set a Watchman (GSAW) changed that narrative. While TKAM maintained this reverant view of Atticus, GSAW sees it crumbling down. It makes it clear that, though Atticus defended a black man, he defended him because he was a "good one" and it was his job. He didn't do it because he was some race revolutionary. In actuality, he held some racist views that were just as insidious as some of his neighbors who had booed Tom Robinson in the stands. Scout (and in turn, the fans) had to come to grips with the fact that their hero wasn't who they thought he was; that maybe he never was.
Well, considering many book readers grew up seeing Atticus as their "one good white man", they didn't love hearing Atticus Finch was racist. They felt it a character assassination, even though no where in TKAM does it say, "Atticus is not racist" or Atticus say "I think black people deserve rights". He just made it clear he preferred to defend a man who did nothing wrong over a man who was "low". Skin color didn't matter, but not in a positive way. It was just Scout's young eyes that helped people jump to those easy conclusions.
As a biased, not-quite-a-fan of TKAM, I found the ideas of GSAW compelling. There could always be a dichotomy of a man having progressive ideals, for wanting to make better people out of his children, but still holding onto the racist ideals of his forefathers. But it's not very easy to cast heroes aside, is it? In real life, and especially in stories, people would prefer they remain these pinnacles of goodness or love or justice. Having someone they see as an ideal turn human doesn't leave a good taste in their mouth, even if it's realistic.
And that's what leads us to The Last of Us 2 and what happened to Joel. While Joel didn't turn out to be a racist, the game did make the inciting incident of the game his brutal and tragic death. Fans were totally rocked by the choice, having their hero and resident in-game badass wrecked by some local raiders. They could never see their Joel going down like that, a hostage murdered in cold blood. If anything, they'd have their boy go down swinging.
However, they seem to discount the fact Joel is older. More worn. Maybe settled into his life. The terrible things he did in the first game would take a toll on anyone. And even if it was seconds after the first game ended, when Joel was at his "height", any fighter in a world has their day. Being good at it doesn't make him immune to the horror or danger or bloodshed.
It's fair to say that someone can feel like Joel is invincible, after spending so much time with him breaking faces and shooting monsters and mowing down a hospital. That doesn't remove his fragile humanity, though.
I'm not saying people weren't allowed to be upset to watch him die, but to have such a visceral reaction to it happening in a story? It's letting idealization win over reality. It should and will break your heart. But it does not make the ripples of his life, the world he left, any less interesting. And biting at the game with venom in your mouth just because he came to a helplessly human end isn't fair.
Just like it isn't fair to assume GSAW is some false cruelty because it exposed the fact that your favorite "not all white people" southern gentleman was, in fact, just like everyone else.
Stories aren't made to just tell you what you want to hear. Sometimes, they tell you things like your worst nightmares and then guide you through that. But if you spit in its face and call it trash for daring to hand you a harsh reality, no one learns anything.
While I can't say the game is some masterpiece or GSAW is a revelation, there are pieces of wisdom in both that everyone deserves to taste and swallow that have nothing to do with dead heroes. But killing a beloved character doesn't make a story trash and the people saying it does are setting themselves up for a lot of disappointment and stunting if they can't grow past the heroes in their lives that fall.
Maybe its pessimistic for me to like that kind of view, but more than anything I just find it a little too reactionary to reject something completely and give it incredibly bad reviews just because it debunked the heroes you revered perhaps a little too much.
If the game really is trash, go off. But too many people just write them off for daring to remind that humans are fragile and imperfect and, sometimes, disappointing.
Oh, and also gay and trans people existing won't kill you, so kindly see the door about that shit. Maybe there's a reason you need to reevaluate yourself.
Okay, unedited blog me out.
And no, not just the JK Rowling kind.
Watching her bullshit unfold since... forever has always been hard. Being the friendly autist I am, I never understood the logic of her saying a character was gay post-posthumously without making his journey matter after his death OR just stating his as an explicit part of his expression. Seriously. If Harry and none of the other characters know Dumbledore is gay, does it matter?
I see everything in a really black and white way, though, I get that the logic of a text isn't the end all, be all for everyone.
But I get in a more nuerodiverse lens, that even "knowing" he's gay meant something to people, even if JK was clearly just using it as a ploy and bait to make people love and listen to her more; to lengthen her fame.
Because maybe she knew all along that past Harry Potter, she didn't have much to keep people interested. That could be the spiteful, bitter bitch in me, but hey. She lost my respect awhile ago so I have no qualms about sniping her for her poor opinions and mistreatment of people.
But this isn't about JK Rowling. Pardon my brain. This is about the Chosen One, and he's dead.
I've always run into that concept as a sci-fi fantasy fan, that someone was some prophetic "chosen" person, and hated it. It pushes people into these roles and ideals that they can't run from, and they have to cope or die. And since it's a book and dying normally isn't an option (not unless it's the end) they just figure it out.
And while figuring it out, at least they normally learn some shit, but the reluctant hero is more compelling to me. Normally they have the skills to do the job, they just aren't sold on doing it. But a chosen one? These poor children are trapped and told they are going to save the world, good luck. Luckily they do "figure it out" but after all that pressure, who would blame them if they didn't?
That's what I want to write about. The chosen one that doesn't win, the one that crumbles under pressure, and what happens after. Because assuming everyone has to rise up to the challenge, even when they don't want to or may not be ready, is a mess of a message in a world where pressures and expectations literally gets people killed.
And even better, I wanted someone who WANTED to be a hero, who was told they couldn't because X, Y, Z reasons.
So was born the idea of a younger sister taking up the quest after her older brother, the chosen one, failed.
Let's see where it goes.
Oh and hey, hi. Nice to be back to blogging.
January 14th, 2020: Vulnerability
So, I realized this morning that I've been looking at my friend problem the exact wrong way. I've been trying to poke and prod my way of thinking and acting, trying to find the flaw of why friendships were hard for me in the past. And even though it made me emotional sometimes, I never came up with anything constructive.
Well, the answer was way more obvious than I gave it credit.
The problem isn't that those people made me wary. They did, and I was heartbroken by how they treated me, but the real problem is that I'm working under the assumption I'm that same girl. I'm not. And the problem isn't I don't know how to connect to people; I make casual friends quite easily.
The problem is that I learned to not need people and now I don't know how to be vulnerable anymore. Because the only reason I ever used to be vulnerable was because my mental disorder was literally holding a gun to my head.
Hell, when I put it that way, maybe I never really knew how to be vulnerable, not organically.