Author Archives: Rob Archer

About Rob Archer

News anchor. Radio personality. Writer of dark stories and poems.

Angry Trek fans denounce new Trek before they’ve seen it (2017 and 1987 editions)

Before the launch of Star Trek: Discovery, pause and reflect that the 1987 launch of Star Trek: The Next Generation was met with a subset of angry fans condemning it before they’d seen it (see below).

Now, 30 years later, TNG is held by some Trekkies to be as sacred as TOS.

Will Discovery be good? Who knows. But as a confirmed Trekkie myself, and as someone who also enjoys the movies (even the Abrams ones), I know that Trek belongs on the smaller screen in serialized form.

But don’t forget, it took a more than two seasons before TNG found its footing, and TOS wasn’t perfect (most of the third season was awful).

The early word is that DSC is good (DSC is the approved three-letter designation, avoiding an unfortunate STD nomenclature). I am ignoring the voices of those Trekkies who have pronounced a fatwa against it before they’ve even seen it.

Nor do I care that much about continuity. (Okay, I care a little bit, but not like continuity should be considered an infallible text.) Just make it a good show with compelling characters and thought-provoking stories. Oh, and take advantage of 1080p and make it visually sumptuous.

I will definitely be watching Sunday.

tngripped

One day all the stars will fall from the sky, but they won’t fall to earth.

universe

Scientists now know that the universe is not only expanding but also that expansion is gaining speed. There’s a point at which we can’t see or detect anything; that’s because the far “edge” of the universe is moving away from us – relatively – at the speed of light.

As this expansion continues, in hundreds of millions of years, the galaxies we’re now able to see will go behind this “wall,” and will be lost from our sight. It’s possible, if there are any astronomers billions of years from now, they’ll have no idea what a galaxy is. They will have never seen one, will never be able to see one.

If this expansion continues, at some point in the far future all the stars in the sky will be receding at the speed of light, and they’ll be lost to us forever. We’ll know nothing of stars.

But it won’t stop there. At some point the outer planets will go, then the inner ones. And as the expansion continues, there would be some point at which the walls of the room you’re in would fall out of your view. And then your extremities, and then your mind.

This is the eventual “death” of the universe: All points flying away from each other at the speed of light, every speck, every atom, every subatomic particle receding away from each other at the speed of light, absolutely everything that exists falling behind an event horizon. This is a process that started all the way back to the Big Bang. Our death warrant was signed even then.

So go ahead and get the large fries.

The gold rush

Sam BrannanSam Brannan was an enterprising man who established a general store near Sutter’s Mill shortly after the discovery of gold in 1848. Sutter aimed to keep it quiet to make a fortune for himself and not have to share it. But Brannan knew that a gold rush would soon be on, so he stocked his store with items he was aware that the thousands of incoming prospectors would need.

But to make sure word about the gold got out, he walked down the middle of a street in what would one day be San Francisco, waving a pouch of gold over his head, and cried, “Gold from the American River!”

All in all, a significant day in the history of advertising.

Someone shouted “Traitor” when President Trump referred to John McCain

John McCain is many things, but he is not a traitor. One may disagree with him politically, but he has never betrayed the United States. He served and sacrificed.

During his campaign rally Tuesday night in Phoenix, President Trump talked about the failed Republican effort to kill Obamacare, noting that the Senate fell “just one vote” short, referring to McCain, whose one vote scuttled the GOP push.

It was at that moment that someone in the audience screamed “Traitor!” apparently referring to McCain, a Navy veteran who spent several years in a Vietnam prisoner of war camp.

A “movement built on love”?

It’s hard to take President Trump seriously when he said, during his campaign rally in Phoenix Tuesday night, that his “movement is built on love,” that he loves all Americans, that all Americans should love each other, and that we should all have “affection” for each other. Then he went on to spend almost all of his time expressing hate and condemnation of American reporters and journalists, and inviting his supporters to boo and shout obscenities at them for several minutes. ‬

Also, I lost count of how many times he’s complained CNN isn’t carrying his speech live…. live on CNN.

Trump supporter confronting reporters

If we just ignore the neo-Nazis and white supremacists, will they go away?

Charlottesville Nazis

Some are advising people to not counter-protest when Nazis and white supremacists demonstrate or have a rally. Some are advising people to not pay attention to them or give them any more publicity. Let them shout into the “empty air,” as Tina Fey put it.

I understand the sentiment, I really do. If we were dealing with any other kind of loud-mouthed troublemakers, that is absolutely the right response.

But what about when Nazis start running for office? Do we speak up then or stay quiet so as not to give them undue attention?

What about when they start taking over local and state governments? Do we speak up then?

What about when they take over the national government?

It’ll be very easy to stay quiet then because the punishment for counter-protesting or speaking out will be jail… or worse. Make no mistake. Just as Hitler’s ultimate goals were quite evident years before he took over Germany, so the goals of the white supremacist movement are clear now: The elimination of non-white people from the United States “permanently.” If you’re listening, that’s what they’re saying, and I have no doubt they’re telling the truth about that.

When this kind of barbarism raises its ugly head, it can be truly said, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” We’re not even a hundred years away from the last example.

I do not advocate for counter-violence. Ultimately, that serves the goals of the white supremacist movement. They copy the tactics of Nazi thugs in the 20s and 30s who sought to provoke violence to justify brutal retaliation.

I do, however, advocate wholeheartedly showing up, speaking out, raising our voices. Do not be intimidated into either silence OR counter-violence.