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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Genius City

...has been flinging tons of tax dollars down our high school rat-hole lately. Until today I thought the most visible waste of money was the new addition they tore down in order to build a newer new addition in the exact same spot where the old new addition was. But now I see that they've hydroseeded all around the grounds. Forget the expense for a moment, and the fact that all the hydroseeded lawns will inevitably turn to weeds, which has been the case there forever. If you're going to blow a pile of cash on hydroseeding, wouldn't it make sense to do it just after the kids get OUT of school in June rather than just before they come BACK in September? The seeding is all around the parking lots and at the front of the school, and there's no way they're going to keep kids from stomping through it. But, hey, it's only more wasted tax dollars and mounting public debt. I suppose, if a few seeds do somehow germinate, watching the hydroseed grass grow will give America's future (and likely current) unemployment statistics something to do while they ponder their futures on the bread line.
My idiot city has also decided that we now need a "hiking trail" every three feet. We had those when I was a kid, but back then we called them "sidewalks." We now have miles and miles of both sidewalks AND hiking trails here in Stupidville, and almost no one waddles along either. They're too busy hiking up to the counter at McDonald's. But, hey, only tax dollars, right? Spend, spend, spend.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Goofball Review of Goofball Star Trek Episode "The Doomsday Machine"

This week's Star Trek begins with the Enterprise crew in an asteroid field searching for their sister ship, the Constellation.  The asteroid field is brand-new, and exists because a bunch of planets have just been destroyed by some great, unknown something-or-other.  In the middle of the computer-generated rocks is the Constellation, wrecked and adrift.  Spock pulls out that massive brain of his that impresses all the outer space babes and suggests that whatever blew up all the planets probably smashed-up the Constellation as well.  Really, Commander Sherlock?  I'm guessing that chick with the black beehive hairdo in the background could have guessed the same thing just by looking out the window.  How much are they paying this guy to be the big science genius on this ship, because I saw a border collie on Nova once that was just as good at deductive reasoning and nowhere near as smarmy.

Kirk, Bones and Scotty beam over to the Constellation.  As smashed-up as it is, it's still got lights and oxygen aplenty, but you can tell it's beat-up because in front of every door is a giant crooked drinking straw.  Kirk steps over one of the giant straws and finds the only guy left alive on the ship, Matt Decker.  Decker is a commodore, but I don't think he's one of the Commodores, because he's white.  But then he throws open his mouth and for a minute I think he's going to belt out "Three Times a Lady," but it turns out he's just acting crazy.

Decker has gone space-nuts because he beamed his crew down from the damaged Constellation to a planet that was then blown up by a space monster.  His performance when describing the thing that killed his crew is more eccentric than that of Tim the Enchanter describing the Killer Rabbit in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and should be sufficient to get him beamed into the nearest deep space rubber room.  This becomes significant later in the episode when McCoy says he needs to examine him before he can say he's crazy.  I'd say the tinfoil-lined Napoleon hat would be enough, but apparently in the future you can't certify an obvious nutbar until you've checked his tonsils. 

Okay, so forget crazy.  How about incompetent?  This guy marooned his entire crew on a planet after his ship was attacked.  It didn't occur to him to leave them even one shuttle so at least a couple of them could escape when the space monster started carving up the joint.  Clearly Commodore Decker should be shipped immediately to either the loony bin or the brig.  Instead, Kirk orders Bones to take him aboard the Enterprise, where Decker immediately takes command from Spock.

The space monster is back, and it turns out it's a giant metal highway cone with a highway flare stuffed up it.

Speaking of things stuffed up other things, Kirk pulls a whole big theory entirely out of his rear end, speculating that the highway cone is a doomsday device from beyond the moon created to do mean things to not-nice people.  It's an interesting theory that has not one bit of evidence on which to hang it.  For all he knows, it could be a giant sugar cone created by the Ice Cream Giants of Flabbercam V, sent off into the deepest reaches of space to search for chocolate sprinkles.  But since the episode is called "The Doomsday Machine," Kirk's fanciful, whole cloth theory is their story and they're sticking to it.

The highway cone is heading for the most densely populated part of our galaxy and, before it can reach Los Angeles, Decker decides to attack it.  Spock doesn't want to, but Decker has a pretzel glued to the chest of his yellow pajamas which means Spock has to do everything a disheveled, unshaven lunatic tells him to do.

The Enterprise attacks the highway cone, which I realize now looks more like the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter.  The Sorting Hat belches fire at the Enterprise, which Kirk sees from the Constellation once Scotty gets the TV fixed.

Kirk gets Spock to take command of the Enterprise, and Spock tells a Red Shirt to take the commodore downstairs so McCoy can check his prostate to prove he's crazy.

If you want to be a commodore/The house for you is...Gryffindor!
In the hallway downstairs, Commodore Decker pretends to cough then socks the Red Shirt.  The Red Shirt starts to beat him up, so Decker pretends to be tired and socks the Red Shirt again.  This time he wins and knocks out the Red Shirt, so we're spared the old "your shoelace is untied" trick.  No wonder these guys get killed in the first five minutes of most episodes.  They're morons.

On the bridge, Sulu's Christmas lights tell him a shuttle is being stolen.  You'd think the doors would automatically shut on an unauthorized launch, but maybe that ship function is broken along with the tractor beam they were using earlier in the episode to pull the Constellation in tow but for some unexplained reason don't use now to retrieve the shuttle.

Up close, the inside of the Sorting Hat looks like the Eye of Sauron.  The commodore flies the one true ring inside, but the Sorting Hat doesn't die and the tower of Barad-dûr doesn't come down.

Sulu sees through his bridge View-Master that the Sorting Hat's power dipped when the shuttle went boom, so Kirk decides to fly the Constellation inside to make a bigger boom.  Scotty has fixed everything on the Constellation from the phasers to the cappuccino maker, but for some odd reason he's neglected to repair the transporter, so Kirk will have to rely on the Enterprise to beam him out at the last second.  Apparently Kirk has forgotten just like Decker that the Constellation has shuttles.

Scotty beams back aboard the Enterprise and breaks the transporter.  I think that if it can't take his weight now, wait'll it sees the size of the Scotty it's going to have to beam around the galaxy in twenty years.

Kirk flies the Constellation into the Eye of Sauron, and we see that the interior of the Sorting Hat is lined with groovy wallpaper.  Scotty fixes the transporter and beams Kirk out just in the nick of time.  The Constellation explodes, the Sorting Hat belches liquid Tide and dies, and on the bridge of the Enterprise Kirk cracks wise, since in the future it's apparently no big deal to lose a ship, its crew, a crazy commodore with a pretzel on his pajamas, and a couple of piddling little solar systems.   

Current "Events"

It's a good thing my bank put in all those TVs all over the place, or I might not have learned that Prince Harvey took his pants off (presumably one leg at a time) and ran around Vegas like a juiced-up Kennedy at Club Med. Yeah, those TVs were a much better investment than, say, paying out interest of more than .35 on your CDs.

Friday, August 24, 2012

RIP William Windom

With the death of character actor William Windom, ME-TV plans to run this Saturday night the episode of Star Trek in which he guest starred. It was just on a couple of months ago, and if anyone hasn't seen these episodes with updated special effects, I recommend it. The pathetic windsock that was chasing the Enterprise around has been fixed and looks much better now. It's a pretty good episode.

This will, of course, not stop me from making fun of it in my weekend commentary.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Preview: Red the Riot Act (Red Menace #3)

From chapter 6:

       Podge and Wainwright took the stairs to the seventh floor.  The hallways were piled with trash and stunk of urine, the recipients of society's munificence having reasoned that the best way to get an even better free apartment was to piss all over the one they had now.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


How much do these ridiculous public service announcements cost taxpayers? Did a kid ever drink milk or not eat delicious lead paint chips* because the TV (or radio) told him to? Does anyone not know that exercise is good and sitting on the couch eating Twinkies all day is bad? Who doesn't know that voting is a thing some of us do around here? Fire all the PSA actors, directors, cameramen, etc. and stop buying air time with my money. It's not a huge chunk of wasted tax dollars, but it'd be a start.

This has been a public service announcement from Citizens Against Moronic Public Service Announcements.
*Personally, I like to wash down my lead paint chips with a big ol' glass of Tang.  It's what the astronauts used to drink way back when we didn't have a billion PSAs, so we could still afford a space program.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Goofball Review of Goofball Star Trek Episode "By Any Other Name"

Our latest Star Trek episode begins with Kirk, Bones, Spock, and two Red Shirts beaming down to a planet with a purple sky and scenery that looks like this week's special guest set designer was Dr. Seuss.  Out of the bushes on Planet Groo step a Woobily-Woo and a Fiddily-Foo.

Nah, not really.  It's just a couple of guys in colored jumpsuits.  They look like the wardrobe department dressed them in outfits scavenged from some dead henchmen in a James Bond villain's volcano lair, but they do make me suddenly wonder why there are almost never any animals on any of these planets, and when there are it's always a beagle in a false mustache or a roller-skating monkey with a spike glued to its head.

Speaking of things glued to heads, it turns out the plot this week is thinner than William Shatner's hair.  The guys in jumpsuits are a bunch of hyper-intelligent, pan-dimensional blancmanges from the planet Skyron in the galaxy of Andromeda who want to commandeer the Enterprise to fly back home.  To prove they mean bidness, they turn the two Red Shirts into a couple of McDLT containers.  We don't have time to learn if in the future the hot side stays hot and the cold side stays cold, because the leader of the blancmanges crushes one of the McDLT containers as a warning to Kirk to eat at Wendy's.

So another Red Shirt is dead this week, and I'm wondering now if Red Shirts are Starfleet's version of kamikazes or if academy graduates are issued their shirts only after they're on their ships and it's too late to jump out the window.

Kirk and the boys are locked in a Styrofoam cave and Spock mind melds through the wall with one of the alien babes.  He learns that the aliens are really giant octopi with one hundred limbs capable of executing a hundred separate tasks.  So on their home planet they can expound on binomial theorem up at the chalkboard to a classroom full of little octopi while eating an ice cream cone, scratching their rear ends and holding ninety-seven umbrellas. 

Spock says it makes sense they're octopi because meeting humans from another galaxy is unlikely.  Um, excuse me, Commander Braniac, but that's ALL you meet.  Taking into account the fact that every "alien" the Enterprise encounters is a human with a bump glued onto his nose, plus the recent Nova show I watched on multiverse theory, I wonder if Spock's Starfleet Academy diploma was the prize at the bottom of a box of Sugar Frosted Tribble Flakes.

Kirk karate chops the alien babe and they escape from the Styrofoam cave only to have the head alien in an orange jumpsuit press a button on the transistor radio on his belt which freeze-tags all the good guys.  The head alien is named Rogaine.

On the ship, Rogaine has everyone but Kirk, Spock, Bones and Scotty turned into McDLT containers and stored in the walk-in cooler near the special sauce for the trip back to the Andromeda Galaxy.  He's already said his octopus buddies plan to take over our galaxy, so why he doesn't toss everybody into the Dumpster out back with the empty Shamrock Shakes cups is a mystery even Officer Big Mac and Mayor McCheese couldn't solve.

Ya want fries with that?

 I notice yet again that these super-duper, high-definition, ultra-clear digital updates of the original episodes really bring out the detail at the edge of William Shatner's hairpiece.

The aliens make the Enterprise go really fast and plow right on through the barrier at the edge of the galaxy.  It looks like the barrier the Enterprise flew into in that terrible movie where elderly Scotty did a comic pratfall and elderly Uhura did a bone-chilling naked fan dance.

An alien guy in a pink jumpsuit eats a plate of blue ribs and multicolored Styrofoam chunks and, since he enjoys it, the gang realizes that the aliens are turning more human as time goes on.  Kirk says they have to stimulate the aliens' senses.  In the future, this apparently doesn't sound incredibly creepy at all.

Bones juices one of the aliens with Pfizer's AngriDrug to make him mad, since pharmaceutical companies in the future have found that there's a big market in artificially inducing the emotion you get when you accidentally drop a hammer on your toe or watch Bill Moyers on PBS.  Scotty gets one of the aliens loaded and Kirk makes out with one.  Kirk apparently lucked out and just happened to draw the straw for one of the babes.  Whew, that was close.  I thought he'd be Frenching one of the boys for sure.  Spock tells Rogaine Kirk is making out with his octo-chick, and Rogaine tosses Kirk around the mess hall.

Rogaine realizes that getting mad makes him human and he decides to settle his people back on Planet Groo.  He turns control of the ship back to Kirk and all is forgiven including Rogaine's cold-blooded murder of the lady Red Shirt McDLT container from the beginning of the show.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The water

Gosh, for someone who drinks almost nothing but water, it sure is darned inconvenient to have so much raw sewage pour so frequently out of the faucets in this town.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thanks... Amazon reviewer Tractor45 for his great, kind review of Devil May Care (A Crag Banyon Mystery). I've said many times that these positive reviews matter, but I just learned of yet another reason why that's true. So if you've enjoyed any of my books but never got around to reviewing them, now's the time. All the cool kids are doing it.
Amazon apparently has a computer program that pulls short, one-sentence quotes from reader reviews and pastes them up above all the reviews. Like reviewer pull-quotes on movie posters, these give shoppers a shorthand idea of what people are saying about a product. But it appears as if the program doesn't kick in until five reviews are up, so Drowning In Red Ink needs three more reviews to get the pull-quote program to activate.
Drowning in Red Ink (Red Menace #2) 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Eric Idle

I put on the TV Sunday night and found that for some bizarre reason Eric Idle's elderly grandmother was at the Olympics singing "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life." Then I realized that Eric Idle's elderly grandmother was Eric Idle. Clearly he dressed up as a woman one time too many and it stuck.
At one point during Eric Idle's elderly grandmother's dreadful little Olympics number, a whole bunch of wimple-wearing nuns were prancing around, and a couple flashed their Union Jack underwear. Nuns? Still? Really, Eric? You don't think that "comedy" well has long gone dry? Does this sad little fossil still pat himself on the back for his wicked sense of humor? How about a bunch of roller-skating Muslim chicks in full Cousin Itt burqas flashing their underwear for all the world to see? Nah. Brave Sir Robin wanted to get out of the parking lot without having all of his little old lady parts blown to smithereens.
I am reminded as I dump on Grandma Eric Idle of an infuriating scene that was cut out of Life of Brian that was horribly anti-Semitic and equated Jews with Nazis. It's amazing and appalling that it made it into the script, let alone nearly into the film. And folks wonder why I wish Monty Python had stopped producing material with Holy Grail in 1975.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Red Menace #3, Red the Riot Act, Back Cover Blurb


There's more than meets the eye when inmates riot in a West Coast maximum security prison.  What could possibly have made the men tear each other limb from limb?  When it's discovered that the dead prisoners might be guinea pigs in a much larger scheme, the powers that be in D.C. send in the only two men who can deal with the sinister new threat.

Patrick "Podge" Becket and Dr. Thaddeus Wainwright are tossed into the fray, and the pair follow a trail of bodies that leads to a crazy California cult with a demented leader who claims to welcome with open arms all who seek knowledge.  But enlightenment comes at a price, mainly in the form of cold, hard cash into the bank account of failed comic book writer and self-proclaimed High Star Admiral R. Gunn Hallifax.

Hallifax's fanciful tales of interstellar wars and ancient, out-of-this-world enemies have the gullible lining up in droves to join his church, and his disciples become an earthly army for their leader's terrestrial aims.  No, there's nothing otherworldly about conventional murder and mayhem.  It's up to the Red Menace and Dr. Wainwright to discover just what the cult has to do with the head honcho of a down-on-its-luck perfume company, a Russian hit squad, a sexy Hollywood superstar, and a threat to all America. 

And no matter what the stars have to say about it, here on Earth all the players quickly learn that even in the Golden State blood runs Red.  Just like everywhere else.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Goofball Review of Goofball Star Trek Episode "A Piece of the Action"

I've mentioned in some of these commentaries that the writers of Star Trek had to have been high when they came up with some plots.  Well, when they cooked up this week's episode, "A Piece of the Action," the writing staff was snorting crack with Tenzing Norgay from Sir Edmund Hillary's cleavage on the sharpened pencil tip of Mt. Everest.

We learn at the start of the show that a ship 100 years before contaminated a culture on a planet so remote that it has taken a radio signal a century to reach the Federation.  Contact was lost with the ship way back then, and until the signal finally reached Earth no one in Federation HQ thought it was worth sending a newer, faster ship out to see what happened to their comrades in arms.  No man left behind is apparently not part of Starfleet game plan.  I recently saw video footage of a dog on the highway who refused to leave the side of its doggie pal who'd been hit by a car.  When the chips are down and your ship is lost and drifting in the emptiness of space, it's nice to know these stalwarts of the 23rd century can't be counted on as much as a mutt on the street.  Hey, Starfleet, boldly go to a dictionary and look up "loyalty."  

So Kirk has been ordered to visit the last planet the other ship visited, and he's told by the planet's "boss," Bella Oxmix, to beam down near the yellow fireplug on the corner.  Yes, that's right.  It's been a long time coming, but we've finally reached Planet Gangster, and I'm finally challenged by a Star Trek episode so monumentally stupid in concept and so spectacularly awful in execution that it's nearly impossible to mock.

Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down to a Paramount backlot where two dozen extras march around carting machine guns.  The men wear pinstripe suits, the woman all look like Betty Boop B-girls, and no one bats an eye when three guys in yellow and blue pajamas suddenly materialize in their midst.  Kirk and the boys are immediately taken captive by two machine gun-toting goons who take the landing party's phasers and communicators.

One of the kidnappers talks a lot, the other is mute because Paramount has to pay extra to actors who speak, and anyway Darryl is only there to get shot moments later by more gun-toting toughs, these ones in a passing car.  Once Darryl is gunned down, Kirk has an easy opportunity to knock Larry out and take back his stuff but, eh, why bother?  Evidently he can't work up any more energy for this stupid plot than me.

The landing party is taken to Oxmix's headquarters, and we learn that the gangsters of Planet Gangster have patterned their whole society on a book called Chicago Mobs of the Twenties, left behind by the starship crew of 100 years before.  Of all the books to pack for a long space voyage, this seems a pretty unusual selection.  No Shakespeare or Dickens or even The Complete Works of John Grisham?  Actually, bringing an old-fashioned paper book at all seems kind of strange to me, although maybe Kindle takes forever to download when you're fifty-billion light years from Amazon.  It's lucky the old crew didn't leave behind Drawing 'Cathy' by Cathy Guisewite or Kirk and Spock would have spent the rest of the episode trying on bathing suits.  It's also lucky that the book wades deep enough into its subject matter that it apparently has phonetical instructions on how to speak in Edward G. Robinson 1940s movie dialect.  This is some book.

Kirk is told by Oxmix that there are twelve major bosses who run the whole planet, so apparently those guys who shot Daryl drove their Model T over from Africa.  Will someone please buy the Star Trek staff a globe?

Oxmix wants Starfleet "heaters" to take on his enemies, and Kirk finally begins to realize what they're up against, saying that "gangs nearly took over" in old 1920s Chicago.  Thank God we passed through those dark times and that Chicago is now a gang-free paradise that is teaching us all the ways of peace and brotherly love.  Kumbaya, my Loop.

Kirk and co. are turned over to some goons in a warehouse to give him time to decide what he's going to do.  That old book wasn't just a dialect coach, it apparently covered everything right on down to how to build the pinball machines that line the walls.  Kirk challenges the head thug to a card game and makes up the rules as he goes along in a zany scene that's as whacky and lighthearted as the Bataan Death March and twice as long.  He calls the game "Fizzbin," and arches his eyebrows and hams up his ridiculous dialogue and finally drops a card on the floor which is the cue for the good guys to knock out the bad guys.

Kirk sends Spock and McCoy back to the ship, then runs down an alley and jumps over a box.  No, really.  There is a tiny little box sitting in the middle of the ground for no reason whatsoever, and rather than go around it Kirk jumps over it.  

After his harrowing, box-jumping stunt, Kirk is taken hostage again and brought to see one of the planet's other bosses, Mel the short-order cook from that crummy old sitcom Alice.  Since there are only twelve bosses on the whole planet, I assume Kirk's captors took days to drive him to South America and it only seems like they've just driven around the block.

Mel wants phasers too, and Kirk tells him to kiss his grits, so Mel puts him in a little room from which Kirk escapes by employing a trash can, a blanket and a piece of wire that makes a cartoon "boi-oi-oing!" noise.

Aaaayyy!  I'm just practicin' for when we beam down to planet Happy Days, Mr. S.
 Across town, Spock and McCoy beam back down to Oxmix's office, the untrustworthy guy who kidnapped them before.  Did they teach military strategy or even Common Sense 101 at Starfleet Academy?  Spock could have beamed to the roof or the basement or the room next door.  Instead he beams right back into the same exact spot where guys with guns held him hostage before and of course the same guys are there with the same guns to take him hostage again.  I'm starting to think that Spock got his genius reputation the same way a certain resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue got his, because there is clearly nothing going on under this guy's Vulcan hood.

Kirk shows up and saves Spock and McCoy.  He's getting the hang of the joint now, and starts talking in a funny gangster voice.  He calls Spock "Spocko."  Spock, also getting into the swing of things, says to the gang leader, who is hesitating following Kirk's telephone orders, "I would advise youse to keep dialing, Oxmix."  One of the other gang leaders Kirk orders Scotty to transport over to Oxmix's office pleads "mother" in a comic fraidy-cat voice as if he's been beamed over from terrorizing Alfalfa in an Our Gang short.  God help me, I watched this whole godawful train wreck.

Kirk says into his communicator, "Hello, Scotty, this is Koik."  I can get through this, it's almost over...

Kirk puts the murdering thug Oxmix in charge of the whole planet, makes Mel from Alice his lieutenant and tells all the other gang leaders to kiss Starfleet's grits to the tune of 40% of "the action," which I guess must be something like planetary GDP.  Problem solved and violent dictator firmly in place, the Enterprise sets sail.

Not quite.  McCoy admits on the bridge that he left his communicator behind, and Kirk and Spock tell him that it's the basis for all their fancy-pants technology.  Rather than turn back around to get back the piece of equipment that could corrupt the planet's culture even more than the book that started the whole mess, Kirk cracks wise and has a hearty laugh.  I guess he figures he won't be alive in a hundred years when Planet Gangster becomes an intergalactic threat thanks to him, so why waste gas?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Gene Hackman

You want to know what's REALLY wrong with the world? The fact that the final film of Gene Hackman, the greatest living moving actor, was "Welcome To Mooseport" costarring that adenoidal jackass from TV's What's Wrong With Raymond. I've crunched the numbers in my basement lab, and I've consistently found that it is this one, great cosmic injustice that is the epicenter of all human misery.

Monday, August 6, 2012


What alcoholic chimpanzee nerd looped on LSD came up with "Timeline?" In America, we read from the TOP of the page to the BOTTOM of the page. Some deranged, slack-jawed troglodyte drooling on his keyboard in the cold, black heart of Facebook Tower saw this double-column mess that dumps off the right-hand side of the screen with these splotch boxes all over the place, and said, "okay;" and then didn't give everyone with more than two brain cells to rub together the option to opt out. I HATE "TIMELINE."

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Goofball Review of Goofball Star Trek Episode "The Immunity Syndrome"

At the start of this week's Star Trek, the Enterprise crew has apparently had it up to here with battling space Nazis, fighting space Romans and getting shot at by space Al Capones, and they're ready for some shore leave.  So it's off to Planet Spring Break, where it's sun and sand, wall to wall green babes, and gravity-defying tinfoil space bikinis!  Scotty has a one-week fling with a sexy Tribble, Kirk finally takes his hair off and Uhura Goes Wild!

No, wait.  I'm sorry.  That might actually be interesting.  Instead, the crew has to fight a space amoeba hell-bent on committing the intergalactic sin of...mitosis!

I've complained before that the Star Trek writers never took junior high school science.  Someone must have sent my gripes back through a wormhole in the space-time continuum because this week they decided to prove me wrong by dusting off their old notes from Mrs. Mulcheck's sixth grade biology class, inserting "Spock" and "Enterprise" a few dozen times, and passing them in to Paramount as a brand-new script.  

The show begins with the Enterprise returning from a grueling mission on Planet Cowboys & Indians, and Spock suddenly gets a headache and tells Kirk that the Force has told him that millions of voices cried out, and then went silent.  A shipload of Vulcans are dead and an entire solar system has been wiped out.  Spock is more worried about the 400 Vulcans who died than the billions of others we're told are dead as well.  Maybe Kirk should have left him back on Planet Nazi, because it sure sounds to me like he'd finally be happy there.

The Enterprise travels to the spot where the solar system used to be and they find through the amazing magic of high-tech sci-fi special effects that someone has spilled a bottle of ink out the window.  Provided this glimpse into my psyche doesn't make me the next Jeffrey Dahmer, I think the ink blot looks a little like a monkey kissing.

Kirk orders a probe sent into the kissing-monkey ink blot, and there's such massive feedback that Chekov is momentarily a worse actor than Shatner and Spock cops a feel off Uhura.  Everyone gets dizzy and McCoy starts shooting them all up with stimulants from the same needle.  Did this guy get his medical degree in a crack house?  Chekov's going to have a hard time selling everyone on the idea that he and Sulu are "just friends" when McCoy's dirty needle gives him space AIDS.

The kissing-monkey ink blot suddenly swallows the ship and all the stars go out.  Inside the ink blot the Enterprise finally encounters the giant cell.  That's right, I wasn't kidding up top.  The villain of the week is not a monster, it's not a god, it's not another's a big, floating cell, 11,000 miles across.  Next week the Enterprise is set to do battle with a massive hair follicle, and the week after that a gigantic toenail clipping threatens all life on Earth!

McCoy suggests they pinpoint the cell's vulnerable spot and Kirk tells him it's a rock, it doesn't have any vulnerable spots.  50% of that is true.

Speaking of 50%, the ship's power is 50% drained, and everyone's getting sicker.  Spock and McCoy both want to take a shuttlecraft to fly out and penetrate the space cell, and I resist the urge to make about a hundred childish "penetration" jokes.

Spock takes the shuttle, and the super computer onboard is so far advanced beyond anything we have now that it looks like a cigarette vending machine with those colored plastic rings babies play with lying on the top.
I have programmed in two packs of Lucky Strikes and a Baby Ruth for later.

Spock radios back to the ship to tell them how to kill the cell, but speaks juuuuuuuuust slowly enough that all the important stuff is drowned out by static bursts.  Gosh, if he'd just spoken faster they'd have been able to kill the thing, but now they're all going to die.  Too bad in the far-off distant future there's no method to communicate other than hollering through a microphone.  If the human race wants to save itself from huge floating space cells, we're going to have to figure out some new methods of communication that don't involve talking into microphones, pronto.

Bones examines Kirk with a whistling cigarette lighter, and says he's getting worse.  I wonder if McCoy's cigarette lighter came as part of a set with Spock's cigarette-machine computer.

The Enterprise flies into the cell and everyone gets tossed around and flies out of his seat.  It's too bad they haven't invented seatbelts in the future because this seems to happen a real lot.

Kirk has a great, foolproof plan for killing the space cell, but he didn't bother to tell anyone before they flew into it and got bounced around, so if he'd gotten whacked on the toupee and knocked out they'd all be dead in forty-five minutes when the power is set to give out.  It seems pretty stupid to me that he didn't tell anyone his great idea, but maybe he didn't trust blabbermouth Scotty wouldn't tell the top secret plan to all the single-cell sympathizers in that petri dish on deck eight.

Everybody thinks Spock is dead, but that doesn't happen until Star Trek 2.  Spock is still alive on the shuttle and he leaves a message about how swell everyone on the Enterprise is.  Kirk doesn't know Spock is still alive on the shuttle and leaves a message about how swell everyone, including Spock, is.  Then Kirk sells his wig to buy Bones a watch fob, and Bones sells his watch to give Kirk a pretty comb for his hair, and everyone onboard has the merriest Christmas ever!

Chekov says they're ready for lunch, which I hardly think is appropriate since they're supposed to be shooting an antimatter probe out to kill the space cell, but then I realize he said "launch," not "lunch" in his funny accent, so that's okay.

Lots more bouncing around without seatbelts, the space cell dies, the kissing-monkey ink blot evaporates and the stars turn back on.

The stars aren't the only things that turn back on.  Kirk announces that it's party time on starbase six, and makes a transparent double entendre while leering at a crew-lady in a beehive hairdo.  All the men laugh at the casual sexual harassment while the crew-lady goes downstairs to file a lawsuit.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Monty Python

The picture quality of the remastered Monty Python and the Holy Grail on DVD is amazing. It's also still incredibly funny after all these years. What happened to those guys after 1975, and particularly after 1979, to make them so unfunny?