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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Goofball Review of Goofball Star Trek Episode "All Our Yesterdays"

In this week's Star Trek, Captain James T. Kirk, the brave and valiant Horatio Hornblower of outer space, kicks the crap out of one of the following: a puppy; an adorable doe-eyed moppet selling Girl Scout cookies; a withered old librarian.  You'll have to read to the end to find out which one!

At the start of the show, Kirk, Spock and Bones beam down to a library.

The solar system of the library's planet is about to go supernova any minute and the world was seemingly devoid of all signs of life, so even though it's an incredibly dangerous and utterly pointless mission, the Enterprise crew has decided to stop and poke around this one particular building on the whole wide planet in the ticking-down seconds to Armageddon.  I figure Captain Pervert made the ship stop because he couldn't bear the thought of so many naked lady fine art books getting blown to cosmic dust, so he wants to grab up as much high class porn and high tail it back to the ship before all traces of tasteful nudity in the entire solar system are wiped out forever.

Kirk is running out the door with an armload of Interstellar Hustlers and yelling for Spock to grab as much as he can carry from the special DVD room behind the hanging beads when an old man jumps out from behind the card catalog and demands to see his library card.

When I was a kid, a friend of mine who didn't feel like going through the three-second hassle of checking something out of the library tossed books out the second story window and collected them on the ground outside.  True story.  

The same old man is hiding around every corner Kirk runs around.  It turns out the old librarian is triplets, but some of him are robots or holograms or something and only one of him is really him.  Insatiably curious science officer Spock never bothers to ask what the other versions of the librarian are made from, and chief medical genius McCoy never bothers to find out.  It's a good thing the Enterprise sent the A team down to scope things out instead of Chekov and Uhura, who would have just wasted time looking up books on male pattern baldness and fan dancing around the magazine racks until the joint blew up.  An inquisitive eight year old would have at least poked the duplicates with a stick.

Kirk and pals find out that the real old man is bachelor number three.  His name is Atehorse, so I assume he's a Burger King customer.  Have it your way, provided your way is a saddle in two buns and not the other way around.

Mr. Atehorse tells them that they're late and that everyone else on the planet is gone.  Apparently this building is the Ellis Island of the whole planet, and everyone on the entire world has filed through one small door out back.  Let's see, there are seven billion inhabitants on Earth.  So if all seven billion had to go to only one library where we all had to sit down one at a time to figure out where we're going, and then we all had to schlepp through just one small door to get there, to process everyone through would only take about...wait, let me get out my abacus.  Fifty-million billion trillion years.  Good thing in Star Trek there's never more than eight cowboys or gangsters on a whole planet or they'd be stacking Porta-Potties a thousand deep for those lines wrapping around the equator.

The old man loads a giant watch battery into a DVD player, and Kirk watches The Three Musketeers.

Suddenly an invisible woman screams through a strange portal in an eerie library run by a creepy old man on an uninhabited planet that's about to blow up, so naturally Captain Genius leaps through into the unknown without even asking if it's maybe the Dolby Surround Sound on the movie he's watching turned up too loud.

When Kirk was bravely leaping through a mysterious portal and falling twenty stories into a wood chipper, Bones was watching the snow forecast on the Weather Channel on a TV out back.  He and Spock, unlike Kirk, at least have had the benefit of seeing somebody else who just jumped through the door evaporate into thin air.  Instead of turning to the librarian and asking, "What the hell?" the Stupid Twins leap right on through after Kirk.  Maybe the Federation is like the Golgafrincham B Ark, and Starfleet is just a clever ruse to get all the morons off Earth.

Kirk ends up back in time in Revolutionary France, but not the Earth one.  This is the Revolutionary France on an alien planet that apparently also, incredibly, had its own Revolutionary France, right down to the pantaloons and feathered hats.  In an incredible stroke of luck, however, everyone on Alien Planet Revolutionary France speaks English and not French or especially Alien French, so that's nice for Kirk, who won't have to point to the menu and yell increasingly louder at snooty Alien Planet French waiters that he wants the BLT sans snails.

Kirk defends a hideous slattern in a sword fight with a musketeer.  So a guy from the future beats a guy from the past with the guy from the past's own weapon.  See?  And here you thought teaching Starfleet recruits to be experts with a weapon that fell out of use half a millennia ago was stupid.  This is exactly why West Point will never drop its controversial "Defending Your Cave with Big Rocks and Sharp Sticks" requirement.

Spock and Bones land on ice planet Hoth, which is ten feet of white Styrofoam walls and a couple of guys in the rafters shaking out feather pillows.

Back in Three Musketeer land, Kirk says he's going back to the library but finds that the door has been replaced by a Paramount back lot wall, some pickle barrels and a giant boat chain.  He yells at the wall and Spock and McCoy holler back from the Safeway freezer aisle.  The filthy slattern accuses Kirk of being a witch who talks to ghosts, and since he weighs the same as a duck, D'Artagnan tosses him in yon slammer and verily throws away ye merry key.  Good God, the writing is terrible.

Meanwhile, back in the ice age, Spock and Bones know they walked through some kind of portal, they could hear Kirk yelling back at them through it, so rather than look for it they naturally leave the spot where they heard Kirk talking and stumble away into a blinding snowstorm.  You know, it's like how they always tell you how if you get lost in the wilderness you should always run away from the barking St. Bernard to play in the avalanche.

Bones wanders around the snowscape flapping his hands and announcing he's got frostbite.  I'm not a fancy space doctor, but I'd think it'd be a good idea to try to keep them warm.  Stick your hands into the opposite sleeves like a makeshift muff, pull them up inside their own sleeves, pull them right up into the torso part of your shirt and stuff them down your drawers.  Instead, Chief Medical Officer Dummy rolls out snowmen barehanded in eighty below weather for an hour and then complains that his fingers are kinda sorta numb.  When someone comes to sickbay with a headache he gives them two aspirin and a hammer to bang them in.

By the way, if you toss an alligator on a North Pole ice floe, it probably wouldn't last too long.  So how is it that Spock, who comes from a million degree fire planet, is somehow tougher than Bones in the cold and isn't the first one turning blue and dropping over like a Spock-sicle?  Wait, forget logic...what is this mysterious figure rising up out of the pillow feathers?  Please let it be an NBC executive holding the Star Trek cancellation memo.

Nope, it's just the Eskimo Grim Reaper.  

The Grim Reaper in a white Nanook parka brings Spock and McCoy back to its cave lair.  It takes off its hood to reveal a horror greater than the ghastly specter of Death personified.  It's that deeply annoying Mariette Hartley woman my TV kept trying to foist on me in rotten failed sitcoms, irritating guest appearances and those stupid Kodak commercials costarring Jim Rockford throughout the 1970s.  Death ain't looking so bad right about now.

Over in the Musketeers picture in Theater B, Kirk gets locked in the slammer and some judge who's a dead ringer for Charles Laughton turns out to be from the future too.  Kirk yells "library" and Charles Laughton reacts like the Knights of Ni when someone says "it" and runs off to make Clark Gable walk the plank.

Spock finds out that phasers don't work again, which puts the malfunction rate up near 98%.  I'd back a Pinto through a dynamite factory before I'd rely on one of those things to save my hide.

That irritating Hartley woman says her name is Clarabell, but she dropped her seltzer bottle and whoopee cushion out on the glacier.  A clown costume would actually make more sense on an ice planet than the leather bathing suit she's suddenly prancing around her cave in.

The old man in the library sent everybody on the planet back in time because Krypton was blowing up, and Clarabell says the Activision process alters cell structure and brain patterns so that people once sent to the past can never go back to the future.  Because, see, not only the basic cell structure of a human being was different a hundred years ago, so too were his very thoughts.  This kind of makes sense, because in 2013 this sounds like the stupidest pile of steaming bad writing and crap pseudo-science baloney I have ever heard, but in 1969 it was apparently an example of cutting-edge space-age smartness.

Back in his cell in Ye Olde Crappe Storie Towe, Kirk gets threatened by one short fat guy with a blunt-tipped sword and mocked by the ghastly slattern who he saved but who now yells at him that he's going to get burned for being a witch.  I'd screw chivalry and punch her in her pox-riddled kisser, then pray that my moron chief medical officer could figure out what bottle of colored water back in sickbay is the cure for fist herpes.

 Okay, just this once if you'll help me escape.  But it doesn't make me gay.

Charles Laughton helps Kirk escape and he walks through the wall back to the library where the old man knocks him out with a flashlight beam and tries to roll him back through the door on a Radio Flyer wagon.

Meanwhile, back in Siberia, genius Spock says he's going to build a greenhouse, which is nice but is about as practical as building a smelting plant since there are no seeds, dummy.

Time travel has made Spock start regressing to a warlike primitive like his Vulcan ancestors of 5000 years before.  Whoops!  I hope I never go back in time; I might start building pyramids!

Spock has a burger, makes out with the broad, smacks McCoy around a little.  This is all supposed to horrify us but, you know, I'm really not seeing what we're supposed to think is all that wrong about Caveman Spock.

Okay, yeah, he then tells Mariette Hartley that she's beautiful, but obviously that's a lie because he has eyes.  He probably just wants to get her out of the way of the TV so he can watch the game in peace for once.

She says she has "longed" to hear him say how beautiful she is.  Sister, he hasn't even been there for three hours.  You caveman chicks put too much pressure on a guy.  McCoy agrees, and before she starts asking him to help her hang curtains and rearrange the rocks he runs out of the cave wearing a tiny furry dishrag to ward off the deadly cold that almost killed him ten minutes ago.

Back in the future, Kirk beats the crap out a hundred year old librarian.  Surprise!

Spock and Clarabell follow McCoy and his furry dishrag back to the Styrofoam ice wall where Kirk hollers out to them.  Spock tries to push Bones through alone, but they figure out that the two of them have to go together.  They go back, leaving Clarabell to cry tears that don't freeze in a blizzard of goose down.

Somehow traveling forward in time makes McCoy's furry dishrag vanish by the time he hits the library, and Spock immediately reverts back to his old self.  I guess because his cell structure and brainwave patterns have reverse-polarized the DNA matrix of the temporal flux time eddies chrono-particles.  Probably.

Scotty yells down from the ship that they only have seconds to beam up before the sun blows up, and I realize that I never once saw Scotty this episode, and I wonder how little the cheap Paramount bean counters paid the actor to shout a couple of lines into a tape recorder.  C'mon, give the guy a break.  Scotty won't have another acting job until the first Star Trek movie in 1979.

Kirk and the others leave the planet in the nick of time, having learned absolutely nothing about the people, their culture, the animal life that must still exist on the world unless it too was sent through the portal, how the entire history of the world wasn't altered by sending everyone from the current age back in time, why the people who built the time machine didn't send people back just fifty years to warn people of the coming apocalypse so they could build spaceships and take know, all that explorer stuff they're supposed to find so interesting.

Job well done, fellas.  I guess with only one Star Trek episode left the only question left in the universe is why chicks can't fly spaceships. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Amazon and Reviews

I happened to stumble across a new review on Amazon of one of my old books. 5 stars. Always nice, right? Not this time. The review was about the speedy shipping and the good condition of the book when it arrived. Writers are responsible for what happens between the covers, lady, not whether UPS accidentally dropped the package down a sewer grate. At least it was a 5 star one this time. Usually it's 1 or 2 because page 63 was torn and there's a coffee stain on the cover. Still -- 5 or 1 -- Amazon should be more vigilant about deleting these non-review reviews.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Gene Hackman

I caught Gene Hackman in a bit part on an episode of The Naked City from fifty-plus years ago. Only a half-dozen lines while lumped in with a crowd and he was STILL great. It was a crime when he retired, but the biggest crime of all was that his last movie was -- unbelievably -- Welcome to Mooseport. C'mon, Gene, don't leave us with THAT as our last memory of you...come back for one last great hurrah.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Goofball Review of Goofball Star Trek Episode "The Savage Curtain"

As we begin this week, the Enterprise is circling a boiling volcano planet that might have carbon-cyclone life forms on it.  McCoy pooh-poohs the very idea, since it's not like they've ever encountered any strange new life forms as they've boldly gone out and bumped into super-powerful ancient Roman gods, sentient space clouds, multidimensional yarn puppets, advanced energy thought-beings or any crazy crap like that there. 

Kirk orders the ship to take off, but floating Abraham Lincoln sitting in a chair is blocking the exit.

You know how I said recently they were scraping the bottom of the barrel for stories?  It's possible that the bottom of that barrel might have just opened up and dropped another hundred million billion feet.

Floating Abraham Lincoln in a chair says he's floating Abraham Lincoln, and that he's real and down on the planet where I guess he landed after the Union launched him into outer space with the famous light-speed rocket cannon that turned the tide at Vicksburg.

Lincoln says he's twelve minutes away and asks if they still measure time in minutes in the future, and Kirk says they can figure it out.  A minute is one-sixtieth of an hour and an hour is one-twenty-fourth of a day which is based on Earth's rotation around the sun.  You come from Earth, Captain Stupid, you know what a minute is.  It's about six times as long as the makeup department took to glue that wig of yours on sideways.

Kirk requires everybody to wear dress uniforms for Lincoln's visit to the ship.  Scotty mistakes the order and shows up in an actual dress.  Hey, laddies!  For a bonny time call ENT-1701 and ask for "Mistress Montgomery."

At the end of his tour of the ship, Abraham Lincoln calls Uhura a "charming Negress."

Why is it so dark all of a sudden?  And where did all this dust and that old Scrabble board come from?  Oh, I see.  I'm hiding under the couch.

As I crawl back out, Lincoln is saying he's sorry if he's said something offensive, and Uhura tells him not to worry because words are just words and don't bother people in the 23rd century.  So good news, folks: sometime between here and two hundred years from now Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson drop dead.  Consequently, the Great Emancipator doesn't have to worry about being picketed while delivering the Gettysburg Address II, being relentlessly tormented nightly by David Letterman for being racist, having his grocery store set on fire or being shot again.

The big discussion becomes whether or not to take Lincoln up on his invitation to beam down to a patch of solid ground within an oxygen bubble that has just appeared on the surface of the planet.  Is it a trick?  Is the oxygen really there?  Will they be beaming into a lava river? 

Those are some good questions.  I have some of my own.

Are all the shuttles up on cinder blocks in the front yard with the hoods up and cats dropping litters in the engines?  Was there a manufacturer's recall on all the ship's probes?  If nothing else is available, why not tie a rock to Spock's whistling purse and toss it out the window as you fly over the oxygen area?  It seems there are a bunch of options available other than trusting the word of some politician, no matter how many pennies his head is on.  Oh, yeah, and he's been dead for three hundred years, so there's that too. 

Spock and Kirk beam down to the planet with Lincoln but their phasers don't go with them, but that's okay because some omniscient being passing through the celestial neighborhood would have rendered them inoperative anyway.  Those things work about as well as Sulu's junk at the Playboy Mansion.

On the planet, Spock meets his Vulcan hero, a guy named Soreass who invented logic years ago when he was working late in a lab and accidentally mixed two beakers containing illogic and antonym.  The resulting explosion gave him superlogic powers and the most tobacco-smokin' voice since Suzanne Pleshette.

From the ground in front of the landing party rises a vile, massive, disgusting, steaming creature hideous beyond human comprehension.  It kind of looks like Kirstie Alley, only prettier.

The Kirstie Alley/Lava Rock Monster says it wants to understand the nature of good and evil.  Here's a quick cheat sheet for you: Cheers before you were on it, good; the rest of your career except Star Trek 2, evil.

Steaming Kirstie Monster suggests a battle between the two opposing forces to see which concept is stronger, and it introduces Team Evil like contestants on The Dating Game.

He's a genocidal madman whose most infamous tactic was attacking his opponents during peace negotiations, let's have a big round of applause for Colonel Green!

She's a chick wearing a pile of fur coats who looks like Andrea Martin playing Mojo on SCTV's The Days of the Week.  Give it up for Zero!

He's a bloodthirsty Klingon who's been sprayed with blackface, but it doesn't matter because Sharpton ain't here, please welcome Payless!

And that's Genghis Khan. 

Let's play the game!

The Star Trek producers assume everyone knows who Genghis Khan is, so the only real guy there gets an "and the rest" Gilligan's Island introduction.  I guess they voted down including a more recent real-life Earth lunatic, but maybe it'd be a bridge too far having Hitler goose-stepping around an alien planet telling Kirk how history vas wrong while poisoning dogs and having Spock tinkle on him (that's a real you didn't think that little paperhanging runt could get any sicker, did you?).

For some reason Colonel Green gets away with voting himself the big cheese of the League of Space Evil, and the other ruthless villains just quietly acquiesce.  Payless the Klingon in charming blackface goes along because he's up for the lead in an LA County community theater production of The Al Jolson Story and doesn't want to get a reputation as difficult, and Mojo and Genghis have to be quiet because they have no lines and if they make waves they'll be replaced by whatever stunt men fit into their crummy three dollar costumes.

Colonel Green wears a Mork from Ork red jumpsuit and he tells Kirk that he wants to negotiate for peace.  Shazbot!  I remember hearing something about a guy who famously attacks his opponents during peace negotiations, but for the life of me I can't remember...LOOK OUT, ABRAHAM LINCOLN!

Lincoln fights Payless while Spock kicks the crap out of a girl again this week.  Somehow Spock forgets yet again that he can shoulder-squeeze people unconscious.  The bad guys run away between the papier-mâché rocks and Kirk gets mad at Kirstie Lava Monster and shoves it in the chest. 

What's that delicious smell, kind of like sizzling Canadian bacon?

Kirk -- who is, mind you, the captain of a spaceship and in command of hundreds of men -- discovers that shoving lava is bad.

Kirstie has been on Jenny Craig for ten weeks and only gained a hundred and eighty-seven pounds!

Kirstie Lava Monster says that Kirk isn't playing the game right, so from the planet it magically makes the Enterprise go on auto-destruct.  The ship will blow up in four hours according to Mr. Scott, and the glowing red cartoon drawing of an engine room wall agrees with him.       

Soreass says that on ancient Vulcan when he negotiated for peace, he sent emissaries who were killed.  Then he sent more emissaries who were also killed.  The third wave of emmissaries burned down, fell over then sank into the swamp, but the fourth ones brought peace and harmony and smugness to Vulcan.  Soreass volunteers to try to negotiate peace with Mr. Green Jeans, which couldn't possibly go wrong.  Except...wait.  I remember hearing something about a guy who famously attacks his opponents during peace negotiations, but for the life of me I can't remember...LOOK OUT, SOREASS!

At least dead Soreass proved once and for all that misplaced trust and sissy appeasement are illogical up the yin-yang.  If only we could apply the example of Soreass to our own age, but I can't think of a case where it'd come in handy.  Maybe you can give me a suggestion, Mohammed M. Mohammed...LOOK OUT, AMERICA!  Shazbot, Akbar! 

Kirk and his pals are making pointed sticks, probably because they were unable to fashion a rudimentary lathe, and I wonder how the plastic leaves exist on a molten lava planet with a poisonous atmosphere.  That's kind of stupid, don't you think, Abraham Lincoln?

Soreass screams like a little baby girl for help, and Kirk and Spock lead a frontal assault against Colonel Mork while Abraham Lincoln sneaks around to save dead Soreass.  Colonel Mork captures Lincoln, then it's Lincoln who Kirk suddenly hears screaming for help.  It turns out the Klingon in blackface (whose silly name I've been calling him I forget) is like the Rich Little of outer space.  Luckily, the real Lincoln comes staggering out between the Styrofoam rocks with a spear in his back and warns Kirk away before dropping dead.  Other than that, how did you enjoy the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

There's one last fight in which Spock forgets that he can pinch people night-night again and the bad guys run away. 

Steaming, molten, massive Kirstie Alley Lava Monster says good and evil are the same and Kirk gives some hoity-toity speech about how swell goodness and niceness and probity and all the cardinal virtues are.  Kirstie admits defeat and adds another fifty pounds of molten goo to her ass but this time it's lava instead of chocolate and gets fired by that diet company for whaling up again and lets Kirk go.

On the Enterprise, Scotty is so excited to see Kirk that he temporarily misplaces his accent.

Kirk says it was hard to see Lincoln die again, which implies that he was there the first time.  Spock doesn't have a chance to say, "No way, Jose" because suddenly time-traveling Jesse Jackson jumps in and extorts a quadrillion bucks from Starfleet and gets his crooked kid installed on the Federation council and puts them out of business, and then the robot Al Sharpton shows up and incites a mob to set fire to the bridge for all that "charming Negress" and blackface stuff.

Gene Hackman

I caught Gene Hackman in a bit part on an episode of The Naked City from fifty-plus years ago. Only a half-dozen lines while lumped in with a crowd and he was STILL great. It was a crime when he retired, but the biggest crime of all was that his last movie was -- unbelievably -- Welcome to Mooseport. C'mon, Gene, don't leave us with THAT as our last memory of you...come back for one last great hurrah.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Goofball Review of Goofball Star Trek Episode "The Cloud Miners"

At the beginning of this week's Star Trek we're told that the Enterprise is once again the only ship in the neighborhood for the crisis du jour, and I'm beginning to wonder if there really is an actual fleet in Starfleet or if it isn't all some elaborate Potemkin village to keep the Klingons from invading Fisherman's Wharf and stinking up all the cable cars.

This week's catastrophe is the end of all plant life on planet Madonna.  Apparently some space crabs escaped from the material hag's leather panties and are chewing up all the forests, back lawns and seaweed all over the planet.  I'd just target the spiked points of her metal brassiere from space and put the ropy, rawhide old bag out of the galaxy's misery, but Sulu is a huge fan and he was crying simply gobs of mascara.  Sigh.

To kill Madonna's rampaging lap fungus, Kirk has to pick up some Xena, which is a special rock found at the CVS on only one planet in the whole wide universe.  Amazingly, it's just around the corner and not clear on the other side of the galaxy which is almost as incredibly lucky as it is coincidental.  Were I in charge of Starfleet I'd keep a supply of this miracle fungus killer on hand at all times -- I have leftover tomato fungus killer in the basement every winter -- but apparently Federation policy is to wait until all plant life on a planet is threatened with global extinction before grabbing up the keys for a quick trip to the Kmart Garden Center.

The miracle fungus killer is mined from a planet that has a two-tiered social class.  Up top there are the High Poobahs who live in a floating cloud city and like to paint, sculpt and contemplate existence.  At the bottom are the Troglopoops who are stuck on the planet below throwing rocks up at the floating snootypantses and their city that casts a shadow more massive than Rosie O'Donnell's and is giving everybody down below rickets.

The Troglopoops are annoyed that the High Poobahs are always tossing their beer cans and other trash off their floating city.  A Twix wrapper dropped from 60,000 feet can cave in a skull, plus the high school football team thinks it's funny to whiz off the side of the town after every big game.

The Troglopoops should be most upset that there are apparently only three of them to work one hole in the ground to supply the entire universe with Xena.  Their mine is a crooked Styrofoam cave entrance.  There are no trucks, railroad tracks, carts, buttresses, highways, Loretta Lynn songs, picks, helmets with little lights on them, elevators or drills.  The mining of an entire world is one hole, three people and no tools.  I'm not exactly the whinging pinko Norma Rae type, but even I think management could at least drop a shovel and a canary off a balcony.

Kirk and Spock bypass the cloud city and beam directly to the planet to pick up the Xena rocks.  As soon as they get there, they are lassoed by Devo.

Kirk does a flying kick while Spock beats the crap out of a girl.  Then some soldiers wearing chef hats and pillow case miniskirts show up from the cloud city to break up the fight.

The High Poobah takes Kirk and Spock up to the cloud city and introduces them to his daughter, Dropsie, who wears baby crib mobiles hanging from her ears and a double-barrel hooter-sling.  She suggests that Kirk and Spock go to a "rest chamber" which, I'm guessing, is outer space lingo for "library" or something to do with books.

Oops, my universal translator is on the fritz.  It means "bedroom."  

Spock sits in a chair and watches Kirk sleep.  As if that isn't creepy enough, he has a bizarre interior monologue that recalls events in flashback that just happened two minutes ago.  It's like me stopping and flashing back to the sentence I just wrote about Spock remembering things he just did while my internal camera superimposes images of me typing the previous sentence about Spock remembering things he just did.  Fortunately, real life doesn't need to get padded up to 60 minutes, minus commercials, or we'd all be like Spock, flashing back to rinsing the dishes in the sink as we're putting them in the dishwasher while we recall how sudsy the water was before the bubbles have even popped.

Spock goes out to canoodle with Dropsie.  They talk about his Vulcan libido, which we were told many episodes ago was private and not discussed outside of Vulcan.  I guess in the time since then "Horny Vulcan Fights Hornier Captain" has become a YouTube sensation all over the galaxy.  Spock also brags about how great his Vulcan hearing is.  In the meantime, the Superman of Vulcan hearing misses the dame tiptoeing eight feet behind him into Kirk's rest chamber.

The woman tries to kill Kirk with one of those cake spatula things, which is also good for lifting pie slices but not so good for murder.  She should have grabbed a plain old butcher knife on her way through the food preparation chamber.

Kirk wrestles with the woman, who turns out to be one of the miners in the Devo Halloween costumes from earlier in the episode.  He knocks her cake spatula out of her hand and then wiggles around on the bed with her.  My eyes!  For the love of God, where's the Hays Office when you need it?

For the first time ever a woman on Star Trek is quite sensibly creeped out by the hamfisted advances of Starfleet's potbellied Don Juan.  Since she doesn't actually have any cake or pie on her, and since Kirk left his roofies back on the ship, he turns her over to the High Poobah for some light torture.

Light torture in cloud city is actually torture with lights.  The High Poobah turns some disco strobes on the Troglopoop woman, and when Kirk warns him that K.C. and the Sunshine Band is against the Geneva Convention, the High Poobah orders Kirk to go to his rest chamber on the Enterprise without any cake.

In the meantime, Lando says he just made a deal to keep the Empire off their backs forever, and then the door opens and Darth Vader is sitting at the table!

Wait.  I mixed up my cloud cities.

Up on the ship, Bones has made the important discovery that gas in the mines makes people stupid.  I wonder how long the writers stayed down there to produce this episode.

 I'll tell you whatever you want to know, for the love of God just get Scotty's cup off my face.

Kirk beams to the prison cell where the Troglopoop woman is being held.  He tells her that her people are stupid, which as a method of winning someone over to one's side is certainly unique.  If that doesn't work I figure he plans on telling her she's a lousy cook and that the miniskirt wedding dress she's wearing makes her look fat.

She promises to not try to kill Kirk anymore if he helps her escape.  He gets her down to the planet where she immediately takes him hostage.  Who's stupid now, fatty?

Kirk demonstrates the usefulness of the most impractical gas mask in the history of creation, and he looks the dumbest he's ever looked in any episode ever, even the one where he had to wear a short Annette Funicello skirt or the one where he was pleading for his life to a giant Trouble board game popper thing while wearing a dog collar.

Instead of the tried and true "string around the back of the head" method, Starfleet's engineering geniuses have come up with a contraption with a giant hook that goes up the face and over the wig to the back of the head.  The hook is solid, not soft like string, so every time Kirk talks it shifts and you can see his mouth.  So I guess the Troglopoops will only be half-retarded, which makes them twice as smart as the producers.  The band that goes straight up the wearer's head would also draw the wearer's eyes inward, making them cockeyed.  I know that because it happened to Carl Reiner with the Opti-Grab in The Jerk.

The chick sends the guys guarding Kirk away and he takes his chance alone with her to roll around on top of her for the third time this episode.  Instead of a gas mask, she should have asked for a can of mace.

Kirk gets his gun back and orders Scotty to beam the High Poobah down to the cave where, after an hour of breathing the gas that makes you stupid, Kirk and the Poobah's stunt doubles wrestle around a little and fight over some cake spatulas.

In the end, Kirk has proven that all three miners need Opti-Grabs and, since the entire economy of the planet relies on those three miners and that one Styrofoam hole in the ground, the High Poobah agrees to float the city out over the ocean on trash day.

Spock says that they still have two hours and fifty-nine minutes to deliver a couple of pots of soot to Madonna's plant-munching crabs, and the Enterprise flies off into the sunset having broken for the ten-thousandth time that unbreakable rule about interfering with the internal governments of other worlds, or maybe that rule doesn't apply to planets that have ripped their whole civilizations off from H.G. Wells novels.
Here in Stupidville, they closed the schools at eleven yesterday morning and cancelled it completely today for a snowstorm that didn't start until five this afternoon. And since the predicted snow has finally started, I'm sure they've cancelled tomorrow already. Everybody makes fun of those "when I was a kid" stories but -- good Lord -- there is no way we'd have two and a half days off for a storm that didn't show up until the third day. The people of Pompeii didn't panic at the pyroclastic flows like this town does over a snowflake.
It's a good thing everyone who thinks he's a writer just because he's got a keyboard doesn't also think he's a surgeon just because he owns a set of steak knives.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Red Menace news

I just now finished the rewrite of The Red Menace #4, A Red Letter Day. Assuming the Morlocks aren't high on paint thinner and rolling flaming coconuts from the mouths of their caves (again), they will definitely have it ready as an ebook well before Moonstone's Red Menace #1 hits bookstores near you.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Warren Zevon - The Rosarita Beach Cafe

You kids who listen to little Justine Beebo, lip-synching dance queen Bouncy and that snarling-grunt rap crap, this is what we grownups call "music." (Ignore the weirdo nutjob comments posted below with the link. Just listen to the song.)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Goofball Review of Goofball Star Trek Episode "The Way to Eden"

This week on COPS: Milky Way Galaxy, world-weary Captain Kirk thinks he's seen it all until he pulls over a stolen spaceship...and you won't believe what gets out!  Tonight, only on FOX!

At the start of this week's Star Trek, a spaceship pulls right out in front of the Enterprise without signaling and starts swerving all over the road.  You usually only see driving this bad from a taxi, a kid delivering pizzas, a police cruiser, Mr. Magoo or a woman in an SUV with a cell phone glued to her ear.  The ship bangs up both fenders on a couple of asteroids and rips off the bumper on a muon before crashing into a black hole.

It turns out the ship is stolen and the son of the Craptacular ambassador is onboard, so Kirk is told that all the felons and vandals aboard the stolen, blown-up ship get a free pass.  So in the far-off distant future, children of privilege aren't even given a slap on the wrist for stuff that would get common, everyday folks thrown in jail for life.  Shame, shame, Starfleet.  Somewhere in Earth's ancient past, Ted Kennedy is spinning in his grave.

Just before the stolen ship blows up, Scotty beams everyone over to the Enterprise where they immediately don't want to work, demand Starfleet handouts, refuse to bathe, won't wear shoes, raid McCoy's medicine chest, and wave their stoned, sanctimonious fingers in everybody's faces.  That's right, we sat through space gangsters, suffered through space cowboys and whooped it up with woo-woo! space Indians.  This week we've finally reached the infamous bottom of the writers' room empty idea barrel:

Hippies in Space!

America's debt has already bankrupted us and I have a huge problem with the broken stationary bicycle the space program became in the past forty years, but screw insolvency, soup kitchens and bread lines.  If we're going to start launching hippies into space, let's hurry up and sell Mount Rushmore to China and paint a bull's eye on the sun.  Just let me be the one who gets to light the rocket.

The Craptacular ambassador's son has half-a-fake bald head, a fringe of purple Larry Fine hair and wears an orange dress.  Every Space Hippie is draped in disposable plastic picnic tablecloths and cheap motel curtains.  Believe it or not, they look less stupid than real-life hippies in those bellbottoms, love beads and those filthy bandanas they wrapped around their greasy hair that I'd like to wrap around their necks and squeeze until their psychedelic eyes pop out of their LSD-polluted heads.  God, how I hate hippies.

Here's an interesting sartorial twist.  For some reason hippies in the future all wear poached eggs pinned to their tie-dyed space smocks.  At first I think that it's kind of stupid they pin breakfast to their ponchos, but then I realize it's about a billion times less stupid than George McGovern buttons.  

The head of the Space Hippies is Mr. Clean with giant, half-melted rubber Dumbo ears.  Hippies can't keep themselves clean, I'm supposed to trust this guy to get my countertops sparkling white?  If you want to get the water in a clogged public toilet dirtier, stand a hippie in it.  How do you get a hippie to pick up a bar of soap?  Tell him you hid his joint under it.  How do you get a hippie out of the neighborhood?  Give him a bus ticket to Canada and go to war in Southeast Asia.  God, how I hate hippies.

Chekov knows one of the hippie chicks from the academy.  She tuned in, turned off, dropped out and joined Mr. Clean's groovy space commune.  The Star Trek writers paint her sympathetically.  Yeah, three cheers and a big Helter Skelter for Squeaky Fromme.  

Chekov is wearing more eye makeup than Space Squeaky.  He's also got that giant lady's wig of his he's always parading around in.  You know, I'm starting to wonder exactly what goes on on the starship Enterprise during those long stretches between planets.  Maybe Starfleet finally passed out rape whistles to all the yeomen in miniskirts Kirk has molested, and Chekov has been forced to pick up the slack as a one-man USO show, if you know what I mean.

We learn that the Space Hippies are searching for a planet called Eden where the weather is always perfect and they never have to work and everything is given to them and they can just sit around doing prescription marijuana and eating Doritos all day long.  Back here in Earth's far-off distant past, we call that planet "California."

Kirk is going to dump the Space Hippies at the nearest star base, so they all start yelling "Herbert!" at him.  Spock explains that Herbert was an uninspiring and straight-laced bureaucrat who lacked imagination.  If some batch of dirty-footed ragpickers mocked me as a "Herbert," the first thing I'd do is seek out this Herbert wherever he was and pattern my entire life after him, but Kirk is actually wounded and says he'll work on being so rigid.  It's a good thing they didn't say "nanny-nanny boo-boo" at him or he'd toss his boots out the nearest airlock and order Scotty to paint cartoon daisies on the hull.

So the Space Hippies don't like Kirk, but we find out that they think Spock is just plain groovy.  Kirk breaks orders left and right and has free-love bed-hopped his way from here to Orion's belt, while Spock is a rigid, by-the-book stiff who gets horned up only once every seven years for the same dull chick back home.  Maybe you should put down the peace pipe and clean off your grannie glasses, Doobie Brothers.

McCoy says that Mr. Clean with the Dumbo ears has a bad disease as a result of exposure to technology.  I assume he got his hands on Kirk's robot love doll from last week.  It's called cockadoodledo virus, and now everyone on the ship has to be immunized.  Lucky for Bones he has lots of practice injecting the crew from all the exotic pants diseases Kirk brings up to the ship every week.  Kirk also has lots of practice injecting the crew, but only half of them and that's usually just suggested with sexy music and subtle editing.

The hippies plot to take over the ship by singing bad songs that sound like fifty year old 1960s Hollywood TV writers trying to sound like swingin' twenty year old cool cats.  Their plan just might work because after only one horribly dubbed song I was running like mad for my remote-control escape pod.

Mr. Clean gets thrown in the brig, but the rest of the hippies -- who, remember, have already stolen and blown up one ship -- are allowed to wander all over the Enterprise.  One walks into Spock's room where there's a smoking gargoyle water fountain in the corner and some weird space harp that looks like Dr. Jekyll's G-clef after it drank the Hyde formula.  The hippie -- who is the guy with the huge jaw who played a bad guy on a million Stephen J. Cannell shows -- asks Spock to groove with his outer space combo, and Spock says that'd be, like, swell, daddy-o.  Just shoot me now, please.          

Uhura looks pale in this episode.  I hope she isn't sick.

We're told that the Enterprise can't drop the Space Hippies off on just any old planet because the Federation won't let criminals colonize a planet.  Forget the fact that this is exactly what they did with Ricardo Montalban a couple of seasons ago and got the best movie of the series out of it, because it's time for a hippie jam-fest!

Spock plays his weird Vulcan harp, this one crazy chick plays the spokes on a ten-speed bike rim, another guy plays a T-bar with strings on it.  It's, like, the wildest scene since Altamont, man.  Please, God, let Scotty snap and go Kent State with a phaser on all of them. 

You are indeed a rockin' chick, Starflower, and it is illogical to think your rack is not the grooviest, but my next "summer of love" is six years away.

The groovy hippie concert is somehow playing over all the speakers on the ship.  The cool cat prison guard outside Mr. Clean's cell is so busy rocking out to the mellow sounds of Space Phish that he doesn't notice the gang of hippies climbing up the elevator shaft two feet away from him.  The hippies knock out the one guard guarding their hippie king and open the cell.  You'd think what with all the prisoners who are always busting out of space jail and taking over the ship that Scotty would rig up a secret passcode or something, but all they ever have to do is press one button and the fluorescent bulbs around the door go out.  My old bike padlock when I was a paperboy was harder to crack than a prison cell on the Federation's flagship.

Wait, that's not Uhura, it's a different actress and she's white.
Chekov is feeding crackers to his computer to try to get it to tell him where this Eden planet the Space Hippies are looking for is, but all the computer will do is whistle, bob its head and repeat swear words.

Chekov explains absolutely everything about the auxiliary control room to the hippie chick.  Why not?  It's not like these people just stole a spaceship or something.

In a twist no one could have seen coming, the hippies steal the ship using auxiliary control!

The crazy Space Hippie leader uses high-pitched sound to try to kill the whole Enterprise crew with overacting.  Kirk and his pals shoot a hole in the wall of auxiliary control, but apparently high-pitched sound can't travel through holes in walls so Mr. Clean Dumbo ears and his groovy followers are safe.

The hippies steal a shuttle and fly down to planet Eden and Kirk and the others beam down after them.  They find that the guy with the big jaw from Rockford Files and The A-Team had some space fruit (insert Sulu joke here) and died.  He's not entirely dead though, because I can see his hand is still moving.
Chekov screams off-camera, and says he tried to pick a flower that burned him.  He shows McCoy that his entire palm is burned.  Chekov picks flowers like the Boston Strangler picked dates.    

We find out that all the plant life is like sulfuric acid to human skin and can't be touched.  The barefoot hippies are stumbling in pain all over the place.  So they are literally tripping on acid.

Mr.Clean commits suicide by grabbing some fruit and (insert another Sulu joke here).

Back onboard the Enterprise, the Craptacular ambassador's son with the purple Larry Fine hair and the rest of the surviving Space Hippies are free to go, even though they've added kidnapping and attempted murder of the entire Enterprise crew to their original charge of grand theft spaceship, and they also could have sparked an international outer space incident when the stole they Enterprise and flew it into Romulan space.

Kirk lets Chekov make out with the Starfleet Academy dropout on the bridge, which seems pretty inappropriate to me, but I'm a devout follower of Herbert so what do I know from groovy?