Monday, October 15, 2007

Journos, I say to you now: knock off all that beaming!

As a Trekkie, there is one thing that sticks in my throat every time I 'come out' as such to someone new: the inevitable jokes.

Joke: Something about Klingons and Uranus. Har har har.

My response: You know what? In my >10 years of being a serious Star Trek enthusiast, it's never occurred to me that saying "Klingons and Uranus" in the same sentence sounds like your saying something disgustingly biological. How fortunate that I have you, idiot dear stranger, to enlighten me to that fact. How silly of me not to notice. And how inconsiderate that every other idiot stranger I've met has never pointed that out to me. You must be some sort of moron linguistic savant.

The fact that in none of the >700 episodes or ten feature films of this monumentally successful entertainment franchise that has inspired not only hope in the minds of countless fans, but also the creation of some of the most life-changing technologies you take for granted, not a single Klingon came anywhere close to the planet Uranus (unless he was flying past it to get somewhere interesting) seems to elude you entirely.

But that joke... that was funny.

Joke: "Beam me up, Scotty". Har har har.

My response: How clever of you to reference the most commonly misquoted phrase from the Star Trek franchise and repeat it as if it's supposed to be in some way amusing. Just because I don't see the humour in it doesn't mean that none exists. You must have a crass vastly more sophisticated sense of humour than I do, and the humour of it, while obvious to you, would fail to amuse a seven-year-old flies completely over my head.

The fact that in not a single episode or feature film of the entire Star Trek canon did any character at any time utter the phrase "Beam me up, Scotty" seems entirely irrelevant. The sheer idiocy originality of your stupid clever joke outweighs the inaccuracy of it.

That joke... that was funny too.

I don't understand what makes humans think that by blurting out the first ridiculous thing that springs to mind, that automatically makes them clever, funny or original. The first few dozen times I encountered these I chuckled politely and moved along swiftly. But it becomes more and more difficult to endure... each troglodytic attempt another missile assailing my sensibilities... until some day I'll snap, set my phaser to "Cellphone Radiation" and give them all cancer.

See? It's not that hard to come up with an original Star Trek joke. They may not all be funny, but at least they're original!

Uh... where was I?

Oh, right.

What brought this on is the current onslaught of articles reporting the casting of the new Star Trek XI feature produced by J.J. Abrams. The last couple of months have seen much speculation in the entertainment and geek media around who would be cast to play the familiar original characters in Abrams reboot of the franchise. There is a stark contrast between the geek media articles on the subject and the mainstream entertainment stories. The mainstream ones are easy to spot... guess why. That's right, they all conform to the following two templates:

"[So-and-so] beams up to Star Trek XI."


"Beam me up, [So-and-so]."

Hundreds upon fracking hundreds of them! Don't believe me? Here's a sample of the ones just from the last week: here and here and here and here and here and here... you get the picture.

If these morons don't knock it off, I'm going to go mugato on their backsides! (See? Again, not very funny, but original, no?)