So Much Trek

"Pooh?" said Piglet. "Yes, Piglet?" said Pooh. "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra," said Piglet. "Shaka, when the wall fell," said Pooh.I ran across this awesome intersection of fandoms earlier this week, and it seemed an oddly appropriate reflection of how much Star Trek I’ve been watching recently. Especially since that flu bug circled back around this week, and I spent another day at home mostly trying to not fall asleep, but also continuing my Next Generation binge. I’m through all of the first season now. And hubs and I are up to date on Discovery.

My heart is somewhere in space, thinking about the strangeness of communication. As written up in The Atlantic‘s recap of the episode being mashed up in this week’s image, language is complicated enough that while we might understand words easily enough, understanding meaning and context is a whole other level of difficulty.

So seeing someone on Twitter geeking out in a completely different direction (and, frankly, one that is not in my interest zone) had me slow clapping earlier this week. Seriously, if more game makers put the level of intention and attention to “throw-away details” that is now evident in the new Assassin’s Creed… I might actually be enticed to play those games.

A more disturbing take on words and stories came from Vox on Wednesday:

On any given cultural issue, a look at the pop culture we make for teens will tell you both how we as a society think we should feel about the world and how we actually feel about the world.

This is probably another part of the reason I’ve backed off reading YA stories. I can feel the preaching and it turns me off. But the central thesis of this particular article is that the move away from dystopian fantasies to suicide fantasies is a stark warning for our society. Have we, as a society, become so nihilistic that suicide is the only answer? From a popular fiction perspective, that’s a disturbingly frequent solution.

For myself, the “Dave, the Period Fairy” story (which actually came out at about the same time as the Vox story) shows too much promise regarding communication, context, and understanding to give up hope that way. And brings us back full-circle to Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra. Cooperation, supported by the rich metaphors that surround us, is the only way we achieve anything meaningful–even in such solitary pursuits as writing.

My phone says I only averaged 3,917 steps each day last week, as we encourage Tashie to take it slowly, despite the exuberance her siblings continue to share with all of us.

And my WIP stayed buried under the avalanche of work and Trek. I think I may finally be to a point where my creative well is full enough to reimagine my Red Slaves stories in the way that makes them stronger and more enjoyable for everyone. Stay tuned next week. In the meantime, check out what my ROW80 partners are up to.

3 Responses to “So Much Trek”

  1. Sorry to hear you weren’t feeling well, but at least you got to binge-watch a beloved show. My go-to is usually Buffy–used to be Murder, She Wrote before it left Netflix.

    I haven’t been following YA lit much these days, but my husband watched 13 Reasons Why and I didn’t care for it. He felt it brought awareness to the issue, but I felt for vulnerable, depressed teens, the show’s message could be interpreted as saying that suicide is sometimes the only way to get people to listen. Needless to say, I was disturbed by this message and not a fan.

    Personally, I try to write books that inspire with messages of hope and love. And lots of magic. Not that there isn’t a place for dark books, but I think literature works best when it sows the seeds of hope.

  2. Eden says:

    While you didn’t actually make all the steps you planned, and your WIP needs a bit of help from a shovel or trowel, it looks like you did a lot of exploring for future stories. Of course, language bits and artistic details always catch me too. It’s why I fell in love with the Neverwinter Night series of games. Granted, detail wasn’t quite as strong in 2001 when that game first came out, but the creators did try to include odd bits and details from other games in the Forgotten Realms series and hints of past and present troubles in the Neverwinter game world. Some images and such even hinted at future game pacs… details that were only made obvious once you started the new game and realized that little note a character mentioned really DID mean something.

    So yeah… I know what you mean. It’s stuff like this that makes it worth trying a game. Or a book or series…

    Have a great week, Tonya!

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