In May of 2012, I graduated with my BA in Gender Studies from Metropolitan State University. My capstone paper was titled "Science Fiction, Gender, and Race: How Star Trek Has Failed to Live Up to its Progressive Ideals" - it was because the 2009 Star Trek film was still on my mind (the second reboot film wouldn't be out until 2013) and I was still very disappointed in it.
I am currently introducing four of my friends to Star Trek; however, each one of them are going at different rates and are watching them in different orders. Two friends have started with Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS), one friend has started with Star Trek: The Motion Picture (TMP) and has made it through Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (TUC), and one friend has started with nuTrek [Note 1] and has only seen the first two of those movies. One of the friends who started with TOS has already finished all of it and has moved onto Star Trek: Discovery (DIS).
Here in the United States, we live in a two-party system - a system that discourages alternative views, is non-competitive, and encourages voter apathy. To help encourage participation in the democratic process, moving away from First Past The Post and replacing it with Ranked Choice Voting is essential. Without it, we will continue to encourage living in a two-party system and minority rule.
Normally, I would not bother giving one of these videos any of my attention, as they are nothing but conspiracy theory garbage - however, I am being paid to watch this one, and so you get to read what I have to say about it. I will not embed the video into this post - however, I will provide a link to it at the end of the post, because there are those who do want to check it out for themselves. But I encourage you all to not give that video any views, as it is rather terrible. The first thing that I have to say about this video is that I want those 10 minutes of my life back. The second thing that I will say about this video is CONTENT WARNING: graphic images from The Passion of the Christ, references to pedophilia and murder.
Maya Angelou read her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at the first inauguration of President Bill Clinton on January 20, 1993, becoming the second poet in history and the first African American and woman to read a poem at a presidential inauguration. The poem's themes are change, inclusion, responsibility, and role of both the President and the citizenry in establishing economic security.
In April 1957, a month after Ghana liberated itself from British colonial rule, Rev. Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a speech entitled "The Birth of a New Nation." He used Ghana's battle against colonialism and it's significance in representing the hard work that is necessary to bring about desegregation.
MarsCon is a fan-run science fiction convention for all ages held every March in the Twin Cities area. This year's theme was Robots, Rayguns, & Rockets: The 3 R's of Sci-Fi. Each year that I have gone, I have had a wonderful time - unfortunately, there have been a number of events over the years that have made me decide to not go back in the future unless substantial changes are made. Rae Black of Twin Cities Geeks wrote a fantastic article about how MarsCon has a potential to be better; this post will be about my perspective of recent events and why it is I am not going back.
Please forgive the bit of self-promotion - I have been working on regular blog posts and creative stories, but those take time. At the same time, I have also been attempting to be a panelist at conventions, volunteer in my community, and work enough to make ends meet. Sometimes it is all pretty daunting! But I am striving to bring you plenty of quality content, some of which is educational and some that is for your entertainment. However, the time that is needed to create content comes at a cost - it takes money to be able to keep going to conventions, to do research, and to have the infrastructure to sit down and write. If you are in a position to help, and would like to see content created at a higher frequency, or if you just enjoy what you are reading and would like to contribute to the process, please consider donating.
A week ago, I attended MarsCon 2018 and was on 10 panels. I also attended a couple of other panels. Two such panels I was able to take notes on: "Mysterious Minnesota: Unwrapping Urban Legends and Ghostly Tales from the Dead" and "Planetarium Star Show."
If you didn't read the previous post, MarsCon 2018 - Day 1, I would suggest checking that out first. The panels that I was on, "Avoiding the Tokenism in Comics and Sci Fi Cultures," "How to Fail Gracefully," and "Polyamory: Perceptions and Realities" are all related to today's panels in one way or another: "The Prime Directive as Liberal Eurocentric Superiority," "Gem Watch," "Star Trek," "Cleavage Optional: Gender, Cosplay, and Genderbending Cosplay," and "Race and Culture in the Honorverse."
MarsCon is a fan-run science fiction convention for all ages held every March in the Twin Cities area. This year's theme is Robots, Rayguns, & Rockets: The 3 R's of Sci-Fi. Today I was on two panels, "Avoiding the Tokenism in Comics and Sci Fi Cultures," "How to Fail Gracefully," and "Polyamory: Perceptions and Realities." There are audio recordings of all three panels; however, they are still the raw, unedited versions. The normalized, balanced versions will be put up on a later post. I also took some notes for some of the panels - I will include them here so that I can expand on them on a later date. Please feel free to ask questions and post comments about the panels. Enjoy!
The other day, I saw a very fascinating answer on Quora to the question “Why does the NPR station have so much propaganda against Trump?” It was much more elegant and detailed than I have ever been able to be when it comes to explaining that it is not NPR who is generating propaganda against 45 [Note 1], but rather his spinmasters making a non-profit station seem like a tool of propaganda to his loyal adherents.
Before getting into the answer that I first found to be rather fascinating, I would like to highlight a few points that have been put out there in response to this question. A number of people who have answered the question have pointed out that NPR relies on public funding, and that stories about bias by NPR are intended to destroy support for ongoing funding of public radio and television. NPR does have a soft bias, yes, but public media is centrist due to the fact that it is public - to keep its funding, it has to remain centrist.
If you haven’t seen E.C. Henry’s videos, I suggest that you check them out. He makes really great stuff - I’ve been following him for a while. Some of my favorite stuff from him includes Pacific 201 Show-and-Tell, how much tea Captain Picard drinks, and the size of that planet in the opening credits of Star Trek: Voyager.
In his most recent video, "How ONE LINE Fixes The Last Jedi", E.C. Henry argues that the biggest problem around the plot and story-structure was from Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo’s role in the film, saying that her refusal to share her plan with anybody is seemingly irrational. I’ll take the reasons why this is incorrect in the order that he brings them up:
Noemi Alcocer – Community Based Service Development from Hennepin County wants to share this open position with you:). Hennepin County is working hard to increase the number of HSRs who speak the languages most needed in the community and of them is Spanish, but please note that the posting closes Monday at 5 pm.
We hope you will think about your networks and how you can share this news!
If you know interested individuals who are NOT bilingual Spanish or Somali speakers, the next general HSR hire will be posted in May.
In my review of The Last Jedi, I mentioned that the officer [Note 1] rank structure for the Resistance is canonically Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Commander, Colonel, General/Admiral (although Amilyn Holdo is a Vice Admiral and Nien Nunb is a Lieutenant Commander, but that’s not germane to this post). The Resistance is inspired by the Alliance to Restore the Republic (aka the Rebel Alliance), as the New Republic was unwilling to stand up to the threat of the First Order. I believe that the Resistance took its rank structure directly from the Rebel Alliance.
One of the reasons why I started the website was to be able to share my experiences with the world and answer questions about my perspective on things. To that end, I would love to hear from all of you! Feel free to ask me anything, and I'll give you an honest answer. I plan on having a monthly response post.
On Sunday, 04 Feb 2018, Super Bowl LII will be hosted in Minneapolis, Minnesota at US Bank Stadium (also known as that damn Sandcrawler [Note 2]). Up to 1 million visitors    are expected, and the NFL is projecting that it will bring $350-407 million    to our local economy. Hotels have been booked, tickets are being sold, and plans have been put into place. Areas of Downtown Minneapolis will be cordoned off, security will be enhanced, and Minneapolis will be a hub of activity for a short amount of time.