Cursing and Star Trek

Sunday, 22 October 2017

I know that I touched on this topic in my previous episodic review for Star Trek: Discovery's fifth episode, 'Choose Your Pain'. In this episode, Discovery went to a place that no incarnation, series or movie, has dared to tread; it dropped the F-bomb. 

Never before in the 51-year history of Star Trek has there ever been such strong language, especially in a serial. Star Trek has always walked in and around the PG-13 bracket. Up until Enterprise, 'hell' and 'damn' were the harshest words used by the character, regardless of how animated or passionate they were. In Discovery, Cadet Sylvia Tilly in a moment of excitement exclaims, "This is so fucking cool," and quickly apologises to the senior officer present. However, instead of reprimanding her for her language, Lieutenant Stamets replies, "No, Cadet. It is fucking cool." This seemingly has not gone down well with the fans. Even with this fan. 

I am aware that cursing and swearing and the use of strong language is a part of everyday life. I curse. I don't have an aversion to anyone cursing. However, there is a line for me when it comes to television. I feel as if cursing and strong language is saturating television to a point where you can't enjoy a television show with all members of the family because you're fearful of whether or not a character will have such an outburst. When did strong language become such a staple in television? I've noticed that soap operas are becoming more and more sinister and skirting a fine line with language.

There are a number of shows that I love but ones that I know that I would never be able to watch in the company of anyone else because of the language and the amount of sexual scenes present in it. I love watching TV with my mother and there are so many shows that I forego watching with her because I don't know if there are going to be sex scenes or language. Not that either of us is a prude but it's beyond awkward. We went to enjoy what we're watching together. Also, as I get older and have children of my own, I will want to watch Star Trek with them and share with them this wonderful world that has been a love of mine since I was eleven-years-old.

Star Trek has always been a family show. It's fun. It's educational. It's philosophical. It's relevant. It's immersive. It's communal. It's familial. It's familiar. It's Star Trek. It's a show that any age group can watch and enjoy. Some aspects are darker than others and it's had a few controversies; that admiral dissolving in the first season of The Next Generation, for example. Star Trek has always pushed boundaries that society has never realised needed pushing. When Star Trek did push too much, they realised and adjusted to keep themselves within their demographic.

The movie realm of Star Trek has often pushed the boundaries of the language used. In Star Trek: Generations, Data said, loudly and clearly, "shit!" but that was in a movie and it was the first ever use of it. At the time, I'm sure there was quite a ripple in the Force. For me, watching it as a young teen, I simply found it hilarious. In the new Abrams' universe, the strength of the language increased with Kirk muttering, "bullshit," to future!Spock. Again, in the movie realm, age ratings are closely policed so that parents can decide whether or not they want to take their children to see it. Television, on the other hand, doesn't have such ratings. The only rating system that television has is the Watershed so parents run the risk of what they're letting their children watch. Yes. they can watch it ahead of time and then decide, but if that child is anything like me, I will want to watch the new episode there and then, when it airs. No waiting. That was the way with Enterprise and that series really tested the waters with using stronger language; son of a bitch appeared rather frequently.

I understand that Discovery is a darker version of Star Trek, even darker so than Deep Space Nine and it also has to contend with other television shows out there that are peppered so much with strong language that any viewer will be in a state of perpetual sneezing from all that pepper. I understand that it has to contend with that but it also has to uphold and protect the legacy of Star Trek. It has never needed to use strong language in 51 years so why now? Why does this series get the pass to use 'fuck' when others never saw the need? Anthony Rapp who plays Stamets said, "I imagine there are scientists who do that anytime." Yes, I'll give him that. Long gone are the days when scientists are seen to yell, "Eureka!" However, I will counter that argument with the fact that Captain Janeway was a scientist and she never dropped the F-bomb when she made a scientific breakthrough or was facing down an enemy or have a beyond crappy day and never cursed. I'm sure there were any number of moments in Year Of Hell that she wanted to just say the F-word. There are many instances in Star Trek where cursing would have been perfectly acceptable and perfectly called for yet the writers never went that way because it wasn't needed. 

To be honest, with this incarnation using such language in the first five episodes of its premiere season, it makes me incredibly nervous to see where it continues for there; what other boundaries will it cross? Will it actually have a full-on sex scene next? There are many things that I adore about Discovery and I think that the action and story-line speak for themselves. It's doing great so far. It's holding its own against the 'big boys' and carving out its own path in the Star Trek franchise. I just don't want it to burn this path and burn-out before its time because it feels like it has to 'go there' to get the ratings and to be relevant. Star Trek is already relevant. It always has been. The fans are here. Yes, it'll be great to bring in new fans, but being so controversial won't do that. If bringing in new fans is a priority, it feels like the writers and the franchise are devaluing the fans that have been here for decades. I have been a fan of Star Trek for nearly twenty years and I know what I like and love about Star Trek. I love that it pushes boundaries but in a wholesome way. I love having new Star Trek to look forward to each week, but I don't want to be frightened of it. I don't want it dissolving into another television that is saturated with sex and strong language just to get ratings. That isn't Star Trek. That isn't the kind of television that I want to watch. A lot of the television that I watch has little-to-no swearing or sex but a tonne of action at the same time. I literally only watch Orange Is The New Black for Kate Mulgrew and generally skip a lot of the scenes in it because I don't think it's necessary.

Am I making a mountain out of a mole-hill? Am I being too sensitive? Maybe. I'm not sure. All I know is that I don't think that cursing is necessary for Star Trek: Discovery. It hasn't been necessary before in the serials so I don't see it's relevance now. Let me know what your thoughts are on the subject, I would love to know. Until 1x06...

Geekerella || Ashley Poston

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Never has a book spoken so vividly to my soul than Geekerella by Ashley Poston. I didn't give this book much thought as Book-Tubers talked about it in their book hauls and TBRs. They didn't seem particularly enthused about it and honestly, thought that it would be a half-hearted attempt at an author trying to understand fandom by throwing a smattering of well-known TV shows in here and there all while re-enacting Cinderella. Basically, Cinderella meets Galaxy Quest (although that does sound pretty amazing). With that in mind, I kept seeing it peering at me from the shelves of Waterstones and Easons and decided last week to actually pick it up. I figured it would be a cute and easy read between reading The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo and Born With Teeth by Kate Mulgrew. Within the first chapter, I was asking myself, "Why didn't I pick this up sooner?" and then looked up recipes for how to eat crow. 

REVIEW || Star Trek: Discovery 1x05: Choose Your Pain

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

One of these weeks I will watch Star Trek: Discovery on a Monday (Netflix viewing) and have a blog post up earlier in the week. Alas, in true Kazzie fashion, it's a Wednesday viewing and a Wednesday blog post. 

With last week being my least favourite in the series so far, this episode was certainly a good one. I would say so with an episode title, "Choose Your Pain." Sounds ominous. 

Vicious || V.E. Schwab

Friday, 13 October 2017

The name V.E. (Victoria) Schwab is one which I have heard since the moment that I found the realm of Booktube. Her name has crept up in a vast majority of videos that I have watched and mentioned by practically every Book-tuber that I have come across. She's practically a legend. With so many novels out there to choose from and with each one sounding just as amazing as the one before it, I was at a loss to which one to pick up first. Then I heard the plot of Vicious and I was sold. 
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. 
Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?
It sent up vibes for Sanctuary and Deadpool

It rang the Deadpool bells because of the interest in adrenaline. If you've watched the Deadpool movie that was released a couple of years ago, you will know that Wade Wilson developed his abilities when Ajax subjected him to all number of experiments to test the limits of his body in an attempt to provoke a survival response from the body. It resulted in his infinite regeneration ability. That is exactly what Victor gains from his near-death experiment. Eli, likewise, gains an ability from a near-death experiment. His ability mirrors that of Deadpool's rival in the movie, Ajax (Francis). He is immune to pain, or rather, he can control pain in himself and also in others. It practically read as Deadpool in reverse; Ajax is the good-guy (with Deadpool's personality) and Deadpool is the baddie (with Ajax's personality). . . Sort of. 

With the premise of it being like Sanctuary, I instantly felt as if Eli and Victor were a smaller version of The Five; the group that Magnus helped form in which they experimented with what humans could become if given the chance, aka superpowers, aka, experiment with and injecting themselves with vampire blood. The typical college experience, right? It had a number of intersecting common threads with Sanctuary and that TV show was and still is an integral part of my life. That made it all the more enjoyable for me.

The characters in Vicious were unlike anything that I expected to encounter. I thought I knew who I was going to root for going into the book. Schwab basically patted me on the head and said, "Oh honey . . . no." Who I thought was good was more than likely a baddie and who was the baddie was probably a goodie. I loved that about this book. Even with secondary characters, Schwab only gives the reader tantalisingly small nibbles of information about them before ending the chapter and skipping time-frame or person.

Yes, time-frame. The chapters jump throughout time ranging from ten years in the past to the present, last year or four hours previously. Well, something along those lines. At first, it was confusing when trying to establish what was actually happening in the book. When I felt as if I was making sense of the time period that I was in, I would be taken to the present where I would have to establish myself and the characters again. It didn't take long before I adjusted to the time jumps but it was nevertheless disconcerting, especially when the chapter ended on a cliff-hanger and I wanted to find out what happened next and I would have to wait for several more chapters to find out. 

I loved Schwab's writing style. It was one of the few books that I've read recently that was set in the present day, on this planet and in an English speaking country. That's what happens when you're a fantasy junkie, folks. Schwab had a fascinating way of grounding her characters in the present in a relatable way. The characters often referenced something that I'm a fan of too and so I could relate to them and really appreciate them all the more. With books set in the present day (or within my lifetime), I find that cultural references make it all the more fascinating and all the more probable if that makes sense. The characters make reference to Marvel and here I am comparing it to Deadpool which is another Marvel creation. Sadly, Sanctuary wasn't referenced but I'm still making that connection. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I'm glad that I choose this as my first foray into V..E. Schwab's writing. Schwab uses the pseudonym of V.E. when writing adult novels and then 'Victoria Schwab' when writing for the Young Adult genre. Despite the aforementioned initial confusion and frustration with the time jumps with each chapter, I grew to love this book and could not put it down because I had such a need to find out what happened in the past and what was going to happen in the future. I absolutely loved it and would recommend it to anyone that loves Marvel, DC Comics, Sanctuary or similar shows like Warehouse 13.

REVIEW || Star Trek: Discovery 1x04 - 'The Butcher's Knife Cares Not For The Lamb's Cry

Thursday, 12 October 2017

It's that time of the week, folks. It's Star Trek: Discovery review time. I am later than I have been previously with these reviews. I simply became occupied just hadn't found a chance to sit down and watch it. Better late than never.

GET READY WITH ME || Cruise Formal Night [2017]

Friday, 6 October 2017

September was such a lazy month for me. I'm only now finding the motivation to edit the videos that I wanted to create from my cruise in August. I still have one more to go but when people are outside cutting down trees, it really puts a buzz kill on filming. Therefore, I decided to edit the footage from the Get Ready With Me that I filmed. I hope you like it. 

REVIEW || Star Trek: Discovery - Context Is For Kings 1x03

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

It's that time, folks. It's the day after a new Star Trek: Discovery episode has been released and so that means that it is time for my review. I actually watched this episode on Monday instead of Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. My enthusiasm was quite unexpected considering how scared I was of watching the first two episodes. Nevertheless, Discovery was never far from my mind for the past week. I'm serious. I've been thinking about it quite a bit this week. Plus, this week was the introduction of Jason Isaacs' character, Captain Gabriel Lorca

Undoubtedly, I will be correcting his name several times in this post. I seem to type 'Garbiel' instead of 'Gabriel'. So if you spot one that I missed, please tell me. So without further adieu, let's get started...

Context Is For Kings takes place six months after the events of 'The Vulcan Hello'.

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