Log in

Wow, yes, when you submit a request, half an hour after we close, for us to do something that we are not allowed to do without confirmation from a separate department - information which is included in the automatically-generated email you got in response to the request, which I know you read because you bitched about it for two straight minutes (“I don’t need an automatic email telling me things, I need to talk to a person to get this done immediately”, ACTUAL QUOTE) - and get no answer overnight or within the first twenty minutes that we’re open the next day, and when I pick up the phone and re-iterate that no, Thing has not been done because 

you only submitted the request yesterday, after we were all gone, and 

as spelled out in the email you admitted reading, we can do nothing until HR tells us to 

…the appropriate thing is ABSOLUTELY to berate me for a further two minutes and then hang up in a snit and call the one of our advisors who is also the chair of your department (academia is weird).

(Who will tell you the exact same thing.)

(And then, after he notices my frantic waving from his office doorway and has been informed that you only submitted the request last night, will call you back and sternly inform you that, and I’m paraphrasing here, a lack of preparation on your part does not constitute an emergency on ours.)


from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2cP7yTj (click to see full post including images)
Instructor: So this audio file I uploaded to WordPress isn't playing.
Me, expecting an explosion of entitlement and whining, as per usual from this department: Ooh, yeah, that's due to an issue with the native WordPress media player that we don't have a fix for, yet.
Instructor: Ohhhhh okay, no problem, I'll just change the way I'm teaching the class.
Me: ...so you're my new favourite.
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2c9lvZ8 (click to see full post including images)

This episode is called “The Immunity Syndrome,” but frankly this is a missed opportunity to title an episode “Attack of the Giant Space Amoeba,” or to gleefully over-use the word “entropy.”

Attack of the Giant Space Amoeba. HOW COOL DOES THAT SOUND.

Because that’s what this episode wants to be about, folks: entropy, and why it’s the enemy.

This is another one of those times when you can just about see the episode that the episode wanted to be, but it never quite made it out into the world.

What this episode wants to be about:

how fatalism solves nothing except for making extremely orderly log entries

how just because something has worked for a long time doesn’t mean it will always work and how that mindset might indeed get you killed when faced with something totally outside of your experience

how what sets humans apart is our ability to go “wait, WAIT, fuck YOU,” and completely re-invent ourselves in order to survive (the latter being a central thesis statement of Star Trek)

What this episode is actually about:

an up-front death-count on par with a Garth Nix novel

a pseudo-B-plot of inexplicable Spock/Bones dick-swinging over martyring themselves for science

a literal trek into the Space Heart of Darkness whose symptomatic effects on humans include irritability, depression, confusion, and a loss of motivation, all of which translated through the screen to us, your reviewers

Keptin, I need a nap.

As so often happens with TOS, the episode you will inevitably write in your head while watching is far superior to what’s on the screen. And maybe sugar up before sitting down to watch, lest the entropy get you, too. 

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Email | Google Play | RSS | Download

[From The Not So Much The Neutral Zone Podcast]

Just reading the description for this episode makes me feel tired.

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2cIBrak (click to see full post including images)

Seeking input!

So I’m writing a new podcast. It’s going to be a limited fictional serial, with probably just one voice: a young woman telling a story, the premise being that she had some strange (possibly magical, so maybe probably obviously imagined) experiences as a kid that even after many years, she just can’t put behind her, and her therapist advised her to start a diary about them. 

There are two main settings: sitting at a desk in her home, and walking through woods where these experiences took place as she tries to surface her memories (the woods have a set of background sounds to differentiate them from the house). 

Each episode will switch back and forth, but I’m trying to come up with a clear audible way of transitioning between these two settings, like a cut-beep but not a cut-beep, and something that sounds like it fits with the premise and the context. Right now I’m thinking a burst of radio static, but it’s just a placeholder, and I’m open to suggestions. Any ideas?

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2bIEvC1 (click to see full post including images)

So this episode is nominally a murder mystery, which honestly, made us give it a whole lot of bonus points right at the outset. Our crew is visiting Argelius, a port world where, well, to give you an idea, the law of the land is literally love. A couple of hundred years ago Argelians decided that work was stupid, fighting was boring, and conflict was the worst, and decided to devote their lives to seeking happiness and pleasure. Honestly, this sounds like a pretty sensible set of ideals on which to base a culture. The shocking thing is how generally gross the representatives of the Enterprise are acting in the first five minutes, sprawled out on cushions around a table leering dramatically at the nice lady dancer who is just trying to do her job, guys. 

Foreground: young woman, dancing. Background: Scotty, Bones & Kirk being gross foreigners.

There’s arguably a plot reason for this, but it’s a stupid one: to manufacture a totally unnecessary motive for Scotty to be cast immediately as the suspect when the unfortunate young lady (Tara) is murdered about ten minutes later: Scotty recently suffered a concussion, which apparently, by insane 1960s space logic, has given him a “total resentment of all women” (yes, what the actual fuck is an excellent question to have here, though it did cross our minds that, if we’d believed it was deliberate, this is in some ways an incredibly modern way of viewing the relationship between brain injury and culpability in violent crime… though we pretty much came down on refusing to award credit on the basis of how stupid it sounds). Fortunately, Ship Pimp James Kirk is here to set him up with Tara, hoping they can bone that nonsensical resentment right out of him.

It’s almost funny how many more times Scotty ends up awkwardly positioned with blood on his hands over yet another murdered woman (three in total, RIP Tara, Lieutenant Karen Tracy, and Sybo), or it would be if this episode didn’t centre on a murderer whose motive is that it simply hates women.


Yes, seriously, this is the explicit motive, for real.

By the virtue of Space Google, they discover that the culprit is, in fact, a deathless, millennia-old misogyny cloud possessing a series of man-shaped shells which was probably the truth behind the legend of Jack the Ripper, but still: this is so bananas that if a woman had written this episode, I would be tempted to think it was trying to be subversive.

They would have caught the murderer a lot sooner if Space Google could fuzzy search, I’m just saying.

As it is, we just have to sit back and admire the skillful use of Agatha Christie red flags in pointing loudly at the murderer in the first ten minutes of the story: out-of-towner, loner, obstructionist, and portrayed jarringly by John Fiedler, voice of Piglet.

Some stuff happened to Piglet in the Hundred Acre Wood, apparently.

Yeah. Let that one settle. 

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Email | Google Play | RSS | Download

[From The Not So Much The Neutral Zone Podcast]

Piglet. Piglet why.

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2b0lmqC (click to see full post including images)

Our first bonus episode of two this week, all about the upcoming return of Star Trek to its natural habitat, television. There was a panel full of announcements at SDCC 2016, among them the name of the new ship, also the title of the series: Discovery. We also got a list of new names added to the show’s creative team, including a few new writers (still a little heavy on white guys, but there’s still time) and some directors and producers.

Join us as we pick the trailer apart into many tiny pieces, coming away with a wild mix of impressions and predictions, but your mileage may vary.

If you haven’t seen it yet, have a look! And commence wildly theorizing as we await the next batch of rumours and announcements.

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Email | Google Play | RSS | Download

[From The Not So Much The Neutral Zone Podcast]

My feelings, they are so mixed.

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2ailXsf (click to see full post including images)
Yyyyyyeeeees. When we said “this sytem is a pilot, it could be terminated at any moment, SO YOU SHOULD KEEP BACKUPS,” what we actually meant was “treat this as permanent and you don’t really need to keep backups of your Incredibly Important course videos that are integral to the course you’re teaching, and absolutely when, in accordance with our institution’s CLEARLY STATED, PUBLICLY AVAILABLE DELETION/RETENTION POLICY, which says that stuff will be deleted after one year unless you tell us not to by tagging it correctly and btw we’ve sent you at least three emails saying ‘okay, we KNOW some of you don’t tag shit properly and have videos on here that you want to keep anyway, so you have until THIS DATE to contact us and let us know so that we don’t delete it,’ all of which you’ve ignored, you should call and scream at us because, ASTONISHINGLY, your stuff has been deleted, blame us, it’s obviously our fault, why should you be responsible for the maintenance of your own fucking content.”

So now I’m sitting here trying to figure out just how long I can stall on calling back this instructor, who repeated “well, I don’t have any backups” about six times, like this was something I should have considered beforehand and not her own stupid fault because she couldn’t be bothered to read documentation or read her fucking emails, and telling her “sorry, your files are gone, you were warned repeatedly, not our problem.” Because I’m pretty sure we’re not capable of retrieving deleted files. I mean, I’m not 100% sure, because somehow, in all this time, in academia, we’ve yet to have a case of anyone stupid enough to both fail to keep backups of videos being hosted on a pilot streaming media platform (it’s no longer in pilot, and NOW everything they’ve ever uploaded is accessible to them pretty much forever and can be deleted and managed by them, which in the future will be lots easier, but there’s still three years of backlog stupidity just waiting in the wings) AND failing to acknowledge the warning emails as necessary, yes, it’s a miracle, so we have no policy for either retrieving shit or informing people shit cannot be retrieved… idek, guys.

So far my plan is “until I finish this cup of tea.”

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2attClT (click to see full post including images)

This week, our crew comes upon a far-flung pseudo-colony where the members of a scientific expedition have come down with an acute case of The Olds. 

Please explain the Facebooks.

Naturally, they quickly discover that they’ve been infected with whatever is killing the expedition members. The medical staff springs into action, trying to cure the away team, but not before most of them (Chekov is mysteriously unaffected) start to descend into old age at an incredible rate… and not before the episode starts to devolve into the James Kirk Is Still Sexy Show. We blame the writing (and maybe Shatner’s ego), but just about everything from the moment he starts to go grey is focused on proving (and disproving) that Kirk is still attractive and virile.

You’d still make out with me, right?

Yeah… we didn’t really care for this one, and I’m not sure what else there is to say about the episode, apart from “I want those 50 minutes of my brief and precious life back.” Kind of like Old!Kirk, I bet.

I definitely want back the 10 minutes 2/3 of the way through the episode where we pull into a narrative truck-stop to hold a competency hearing to re-tell the events of the episode so far.

There are an unprecedented number of lady background-characters in this episode, a great female guest star (Laura Wood) who did the best she could possibly have done with what she was given, and we do, at least, get one secondary lady quasi-redshirt, which is a step in the right direction? I guess?

450% older than most women are allowed to get in modern Hollywood.

…sort of?

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Email | Google Play | RSS | Download

[From The Not So Much The Neutral Zone Podcast]

It’s a good thing my retirement plan is a) partake of yet-undiscovered dementia vaccine, b) replace all failing joints & organs with futuristic artificial substitutes, and c) move to the moon.

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2aaCpqE (click to see full post including images)

My morning so far

Other Department Head: So you know that fake course full of garbage textbook-publisher-created course materials that everyone in our department has access to? They've finished updating the content for the coming semester.
Me: Oh, okay, so I'll just replace the existing course content in the active course with the new material, just like we've done the past three semesters. Easy!
ODH: Actually, could you unnecessarily create an entirely new course to copy it all into and then add every single member of our gigantic department to it, and also change these 27 incredibly tedious and also unnecessary settings for us?
Me: ... uh, okay, sure, I guess so, though you know you can enroll people yourself?
ODH: I don't have time to do that, because even though the materials updating was finished two weeks ago, I can't be bothered to check my email when I'm off-campus, even though I'm on professional development leave rather than vacation and also I have hands with the manual dexterity of pineapples.
Me: Okay but, I mean, both me and the evil publisher rep sent you like thirty emails about this, asking for input. Also literally everyone else is in a rush now, because we're a month out from Fall semester, so...
ODH: And could you get a move on? Chop chop. Time crunch.
Me: *heroically does not murder anyone*
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2a9X2UP (click to see full post including images)

This week, the Enterprise visits Capella, land of shiny rocks, where people stab each other for fun and call it a favour, and women literally belong to their male relatives. Sounds like a super-sweet potential trading partner, right?

Capella, a pre-warp civilization (Prime Directive? What Prime Directive?) whose aesthetic falls somewhere between “Vikings! Rarrr!” and what looks 1960s’ Hollywood’s idea of Mongolia, happens to mine some Very Important Minerals that are crucial to artificial life-support systems. Bones has visited Capella so far, on a sort of semester-abroad deal where he tried to convince the highly-Darwinist Capellans that medicine is a swell idea, and in a supreme waste of effort, does run them through the Capellans’ veritable minefield of murder-worthy taboos before they beam down… so naturally everything goes to hell within about fifteen seconds.

Surely “avoiding escalation” should be a first-year course at Starfleet Academy?? 

The other part of the episode involves a Capellan civil war precipitated by a Klingon interloper, and a flight through the hills with the very pregnant widow of the usurped Capellan Teer (portrayed by a very committed Julie Newmar), who must now, by the laws of her people, be put to death; something that well-meaning but clueless landing party obviously will not allow.

Somewhere in this episode, deep, deep down, there’s a really clumsy and uncomfortable conversation about cultural relativism and the how everything sucks for women everywhere, always, but most of it is lost in the progression of frankly insulting comments about how said lady – whose name is Eleen, pronounced Ell-ee-enn – has no idea what she’s talking about and doesn’t know what she wants in regards to subjects ranging from her survival to her culture to her pregnancy to her own bodily autonomy.

We’re here to rescue you! …by ignoring your every explicitly stated desire. WHY AREN’T YOU MORE GRATEFUL

I mean, it turns around a little – mainly due to Eleen’s intervention on her own behalf once she puts that pesky childbirth business in the rearview. There follow some exciting and hilarious explosions and a series of frankly very silly grappling fights to defeat the Wicked Klingon and end the civil war. Eleen reclaims her life and her child and establishes herself as his regent – essentially the leader of the entire planet, after fifty minutes of being owned, dismissed, threatened, and smacked around by just about every man in the episode, including her doctor, while he is in the process of delivering her child. (And this in a D.C. Fontana episode! We can only assume the intervention of dudes later on in the process.)

It is… jarring, to say the least. Oh, Star Trek. As ever, you give me whiplash.

There, isn’t everything better when you just do everything men tell you?

We can only hope that Eleen, Regent of Capella, teaches her son to know better.

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Email | Google Play | RSS | Download

[From The Not So Much The Neutral Zone Podcast]

In many ways Star Trek is an actual fucking study in how you can have the best of intentions and get so much right and still get so much so, so, so WRONG.

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2acQYg8 (click to see full post including images)


Chandri MacLeod

Latest Month

September 2016



RSS Atom
Powered by LiveJournal.com