1,000 breezy words

Is it just me or is everyone lately wiped out by Thursday? It wasn’t always this way. There must be some corner of Reddit where I can find the best and most reasonable theories.

I’m not searching for them on Reddit, or anywhere else, but someone is writing about it somewhere. Most of these ideas are nonsense, but someone is going to accidentally stumble on the cause. Fox Mulder will read about it, but by the time he gets back to his computer to follow up, “They” will have removed the thread entirely.

The 10th (in 2016) and 11th (in 2018) seasons of X-Files aside, that show will come back around for a relaunch in another decade or so. It won’t be nearly as believable or as charming or as well-received in the next go around. Given what goes on in the open, and what is imagined online, these days, the atmosphere will be all wrong. The original 1993-2001 run may as well have been from another age entirely. Maybe it was.

Someone could write scholarly works on this.

Oh, look.

Did the x-files prime us for the QAnon era?
Deceive, inveigle, obfuscate: Post-structuralism and the staggered retirement of Fox Mulder
The paranoid style for sale: Conspiracy entrepreneurs, marketplace bots, and surveillance capitalism
The truth is everywhere: Reconceptualizing far-right conspiracy theories in the Information Age
9/11 and its aftermaths: Threats of invasion

The papers continue, the quality might vary. Sometimes, I think, we’re just trying to shoehorn things in between reality and pop culture, but that’s for actual sociologists to worry over at the downtown hotel at their next conference, forgetting, there was always something fun about turning the lights off and watching Mulder and Scully wrestle with faith, science, monsters and conspiracy. The point is, things and times change. That how we watch things has changed probably plays into it too.

They never got into this Thursday thing, though, which leads me to conclude …

See how easy that is?

Talking with my mother this evening, she asked what I was reading right now. Threw me for a complete loop. Why I was in a loop threw me for a second loop. Now I am dizzy, loopy even.

I don’t know when I was asked that last, but it’s good, right? It makes sense for my mom to ask; she’s seldom seen me without a book or three since she taught me to read.

I’m going to start asking people what they’re reading. It’s a far more interesting question than what they do — though I have an effective strategy that can make for lively conversation, for the answerer — and more useful than asking someone how they’ve been. Maybe that’s just how I’ll start conversations now. By way of greeting, “What are you reading?”

The only problem is if the question catches someone off guard. Got me, tonight. I couldn’t even remember what was on my nightstand.

What I’m reading, and I hope to wrap this up soon, is an autobiography of Mr. Spock. It is titled The Autobiography of Mr. Spock. This was a gift from my mother-in-law, who always has a book or three ready for me. (A few years ago a friend of hers was ready to clean out a bunch of books from his personal library and she grabbed them by the armful for me, just in case. Many of them are now on my bookshelves.) If you asked me how I’ve lately been getting my books the answer is “I see a Kindle sale, or I see my mother-in-law and now look at these almost 200 books waiting to be read …”

But, first, Mr. Spock.

When I got this, this Christmas, I misread the title as a biography. That’s interesting, I thought, a biography of a beloved fictional character. This should fill in some holes. But, being an autobiography, it is written in the first person of a fictional character. Not a novel idea, by any means, but calling it an autobiography of a fictional character, that’s kinda different, for me at least.

And how about the authors that take that on? Writing such a beloved character as that? Bold strokes, Una McCormack and David A. Goodman. McCormack’s got 40 titles on Amazon, all sci-fi, most from very popular franchises, at least two autobiographies — the other is of the war criminal Kathryn Janeway. Goodman, similarly, has two dozen books on the site, all sci-fi, and has another autobiography, of Jean-Luc Picard, there.

Spock is writing this to Picard. Here are two brief portions, the first one centered around The Search fo Spock — so, 40-year-old spoiler, I guess.

And, in this passage, Spock is referencing events that took place during The Undiscovered Country — so, 30-year-old spoiler alert. (Thirty years? Geeze.)

McCormack and Goodman have this job of fleshing out what we see on screen, for a character metaphorically torn between two worlds, and making that seem reasonable. Instead of inventing too much new Vulcan culture, they continue the theme of the character trying to learn and reconcile both of his cultures. In his voice, and with more time than a sequence in the second-act of an episode, or without having to worry about cinematic beats, it works. The Valeris part comes up a few times.

Understated in the films, with the exception of one bit of exposition, is Spock’s ideological disagreement with Kirk, but the book gives it a few more passes.

It’s in the prime universe, if that matters. Post-Reunification, timeline-wise, meant to exist somewhere in or around the time of the Picard series.

I’ve yet to watch any of the Picard series. It’s on my list. I just can’t bring myself to start it. Sometimes, when I start a thing, I’m just that much closer to the conclusion. Varied reception of that series aside, it is always ongoing, until I start it.

There’s some pop-psychology on Reddit, or real scholarship, elsewhere, about that phenomenon, too.

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