“This is why fanservice sucks”: Sarah Jaffe and Adam Kotsko discuss Star Trek: Discovery

[Each week, Sarah Jaffe — a new Star Trek fan who came to the franchise through Discovery — and Adam Kotsko — a long-time obsessive who has spent way too much time thinking about Star Trek — have been chatting about their impressions of the newest episode. Since we fell behind again, this post covers “Perpetual Infinity” and “Through the Valley of Shadows.” A full archive can be found here.]

SJ: I was afraid they were gonna kill Tyler and then I was going to have to go on strike from the show
I guess. I have watched the last one and I have thoughts.
(largely that the solution makes no sense, wtf)

Continue reading ““This is why fanservice sucks”: Sarah Jaffe and Adam Kotsko discuss Star Trek: Discovery

“The only emotionally competent man in three galaxies”: Sarah Jaffe and Adam Kotsko discuss Star Trek: Discovery

[Each week, Sarah Jaffe — a new Star Trek fan who came to the franchise through Discovery — and Adam Kotsko — a long-time obsessive who has spent way too much time thinking about Star Trek — have been chatting about their impressions of the newest episode. Since we fell behind again, this post covers “Project Daedalus” and “The Red Angel.” A full archive can be found here.]

AK:
Hello!

SJ:
HELLO
where should we even begin

AK:
We know where you want to start

SJ:
haha yes but we have two episodes to cover

AK:
All those times I referred to “Robot Head Person” now feel so disrespectful.

Continue reading ““The only emotionally competent man in three galaxies”: Sarah Jaffe and Adam Kotsko discuss Star Trek: Discovery

Guilty Pleasures

Last summer, I decided to treat myself on my birthday and get an NES Classic Edition. This miniature gaming system returns us to the world of the original Nintendo, complete with a couple dozen classic games and — crucially — authentic controllers. I went through a phase of downloading videogame emulators in college, which enabled me to play every single system that ever existed (including the Sega Master System, TurboGrafx-16, and Coleco Vision), but the Nintendo experience never felt right without the original controllers. I was, as they say, between projects, and so I spent a couple afternoons working through old favorites — especially games that I had loved but never finished when I was a kid.

Chief among my targets was Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link. I played that game so long and so hard that the save-game battery actually ran out. It was the first game I had experienced that felt open-ended, as though the next person you talked to or the next square you walked across could hold untold secrets. It was also incredibly demanding for a young child, with enemies that depleted your experience points if they hit you, caves full of monsters you couldn’t even see until you gained a special power-up, bonuses hidden on arbitrary spots on the world map, and complex mazes that often required you to backtrack (at risk to life and limb). I got Zelda 2 prior to the original Zelda, and to me, the latter never fully lived up to its successor — though I realize that I am in the minority here. In fact, when I have mentioned Zelda 2 in social media threads, people have often expressed bafflement that I could even tolerate the game.

Continue reading “Guilty Pleasures”

“Nihilistic Squids are my new punk band”: Sarah Jaffe and Adam Kotsko discuss Star Trek: Discovery

[Each week, Sarah Jaffe — a new Star Trek fan who came to the franchise through Discovery — and Adam Kotsko — a long-time obsessive who has spent way too much time thinking about Star Trek — have been chatting about their impressions of the newest episode. Since we fell behind for a few weeks, this post covers “The Sound of Thunder,” “Light and Shadows,” and “If Memory Serves.” A full archive can be found here.]

AK: We have been remiss!

SJ: Too long! My fault, too much travel.
Anyway! I am full of feelings, unsurprisingly.
Revolutionary Saru!

Continue reading ““Nihilistic Squids are my new punk band”: Sarah Jaffe and Adam Kotsko discuss Star Trek: Discovery

With demons like these…: A Response from Adam Kotsko

I would like to begin by thanking all five contributors for their engagement with my work and Sean Capener for his labor in coordinating the event (and selection of great post-header images!). Not everyone has the privilege of getting such varied and interesting responses to their book from five brilliant friends. And in contrast to many other book discussions I have seen (both of my own work and those of others), I never got the sense that anyone was misreading or mischaracterizing my work, responding to “the kind of thing” they think it is rather than to its specific goals and approach. While internal critique is not the only viable method, I think that academics as a whole tend to read with too much impatience and too little sympathy, mistaking harshness and negativity for intellectual rigor. The most productive discussions, in my mind, are never “debates” between opposed sides, but open-ended discussions between friends.

Continue reading “With demons like these…: A Response from Adam Kotsko”

“I Wanna Be Mirror Georgiou When I Grow Up!” Sarah Jaffe and Adam Kotsko discuss Star Trek: Discovery

[Each week, Sarah Jaffe — a new Star Trek fan who came to the franchise through Discovery — and Adam Kotsko — a long-time obsessive who has spent way too much time thinking about Star Trek — have been chatting about their impressions of the newest episode. A full archive can be found here.]

AK: Okay, that was a return to form!
And if they were doing fan service, it was at least service for fans OF DISCOVERY.

SJ: I wanna be Mirror Georgiou when I grow up
Im dead now that killed me
Need a cocoon thingy to bring me back
Also OOH THAT TEASER

AK: I’m finally excited about this season rather than mildly apprehensive

Continue reading ““I Wanna Be Mirror Georgiou When I Grow Up!” Sarah Jaffe and Adam Kotsko discuss Star Trek: Discovery

Make us like the other nations

The controversy surrounding Ilhan Omar’s remarks about pro-Israel lobbying activity is enragingly stupid. Mainstream Democrats want the diversity of the food court. They’re pleased to be able to point to different skin tones and exotic names — but once someone actually draws on their experience in a way that makes a difference? Horror…. All the Democrats lining up to scapegoat a Muslim-American woman should be ashamed of themselves. It’s an absolute fucking disgrace.

One question worth asking here is: Why do pro-Israel lobbying groups spend so much money to influence US politicians? I can think of some reasons.
Continue reading “Make us like the other nations”