Thursday, May 27, 2004

The Next Generation

While watching an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, I was amused once again by Captain Picard's brilliant strategy of dispatching his top commanders to yet another mission fraught with life-threatening danger. This time he sent Riker (second-in-command), LaForge (chief engineer) and Data (weird android officer) to a battle-damaged spaceship on the verge of exploding into smithereens. One would think that on a spaceship filled with thousands of passengers and crew members, the top brass wouldn't need to risk their own lives every time there's a suspicious cargo ship drifting around in deep space or an encounter with a planet filled with dangerous electromagnetic radiation occurs. Watching Picard personally frying an unruly Klingon baddie with his phaser may be gratifying, but the absurdity of seeing the head honcho having to defend himself against potential bodily harm somewhat disrupts the suspension of belief that's necessary to enjoy TV. After all, the probability of Bush, Cheney and the rest of Neocon Inc. actually doing any fighting in the War on Terror is undoubtedly order of magnitude higher than the probability of me experiencing interstellar travel at the speed of light. I might actually have some respect for Bush if he had put away his booze, flew to Vietnam, sprayed some agent orange, napalmed some helpless peasant girls, and lived to tell it with a shrapnel in his ass.

On the other hand, Cheney is not all that far from becoming a robot himself, with his implantable cardioverter defibrillator delivering shocks to his heart to keep him alive. Maybe that's why he doesn't give a rat's ass about the environment, because he will soon be a Cyborg!