These women, so swift to kindness, so tender to the sorrowing, so untiring in times of stress, could be as implacable as furies to any renegade who broke one small law of their unwritten code. This code was simple. Reverence for the Confederacy, honor to the veterans, loyalty to old forms, pride in poverty, open hands to friends and undying hatred to Yankees.
Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind
Margaret Mitchell began writing Gone With the Wind in 1926 when she was 26. The book was published by Macmillan in June of 1936. By the end of December 1936 the book had sold one million copies even though it had a high price, for the time, of $3.00. Reviews were generally positive, and thus the tome being awarded a Pulitzer Price in 1937. The film rights to the book were sold on July 7, 1936 for the then unheard of price of $50,000.00.
As of 2010 the book had sold 30 million copies, despite recent attacks on it by individuals amazed that people in the past did not have 21rst century views on race and many other topics. Ironically, for her time, Mitchell was a racial liberal. She funded scholarships for black students, for example, at Morehouse College and helped fund the first hospital for blacks in Atlanta. She became friends with the actress Hattie McDaniel who became the first black to win an Oscar for her role as “Mammy”.
During World War II Mitchell threw herself into the war effort, including raising funds, christening ships and writing letters of support to servicemen. She died on the evening of August 16, 1949, five days after being run over by a car while she and her husband were on their way to a theater to see a movie. It was not Gone With the Wind.
In regard to President Trump, as faithful readers of this blog know, when he ran in 2016 I long refused to support him. It was only in September of 2016 that I reluctantly supported him after his pledge to pro-life organizations to be a pro-life President. I have generally been, much to my surprise, pleased with his performance as President. However, there remains much to legitimately criticize about him: including that he has been a serial adulterer, a complete pig around women in general, and that he is rude and crude. These are factors that his critics often cite, usually the same people who supported Hillary Clinton, who has spent much of her life protecting her husband Bill from well founded allegations of sexual assault, up to, and including, rape, and who carried on an affair with an intern in the Oval Office. In his personal behavior, sadly, President Trump is reflective of our obscene age. Evidence of this was on full display at the White House Correspondents’ dinner last night, a function which President Trump wisely, breaking with tradition, does not attend. At that dinner a featured speaker was “comedienne” Michelle Wolf of TheDaily Show. Go here to read about her “performance”. Strong, strong language advisory as to the video below:
The next time we have people clutching their pearls about some crudity of the President, recall the above video of congealed partisan hate, vulgarity and obscenity. If they are the same people who would have loved the above video, hypocrisy is the least of the charges that can be laid at their doors.
Something for the weekend. Theme songs from Lost in Space. As a kid I loved the show, even though even at the age of eight I realized the show was science fantasy rather than science fiction. The 1998 Lost in Space movie left me cold as it was too dark for my tastes and did not fit the lighter tone of most of the episodes of what was often an especially silly show.
A new Netflix take on the show debuted yesterday. The episodes I have thus far watched aren’t bad.
Time to refresh my Chief Geek of the blog creds. The Axanar film project has produced huge fan interest, and well it should. The Prelude to Axanar video below is the best Trek I have ever seen.
Jonathan Lane has written, and Mark McCrary has illustrated, the first illustrated fan short story set in the Axanar universe. With their kind permission I am posting it here. Give your comments in the comboxes. Go here to view the Fan Film Factor Blog.
Stardate: 2244.9 Location: The 602 Club, Mill Valley near San Francisco, Earth
At a table…
DARIA: Um, um…Hecate
DARIA: Crash and burn, Matt!
MATT: Which one did I miss?
MATT: BLAST IT!
RON: Take a shot.
DARIA: Hey, why is it called the Hercules and not Heracles?
DARIA: All the other human Ares-class ships are named after GREEK gods.Hercules was the ROMAN name for Heracles, which was the original Greek name.
MATT: Hey, Daria, when did you get transferred from biochemistry to ship’s cultural historian?
DARIA: Pulse you, Decker!When I signed up for Starfleet, I figured I was gonna EXPLORE alien societies…not shoot at them.
[Long, quiet stare.]
MATT: Yeah, I think that’s true for most of us.
THALEK: Not me.I wanted to fight!
RON: Well, you’re just an idiot is what you are.
MATT: Hey, I thought Hercules–excuse me, HERACLES–wasn’t even a full god.Wasn’t he just a half-god?
RON: Don’t tell Captain Travis that.He’ll knock you right into San Francisco Bay…from here!
DARIA: So how many Ares-class cruisers do we have in service now?
MATT: Twenty-two.And there’s two more in dry dock, ready to join the Fleet.Nemesis and, um…the god with the two faces…
DARIA: Huh?Thalek, how is it that an Andorian knows the name of an ancient Earth god?
THALEK: I don’t.But the USS Janus is getting an Andorian crew, and I’m being transferred from the Poseidon as soon as the new vessel is ready.
RON: Speaking of Andorians, Thalek, why is it that you hang out with us humans here at the bar?
THALEK: I don’t understand…
MATT: What he means is that most of the crews stick with their own species.Look around.The Tellarites drink with other Tellarites.The Andorians drink with Andorians.The Vulcans…well, I don’t think they even drink, but they certainly don’t socialize with us.
THALEK: One could say that you humans don’t exactly socialize outside of your own species either.
[Looks of embarrassment.]
THALEK: Hah!As you humans say, I’m just pulling your hair.
THALEK: Why would someone pull a leg?
MATT: Good point.
THALEK: It’s true that we are all still a little leery of the other races—Vulcans, Humans, Andorians, Tellarites, Nausicans, Deltans.The Federation covers a vast span of the galaxy, and our races don’t get many opportunities to interact with each other.Without warp-six capable starships, it can take weeks or even months just to get from one star system to the other.
DARIA: But now we’re all here on Earth together, fighting a common enemy.You’d think we’d make more of an effort to get to know each other.
RON: I don’t want to get to know each other…
RON: I don’t!That’s my choice.
DARIA: Thalek, he didn’t mean that.He’s just a little drunk…
RON: Pulse you!I know what I said!
MATT: Ron, don’t be a dunsel…
RON: I’m just saying what we’re all thinking!Tellarites—they’re obnoxious!They think they’re hot plasma, but they’re just a race full of angry, pig-nosed bloodworms!Deltans…they’re supposed to be so “sexually mature” that we aren’t even supposed to talk to them!What in blazes is up with THAT???
DARIA: Ron, keep your voice down, you’re making a scene.
RON: Nausicans are just animals!Orions are blasted thugs.Denobulans…
MATT: Seriously?You’ve got a problem with Denobulans?
RON: Well, no, I suppose they’re okay.But all the rest of them.Look at those Vulcans sitting over there…
MATT: Oh, man, here we go.I knew he’d get to the Vulcans…
RON: Why shouldn’t I???They think they’re so blasted superior to us.For a hundred years, they held back technology from Earth—even though we were supposed to be allies—said we weren’t ready for it.We had to claw our way to a Warp 5 engine that they’d already had for centuries.
THALEK: That doesn’t surprise me.The Vulcans used to be quite protective of their technology.
RON: They still are!
MATT: Hey, did you know my great-great grandfather worked with Henry Archer on the Warp 5 project?Or was it three greats?
DARIA: My great-grandfather served under Henry Archer’s son on the Enterprise during the Romulan War.He was their helmsman.I think Captain Archer’s first officer was a Vulcan.
RON: Probably sent to spy on them…
THALEK: I don’t beleiveso.I seem to recall that she helped reveal the existence of a Vulcan listening post that was covertly monitoring my people.I doubt that a Vulcan spy would assist in a mission that would so jeopardize a clandestine operation like that.
RON: Doesn’t it bother you that they were spying on your planet in the first place???
THALEK: That was nearly a century ago.The Vulcans have changed.
RON: HAVE THEY????
DARIA: Ron, please quiet down.You’re embarrassing all of us.
MATT: Yeah, Ron…
RON: Shut up!The Vulcans haven’t changed at all.They’re still arrogant know-it-alls who think they’ve figured out what’s best for the galaxy.The “great awakening”?Don’t make me laugh!They weren’t even going to enter this war!!!And they’re still withholding technology from us!!! The weapons on board the Zeus?The Andorians gave us those…
THALEK: You’re welcome.
DARIA: And the Vulcans gave us shields and life support systems.
RON: But they held back the weapons!!!Why?YOU HEAR ME, YOU POINTY-EARED HOBGOBLINS?
DARIA: Ron, sit down!
RON: DON’T IGNORE ME, YOU GREEN-BLOODED COWARDS!!!Why didn’t you give us weapons?We know you have them!And they’re probably much more advanced than ours.Or maybe you could have helped us, worked with us, to improve the weapons that we ALL have.DO YOU WANT THOSE BLOODTHIRSTY KLINGONS TO WIN THIS WAR???
DARIA: Matt, we need to do something…
RON: LOOK AT ME, BLAST IT!!!You Vulcans–you’re not even fighting!You’re just PRETENDING to fight!
MATT: I’m going to find someone from security.
RON: You could have saved the crew of the Tecumseh!They were being decimated by the Klingons!!The Nike was the first ship to arrive at Altair VI.But instead of engaging the Klingons, you held back.WHY???My sister was on that ship, and you sat back and didn’t fire a shot!You cowards hid behind a stupid moon!!! WHY????Why didn’t you engage sooner?WHY DID YOU WAIT???
[A loud voice answers from elsewhere in the 602 Club…]
GARTH: Because I ordered them to.
[Captain Kelvar Garth walks over to their table.]
DARIA: (whispering) Holy…is that who I think it is?
THALEK: It’s Garth.
MATT: Captain present!Ten-hut!
GARTH: At ease, everyone.You, too, Lieutenant…. Lieutenant?
RON: Tracey, sir.I’m a weapons officer on board the USS Zeus.
GARTH: Lieutenant Tracey, I’m sorry about your sister.I truly am.We lost 184 valiant men and women in that battle…but it could have been more.I gave the Vulcans on the Nike the order to wait behind that moon until the rest of their squadron could arrive.
RON: But why, sir?The Tecumseh was crippled, defenseless.They had no chance against the Klingons.
GARTH: And neither did the Nike, son…not alone.Over half a dozen D-6 cruisers came out of warp to ambush the Tecumseh.Had the Nike gone in before our other ships arrived in the system, it would have been a blood bath…and it would have cost us one of Starfleet’s most advanced warships.
RON: We still lost an entire ship and crew!
GARTH: But not two, Mr. Tracey!Not even an Ares-class could have held off that many Klingons!
[Closes eyes, composes himself.]
This war isn’t fair, Lieutenant.It isn’t just, and it certainly isn’t clean.It is, quite literally, the ugliest and most daunting test we have ever faced as a planet.And every choice we make, every command we give, will cost us something…because the enemy we are facing is ruthless.
RON: My sister wasn’t even a soldier, sir.She worked in their sickbay.
GARTH: Look, I know most of us didn’t sign up to be warriors.That’s not what Starfleet’s about.But we have to prove that we can do what we need to do to defend the Federation…no matter the cost.
[Pause.Thick silence.Deep breath.]
GARTH: That order…and the destruction of the Tecumseh…will haunt me for the rest of my life, Mr. Tracey.I see those faces and hundreds like them every night when I wake up from my nightmares.One day when you’re a captain—and I hope you will be—I pray you never have to make the decision of who gets to live and who has to die.I hope that, by the time you have a ship of your own, that there is peace in the Federation and we can all return to simply being explorers.
DARIA: I think we all want that, Captain.
GARTH: But in the meantime, understand this: we are all—ALL—fighting for each other.Humans, Andorians, Vulcans, Tellarites…we are a FEDERATION of Planets.We must have each other’s backs.We fight the Klingons—we DON’T fight each other.And remember this, as well: none of us, no race, no individual, is perfect.No one has a monopoly on bravery or intelligence or common sense, and no one is morally superior.We’ll all make bad decisions…or sometimes even good decisions with bad outcomes that can’t be avoided.But we must be willing to look past the bad and see the good in all the races of the Federation.
[Garth turns toward the window and looks out at the stars.]
Someday this blasted war will be over.It HAS to end, and we HAVE to win.There is no alternative for us.And when that finally happens, we’ll be left with what we’ve been fighting for this entire time: the United Federation of Planets.Don’t tear apart the very thing that we have been risking and sacrificing our lives to preserve.Do you understand, Lieutenant?
RON: Yes, sir, I do.
GARTH: I think it’s time you head back to your quarters…all of you.That’s an order.Sleep this off.There’s a still a war on, and we need you all to be at your best.Dismissed.
[The four officers get up to leave.Ron walks over to the Vulcans and raises his glass in a toast.]
RON: To our losses: Vulcan, Human, Andorian, Tellarite…all of the races in the Federation.We fight together.
[The Vulcans take a moment, look at each other, stand up, and raise their glasses.]
Vulcans: To our losses.
SONYA: That was quite the speech, Kel.You trying for Ramirez’s job?
GARTH: No way.He can keep it!
SONYA: Well, your words do lead to actions.I admire that.I think you really reached that young officer.
GARTH: I hope so, Sonya.But I meant what I said: this war HAS to end, and we HAVE to win.
SONYA: I agree.But the twenty-five thousand credit question is “How?”
GARTH: That’s why I asked you here.I’ve got an idea…and it’s a pretty crazy one.But I actually think it could work.
SONYA: What is it?
GARTH: Sit down, Sonya, and order a drink.I have a feeling you’re gonna need it.
Well, fourteen years is a long time to wait, but Incredibles 2 is coming out on June 15.
The original Incredibles was the most conservative movie to come out of the entertainment industry in many a moon. Don’t believe me? Go here to read the 2005 moans of a Leftist about the movie. Politics aside, it was a grand movie, hilarious and heart warming, and the best family flick of 2004. I am looking forward to this.
Mort Walker has passed away at 94. The creator of the comic strip Beetle Bailey, for 68 years he poked gentle fun at the absurdities of the US Army. Walker served as an Army officer during World War II. Post war he became a cartoonist and drew about what he knew: the Army and the comic possibilities of any massive hierarchical organization. Throughout almost seven decades Walker followed the same formula. His soldiers never went to war, they stayed at camp Swampy in perpetual peace time, the issues of the day were ignored, no politics were to intrude on the strip, the same set of characters, with very few additions and subtractions, served perpetual timeless enlistments, the officers were almost always clueless and the men often lazy and shiftless. Stated that way it might be hard to see how the strip endured, but it did, and proved especially popular with kids and veterans.
Ironically, this non-controversial strip for its first ten years was banned from the pages of Stars and Stripes by the Army, humorless military bureaucrats disguised as officers taking umbrage at the strip’s depiction of officers as fools and the men as shirkers, completely missing the deep love that Walker had for the Army he kidded.
At ease Mr. Walker, your long tour of duty is over.
Ah, for the halcyon days of my youth when talk shows did not always consist of mindless chatter about sex, bleeped F-Bombs from some non-educated “celebrity” or stale, politicized tripe. I have always been somewhat skeptical about evolution, but the contemporary world, at least the human portion of it, does make a striking case for de-evolution.
Something for the weekend. Rainy Days and Mondays (1971). Lots of rain here in Central Illinois this week as October comes in quite wet. The Carpenters, siblings Richard and Karen, recorded this song in 1971, and it was their fourth number one song. Actually I rather like rainy days and Mondays are great for me, as any trouble they bring can be written off since it is a Monday and the start of the work week for most, and therefore comes predestroyed as it were. I always enjoyed Karen Carpenter’s voice and thus was saddened when in 1983 she died of anorexia nervosa and the details of her often sad life came out. However her art remains and that is not a bad legacy for any artist.