A Philosopher's Blog

Three Questions to Ask About Pages to Screens

Posted in Aesthetics, Philosophy by Michael LaBossiere on May 30, 2014
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While I consider myself something of a movie buff, I am out-buffed by one of my colleagues. This is a good thing—I enjoy the opportunity to hear about movies from someone who knows much more than I. We recently had a discussion about science-fiction classics and one sub-topic that came up was the matter of movies based on books or short stories.

Not surprisingly, the discussion turned to Blade Runner, which is supposed to be based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By Phillip K. Dick. While I like the movie, some fans of the author hate the movie because it deviates from the book. This leads to two of the three questions.

The first question, which I think is the most important of the three is this: is the movie good? The second question, which I consider as having less importance, is this: how much does the movie deviate from the book/story? For some people, the second question is rather important and their answer to the first question can hinge on the answer to the second question. For these folks, the greater the degree of deviation from the book/story, the worse the movie. This presumably rests on the view that an important aesthetic purpose of a movie based on a book/story is to faithfully reproduce the book/story in movie format.

My own view is that deviation from the book/story is not actually relevant to the quality of the movie as a movie. That is, if the only factor that allegedly makes the movie bad is that it deviates from the book/story, then the movie is actually good. One way to argue for this is to point out the obvious: if someone saw the movie without knowing about the book, she would presumably regard it as a good movie. If she then found out it was based on a book/story, then nothing about the movie would have changed—as such, it should still be a good movie on the grounds that the relation to the book/story is external to the movie. To use an analogy, imagine that someone sees a painting and regards it as well done artistically. Then the person finds out it is a painting of a specific person and finds a photo of the person that shows the painting differs from the photo. To then claim that the painting is badly done would seem to be to make an unfounded claim.

It might be countered that the painting would be bad, because it failed to properly imitate the person in the photo. However, this would merely count against the accuracy of the imitation and not the artistic merit of the work. That it does not look exactly like the person would not entail that it is lacking as an artistic art. Likewise for the movie: the fact that it is not exactly like the book/story does not entail that it is thus badly done. Naturally, it is fair to claim that it does not imitate well, but this is a different matter than being a well done work.

That said, I am sympathetic to the view that a movie does need to imitate a book/movie to a certain degree if it is to legitimately claim that name. Take, for example, the movie Lawnmower Man.  While not a great film, the only thing it has in common with the Stephen King story is the name. In fact, King apparently sued over this because the film had no meaningful connection to his story. However, whether the movie has a legitimate claim to the name of a book/story or not is a matter that is distinct from the quality of the movie. After all, a very bad movie might be faithful to a very bad book/story. But it would still be bad.

The third question I came up with was this: is the movie so bad that it desecrates the story/book? In some cases, authors sell the film rights to books/stories or the works become public domain (and thus available to anyone). In some cases, the films made from such works are both reasonably true to the originals and also reasonably good. The obvious examples here are the Lord of the Rings movies. However, there are cases in which the movie (or TV show) is so bad that the badness desecrates the original work by associating its awfulness with a good book/story.

One example of this is the desecration of the Wizard of Earthsea by the Sci-Fi Channel (or however they spell it these days). This was so badly done that Ursula K. Le Guin felt obligated to write a response to it. While the book is not one of my favorites, I did like it and was initially looking forward to seeing it as a series. However, it was the TV version of seeing a friend killed and re-animated as a shuffling horror of a zombie. Perhaps not quite that bad—but still pretty damn bad. Since I also like Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars books, I did not see the travesty that is Disney’s John Carter. To answer my questions, this movie was apparently very bad, deviated from the rather good book, and did desecrate it just a bit (I have found it harder to talk people into reading the books since they think of the badness of the movie).

From both a moral and aesthetic standpoint, I would contend that if a movie is to be made from a book or story, those involved have an obligation to make the movie at least as good as the original book/story. There is also an obligation to have at least some meaningful connection to the original work—after all, if there is no such connection then there is no legitimate grounds for having the film bear that name.

 

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The Aesthetics of the University Dress Code

Posted in Aesthetics, Philosophy, Universities & Colleges by Michael LaBossiere on April 12, 2012
Example of a common dress code for males in mo...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My university, Florida A&M University (FAMU), recently adopted a dress code (or, to be more technical the trustees approved new dress standards). This code allows professors to prevent students from attending classes (or other functions) if the students are not dress appropriately. Previously only the school of business had a dress code.

There seem to be three main reasons for this code. The first is that it is taken as educational. That is, it is supposed to teach students what sort of dress will serve them best professionally and socially. The second relates to classroom order, namely it is intended to deter students from wearing clothing to class that could disrupt the class. The third is a matter of image, specifically that it is aimed at preventing students from wearing clothing that will make FAMU look bad.

While I have not (as of  this writing) been supplied with a list of banned attire, it does include “do-rags”, hoods, and the infamous underwear revealing “saggy pants.” Rumor also has it that tube tops and t-shirts with inflammatory language will also be banned.

While the matter of dress codes can be approached in a variety of ways, I will approach it from an aesthetic standpoint. This will not be in terms of the beauty of the clothing but rather looking it the matter within the context of the branch of philosophy relating to art and beauty.

While a university is supposed to provide substance, it (like almost all things) can also be seen as an institute of appearance and, in many ways, as a stage upon which various theatrical  roles are played. The role I happen to play is, of course, that of a professor. As might be imagined, this role does require knowing certain things.The same would seem to hold true for students as well. While they are not expected to know nearly as much as professors, they also have their roles to play. As with any role played out upon the stage, there is the expectation that the costume will match the part. That is, a professor should be costumed as a professor and not as something else, such as a marathon runner or a pirate. Likewise a student should be properly costumed as a student and not as a night club patron or thug. As such, a dress code could be seen as being on par with the costuming specifications for a play, movie or TV show and warranted on the grounds of aesthetics. That is, it would just not look right to have the actors costumed inappropriately. This ties in nicely to the second and third reasons. After all, an actor in the wrong costume can disrupt the production and, of course, make the theater company look bad.

Another way to look at the matter is that the university is not only teaching students the material in the subjects of math, chemistry, philosophy and so on, but also training students in the matter of appearances. That is, students are also being trained for the proper aesthetics of the roles they will be taking on when they are working for the job creators. This, of course, ties nicely to the first reason given in support of the code, namely the training of the youth in how to dress professionally and socially. In this regard, the university can be seen as a literal dress rehearsal for the show that starts (hopefully) shortly after the students graduate.

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Ring of Gyges: A Case for Injustice

Posted in Ethics, Philosophy by Michael LaBossiere on December 30, 2009

It is my position that the life of injustice is preferable to the life of justice. In support of this claim I will show that the material goods are what truly matter in life and that injustice provides the best means of reaching said goods.

In his work Utilitarianism[i] J.S. Mill presents the well-known argument that the way to prove that something is desirable is to show that people desire it. If Mill is correct, then it should follow that a way to prove that something is preferable is to show that people prefer it.  It is my contention that people prefer material goods and that they are thus preferable.

In support of my claim I offer the following support. First, if you ask people what they want, the most common answers, at least in my experience, involve material things-money, jobs, power, cars and so on. Of course, this is based on my experience, which might be unusual. Hence, there is a need for a broader base of evidence. This brings me to a second category of evidence-the media.

A quick glance at the leading magazines of today clearly shows what people prefer. Business magazines, such as Business Week, extort the value of wealth and success in business. Celebrity magazines, such as People glory in the fame and wealth of the stars. Turning to television, channels such as VH1 and MTV show the houses, cars, fame and wealth of celebrities and, of course, these things are all held up as being of great value. Many of the music videos, a defining art form of the 21st century, present the glory of wealth, fame and power. Given that art tends to reflect the values of a culture, it seems evident that wealth, fame and power are valued and preferred in this culture. If additional evidence is needed, a survey of the rest of the media will reveal that the general glorification of wealth, success and material goods is common. Thus it may be safely concluded that the media provides ample evidence that material success is preferable.

Third, there is the fact that many people pursue material goods at the expense of non-material goods. For example, people are willing to engage in degrading activities for material gain or fame. Reality television shows such as Fear Factor, Flavor of Love, the various versions of Survivor and similar shows make this quite evident. Magazines such as Maxim, Playboy, Playgirl, Penthouse and Hustler also make it clear that people are willing to engage in degrading behavior for the sake of money and fame. As another example, people are willing to sacrifice their physical and mental health in order to acquire money. In Japan, for example, people have been known to work themselves to death. In the United States, people are willing to work long hours and focus on their careers at the expense of their personal relationships in order to achieve material success. As a final example, people are quite willing to engage in immoral behavior for material success. People lie, cheat, steal and murder in order to gain material goods. Dictators throughout history ranging from Caesar through Hussein have been willing to employ the most terrible methods to secure their material power. These facts indicate that people greatly value material goods and, given the above argument, it would follow that these goods are preferable.

Fourth, people are willing to risk punishment in order to acquire material goods. Prisons are full of people, ranging from former corporate officers to petty thieves, who committed crimes in the attempt to make material gains or in search of material pleasures. Given that people will risk terrible punishments in order to gain material goods, it seems reasonable to believe that these goods are preferable.

Overall, given the arguments presented above, it seems eminently reasonable to accept that material goods are what people prefer and hence are preferable. What remains is showing how being unjust enables one to better acquire such goods.

Consider, if you will, two people who are each starting their own software companies. One, Bad Bill is unjust. The other, Sweet Polly is just. Now, imagine a situation in which both Bill and Polly stumble across a lost CD at a technology expo. This CD, of course, contains key trade secrets of another competing company. Polly will, of course, return the CD to the rightful owners and will not look at any of the details- the information does not belong to her. Bill will, of course, examine the secrets and thus gain an edge on the competition. This will increase his immediate chance of success over the competition.

Now imagine what will happen if Sweet Polly continues along the path of justice.  She will never take unfair advantage of her competition, she will never exploit unjust loopholes in the tax laws, and she will never put people out of work just to gain a boost to the value of her company’s stock. She will always offer the best products she can provide at a fair price.

In direct contrast, if Bad Bill follows his path of injustice, he will use every advantage he can gain to defeat his competition and maximize his profits. He will gladly exploit any tax loophole in order to minimize his expenses. He will put people out of work in order to boost the value of the company stock. His main concern will be getting as much as possible for his products and he will make them only good enough that they can be sold.

Given these approaches and the history of business in America, it is most likely that Sweet Polly’s company will fail. The best she can hope for is being a very, very small fish in a vast corporate ocean. In stark contrast, Bad Bill’s company will swell with profits and grow to be a dominant corporation.

In the real world, Bad Bill’s unjust approach could lead him to a bad end.  However, even in reality the chance is rather slight and, given Glaucon’s conditions, it must be assumed that Bill is never caught and never punished. In the real world, Polly’s chances of success would be rather low, this showing that her choice is a poor one-even in reality. Adding in Glaucon’s conditions, she would have nothing but her justice and her poor, pathetic life. Given these conditions, it should be clear that Bill’s choice for injustice is preferable to Polly’s choice.

Naturally, more than a story is needed to make the general point that injustice is superior to justice. Fortunately a more formal argument can be provided.

The advantages of injustice are numerous but can be bundled into one general package: flexibility. Being unjust, the unjust person is not limited by the constraints of morality. If she needs to lie to gain an advantage, she can lie freely. If a bribe would serve her purpose, she can bribe. If a bribe would not suffice and someone needs to have a tragic “accident”, then she can see to it that the “accident” occurs. To use an analogy, the unjust person is like a craftsperson that has just the right tool for every occasion. Just as the well equipped craftsperson has a considerable advantage over a less well equipped crafts person, the unjust person has a considerable advantage over those who accept moral limits on their behavior.

It might be objected that the unjust person does face one major limit-she cannot act justly. While she cannot be truly just, she can, when the need arises, act justly-or at least appear to be acting justly. For example, if building an orphanage in Malaysia would serve her purpose better than exploiting those orphans in her sweat shop, then she would be free to build the orphanage. This broader range of options gives her clear edge-she can do everything the just person can do and much more. Best of all, none of her misdeeds can ever lead her into trouble. As per Glaucon’s conditions, she can never be caught or exposed. With her advantage she can easily get the material goods she craves-after all, she can do whatever it takes to get what she wants.

Turning to the real world, an examination of successful business people and other professionals (such as politicians) shows that being unjust is all but essential to being a success. For example, it is no coincidence that Microsoft is not only the top software company but also rightly regarded as being one of the most unjust. Now I turn to the just person.

If a person, such as Polly, is just then she must accept the limits of justice. To be specific, insofar as she is acting justly she must not engage in unjust acts. Taking an intuitive view of injustice, unjust acts would involve making use of unfair tactics such as lying, deception, bribes, threats and other such methods. Naturally, being just involves more than just not being unjust. After all, being just is like being healthy. Just as health is more than the absence of illness, being just is more than simply not being unjust. The just person would engage in positive behavior in accord with her justice-telling the truth, doing just deeds and so forth. So, the just person faces two major impediments. First, she cannot avail herself of the tools of injustice. This cuts down on her options and thus would limit her chances of material success. Second, she will be expending effort and resources in being just. These efforts and resources could be used instead to acquire material goods. To use an analogy, if success is like a race, then the just person is like someone who will stop or slow down during the race and help others. Obviously a runner who did this would be at a competitive disadvantage and so it follows that the just person would be at a disadvantage in the race of life.

The situation becomes extremely dire when Glaucon’s conditions are taken into account. In Glaucon’s scenario, the just person has no chance of material success and cannot even enjoy the reputation of being just. In light of these conditions, the just life would be a foolish choice indeed.

In light of the above arguments it is evident that the life of injustice is the preferable life.


[i] John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism (London, 1863)

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Space 1999

Posted in Aesthetics, Science by Michael LaBossiere on December 15, 2009
Space: 1999 (1975-76)
Image via Wikipedia

When I was a kid, I watched Space 1999 and thought it was rather cool. Recently I watched some episodes of the Outer Limits on Hulu and that got me thinking about old shows, including Space 1999. I went on Amazon to see if they had the series and was pleased to see the complete set being sold for under $40. I hesitated a bit before buying it. After all, I have learned that my memories of TV shows past has sometimes been far better than the shows themselves. But, I figured that for $40 I could take that risk.

I’ve been through two disks already and must say that the experience was better than I had expected. The sets, effects and props were quite good for the time and the acting was competent.

The weak point of the series was, ironically enough, also the strong point: science. The show explored various interesting ideas such as black suns (black holes), the relativity of time, alien life, multiple existences in time, immortality through science, and so on. This helped make the show quite interesting. On the downside, the show contained  serious scientific errors. The most obvious error, and one integral to the plot, was that the moon was blasted from earth’s orbit by an explosion and this somehow was able to propel it far beyond the solar system and into a series of adventures. This error was, of course, pointed out by Issac Asimov. Upon reflection, it seems a bit odd that the series creator decided to go with a wandering moonbase rather than using the more plausible idea of a wandering space ship. Then again, the idea of the moon wandering about is certainly an interesting approach and, of course, the series creators probably were worried about duplicating Star Trek.

If the series is ever re-envisioned (perhaps by the folks at the SyFy channel) they should (obviously) keep the moonbase aspect. However, they should come up with a better explanation for the moon’s wandering. Perhaps an experimental drive that becomes damaged and irradiated so badly that the Alphans cannot control or repair it. Or perhaps the old standby of alien technology that is discovered buried in the moon and accidentally activated (sort of a 2001 and Stargate approach). In any case, I think that the series would do well if it were redone properly.

One last thing that really struck me about the series was the realistic sets and props they used. For example, the Eagles looked (and still look) awesome. While it is hard to imagine them flying well in an atmosphere, they seem to be fairly well designed for short space flight and the modular design is certainly both practical and useful. The designers even included directional thrusters on them-a nice touch. As another example, the comlock device nicely anticipates the smartphone in many ways-it served as a communication device as well as an electronic key chain.

While Space 1999 lacks the broad appeal of Star Trek and is inferior to that series, it does have a certain magic of its own. Some of the episodes are quite good and the series is still worth watching-if only for a return down memory lane for folks like me. Of course, if you never saw it when it was on TV and you like sci-fi, then it is well worth giving it a watch.

My favorite episode is, by the way, Dragon’s Domain. This was the first horror/sci-fi I ever watched and it has stuck with me through the years.

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Saudi Justice

Posted in Ethics, Law, Politics by Michael LaBossiere on October 26, 2009
Third Saudi State (present day) (Saudi Arabia)
Image via Wikipedia

When Saudi trials make the news, it tends to make clear the nature of Saudi Society. In a recent incident, a female journalist was sentenced to 60 lashes and a two year travel ban because of her involvement in a Lebanese TV show, A Thick Red Line. This show covers social taboos and the episode that led to the sentence featured a Saudi man bragging about his sexual exploits.

Interestingly enough, the fellow was sentenced to five years in prison as well as 1,000 lashes. As such, his punishment was considerably harsher than that handed down against the woman.

The latest turn in this story is that the king of Saudi Arabia decided to pardon the woman. The king, who is regarded by many as working to modernize his country also pardoned a woman who had been a victim of a gang rape. She was to be punished with six months in prison and 200 lashes for being alone with a man not related to her.

While I see the appeal in whipping people who go on TV to brag about their sexual antics, the sentencing does seem to be rather unjust. After all, a basic moral principle of punishment is that it should be in proportion to the crime. In the case of the man, five years in prison and 1,000 lashes for bragging about his sexual activities seems quite out of proportion to any harm his actions might have caused. In the case of the woman, she seems to clearly not deserve that sort of punishment-or any punishment at all. As such, the king acted rightly in pardoning her.

Given that Saudi Arabia’s legal system is so harsh, that the country has some “interesting” connections to terrorism, and that it is a monarchy (a system of rule which directly opposes our political and moral philosophy of legitimacy) it is sometimes wondered why we are so closely allied to Saudi Arabia. The easy, obvious and correct answer consists of two facts: they have oil and they have an important strategic location next to other oil reserves.

If Saudi Arabia lacked oil and was located somewhere else, we would have no dealings with them-except, perhaps, to be critical of their legal system. Also, we most likely would have invaded the country after 9/11. Of course, without the money provided by the Saudi Osama Bin Laden, there might never have been a 9/11 attack.

As long as our economy relies on oil and as long as certain corporations (and families) maintain close relations to the Saudis, we will continue to stay allied with the Saudis. Of course, this is a marriage of convenience for them as well. If we did not have the money and power they need, they would most likely have nothing to do with us. After all, the sort of sexual bragging that they punish, we so often reward with book deals and TV shows.

 

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Easy Exercise I: Time

Posted in Sports/Athletics by Michael LaBossiere on June 28, 2009

There are two types of people: those who like to exercise and those who do not. If you have read some of my other blogs about running and my recent quadriceps tendon surgery, you know that I not only like to exercise, I am a fanatic. Well, a reformed fanatic these days-I finally accepted the fact that I’m no longer an indestructible running machine. This blog is for the folks who are not crazy like me, the folks who think they really should get around to doing some exercise, but have a hard time getting started and sticking with it.

Most people talk about getting into shape and some even try to start exercising. But, it can be tough. Exercise takes time and it is, for most people, painful and unpleasant. So, the main challenge in sticking with exercise is overcoming those two main hurdles: time and pain. I’ll focus on time in this blog.

In addition to my (reformed) fanaticism, I am also lucky to have a job that allows me to fit in exercise quite easily. While I tend to work 50-60 hours a week, only 20 of those hours are fixed (12 hours of class and 8 hours in my office). So, I can easily fit in exercise. Most people don’t have such a flexible schedule.  I’m also divorced and don’t have kids, so that also gives me a great deal of time that married folks and folks with kids lack. But what if you don’t have such a flexible schedule? What if your week is packed with things that are keeping you busy? What can you do? Here are some ideas.

Television
Television is, in many ways, the bane of the body and the mind. It is so very easy to plop down with a bag of Cheetos and watch one reality TV show after another. Not surprisingly, people who tell me that they can’t find any time to exercise often have well used remote controls that are coated with Cheeto dust. While TV is thus often seen as the enemy of fitness, you can make it your fitness friend. While there are all sorts of fitness videos that you can watch, these would obviously interfere with your usual TV patterns. What works best is using the time you already have set aside for TV as exercise time as well.

The trick is to find an exercise that you can do while watching TV. Naturally, it has to be something that allows you to watch the shows while also providing exercise. Since people sit while watching TV, the most obvious exercise is to ride an exercise bike. These bikes are fairly inexpensive (although you can blow a fortune on gym grade equipment) and provide a reasonable amount of exercise. A treadmill is also a good choice, although a good one is more expensive than a decent bike.

The downside to exercising while watching TV is that most people find it difficult to keep up their workout intensity while watching TV. However, even lower effort exercise is better than no exercise.

Work
While some jobs provide plenty of opportunity for physical activity, most do not. For example, if you work 9-5 in sales, your main activity will probably be walking around the store. While working out seriously and building up a sweat is not an option at most work places, there are opportunities for exercise. Some of these are the obvious ones: take the stairs rather than the elevator and walk around at every legitimate opportunity. Some of these are less obvious. For example, there are some limited exercises that can be done while sitting down at work. These are mostly isometric exercises. If you have a lunch hour, you can get your lunch to go and go for a walk.

Getting to and from work also provides the opportunity for exercise. If you live close enough to work, then walking or biking can be a good option. In addition to saving you money, it will also improve your health. Of course, most people live too far from work to do this and most American cities tend to be very dangerous for biking. When I moved to Tallahassee, I thought I’d be able to bike to work year round. But, after several near death experiences (we did get bike lanes a while ago, but drivers use them as extra road space and a place to dispose of glass bottles) I finally gave up. Weather is, of course, also a factor. But, if you live in a bike and pedestrian friendly place, this is an excellent option.

Play
These day, many recreational activities provide little or no exercise. For example, playing video games or watching a movie do not do much for fitness. People do, of course, set aside time for entertainment. One way to work in exercise is to replace passive activities with more active activities. For example, rather than having the kids play a skating video game while the adults watch  sports on TV, the family could go for a bike ride, play tennis, or do some other activity that is truly active. If someone has time to play video games for hours, then they have the time to exercise. Yes, there are video games that purport to provide exercise opportunities. These are, of course, better than nothing. However, they are not better than doing real activities. While I do like video games, it always struck me as really odd that people would play games that involve things like skateboarding, soccer, running, or basketball when they could go and do these activities for real-thus having fun and also getting some exercise.

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Star Trek

Posted in Aesthetics by Michael LaBossiere on May 8, 2009
Star Trek
Image via Wikipedia

Star Trek and I both made our first public appearance in 1966: the show aired and I was born. My first memory of the show was seeing the Alternative Factor episode on a tiny black and white TV. I wondered what the heck was going on, but I liked what I saw. After that, I watched Star Trek at every opportunity and got my friends to play Star Trek in between playing war.

While I liked the show, I managed to avoid becoming weirdly obsessed. I never dressed up as a Klingon or a Star Fleet officer. I never went to conventions. I did, however, play Star Fleet Battles a great deal.

When STNG came out, I eagerly watched the first episode and then wished it had been better. I liked the series and also liked DS9. I liked Voyager much less and cannot even stand watching Enterprise. When it comes on the Sci-Fi channel, I wince and quickly turn to something less painful, like Fox News.

While Star Trek was just a TV show, it had a considerable impact on my life. Naturally, it helped develop my imagination and contributed to my ongoing love of science fiction and technology.

But, the most important effect of Star Trek was that it helped develop my moral views and shaped my view of what the future should be.

While Star Trek has often been dismissed as presenting a naive and Pollyanna view of the future, many of the episodes engaged complex and serious problems such as race, issues of technology, and what it is to be human. Beneath the cheap sets and weak effects was some amazing depths. This is hardly surprising-some of the best science fiction writers of that time wrote scripts for the show. The original series also made it clear that humanity had paid a price in reaching a more enlightened state. For example, Earth had fought the terrible Eugenics War. The series also showed that humanity was still struggling with its flaws collectively and individually.

However, the overall tone was optimistic and positive. The Federation was presented as being ruled by law and devoted to enlightened moral principles. As such, Star Trek offered us a better future-admittedly, a very American sort of future. That said, the future was still fraught with perils and enemies. War still existed in the Star Trek universe, as did greed, anger, hate, and all the negative things. But without these things, there could be no heroes.

When I heard about the new Star Trek movie, I was somewhat worried. On one hand, I was concerned that the movie would desecrate what remained after the horror of Enterprise. On the other hand, I had hopes that what made the original series so great would be revitalized and polished up for a new generation. After all, Star Trek had a huge positive influence on me and I had hopes that it would have a chance to influence the youth of today in the same way. Again, it is just a show (or movie). But our myths and legends have a huge impact on reality.

I’ll be seeing the movie later today. So far, the reviews of the movie have been extremely good-so I am not worried that I will be wasting my money. But, I do wonder if the movie will have the true soul of Star Trek or if it will be just a flashy spectacle.

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