It took a little doing, but the corporate marketing machine has finally gone to warp in trying to create Event Days for Star Trek, with “First Contact Day” earlier this year and “Star Trek Day” honoring the first broadcast of the original series lo these 55 years ago.
Case in point, this slick, satisfying montage:
I’ll come back and update this post with some highlights, but in the meantime, here’s the schedule, conveniently staged for after work for most daytime-working peeps.
While I touch on the writing insofar as their episodes move at a rapid clip that puts many older TV shows to shame, one aspect I haven’t dwelt on was how the show deals with mental health in general and trauma in particular.
Enter James Hoare’s piece for The Companion. With an assist from Commander Crichton himself (Ben Browder), the article delves into the traumatic events that befall Crichton and how he deals –and is unable to deal– with them.
Frankly, most characters in adventure series experience trauma that would overwhelm those of us who don’t have a writers’ room to prop us up. And traditionally, in many an adventure series, the writers conveniently sidestep the consequences of said overwhelming trauma in the name of preserving the status quo. People being reflective and being affected by the events of one episode bleeding into subsequent episodes is not something one saw in the adventure tales of yore.
Thankfully, Farscape was part of a series of said adventure shows that began to push the envelope of serialization — something we take for granted in the era of streaming and “prestige TV.” And while I always appreciated the different voices and perspectives of the characters –many of Moya’s crew really didn’t get along with one another– reading the article made me realize how much the writers addressed mental health, asking for help, and helping. I suppose just as sci-fi and speculative fiction in general helps explore ideas more easily or safely in its fantastical wrappings, it helps when said sci-fi has been given the mandate to “be as weird as possible.”
But, in the end, how weird is it? After all, as Browder points out, all of us have a ‘Harvey.’
(Note: that last line and the article itself are chock full of spoilers for the series, so if you’re planning to dive into the show for the first time, maybe hold off.)
We talked about it (they weren’t disturbed, they just found it odd) and I mentioned that it was one way to “raise the stakes.” I’m not sure if that expression means much to a child who doesn’t know how to play poker, but I’m sure we’ll also get to that in time.
Another aspect of stories we haven’t discussed, but I’m sure we will eventually will be when heroes die… and in many cases why and how they die.
There’s a lot to unpack in that short piece — from how a hero’s work is unfinished to how their end might be unfair compared to their feats of heroism. However, the idea that sticks in my brain is that notion of a story ending even as it continues, even as it begins again.
Perhaps because of my time producing indie video –and now audio– works, I am quietly obsessed by the kind of data Jackson gets into. How much does it cost to make a comic book? How much should it cost? What’s sustainable?
Sadly, when it comes to the main creators, writers and artists, it’s not particularly sustainable in many instances. No solutions come to mind, though summoning the ghost of Harlan Ellison to mete out justice might not be a bad idea.
One of my favorite bits of acting training has been learning accents, not in the least because it dovetails nicely with some of the linguistic anthropology I studied back in the day. Really, it’s those times where deciding to study anthropology and theater really pay off.
Not for the first time and not for the last, my dayjob is undergoing a re-organization. That means that, not only have I had many conversations with people who are changing jobs or looking for new ones, but it’s an opportune time to examine what the heck I’m doing — and invariably here in the U.S., that seems to bring up questions of “the dream job.”
I’ve written about this multiple times on this site, but I believe it’s important to remember that just one job probably won’t capture all the meaning you need in your life. I talk about this a lot more in a post from three years ago on the concept of “ikigai” and one’s “reason for being.”
My conclusion there, something reinforced over the past few years, has been that no one job can satisfy one’s need for meaning — and in fact one’s dream job will have tasks that are less than dreamy (e.g., running an audio theater troupe is wonderful, but not 24/7 delightful).
So Rainesford Stauffer’s article for Refinery 29 this past November came across my computer screen at just the right time. A good chunk of it is looking at the work of Dr. Erin Cech, a sociologist studying the place of passion in work, finding work, and defining job satisfaction. What I really like is how much it goes into our society’s concept of work, jobs, and “dream jobs.”
“When paying bills or being fairly compensated are presented as luxuries in the American workforce, rather than fixtures, it’s worth looking at where the urge to make our jobs into more than just work comes from in the first place. It wasn’t always this way.”
Understanding some of the structural and societal pressures to “love your job” is important as we all are beginning to ask more what we want from work in, what I can only hope can soon be the post-Pandemic times.
I’m a big fan of storytelling and working with people on telling stories (you probably gleaned that what with Jabberwocky Audio Theater), so I was very excited to hear about this online festival starting tomorrow.
In case you’re concerned about minding your ducats, the link provided above should give you a discount so it’s free. So enjoy and don’t stop creating.