Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

24 Nov 2010, 15:16 p.m.

More Pop Culture, Less Family Angst In This One

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2010 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

It's 90s Dayz around here. Yesterday I rocked out to Smashmouth's "Walkin' On The Sun" after finishing the edits on the translations of Nandini's Sanskrit wedding chants. I used to do those kinds of edits for my dad, back in the 90s, but now I get to use gEdit on my Linux laptop instead of Notepad or Word on Windows 3.1 on that 386.

Also I reminisced with Leonard about "Data's Day," the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where you get to see the big non-food replicators, and a kid in the background is getting a teddy bear. Data advises Worf on what to get a human couple as a wedding gift. Oh those wacky humans! You can make up a Bechdel-esque test that proxies Trek series' quality pretty well, asking whether two non-humans talk about something other than humans at least once an episode.

Today I looked at some quotes from the TNG series finale, to get a quote right, and noticed/remembered how meta Q is when he's harshing on the USS Enterprise, the writers, and the audience.

Q: Seven years ago, I said we'd be watching you, and we have been - hoping that your ape-like race would demonstrate some growth, give some indication that your minds had room for expansion. But what have we seen instead? You, worrying about Commander Riker's career. Listening to Counselor Troi's pedantic psychobabble. Indulging Data in his witless exploration of humanity.

Captain Picard: We've journeyed to countless new worlds. We've contacted new species. We have expanded our understanding of the universe.

Q: In your own paltry, limited way. You have no idea how far you still have to go. But instead of using the last seven years to change and to grow, you have squandered them.

It hurts because it's true.

And then just now, an X-Files vid reminded me of all those Friday nights sitting in front of the TV with my sister, prepping for debate tournaments the next day, learning that you can wear a suit and tie like all the rest of the grownups and still feel utterly alone, alienated. The Apartment with UFOs. (Oh, and Kate Monday : Dana Scully :: George Frankly : Fox Mulder.)

Edited to add: Yes, Kate Beaton, I can believe it. (cf. her last line)