A Curmudgeon’s Viewpoint (June 15 2019)

Star Trek and the Ratings Creep

 

Okay, Quentin Tarantino wants to do an R-rated Star Trek movie. Given his proclivity for foul language, over usage of racial epithets (mainly the N-word) and graphic violence, this IS NOT a good idea.

 

Star Trek has been around the PG/PG-13 area since 1982. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture was rated G when it was released in 1979, but re-rated PG when it was remastered for DVD.)

Yes, there has been some mild colorful language in the series (Data saying “shit” when the saucer section of Enterprise-D was about to crash land in Generations, and Troi and Crusher talking about their “boobs” in Insurrection, and Kirk saying “bullshit” to Spock Prime in the 2009 reboot,) but for the most part Trek has avoided blue language.

Over time, the violence has ramped up, thus going into PG-13 territory when First Contact was released in 1996 (and yes, it did earn it because of the Borg.)

(Side note: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country in 1991 would have probably earned an R rating because of the copious amounts of Klingon blood that was spilled, but was changed from red to purple in post production.)

If Tarantino wants to do a Star Trek movie, stick to doing it with a PG-13 rating in mind, and save the R rating for the Blu-ray director’s cut. It worked with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which had a PG-13 rating in theaters, but sold like hotcakes when it was released on Blu-ray as the Ultimate Edition with an R rating.

 

Star Trek MPAA Movie Ratings (from the iMDB)

Original Series

Star Trek: The Motion Picture G (1979) PG (2001) Director’s cut

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) PG

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) PG

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) PG

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) PG

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) PG

The Next Generation

Star Trek Generations (1994) PG

Star Trek: First Contact (1996) PG-13 (The first time that the MPAA bitchslapped 
Star Trek.)

Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) PG

(Now this is the anomaly.  Ratings creep started with First Contact, but backed off with this film?  WTF?)

Star Trek: Nemesis  (2002) PG-13

The Reboot (aka the “Kelvin Universe”)

Star Trek (2009) PG-13

Star Trek Into Darkness  (2013) PG-13

Star Trek Beyond (2016) PG-13

 

I have not watched Star Trek: Discovery, so I can’t comment on it.

 

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© Copyright 2019, Dean A. Basler Jr., all rights reserved.

 

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A Curmudgeon’s Viewpoint (March 23, 2019)

Learning new things.

AEDCPR

Since I have turned 60 years old, I thought that I was pretty much through with learning how to do things, but this past Saturday, I realized that we as a species, should never be afraid to stop learning.  About two months ago, there was a signup sheet for AED (Automated External Defibrillation Device,) CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation,) and First Aid training at my workplace, BCI-Empire Division.  One of the first things that I did was pose the question on Facebook, “Should I do it?”

The overwhelming response was:

YES!

Here’s the thing, I don’t have a bone of altruism in my body at all, I am very much a pragmatist.   But given that I am a pragmatist, I look at it as good business.  The more people who can first respond when something medical happens, the better.  Besides, the one opinion that made me decide was my husband.  He is a retired health care technician, and has been trained in it.  Basically, he ordered me to do it, and I am glad that I did.

So I went through the course, and now I know what to do when shit happens to other people, and I am in a position to help.  And I will do it, plain and simple.  Without reservation.

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© 2019, Dean A. Basler Jr., all rights reserved.

A Curmudgeon’s Viewpoint (June 8, 2018)

Alright. Anthony Bourdain killed himself. Kate Spade killed herself. Robin Williams killed himself, Kurt Cobain killed himself. Yes, it is tragic that talented people chose to take their own lives, but what about the rest of the people who choose to die at their own hands? Like the ones who are bullied in school? The transgendered who are shamed and ridiculed? The ones who are terminally ill and choose not to be a burden on their loved ones? Where is your sympathy for them? Why aren’t you there for them?

Excuse me for being a total asshole about this, but there are so many suicides here in the United States alone, and nobody gives a shit about them, but a celebrity offs themselves, and the news services are creaming themselves over it. The little people who suicide…well the only publicity they get is through social media. I would rather mourn the little people who thought that there was no one for them to help them through their problems.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

(800) 273-8255

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© 2018, Dean Basler, all rights reserved.

A Curmudgeon’s Viewpoint (December 22, 2017)

After 11 years working at the same position at the company that I work for, I reached the limit of my patience.  I needed to make a change, and the opportunity made itself apparent in a position that I was trained for over 12 years ago.

So I told the plant manager and the HR director that I was willing to go back to the Youngshin YT17000SII flatbed die cutter (which was purchased by the company in 2003, two years before I started there,) on a full time basis. I was operating it on an interim basis based on need, but the company needed a experienced full time operator on days, and since I was originally trained for it 12 years ago, they agreed to let me take the position.

To be honest, I was getting sick of doing the same job day in and day out, and I wanted to have a challenge in my professional career. I know the machine that I am working with, and all it’s little quirks.  Not to mention that I am making more to operate this machine.  The company managers know that I have more than enough experience to do the job, and they will listen to me when there are problems.  I am doing this for my own survival also.  I have responsibilities outside my job that I have to take care of, and if I don’t have a job, I lose a lot.   Fortunately, the company had someone in place to take my old position.   Once that happened, I didn’t look back.  Change happens, and sometimes it is for the better.  I am more relaxed at work now, given that I only have one machine to worry about, as opposed to dealing with everything coming down from different machines.

 

So what happens from this time, I don’t know. All I know is that I have a decent job, and I will try to do my best at it.

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(c) 2017, Dean Basler, all rights reserved.

A Curmudgeon’s Viewpoint (October 13, 2017)

curmudgeon2It has been 266 days since Donald J. Trump has been sworn in as President of the United States.  Now, for most of the liberal right, they keep preaching the end of days.  But what I have seen for the most part is, life is going on as usual.  I look at most of the bullshit that circulates on Facebook and Twitter with a pragmatic eye.  There are blatant indications that he isn’t suited to be the leader of the free world.  His constant use of Twitter is an indication of his mental stability (or lack thereof.) I have stated time and time again, you CANNOT set government policy 140 characters at a time.  His constant “shooting from the hip” is one of the signs of someone who has poor impulse control.  And since he is using a pretty much unsecured Android phone for his communications, there is distinct possibility that someone could hack his device.  (FYI, my husband and I both use Android phones and Windows 10 personal computers, and I keep them as secure as I can.)

Now, there has been talk about replacing the President under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution due to his mental instability.  But that would involve a mental health assessment by a qualified professional, in this case a psychiatrist.   This part of the 25th Amendment would come into play:

“Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.”
The only way that they could get the President to submit to a mental health examination is petitioning the Supreme Court, and they would have to present overwhelming evidence that he is mentally unfit to be President. Without a report from someone who is qualified to judge the mental state of an individual, this would be an exercise in futility.  Catch-22, folks.
Also, there is an informal rule that is followed by the American Psychiatric Association called  “The Goldwater Rule,” which states it is unethical for psychiatrists to give a professional opinion about public figures they have not examined in person.  But many psychiatrists have broken ranks and have publicly spoken out against Donald Trump, and described him as having “an assortment of personality problems, including grandiosity, a lack of empathy, and ‘malignant narcissism'”, and that he has a “dangerous mental illness.”

(Full disclosure:  I have been in psychiatric therapy in the past (as recent as three years ago) for anger management issues and personal issues, and it has helped me immensely.  Some people need it, and I was one of them.)

With so many psychiatrists openly stating that the President has major mental issues, why doesn’t someone in Congress or the Senate grow a pair of balls and force the issue?

Now, President Trump is trying to prove that he is the “big kid on the block” by getting into a pissing match with Kim Jong-Un of North Korea to prove who has the bigger dick militarily-wise.  Kim is saying that he has the capability to strike the continental United States with a nuke, and Trump is basically telling him to go for it.  But it all boils down to posturing.  A political pecker-check.

Yes, North Korea is a threat, but what does Trump do?  Tweet about football players in the NFL bending down on one knee to protest the killing of African-Americans by police.  Or tweet about how much the disaster in Puerto Rico is costing us (never mind that Texas got hit just as hard, but he never talked about how much disaster relief cost there.)  EXCUSE ME, POTUS!  Puerto Ricans are American citizens also!

For a man who has bragged how he has a “great mind,” he sure is showing that he is someone who is driven by emotions alone.  Should this man have his finger on the nuclear trigger?  Absolutely not.  Should he be impeached?  There has to be overwhelming evidence that he has committed crimes against the United States.  Robert Mueller is trying to build a case against him, but because he is going against the Chief Executive, he is going to encounter numerous roadblocks in his search for the truth.

The only way that he can take down Donald Trump is by co-opting the people that Trump has discarded in the 266 days that he has been President.  Reince Priebus. Steve Bannon.  Scott Spicer. Anthony Scaramucci. James Comey. Preet Bharara.  All of these people can take him down.  But that is wishful thinking on my part.  The reality is, there will be numerous back-room deals that will be made, and Donald Trump will escape this, just like he did with the bankruptcies that he went through.

Yes, it is a cynical conclusion, but also a pragmatic one.  And I am a pragmatist.

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(c) 2017, Dean A. Basler Jr., all rights reserved.

A Curmudgeon’s Viewpoint (November 13, 2015)

 

2015-09-15 20.10.41

Yes, the world is truly getting more fucked by the minute.  The terrorist attacks in Paris have put the entire planet on edge.  Of course, the right-wingnuts here in the US are going to use it as an excuse to campaign for closing the borders of our country even more.  Blowhards like Trump and Carson are going to become more strident in their anti-immigration efforts.  The Second Amendment-quoting ammosexuals are going to hammer Congress and the Senate over gun-control laws so they can have an excuse to mass weapons that are made for one purpose, to kill people.  We have workplaces enacting more security measures because of the uptick of workplace violence. And the American public is going to be forced into a paranoid stance that has them seeing ISIS-backed terrorists at every turn.  More and more people are becoming distrustful of the police because of all the shootings that have happened in the past year.  And the worst part of it all?  All the information, conjectures, conspiracies, and disinformation is coming to use in one big flood over the Internet.  It’s difficult for your average American to fathom it all, and even I find myself overwhelmed by all the shit that comes in at the speed of fiber optics.  Is all of this a bellweather of a mass extinction event by our own hands?  Who the fuck knows.  All I know is that I am gonna go to bed, and when I wake up in the morning, the world will still be fucked, and I have to go to work.

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©2015, Dean Basler, all rights reserved.

I Never Would Want to Change My Life. (October 30, 2015)

 

2015-08-10 19.45.03

I am watching Heroes Reborn, and listening to the dialog between Noah and Hiro, I realized that even if I had the ability to go back in time and change things, I wouldn’t.  They talk about the Butterfly Effect, and I believe in it.  I would never want to change anything, because it would destroy what my life is now.  I don’t want to not come out of the closet in 1999, never meet my husband, never get my job at Empire State Container​, never marry my husband, never buy my own home, never suffer the pain of losing people and pets that I loved.  Fate is real and never ending. What has happened in my life has shaped who I am now.  And I would never want to change that.

 

© 2015, Dean Basler

all rights reserved.