All of a sudden the whole world's come back to life. People walking dogs on the sidewalks, people wearing shorts and waving advertising signs, people jogging and wandering in little casual groups. Being outside is no longer just an unpleasant interlude between the places you have to be.
It was the first day of the driving season, too, clearly. On a quick errand down to the city and back, there were two F430s, an F360, two Gallardos, and a Caterham.
There was snow all over the place this morning. Right now I'm in shirt sleeves, coated with car-washing suds, and about to fling the windows wide open for the night.
Spring in California come on gradually, the transition masked by a month of rain, and there's hardly any difference between it and winter anyway—the trees all look the same, and so do people's lawns, and the only difference is that you don't have to wear a jacket in the morning anymore. Whereas here, apparently, it's more like the sudden repeal of a law. One day you're skulking about like a hunted animal, with the whole planet your enemy, and the next it's carnival time.
As Butt-head once said, you gotta have stuff that sucks to have stuff that's cool.
I suppose it goes without saying that franchise reboots are the thing of the moment—James Bond, Superman, Transformers, and however many other examples that can probably trace their inspiration (if not their exemplars of financial success) back to the Star Wars prequels and that execrable Lost in Space movie. Some, like the Hitch Hiker's Guide movie, were stupid and lost the plot (in that particular case by making the mistake of focusing on the plot rather than the humor). Others, like Lord of the Rings, have been so epic and successful as to banish all previous attempts permanently to the realm of parody.
And when it comes to Star Trek, there's Battlestar Galactica to be measured against—clearly as high a bar as the Chronicles of Narnia filmmakers had hovering over them when they kept explicitly comparing their as-yet-unreleased effort to Jackson's opus. J.J. Abrams has got to know the level of expectation people will have for him in this effort, and it's got to be as epic and as believable and inevitable in its self-confidence as BSG is, and as Nemesis was not.
Real people, with real motivations and real character. People you can imagine actually standing there in the same room with you and delivering their lines as though they came up with them themselves to fit the moment, without having had to memorize or recite anything. Lines that don't feel like they're distilled and winnowed from idealized Shakespearean archetypes intoning pronouncements with all the spontaneity and humanity of HAL. Not to mention ships that get scorched and dented, technology that could actually happen, physics that pertains to the universe we know and understand, and—if we're lucky—a renewed sense that this stuff really could happen, that it's not just an elaborate set and a bunch of fanciful CG that exists only to realize some 70s sci-fi artist's pipe-dream antiseptic fantasy world. (Who is it I'm thinking of? His name is on the tip of my tongue, and it was on posters all over Caltech. Anyone have a clue? I think his name started with N...) (Syd Mead! Gah! Can't believe I blanked on that.)
Will that work for Trek? From the look of this, it sure couldn't hurt. And anyway, that's the mood we appear to be in these days when it comes to our franchise reboots. It'll be difficult to imagine how well it fits until we actually see it completed. Whether it's good doesn't appear to be the issue; whether it's Trek seems to be the question.
UPDATE: I understand there's also a franchise reboot of this old Saturday Morning favorite coming to the big screen this weekend. I hope they don't ruin it by making it all serious and existential and sardonic and stuff.
You know, I was so looking forward to this: the day when I could again blithely watch a Jon Stewart clip, and just appreciate the humor rather than dreading the So True Good Points strewn through it like so many bone shards ground into a cheap burger.
It's still facile and oversimplified for comedic effect, but the shoe's on the other foot now, even if just to establish a pretense of bipartisanship; and whether the motivation is political education or mere ratings, it can't hurt to get people pondering the limited-after-all role the President plays in a situation of global import such as Iraq. And either way, it's good to see that the mockery-proof veil is starting to tear.
"Well, sweetie, sometimes a server does its best work when it's at home, surrounded by the computers it loves. Some servers choose to be stay-at-home servers. It's not a failure of ambition; it's just how some servers prefer to live their lives."
Know what I like best about this, though? The recommended products:
There is no way a human wasn't involved here. If you can call him that.