Good vs Evil

cvq_lt1uyaaxfupIt isn’t politically correct.

It’s just politics. We’re supposed to be able to “agree to disagree.”

That’s what we were taught.

But conservatives keep telling us how much they hate politically correct language, so I’m just going to go there: This isn’t a disagreement. This is the difference between Good and Evil.

To my conservative colleagues and family members: There’s no point in trying to convince you any longer. I’ve reached the same point as Drew Magary in this GQ article. I can’t waste my time any more. You don’t care about the miles-long list of verifiable facts that make him unfit for the office of President (191 items, and growing daily). You just don’t care. Facts don’t matter to you. He’s the Quarterback of Your Team, and that’s all you care about. He’s Donald “Not Hillary” Trump, and will stick it to all those smug liberals.

There’s no reasoning with you. The amount of damage that your party has wrought on the fabric of our Constitutional democracy doesn’t matter to you. You don’t give a moment’s thought to what further damage will be done, whether he wins OR loses. It’s Your Team, and it’s time to Get In The Game and Get On Board For The Big Win.

I’m sorry — I can’t sugar-coat it any more. His proposed positions — all of them — are evil. Torture, war crimes, violations of human and civil rights. Not just unconstitutional — Evil. The cornerstone platform priorities of your party — all of them — are evil. Your God tells you to care for the weak, the poor, the sick, to look to the log in your own eye before judging the splinter in your neighbor’s, to love they neighbor as thyself… but your party tells you “fuck ’em. Every man for themselves.” Not just inhumane — Evil.

When politics were a matter of taxation rates and spending priorities, it was possible to “agree to disagree.” But that hasn’t been true for decades. Conservatives have made politics revolve around who gets treated with basic human decency. Who gets to be considered a citizen of this nation, and who is second-class. Whose religious beliefs should be enshrined in our laws and forced on everyone, regardless of THEIR religion. It’s not possible to “agree to disagree” about any of that.

It’s not possible to “agree to disagree” with evil.

“Oh, so now I’m evil?” — I can hear you say with disdain.

Moustache-twirling, tie-a-kitten-to-the-railroad-tracks, widow-evicting evil? No. I don’t think you’re that.

You’re an example of the Banality of Evil. The “well it doesn’t affect me, so who cares? I’ll go along to get along” kind. The “screw you, I’ve got mine” kind.

As Burke said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

That’s you.

You’re the otherwise-good men, doing nothing.

…and that IS evil.

Star Trek at 50

Trek Triptych by PicacioBack in 2013, I did a blog entry on the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. As important as that show was to my foundations as a young geek, this year marks the 50th of one which looms even larger: Star Trek.

Star Trek was my first Geeky Thing. In the pre-Star-Wars days of the 1970s, it was one of the Colossi of my imagination (along with Planet of the Apes). The image above is a triptych painted by John Picacio (whom I’ve “online known” for years, and finally got to meet in person at WorldCon last month), used for three book covers to mark the 40th anniversary a decade ago. As definitive a Trek image as it is, though, my introduction to Trek can be summed up by a different, personal triptych.


My introduction to Star Trek came via my grandmother’s house. Several Star Trek books — the “Puzzle Manual”, pictured at left; Alan Dean Foster’s “Log” series, where he adapted episodes from the Animated Series — had been left on a few shelves around the house. I never found out whose they were: One of my uncles, perhaps? To this day, I’m unsure. But I devoured them, along with many, many viewings of the syndicated re-runs, which were shown Monday through Saturday at 6pm on WPIX, Channel 11 in New York. I was absolutely a part of that Second Wave of Trek Fandom that exploded via syndication after the show’s original cancellation.

Star Trek (along with Planet of the Apes, and then Doctor Who, and then Star Wars when I was eight years old) was my gateway into science fiction and All Things Nerdy which sprouted from there. My first comic books were Gold Key Star Trek comics. I devoured the tie-in novels through the 80s and well into the 90s. (I still occasionally pick up a new one, from time to time). From 1978 onward, there were Trek movies every couple of years, and then, in my freshman year of college, The Next Generation debuted. Throughout every iteration that has followed, I still remain a stalwart fan of the Original Series above all.

My love of nerdy things led directly to my career — and I was proud to have been able to contribute to Trek canon in my own small way, by writing a history of Vulcan for Last Unicorn Games’ Star Trek RPG in 1999, elements of which were later used on-screen in episodes of ENTERPRISE which were set on Vulcan, and referenced in several Trek novels as well (where I and my fellow sourcebook authors were thanked by name in the acknowledgements, which was a very nice gesture).

As I write this, another Star Trek RPG is in development, which I hope to contribute to — and, if I look above my desk, I see the following poster, a copy of which hung in my bedroom as an adolescent, and which my wife had custom framed (after I’d snapped this pic):


I haven’t been a big fan of the direction the property has taken over the past few years, but I’ve been glad for efforts like Star Trek Continues, pro-quality fan films keeping the spirit of the original Trek alive. Now, a new series is set to debut next year: Star Trek Discovery. Will I love it? We’ll see. I hope so.

But even if I don’t, I’m sure the “five year mission” of the Enterprise isn’t going to end for me any time soon. 50 years on, and it’s still going strong.

Live Long and Prosper, Star Trek.