Sunday, July 20, 2014



A dual-headed feline named Gitties
Hired a dozen expensive committees
To entitle his book
With a real catchy hook
But he settled on “Tale of Two Kitties”

I'm of two minds about this post.

Back in 2009 I stood in line with some friends to see the first Star Trek “reboot” movie on opening day. First, my bone fides: I’m a Trekkie from the days The Original Series (TOS) first aired, back during the early Cretaceous. In fact, I’ve been regularly credited -- ahem -- with making the very first Star Trek fan film ever, which you can watch here. (I was ten and it’s been downhill ever since.) And if you click here you can read a recent interview I did about this eight-minute masterpiece. Oh, and also, my two Bantam Books science fiction novels even have a few Star Trek “inside joke” references sprinkled in for fellow fans. So I’ve got some pretty decent Trek cred.

Just needed to establish that. Okay, then.

So there we were, me and my wife and my friends, watching the eagerly anticipated “reboot” movie. My friends loved it. My wife loved it. And… I? I loved it. I cried, I laughed, I screamed, I sighed. I loved the casting, I loved the sleek new design of the Enterprise, I loved the score (yay, Michael Giacchino – a brilliant composer and really cool human being I actually met that one time!), I loved the respectfully retro-ish wardrobe, I loved the dazzling modern special effects, I loved all the winking references to the original series (and the non-winking ones), and I loved the campy closing credits featuring the classic theme. I came out wanting to watch it again right away. I felt like I was ten years old again. Great film.

Ten-year-old me chewing the lack of scenery
as Captain Kirk Jr.
Then, just few days later, I had a chat with a close buddy who’s also a Trek TOS aficionado. He hated the film. And he told me exactly why. And I agreed with him. Everything he said was absolutely true. The plot was full of ridiculous holes, the science was pathetically bad, the story made no sense, the attitude and morality was completely at odds with the heart of the original show, the tone was way more militaristic Star Wars than humanistic Star Trek, and so on and so on. Horrible film.

I wasn’t lying when I agreed with him. He was absolutely right.

A few years later I stood in line for the sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, and the exact same thing happened. I loved it. Great film. And, in hindsight, I also hated it, horrible film.

I’ve since bought both of these movies on Blu-ray and watched them multiple times. Love them. And, yes, kinda hate them, too.

F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

Hmmm. I’m not sure Fitzy would consider my intelligence “first rate,” but I do agree with him that it can be a good thing to be able to juggle multiple views at once. Insisting that all your opinions and thoughts are firm and unwavering can close your mind and you end up missing out on stuff. Being able to hate and love the very same thing is, I think, a plus.

Hell, I even simultaneously hate and love certain people. And I definitely both hate and love, say, New York City (sometimes for the very same reasons). And, of course Los Angeles, where I live now. And stinky cheese. And Lady Gaga. And the beach. And hats.

I just wish I still had those dreamy eyelashes.
The old expression about having a “love/hate relationship” with something doesn’t mean the love is any less real or the hate any less deep.  

A few years back my wife and I, both of us serious anglophiles, were glued to the TV for an entire weekend, watching every single one of the Queen’s “Diamond Jubilee” celebrations taking place across the pond. We had a blast. We happily cheered (and even got misty-eyed occasionally) during all the wonderful pomp and circumstance. We reveled in the glorious, ornate outfits and grand music and all the blissfully-overblown ceremonies. Such a wonderful spectacle to witness. I loved every single extravagant, theatrical, oh-so-British second of it.

I mentioned this to a close friend the next week and he flew into a rage. He hated the monarchy. He hated everything about it. The very idea of it. He hated the massive waste of money and time and resources and real estate, he hated its outdated, backward concept of divine right and strict hierarchy, he hated all the brutal, oppressive history behind it, and most of all he hated the fact that these “Royals” had done nothing at all to earn their glorified, privileged position -- beyond being randomly born into the right family. Celebrating or exalting the monarchy in any way was, he insisted, a disgusting disgrace.

I totally agreed with him.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I just loved hating that I did and hated loving it too. You showed me a thing or two rrrrrrright therrrrrrrrrr. He said rolling his Rrrrrrrrrrssss acrrrros the blog. Tell the Queen to give us back our Stone of Destiny. Your Scottish friend and King Gregory Lawrence Stewart.

  2. P. S. The rrrrrremoved comment wuz the same. Editing in a blog is like being ooot on the moors trrrrrrrying to keep frrrrrom being pooled daown by the stinking sinking bog.

    1. No sure what "removed content" was. Only "editing" I did was adding a missing space between two words. ;-)

  3. I removed my own comment to edit it and re publish it. That's all off topic I guess. Is there something going on in the...yes if we could all open our minds and see both sides now there would not be a bunch of babies in that cradle of civilization over there in...well you know. Oops off topic again.