A Vacation in Boldly Go
By R. D. Flavin


“To Boldly Go where no man has gone before!”*
*PC-ified in 1987 as, “To Boldly Go where no one has gone before!”

     It's not like I haven't spent time there before, but taking a vacation in Boldly Go is a grand pleasure and a trans-human (with the occasional meta-human) necessity.  Tickets are a little more expensive, though for those who enjoy life with lens-flare, any time in Boldly Go is a personal investment in cinematic delight.  And, for folks who want more than the usual “I went to Boldly Go and all I got was this 100% Bangladesh cotton t-shirt,” there's plenty of gift-shops.  I've heard the Boldly Go coffee mugs are guaranteed for five years, but they actually last anywhere from three to seven seasons.  To Boldly Go!

     So, for reasons of aluminum transparency, it's about aliens.  Yeah, those other folks that are different from us.  When one goes to Boldly Go, there's a positional reversing of character roles and visitors become the foreigners, the outsiders, and the aliens.  The Prime Directive is to have fun, avoid organ donation scams, and it helps to have a back-up escape plan in case the first one doesn't work out.  I'm told upcoming in-flight movies will include the new Star Trek Into Darkness (i.e., ST 12), the second J. J. Abram's directed film in the Boldly Go-verse replete with an altered reality, new time-line, and with far less alien-sex than in the past.  Well, optimists will have something to look forward to in future outings!

     It follows that in a universe neither good or bad, its inhabitants would place significant reliance on judgmental categorizations of good or bad with extreme Us-versus-Them distinctions.  What a short skip from “Get off my lawn!” to “Get out of my galaxy!”  In the future Boldly Go-verse, San Francisco is home to Starfleet Headquarters and its Academy, and is depicted as a cultural potpourri of green, furry, and green and furry folk mingling with the Locals (not that different from Frisco's past and current co-minglers).  Now, green with just a small amount of trimmed fur is always...  Okay, back to aliens in San Fransisco.

Ohlone Indian Ceremonial Dance at Mission San Jose in 1806.

     The aboriginal Ohlone (var. Costanoan) people of San Fransisco were pushed aside by the Spanish, then the Mexicans, then the Americans with Gold Rush fever, then the Chinese who invented American Chinese food in Chinatown (and later inspired Jack Nicholson), then the Beats had their java-fueled way in the 1950s, the Long-Hairs in the 1960s, and the Harvey Milk's in the 1970s.  For some years now, Frisco has stoically faced problems with the homeless, but what to do with large numbers of homeless aliens?  Maybe with the proposed Boston Bombings inspired CCTV system, San Fransisco could update and profit from 3rd Rock from the Sun with an emphasis on recycling, organic and natural foodstuffs, and more green, maybe with a small amount of fur...  That mean-tard, Ann Coulter, spits bile and claims conservative illegal aliens are better for us than liberal legal aliens, but ...she's a mean-tard and they're built like that.  Altruism and immigration have rarely or never achieved true parity as one or more sides are inherently goal-oriented.  Win-win, win-lose, and lose-lose are all possibilities in search of a probability.  We're all immigrants, but many suppose a subjective distinction of some are more immigrant-ish than others.  I guess that's what folks enjoy about the Boldly Go-verse – there's good, bad, and a measured amount of indifference.

     Of course, it's all about money (or the currency of Fuller's energy and Stephenson's data storage) and folks are always going to be divided into the haves and have-nots.  Most borders are better at keeping the populace from emigrating than preventing immigration.  Yeah, lots of folks want to go to North Korea and...  No, they don't and that was a poor example.  America the Stewpot has long alternated between running hot or cold toward immigration.  Colonists and missionaries segued into owners and slaves, then employers and employees (or servants), until a vulgar idiom of prostitution (“Ya' don't pay 'em for sex, ya' pay 'em to leave after sex...”) became applied to migrant and seasonal workers.  America outsourced the 1980s, firmly shifted its collective head inside its rectum with refusing menial service-industry jobs in the 1990s, and transitioned the market to recent immigrants (both legal and not) in the 21st century.  The mean-tard approach of take-the-money and go back where-you-came-from works with merchant marines, offshore oil rig workers, mercenaries and nerdy techies, but America's ongoing border concerns are less about immigration than cultural migration.  The trend goes back to Nixon's first term and the introduction on all government forms of a check-able box designated “Hispanic.”  The official justification was to determine if there were enough Spanish-speaking Americans to warrant federal support of Spanish language courses in junior (or middle) schools and high schools.  Having their own check-able box empowered (read: beguiled) Latinos and Hispanics.  A “I'm in the phonebook!” societal moment.  I'm Irish-American, the Irish had it rough for an extended period of time, and today ...we don't talk about the Irish in America who forgot to extend their visitor status and work under the table (an increasingly more difficult pursuit).

     First personal realization that I wasn't in Kansas anymore?  As Chicago convention work was suspended from mid-December until late January, I needed cash in early 1989 and instead of going to my usual Milwaukee and Grand Rent-A-Bum office, I went to an Uptown office for daily employment.  I registered, took a seat on the bench, and was quickly called to get on a big yellow bus outside.  There were 35-50 rather short Hispanics on the bus (likely Guatemalan Mayans) and me.  When we reached the suburbs and entered a Weber Grill factory there were around a half-dozen more buses.  Inside the large factory we were directed by a couple dozen young “supervisors” wearing casual dress-shirts and clean jeans.  I was directed to a huge press and thick leather bands were attached to my wrists.  And there were chains from the bands to the huge press...  I was tasked with inserting square metal sheets into the press that would bend and stamp the functional kettle shape of the grill.  Somewhat nervously, I asked one of the supervisors, “Why am I chained to this machine?”  I was underwhelmed with the reply of “So if the press eats your hands it doesn't take your arms, too!”  It was an American iconic business that had rid themselves of its full-time workers with benefits and replaced them with the cheapest of laborers with no benefits.  UPS has always hired part-time drivers of no more than 32 hours of work per week with no benefits, but UPS pays really well and is widely regarded as a sweet gig.  One could easily make a case for easier though better enforced work permits, but the dilemma of the illegals already a part of American society requires a reform of conscience rather than a fiscal for-profit “Corporations are People, too!” approach.  When Congress figures out a way to ridiculously profit by immigration reform, America will a different and better place.  ...And, Congress can move on to something else to obsess about.

     Yesterday morning I saw a V7A6 copy of Star Trek Into Darkness, but I won't discuss it because I don't want to be known as a Spoiler Guy.  Online and print reviews have been split between good crap and bad crap.  To follow the Star Trek Movie Curse, the 2013 voyage of the starship Enterprise (#12) as an even numbered film, would postulate greatness.  Yeah, for some years now it's been reckoned that unlike odd numbered Beethoven symphonies being better than the even numbered ones, odd numbered Star Trek movies aren't quite as good as the even numbered ones.  A few faux-geek reviewers have suggested that J. J. Abrams first revisionist Star Trek in 2009 reversed the Curse with 2009's #11 being most excellent with lots of lens-flare and the new #12 is somehow ...non-excellent.  I disagree.  While it's true that Backdoor Sluts #9 is better than #8 and and New Coke was a marketing joke, Star Trek Into Darkness is both a homage to the old and a brilliant (with lens-flare) beginning of what's ahead for the franchise.  I enjoyed the film immensely and enthusiastically encourage all to take a vacation in Boldly Go at their nearest theater.

Live long and profit,

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