Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dads and The Guardian

Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there! If you're lucky enough to still have your Dad around, I hope you were able to tell him you love him. If not, I hope you were able to think good thoughts about the years you had together. I talked to my Dad to wish him Happy Father's Day, and also to wish him a happy birthday! He turned 86 today, and is one of the best men I know. I also gave Ken's stepdad a call to wish him a happy day. We are having them all over this Wednesday for a cookout, so I'll be busy in the next few days with getting things ready. One of the things I'm making is potato salad, so I'm sure we'll all have a good laugh about the Great Potato Salad Debate of 2009 (in which, if you recall, someone tried to get me to say that his wife's potato salad was the best I'd ever had). I think I'm being very brave in making potato salad! It will be fun for me and Ken to play host and hostess (with the mostest!) to our folks.

My Dad also made sure to ask me to wish Ken a Happy Father's Day from him, and I know Ken will appreciate that. Although things may not be ideal on certain fronts at the moment, I'm quite confident that one day, the truth will out. It always does, and both Ken and I can be very patient. Creating tangled webs is a very pathetic way to live one's life, but there are some who seem to know no other way. You'd think that people would learn pretty quickly that such things always come back to bite you on the ass, but I guess there are some who are just too stubborn to ever figure that out. Anyhoo, I hope everyone had a fine day!

Silver Squirrel Award A Silver Squirrel Award to the lovely Sheria of The Examined Life, who was the first to comment on what I was referencing when I mentioned Bill and Mary Sue's twin girls, Amy and Beth, and I said that they're not little. Of course, that was a reference to Louisa May Alcott's book Little Women, which I read several times when I was in grade school. Nicely done, Sheria, and do with the Award what you will! Oh, and when I jokingly said that Amy and Beth aren't little, I meant height-wise. I'm sure they're at least 5'8", and they're incredible athletes--their high school won the state championship in girls' softball when they were seniors (I think that's right), and now that they're in college, they still stay involved in sports. Just a couple of lovely young ladies, and isn't that always a nice thing to see? I sure think so.

I've been trying to get caught up around the house and with blogs, so I still haven't gotten my pictures edited. Maybe I'll work on them a little bit tonight after dinner. Unfortunately, you couldn't take pictures within the exhibit, and there were many things I would have loved to have gotten a picture of. The highlight of the exhibit for me was a replica of the Guardian of Forever, which was in my favorite episode, "The City on the Edge of Forever." Of course, I had to walk through it, and as far as I know, no space-time anomalies have occurred. This is a picture I found online, and perhaps you recognize the Guardian and remember the episode.Guardian of ForeverBecause of turbulence on the Enterprise, Dr. McCoy accidentally injects himself with an extremely high dose of cordrazine, a stimulant used for emergency treatment of heart failure. This renders him a raging paranoiac, and he beams down to the planet to escape his "persecutors." When a rescue team goes after him, they find the Guardian but have no idea of its purpose or meaning. Bones leaps out from behind some rocks, runs from his shipmates, and leaps through the portal of the Guardian, which is activated...and Bones disappears. The Guardian then speaks to the rescue team and tells them that Bones has gone into the past and has apparently altered history. When Uhura tries to hail the ship, she finds that the Enterprise is no more. They are stranded on the planet with no hope of rescue, unless Kirk and Spock can go back into time and right what Bones has wronged.

Sorry this is getting so long, but I really do love this episode, and the disturbance of the space-time continuum is probably my favorite theme in science fiction! I'll try to pick things up, though.

Spock is able to narrow the window of what time McCoy went back to, and Kirk and Spock go back to Depression-era New York City. While awaiting Bones's arrival, Kirk is befriended by Edith Keeler (played by a young and non-bitchy Joan Collins), who runs a soup kitchen. She tells Kirk and Spock about a room in her apartment building, and they earn wages by doing handyman jobs and helping around the soup kitchen. While Spock works on jury-rigging a primitive computer in which he can find out specifics of Bones' arrival, Kirk and Edith become close, and it seems as if they might be falling in love. This is no quick space-bang for the notorious Lothario Capt. Kirk...he genuinely admires her and cares for her. Her ideas of a peaceful future seem strangely prescient of the Federation of Planets, and Kirk is captivated.

When Spock is finally able to slow down his tricorder readings enough to figure out when McCoy arrives in the area, he also finds out two versions of history. In one, Edith Keeler is killed in a hit-and-run car accident. In the other, she is not killed, founds a peace movement that becomes so strong and popular that it is able to delay the United States' entry into WWII, which leads to the Nazis developing the atomic bomb before the Allies, the Axis winning the war and world domination by fascist regimes, which in turn leads to the suppression of research and education and then to the hindrance of the space program so that space travel is not developed, and the Enterprise never exists!!! [deep breath] Still with me? Spock warns Jim that in order to save the future of the Federation, the Enterprise, and themselves, Edith Keeler must die; Jim informs him that he has, indeed, fallen in love with Edith.

In a nail-biting sequence of events, Bones turns up at the soup kitchen, missing Spock by mere seconds; Edith Keeler speaks with McCoy and helps him get over what appears to be a bender; as Kirk and Edith return home from a movie, she mentions "Dr. McCoy," and Kirk realizes that Bones is in their midst; as he runs across the street to tell Spock, Bones and Spock emerge from the soup kitchen, and they all embrace in joyous reunion; Edith begins to walk across the street to see what all the hubbub is about; a truck approaches, bearing down on Edith, and as Bones moves to run to save her, Kirk realizes what is happening--this is the moment of Edith's demise and he cannot let Bones save her--and Jim holds McCoy back as he looks away. We hear the screech of brakes and a thud. Bones asks Jim if he realizes what he's just done...he could have saved her! Jim can't speak, and Spock says, "He knows, Doctor. He knows."

The three return to the present via the Guardian, who intones that "all is as it was before." The Guardian invites them to go back into the past and experience other histories. Kirk says simply, "Let's get the hell out of here," and the team beams up to the Enterprise, leaving the planet and the Guardian alone in silence broken only by the sighing wind.

*sniff* Okay, yes, I got a little verklempt there. Shut up! It remains one of the most powerful and emotional episodes for me, and I love the disturbance of the space-time continuum theme. I believe it is also a cautionary tale about altering the past. Although it's easy to speculate about what might be different if we were to change some of our past decisions, I've always felt that was not only an exercise in futility, it is also a dangerous business. We can have no way of knowing how an alternate pathway might affect our current location or state of happiness. Things might be better...but they could also be considerably worse.

That is why I choose not to engage in "What if?" questions in my life. I don't necessarily believe that things happen for a reason, but I do believe that the decisions we have made are what have brought us to where we are, and made us who we are. If we aren't happy with that, then it's time to make another decision and move forward. Thinking about how you'd alter your past is counterproductive and not helpful. You can't go back, so why speculate about it?

That's one of the many lessons I've learned from "Star Trek."


  1. Strange ... I had a 'what if' moment in today's entry ... I let them go as soon as they enter my mind, as if it was a 'hot rock' (which, was a GREAT album!!).

    I thought for a second that you and Ken would get up there, esp. after that little boy was up there. I remembered that episode (vaguely) and would have been a great picture.

    That's one of the many lessons I've learned from Star Trek

    Man, I would try to get my jr. high pal to get that ... it wasn't always about the science (which was accurate as it 'created' itself), but the story!!

    The space-time question is one that keeps my wheels turning ... hmm ... that could be another idea for a post..!

  2. Mark, we did step through the guardian, you just missed it :o)

    Nope, I would not alter the past, because then I would not have my bride :o)

  3. I don't remember a single episode, although I watched them ALL with my daddy when I was like 4 or 5, you are my age... how do you remember them?? Cable?? DVD's of the original?? I don't get it!! LOL!! That one sounds like a good one, though.

  4. Beth, if it is possible for the space/time continuum to be breached then it already has been and we are living today with circumstances that have been effected in the past by some one or ones from our present or future.

    It certainly seems that some members of the human race are totally unqualified to operate some of the gadgets they do.


  5. Hi Beth,
    I remember that Star Trek episode well ... and all the lessons it taught. For starters: Don't mess with the time-space contiuum or you're liable to spend eternity with Joan Collins ...

  6. i do hope Ken had a good Father's Day. Glad you were able to speak with your FIL and your dad...i can not wait to hear all about your party this week. I think homemade potato salad can actually be a hard thing to perfect.

  7. Oh, the potato salad debate continues. LOL I can't wait to hear all about it! ;0)

  8. Beth I would like for you to come to my blog and pick up the bow-award. I want to give you this award because you always keep me guessing as to what you will come up with next, your great sense of humor, and your compassion that comes through often. Also how you have contributed by being a micro-biologist. Besides how long has it been since a gentleman from Greece or any man has bowed to you. Please pass it on to someone deserving, This gentleman created this award.

  9. Wish I could comment intelligently on the Star Trek event,but I'm afraid I left that behind quite a few years ago. I guess I need to bone up, however, now that there's a new Star Trek movie available. I've never been a science fiction buff, but I did usually enjoy Kirk and Spock.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?