Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Finnegan Factor

Shore Leave (Star Trek: The Original Series)Image via WikipediaThis is beginning to be a theme for this blog, actually. Another lesson from Star Trek, specifically the episode Shore Leave. Written by Theodore Sturgeon, no less. He of Sturgeon's Law fame. I'm beginning to believe that it's a conservative estimate, actually.

Where to begin, as all circular stories tend to take a point on the circumference of the circle, and move either clockwise or counterclockwise around it, until of course you get back to the point at where you started; meaning, I can't begin the beguine, as it were.

The beginning would goto the larger issue of, why are we here? As opposed to well say, there? The crew discovers what appears to be an uninhabited planet, while at the same time, needing rest from what we don't actually know, maybe what they went through last week. I don't actually know, simply because they gave the Stardates out of order.

McCoy and Sulu are on the planet, and report seeing lifeforms, where no lifeforms were previously scanned. Odd. Or, strange. Kirk beams down to investigate. Sulu finds a gun, specifically an 'old fashioned' police special, which he was thinking about previous, and amazingly, found 'over there.' Meanwhile, Kirk meets two people from his academy days, Ruth, and Finnegan. Ruth may very well be Dr. Marcus from Star Trek II, however, that's not specifically mentioned in the episode, and furthermore, not the topic of this rant.

Finnegan is a practical joker, not to be confused with, The Joker, from Kirk's past. Kirk was always the butt of Finnegan's jokes. He first encounters Finnegan in the glade, and the taunting continues. A punch is exchanged, and then Kirk has to runoff, in order to find out why a Yeoman is screaming. He again encounters Finnegan toward the end, when he's almost figured out what's going on. What takes about 3 minutes of fighting occurs, interspersed with some witty and relevant dialogue, the most memorable of which is, "You stupid underclassman. I'm still 20 years old, and you're an old man!!" If we are to assume that Captain Kirk is, what, 29, or more likely, 32 at this point, it means he was a freshman, or 17 when he entered the academy.

You'd think I'd remember more of this episode, having just viewed it in its entirety at the above mentioned link, however, I guess I'm suffering from what Kirk was suffering from, at least in this ep. To keep up with everything, both online and off, one must have the wisdom and the knowledge of both Kirk, and Finnegan. The Kirk and Finnegan part of the storyline ends when Kirk finally beats up Finnegan, as it's something that he's always wanted to do.

To wit: People were here before the 'net. And those that would declare the net or the web, dead, are most likely to miss the point. The technology may change, however, people remain the same. Everything I learned in high school is apparently still true today.

72 and sunny in Redondo Beach.

As always, adjust your expectations accordingly.

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