Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Holiday Greetings

Well I am about to experience my 41st Christmas. I have always enjoyed this time of year and I love giving as much as getting and I love the food and the family traditions. And of course the whole meaning of Christmas. Some have been better than others in terms of finance or circumstances or personal feelings at various times but all of them have been a time where I can be with family, eat too much and get some great swag, but most importantly reflect on the spiritual side of things and where I stand in my life.

This year will be no different. I have had some set backs this year. No need to go into detail but there were money troubles and some health issues and those all led to me having some creative and business dreams take a bit of a beating. That was all a bummer no doubt. But…I still have my health for the most part, I have my talent such as it is, I have a great place to live, I have the greatest friends in the world and a very close and loving family. Most of all I still have my faith. Not to be too overtly evangelical, but the fact is God has been very good to me.

My only true regret is that I know that there are others out there who do not have it as good as myself. And I think about those people all the time but think about them even more when this season comes around. People as far away as the soldiers in Iraq, to people closer but no less strangers as the people who still struggle from the aftermath of Katrina and Rita and also family and friends.

So people like this and many others will be a part of my thoughts and prayers this season and I ask that you may give some thought and prayer to toward them as well.

Special shout outs go to The Shooting Star Comics guys, Chuck Dixon and the Dixonverse gang, my dear friends scattered from here in Sherman to Ft. Worth/Dallas to California to New York to London. And my creative partner artists who make me look good. My best friends (you all know who you are), my little bro, and my Mommy…and yes I said Mommy, ya wanna make something of it?! J

And may everyone that reads this have the merriest of holidays and enjoy your families and friends and eat hardy and have fun. These are the times that make all the rest worthwhile.

I know I will. As you can see from my picture there I am a fun guy…and way too fond of my Mom’s dressing and pumpkin pie. J

And ya know what else? I still have my dreams as well.

So Merry Christmas to all. And to all a good night!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Red Shirts: Debunking the Myth

Geek Red Alert.

Okay obviously the header makes it clear I am a Star Trek fan to those who know what "red shirts" mean. No surprise to anyone who knows me. I am an avid Star Trek fan from way back.

Now for those who may not know, there are several inside jokes that Trek fandom have developed over the years that work as sort of a secret language between Trek fans. Especially when they gather together in bunches in clubs and conventions.

Most of these are fine and are rooted in actual parts of the show such as McCoy-isms (I'm a Doctor not a bricklayer!), Spock-ism's (How many times Spock says logical or fascinating.), or Scotty-isms (Me puir wee bairns).

However there are some and one in particular that is based off false perceptions and frankly as a person who knows the shows and characters it has always bugged me.

Red Shirts are NOT killed or die every time they are unnamed and beam down and separate from the landing party! Wearing a red shirt as Security personnel or Engineering personnel and not being a regular character is not a death wish. Not as much as fandom likes to make out. Heck even the excellent Trek parody Galaxy Quest had a character played by Sam Rockwell based on this very bit. Criminy!

My general knowledge of this fact has leaded me to reject this recurring apocrypha for a long time. However now I have done the research and thanks ironically to Sci-Fi Channel's website's excellent episode guide which plays along with this fallacy by listing red shirt death per episode I am prepared to provide the evidence to disprove this notion. One wonders though if the people putting that episode guide together happened to note how many episodes they had to put a goose egg by.

Here are the numbers. In the first season five red shirts die. Just five out of 29 episodes. And I might point out the most devastating part...more yellow shirts died then red shirts! For the record: seven crew members wearing yellow perish and 4 wearing blue and 2 wearing those crewman coveralls.

Moving on. We skip the second season to the third. We will come back to the second as it is a special case. 6 red shirts die in the third season out of 24 episodes. Again, a piddling amount but it is true that no other crewman were dispatched but those.

Finally we have the second season and on first glance it may look bad for my argument as no less than 21 crewmen wearing red tunics are dead before it is all said and done. However....a caveat. First for the record: 2 Blue, 1 yellow and 2 coveralls.

Now to that staggering number of red shirts. The number is misleading. For in fact 17 of those died in four episodes. One episode, “Mirror Mirror” really doesn't count as that was an alternate Enterprise where assassinations and executions were the way of life. So removing those 3 that leaves us with 18. But when you take the 5 that Nomad destroyed in “The Changeling” and the 5 the cloud creature murdered in “Obsession” and the 3 that had unfortunate accidents in “The Apple” that leaves us with only 5. This matches the averages we have for seasons one and three.

These particularly blood thirsty episodes are an anomaly. Only those three episodes had such a body count out of the 79. So therefore that should be taken into account in determining the average over 79 episodes that a red uniformed crewman dies.

So in other words there are many more episodes where a red shirt does not die than ones in which they do die.

In fact in only happened in 14 episodes out of the 79. Not a very high percentage at all.

So while it can be stated that a bit more red uniformed Enterprise crewman have died it is not a disproportionate number really and all of this long time ado made of it by fandom over the years is poppy cock. :)

Now, do I think my little blog here is going to change the minds of the massive entirety of Trek fandom both young and old and the new ones born every day? Of course not. But if I have managed to open just one set of eyes today to the truth....

...well you know the rest. :)

I am just happy to get it off my chest. Whether it is clad in red or not.