Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Don't worry. None of this blood is mine.

T-Shirt Temptation

I want some new T-shirts for cons this year.

I just made this one.

I’m not going to lie. I’m tempted to order it.

 

January 23, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 14 Comments

Best. Comment. Ever.

In response to my earlier Star Trek posts:

…Grant Monteath was nice enough to take the time to reply with what history will surely judge as the best comment ever made on my blog:

Dear Grant,

I think I love you.

Sincerely,

A.

October 10, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 21 Comments

Reasons I Hate Star Trek III: Everyone’s Fucking Faces

Hello, friends.

Are you sitting comfortably? Okay, okay, whatever. Spare me your tedious life story.

At the mighty age of thirty (I like typing that whenever I can, as it still feels cool in a way that I doubt forty will), my wealth of hatred sometimes suffers when confronted with popular culture. Like, my reaction to Justin Bieber isn’t to rise from my chair and reach for the nearest weapon – which, incidentally, is a Force FX Replica Mace Windu Lightsaber. No, my reaction is more conflicted, more tormented, more (dare I say it) philosophical. I’ll turn my head to the side, perhaps gazing off into the middle distance, and the visage I present to the world reflects nothing of the turmoil within. After a few moments of this deep and attractive posing, I’ll turn back and say “Yeah. That guy. He sucks, right?”

And that’s the deal, here. I mean, I know he sucks because everyone keeps telling me that they want him to die. At first, the vehemence attached to his name made me wonder if we’d all tracked down Hitler’s blood descendant and discovered that this doe-eyed little Canadian cunt had plans to usher in the Fourth Reich in order to fuck Poland over in some new and exciting ways. Then I learned he was a singer or something. And I heard a couple of his songs, and they sort of made me laugh because they were pretty silly, and twice as lame as shitting yourself on a first date. But I don’t loathe the guy. I don’t want to track him down and beat him to death with a crowbar.

No. The crowbar in my hands is for more noble purposes. To be precise, it’s for graverobbing. I’ll use it to find Gene Roddenberry’s coffin, pry that wooden bad boy open, and gaze upon the skeletal remains of the cursed soul that gave us Star Trek.

Above us, thunder will rumble. Lightning forks will split the sky, echoing the anger of ancient gods. “Hello, Gene,” I’ll say. “I’ve come to sell your skull to fuckwads on eBay.”

Anyway. Look at this picture and tell me what’s wrong with it.

His nose appears to be a seashell.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “Oh, why, that’s just a Ferengi! They’re naught but lovable jackanapes and grifters!”

But the thing is, you’re only thinking that because you’re a dickhead. Firstly, who says “grifters” in real life? You should be ashamed of yourself. Secondly, what the fuck is a “jackanape”? Go back to the Middle Ages (perhaps using your holodeck for research instead of sex, loser) and take your fancy bullshit with you.

Most importantly, whatever’s wrong with this man’s forehead is waaaaayyyyy too late for chemotherapy to fix, while and his ears look like the vaginas of two 90-year-old women who died the week before in eerily-similar bus crashes.

And that’s kind of my point. Star Trek’s aliens are neither alien, nor particularly interesting to look at. I can never figure out why they evolved like that, let alone why the show’s designers thought they’d done a great job (and indeed, were paid actual money) when they came up with this:

The son of Doc Brown and Gandalf's retarded sister.

And if they’re not ugly bastards in Star Trek, they’re the most ridiculously beautiful people you’ve ever seen. I mean, Jesus, have you seen the new Captain Kirk? I had legitimate concerns that he’d leap heroically out of the TV screen and fuck my fiancee on the sofa if I risked leaving the room to make a cup of tea. I was watching Katie for months after the film, in case she showed signs of morning sickness.

"Scotty, beam me directly on top of the enemy captain's fine-ass sister."

And Seven of Nine. Really? Really?

So someone goes from this…

We are the Borg. We have no interesting characteristics. Watching the rest of the episode is futile.

…to this?

"Captain Aaron, show me more of this Earth custom called 'barebacking'."

Where Seven of Nine is concerned, the show seems to try really hard to portray her as a character that – bizarrely – is constantly attacked from behind by aliens with faces like smear tests.

For really reals.

"I know I've had a goblin's vagina for a face in the past, but I can change..."

"Turn around. Kiss me. Close your eyes first, though. My head looks like a wild boar's asshole."

Anyway, all of that is just venting spleen. My truest, honestest issue with the appearance of guys in Star Trek is the way bald people come across. Despite Gene Roddenberry having a full head of hair when he died, he seems to have a raging love for guys who shave their heads shiny-shiny like a bowling ball.

Now, I shave my head. I’m not blind to the reasons guys do it, and I’ve felt the effects it has on The Ladies. If you have the right skull shape, it looks pretty fucking great, makes you feel very masculine, and if you think having fingers running through your hair feels nice, it’s the poor cousin of having a girl’s fingernails lightly stroking over your shaven head. But if you don’t have the right head shape – or you’re some combination of ugly/overweight/googly-eyed, then you just look like a baldy loser. Currently, I’m in the latter category. I’d like to get back into the first, but whatever. Shut the fuck up.

My issue is that bald guys in Star Trek are absolutely badass. There’s no question: if you have no hair, you’re a renegade motherfucker. The End.

Here’s Picard doing his thing.

Often, becoming bald is what somehow magically makes them badass. Let’s take, oh… let’s take some generic Space Elf bad guys: the Romulans.

"Lower your weapons, humans, or you will suffer the same haircut as me."

That looks pretty lame, right? I mean, if he pointed a gun (don’t say “phaser”, don’t you dare say that stupid word) in my direction, I’d not exactly be quivering with fear.

However, you shave a Romulan’s head and all of a sudden shit gets real.

"Lower your shields and prepare your anuses."

I know, right? This gentleman is hardcore.

But he’s not even the best example of the Hairy Loser to Bald Badass transition.

By far the best example is Benjamin Sisko.

"I sure hope these aliens want peace. We have so much love to give..."

As a man with hair, he was an interesting enough guy, but he lacked the true badassery inherent in the Star Trek Skinhead experience. Here we have a struggling father, a survivor of the disastrous battle at Wolf 359, and topped out at the rank of Commander, lording it over a deep-space outpost full of criminals and twats. He was the minimal Federation presence watching over a shipping route (or something – don’t correct me, I don’t care).

And at the risk of saying something nice about Star Trek, I think that’s a pretty interesting character.

On paper, anyway – it has a lot of the right elements to sing in tune and make ladies swoon.

Then this happened:

"Target the enemy ship and fuck it up with lasers."

He shaved his head. Almost overnight, his son grew up from a troubled little shit into a teenage shitbag. The very next day, Sisko was banging some hot alien chick. At the weekend, he started a war with two alien races – not one species, but two – because that’s how he rolled. In recognition of his new smooth dome, Starfleet Command upped him to Captain, promoting him purely on the basis of being sexier.

Suddenly, he wasn’t just some goon to the local aliens, he was The Chosen One.

He got a new shpaceship – a nifty little fucker that was the only ship in the entire Federation that had a cloaking device, and while other ships had “phasers”, Sisko’s one had “turbophasers”. See, he shaved his head and even his guns got faster.

Nothing illustrates Sisko’s skinhead changes more than these two videos. Watch them; they’re only a couple of minutes long, and the difference in how Sisko acts is nothing short of hilarious. He even talks differently.

The first one is the Defiant’s first battle, just before Sisko shaves his head. Watch the first minute and a half.

The second one is the Defiant’s destruction, when Sisko is well-established as a All That Is Man.

Look at how he acts. He’s yelling orders. He’s scared. He’s falling over. At one point, he actually gets up to do something himself, pissing around with a computer.

Jesus Christ? Did you see that?

He was almost laughing when he gave the order to fire. He speaks slow and dramatic, somewhere between Laurence Olivier and Morpheus. When shit goes wrong and people are exploding around him, he sits in his chair and steeples his fingers like a bored supervillain. And when the ship is more fucked than it’s ever been before, rather than panic, he calmly orders them to abandon ship, then lingers around on the bridge, watching stuff blow up and ignoring that Irish asshole who tries to ruin the moment.

I actually keep clicking back to 0:27, just because I always laugh when he says “…Fire.” Y’know, like this whole mega space war is kinda funny, like it’s no big deal after his cool-ass pimp walk back to his chair.

"I haven't killed or fucked anything in seventeen minutes, gentlemen. Let's make this meeting quick."

Anyway, everybody in Star Trek – that’s another reason why it sucks.

Or rather, a bajillion reasons.

October 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 44 Comments

Reasons I Hate Star Trek II: The Holodeck

  • Day #2The Holodeck

In the bright happiness of the far future, life is all about aliens with heads like abused vaginas, and uniforms that look variously like Christmas sweaters or wetsuits. To distract from this thrilling lifestyle, humanity has perfected the pinnacle of home entertainment technology. They call it the Holodeck, which is something so ball-achingly obvious that I suspect Apple came up with it. “It’s a pad, right? Put an “i” in front of it and jack up the price so the mooks know it’s ours, then sell it by the shitload.”

Let’s not spaz around: a totally immersive, fully tactile and programmable reality is what mankind’s been reaching for since we first realised that, sometimes, man, it’s hard to fuck the people you want to fuck. In days of yore, maybe they lived in a distant cave or were already claimed by a guy with a bigger, uh, flint spear… than you. Nowadays, the human need to Get It On is hindered by more realistic problems like restraining orders, outbreaks of cholera, and novel deadlines.

It’s not unfair to suggest that a lot of people would rather spend their lives in a virtual world where they’re King of the Nude Bitches or Queen of the Monosyllabic Well-Hung Centaur Boys. Even with online gaming as my most serious hobby and a man in love with his own Level 80 Rogue, I still prefer real life. Surely, these days, pretty much everyone does. I’m not out to make a point or social statement, but I’ll venture that when it’s piss-easy to spend your entire life as Emperor of the Planet of Redheaded Cartoon Mermaids, a lot of people with sucky lives will basically vanish from the world, and we’ll all need to do our own car maintenance.

Achievement Unlocked: MAKIN' CAVIAR (Single Player)

So the people of Star Trek, with access to the pinnacle of media technology, must be getting it on pretty much 24/7, right?

Right?

I mean… they must be.

Right?

"I think they're staring at me because it's 1887 and I'm a black man with a pocketwatch."

No.

No, they’re not. They’re using the holodeck to dress up as characters from Pride & Prejudice, and go solve crimes like the gang of Scooby fucking Doo. As if their lives weren’t interesting enough, right? As if – in their daily lives – they weren’t flying a massive bastard spaceship, brokering peace treaties with hideous labia-faced aliens and lobbing torpedoes at other spaceships for kicks. Apparently, because their lives are fun, they use their downtime to be boring.

I find that difficult to believe, but whatever. Maybe we’d all do that kind of thing. A little bit.

But what gets me is that they never use it realistically. Ever.

If this technology was real now, before the lab attendant could even finish saying my name I’d have punched her in the teeth to shut her up, while frantically typing in RUN PROGRAM: MY FACE + ARIA GIOVANNI’S HUGE ASS.

God finally gets it right.

I think there was one instance where someone was using the holodeck for what it would really be used for: taking the occasional timeout from his shitty menial job in order to get some serious hunny-nailing done. And you know what happened? D’you know what happened when this guy did what practically everyone would actually do?

He got in trouble. Not just regular trouble, either. Everyone looked at him like he was some unbelievable social fuckup. Like, “Oh man, Mike didn’t use the holodeck to play chess with Socrates, what an intolerable scallywag.”

Just off the top of my head, here are some things I’d do in the holodeck.

RUN PROGRAM: MY BIOLOGICAL FATHER. “Colin, you’re a piece of shit. Wow. That felt great. Closure, y’know? Anyway, fuck off.” END PROGRAM.

RUN PROGRAM: MY EDITOR.

"You'll have it when it's finished, Nick. Stop whining. Also, you're a poser."

END PROGRAM.

RUN PROGRAM: BASTILA SHAN.

"Put the sword down, baby. I'm not here to fight. Not... this time."

ADAPT PROGRAM: MAKE ME INTO A BADLY RENDERED VIDEO GAME CHARACTER.

ADAPT PROGRAM: WITH A METAL JAW.

ADAPT PROGRAM: AND WICKED HEAD TATTOOS.

"The Force is strong with us, Bastila. I feel your presence. Also, your boobies."

What was I talking about?

Oh. Yeah. Star Trek.

And that’s Reason 2 of why Star Trek is shit.

September 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 22 Comments

Reasons I Hate Star Trek I: KHAAAAAAAAAN

I don’t like Star Trek.

A lot of people share my viewpoint on this, but they do so with a vague air of distaste. It’s an uninformed, pointless dislike – they don’t really know why they don’t like it, except that “Sci-fi is rubbish” or “Star Trek is for geeks”. But, see, I do know why I don’t like Star Trek. I have (at last count) over six thousand individual reasons for why it’s not the franchise for me. Here are five, plucked at random from the juicy skulljunk that squats and bubbles behind my eyes.

I’m going to do one a day, until GDUK this weekend. So for Monday, here’s what I hate about Star Trek:

  • Day #1“KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN.”

So, like, Captain Kirk’s archenemy is supposed to be this guy called Khan. And Khan steals a ship or something, and everyone’s all like “No way”, and Khan is like “Way”, and then Kirk’s all like “KHAAAAAAN”. Look, here he is right now.

Shatner's invisible suckjob is a little toothy for my tastes.

For Star Trek fans, this is like some moment of orgasmic drama. I can literally picture millions of them whacking off like howler monkeys while Kirk shouts this. Don’t act like you don’t know the monkeys I’m talking about: you’ve been to the zoo, and you’ve seen the chimpish miscreants that beat off while making eye contact with your grandmother.

Anyway, Kirk’s annoyed, and he shouts KHAAAAAAAAAAN, and the Trekkie crowd goes wild.

My question is… Why?

What’s so rad about Khan? I mean, just look at this fucker:

His belt buckle is a set of pan pipes.

The Prince of Sci-Fi Stadium Rock celebrates another platinum album.

What’s threatening about this guy, exactly? The only thing dangerous about Khan is his fashion sense, which looks like the entire population of the 1980s got wasted one night and fucked a gypsy. This is what Star Trek does with the concept of a “genetically engineered supersoldier”? This asshole from Woodstock 2525? He’s got a mullet of grotesque proportions, that for some reason, he needs to hairspray. His bling is made from stuff he stole from a budget pet store.

Christ on a bike, I think he may actually be the dad of one of the guys in Poison.

Every rose has its KHAAAAAAAN.

I don’t think I’m being unfair when I say that Poison, despite their millions of dollars, look pretty much like Guns N Roses spent seventeen years hanging out with the Care Bears. And Khan does, too. Except on a more limited budget.

And Kirk’s totally surprised that Khan steals a ship? Why? He’s a gypsy scamp, Shatner. What the hell did you expect? You’re lucky he only stole a ship, and didn’t fling horseshit at the windows of your house as he made his escape.

September 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 30 Comments