Enjoying my “Dystopia in American Literature” class.

After a kind of prelude in which we looked at Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle” and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” as proto-dystopias, my “Dystopia in American Literature” class looked at Jack London’s post-apocalyptic “The Scarlet Plague” last week. Because it’s an online class that never meets face-to-face, I’ve been posting regular 15-20m context lectures, in order to convey the kind of background info that I would ordinarily just slip…


Lonely Among Us (TNG Rewatch, Season 1, Episode 6)

Conflict between two species who petition for membership in the Federation turns out to be the B-plot. On its way past a mysterious optical special effect, the Enterprise picks up a strange glowing spark via the sensor array, and as such entities tend to do in Star Trek, it starts wreaking havoc. We get a lot of exterior shots of the ship, some alien character designs that would have worked better in background shots, a glimpse at a sensor relay room we’ve never seen before (though it’s pretty obviously a redress of Engineering), and some glimpses of the Crushers at home.

What would holidays be without Dickens’ beloved ‘Christmas Carol?’

It takes some visits from three scary spirits on Christmas Eve, who lead him through his Past, Present and Future, to convince him to mend his ways. Scrooge recognizes his faults and greets Christmas morning with a cheerful “Happy Christmas” before spending the day reconnecting and sharing love with those who mean the most to him. As we all know, it all works out in the end and Tiny Tim…