The Dish (2000 Australian comedy)

I try to watch this every July to commemorate the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Based on a true story, The Dish focuses on the staff of the Australian radio antenna charged with relaying the TV signals from the Apollo 11 moonwalk. The story was exaggerated here and there for dramatic effect, but does a great job capturing how this moment in time united all the people of the…

Beauty and the Beast (St. Vincent Summer Theatre)

The girl (blue skirt and pigtails), who just finished her junior year of homeschooling last week, is in the dance ensemble for this professional production of “Beauty and the Beast,” which opens tonight (in a sold-out show) at the St. Vincent Summer Theatre. I spent a few summers doing PR for the Heritage Repertory Theater in Charlottesville, so it’s been fascinating listening to Carolyn’s stories about the pace of a…

Back in the MLA

As the humanities decline in the United States, the country is losing the craft of understanding, losing its capacity for citizenship. Even educated people are increasingly unable and unwilling to distinguish between fake and real information, becoming a community that cannot understand itself as anything more than a circulation of figures. Self-righteousness takes the place of substantive discussion. Narcissism and outrage become the dominant techniques of self-definition. And the cure…

We’ll Always Have Paris (TNG Rewatch: Season 1, Episode 24)

Rewatching Star Trek: The Next Generation after a 20-year break. Another episode that I had never seen before (so this is technically not a “rewatch”). The Enterprise traces time blips to the laboratory of a brilliant scientist on a remote research station, where a woman Picard stood up in Paris 22 years ago re-enters his life. The script was written by two women, but that doesn’t fully excuse the presentation…

Skin of Evil (TNG Rewatch, Season 1 Episode 23)

My rewatch reflection on the Star Trek:TNG episode “Skin of Evil,” in which the crew encounters a malignant oil slick. Some good character moments with Worf and Yar, and some good solo acting from Marina Sirtis as Troi psychoanalyzes a disembodied voice. While I appreciate the Roddenberrian argument against playing along with a power-mad enemy’s sick games, dramatizing a that philosophical concept is not enough to carry a full episode. If you’re a fan the final holodeck send-off scene is worth watching but overall it’s a weak episode.