Monday, November 23, 2015

Voyager Re-Watch: Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy

First off: I'm now on Instagram. (Hooray, Johnny!) And you can follow me there.

What else? Well, I watched Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy last week and I've been putting off writing about it because, honestly, it's probably my favorite episode of Voyager. I say "probably" because I'm not 100% sure that this is the case--I just can't think of one off-hand that I love as much as this one. And, I don't know, I know you've seen this one and you aren't here to assess whether or not you should watch it. But still, when I write about the best or my favorites or whatever I always feel a lot of pressure about it--like I won't do it justice. I'll spend days thinking about what I should say and how I should say it and then I'll end up skipping it because I'm afraid I just won't measure up.

And maybe that's why I love this one so much. I have a tendency to daydream. I also talk to myself--out loud--in grocery stores. Sometimes I imagine scenarios so vividly I'm surprised when they don't or didn't come true. Sometimes I live so much in my own thoughts that I find it really difficult to snap back to the real world.

In Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy, The Doctor gives himself the ability to daydream and explores his own, imagined, alternate reality. But, of course, it goes too far, gets everyone into trouble, and he has to (after much embarrassment) get them all out. The episode has humor and heart. It's a fun, fast-paced meta romp with a real, emotional core. The Doctor might fantasize about defeating The Borg and snogging Seven of Nine but really, what he wants, is to be a better version of himself. To be take seriously and be allowed to explore who he is.
Like The Doctor I also want to exceed the limitations of my original program. As a kid, raised by ravenous wolves artists, I was feral artsy. I moved around a lot. I never played sports or musical instruments or had lasting friendships. I was poor and we couldn't afford those things. I was itinerant and couldn't settle in. I was constantly starting over. And on top of all that, I had undiagnosed Asperger's Syndrome and required a very specific kind of instruction. Still, like The Doctor, I daydreamed about being more, being better. I pictured myself running/winning races, throwing a baseball, playing the violin, going out to coffee.

It wasn't until I was an adult and both more in control of my life and equipped with a better understanding of who I am and what I need that I could begin to pursue this stuff. Now I'm a power lifter. I'm not great but I try hard. I work my ass off and try to get better a step at a time. I've found that this sort of athletic enterprise suits me because I can do it by myself and I don't have to rely on a team.

I have friends who respect my weirdness and once a year or so I go out to coffee with them.

I write books and I paint pictures and I do it, as much as I can, on my own terms.

And, this week, I started playing the violin. I may actually start posting progress videos on here. I don't know if you're at all interested in watching me screech and scratch but I do think it would be an interesting endeavor.

The point is, I guess, that it's good to daydream. It's a safe way to explore alternate realities. It's a way to be more mindful of who you are and what you want. It's a way to escape the doldrums or stress of regular life. And that's fantastic and necessary. But, it's also a way to hide. To never find out whether you could squat 200lbs or play the violin or save the ship. Like The Doctor, I want to be a renaissance man. And I'm going to do my best to live up to his example and go for it.

1 comment:

  1. I played the violin as a kid, stopped for about twenty years, and then picked it up again earlier this year. Surprisingly, it was not like riding a bicycle. So I know about the scratching sounds. You'll get better quicker than you think. I never really thought of "Tinker Tailor" as one of the Doctor's best episodes. (Actually, I always thought of it as the Potato Heads episode. I inordinately loved those aliens.) But it is a pretty good one. Sorry I haven't commented before. It was nice to get a peek behind the blogger in this post.


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