Friday, January 15, 2016

The Cage

Do you know how many times I've watched "The Cage" on New Year's Eve? I've been doing this blog since 2013 but actually started it on December 31st, 2012 when I re-watched the strange Star Trek pilot with my dad. Since then it's become a reluctant New Year's tradition. I don't hate The Cage at all. (Though every time The Menagerie comes on I find something else to do while I watch it) The thing is, I've thought about it and written about it a lot already. Still, I went ahead and watched it at the beginning of this year and... it was nice. It was nice to return to The Original Series, especially in this, the 50th anniversary year of Star Trek. My plan for 2016 (since sometime in 2015) has been to focus the blog this year on TOS.

But then I got really bogged down. I spent most of December catching up on the work I missed out on when I was so sick in November. Then we took a whirlwind trip home and visit our friends and family and, of course it was lovely to see all of them but, at the same time, there's really only so much I can take. Additionally, my chest pain (from a suspected intercostal strain) has persevered and seems, at times, worse than ever. This, in conjunction with some creative issues, meant that I pretty much spent the first week of 2016 in a major slump. My dad bought me Fallout 4 for Christmas (because he really does know me) and I put it in the Xbox and didn't come out of The Commonwealth for about four days. This, of course, made me feel guilty. Shouldn't I be working, writing, drawing, blogging, writing emails, cleaning the house, taking down the Christmas Tree? Shouldn't I be productive. My heart was skipping beats. It was racing. I was freaking out about taking a break.

The thing is, I've been told by many people, that I'm the hardest working person they know and I tend to only reluctantly admit how much I really do work. I typically spend 12-14 hours every day working. When I sit down in the morning it's the first thing I do and I have to physically make myself stop at night. Wanna know how I pulled my intercostal muscles? Thirty-two days spent on a huge art project wherein I was sort of bent/twisted over my work for up to sixteen hours in a day--every day. I was in the middle of doing the fine line work on a pen and ink hare when there was a crazy spasm in my chest that snatched my breath away. I still haven't had the will to go back to the hare. Every time I look at it my chest hurts.

Anyway, I finally whittled down my Fallout time and went back to work but then, David Bowie died. And then Alan Rickman died. And it was sort of the last straw on a whole other front for me. (Oh my god, this is a long blog post) I've gotten really tired of reading what everyone thinks about everything. This really hit a crescendo in the flurry of Star Wars. I loved it. My feelings about that movie aren't simple and they won't be reduced to a critique. But I kept seeing my geek friends write things on social media like, "I'm sure you've all been waiting to hear what I thought about The Force Awakens. I really liked and here's all the problems I had with it. " And I think, Nope. I actually don't want to hear what you thought.  It was at this point that I realized I was 1000% done with everyone. When Bowie died and everyone poured their hearts out about him on Facebook I couldn't wrap my head around it. My feelings about his death were so complicated and I thought about writing something--I even started a whole essay about it--but I was so exhausted with everyone else that I realized I shouldn't make other people read what I have to say either. That I'm just shouting into a room already so full of shouting that my voice would never be heard or recognized, that maybe I should just keep my thoughts to myself.

And that idea crept into this blog. Why should I write about "what I thought" about whatever episode of Star Trek? Am I just adding my voice to a meaningless cacophony? Is someone somewhere irritated with me because I'm presumptuous enough to think, "I know you've all been waiting to hear my thoughts about The Cage."

<long sigh>

I don't know.

<longer sigh>

When I first started this project, I did it because Star Trek had always meant a lot to me, because I had been stuck in a weird creative rut, because I wanted to examine my life through the lens of pop culture. Early on I realized that I wanted to be a positive voice in a community (the general geek community) that often ends up focusing only on the negative or the minute dissection of something that was never meant to be pulled apart in that way. I wanted to talk about something I love and I wanted to more closely examine my life with the help of something I love and maybe become a better writer/person in the process. I think this blog has done that for me. And will continue to do so.

I don't expect people to sit around wringing their hands, waiting for me to post about a fifty year old episode of television--or even the death of a beloved actor or musician. This project has always been as much (more) for me than for anyone else--though I'm very, very glad some of you have showed up and stuck around. It really does mean so much to me that my little voice, in this little corner of the biggest, craziest, noisiest room in existence, carries. 2016 will be The Year of The Original Series. Maybe, The Year of Spock. And I do hope you'll be here. But, even if you're not, I'm going to keep writing.
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