We Built This City.

Dear Starship,

It has come to my attention that in addition to having written, recorded, produced and foisted off on an unwary public a song so appalling as to be voted the worst ever, according to Blender magazine, you are also grossly negligent in terms of historical fact.

This travesty of a song is actually about San Francisco, a city which was, patently, not built on Rock and Roll. In fact, there was a Native settlement there first of all. But the Yelamu were really not known for city building. Nor, actually, for Rock and Roll.

The first Europeans to settle there were Spanish, so perhaps the city could have been built on Flamenco. Notice how the city is named after Saint Francis, and not Jimmy Page. This is an important clue telling us that San Francisco was not, I repeat, not built on Rock and Roll.

The California Gold Rush in 1848 also caused a huge building boom, so perhaps it was built on hurdy-gurdy piano music, or maybe a lonely banjo. Incidentally, the city’s infrastructure could not hold up to the swelling population in the 1850’s, causing sanitation-related problems, such as a cholera epidemic. Apparently, a ship from China came into port there with plague-carrying rats, so perhaps the city was built on highly infections diseases. But not Rock and Roll.

But the great fire in 1906 razed the city, and so any building before this time is, essentially, moot.

After the Great Fire, San Fran was rebuilt quickly. Not on Rock and Roll, but on the San Andreas Fault. Not that it wasn’t there earlier, but, um, an earthquake just reduced your city to rubble, shouldn’t you move?

Of course, there was the Sixties counterculture thing, with Haight-Ashbury and this is when Rock and Roll comes into play. Jefferson Airplane (you remember being them, don’t you?) and the Grateful Dead were among the big musical acts around there. But that was just one faction of Rock and Roll at that time. You built the city on a sub-genre. But were you building the city on a sub-genre of Rock and Roll, or were you building it on tie-dye, brown rice, squalid, crowded apartments and hash brownies? Hmm?

Were you even building, or were you going to love-ins where Lawrence Ferlinghetti was talking about opening a cool bookstore where people could play chess if they wanted? Were you building, or were you paving the way for the strong gay presence? Were you even building at all?

I think not. You did not Build This City on Rock and Roll.

Star Trek Musings

E loooooves space shows. There’s no way we’d be without cable if we could only pay for the Food network (for me) and the Space Channel (for him).

As it is, he watches everything he can. I very rarely do, but did in the interest of untangling the mess I have made of his mom’s Christmas present. It’s supposed to be a dramatic and stylish crochet wrap, suitable for a six-foot-tall woman who lives in frigid climes and has a flair for the hippie-dramatic. However, until I ripped it out, it resembled those photos of spiderwebs built by spiders on LSD, so I sat down in front of a Star Trek: Voyager episode. Things I can comment on include:

Janeway is an awesome female role model. If I am ever a space captain in the Delta Quadrant, or, actually, ever in a position of authority to other adults, I want to be like her. She is firm, but fair. She knows how far to push her crew. She has empathy, but doesn’t let it cloud her vision.

Commander Chikote is hot. Even with that thing on his face. What is that, a tribal tattoo or something? Whatever. Yum.

Seven of Nine is only hot if you’re looking at her. When you’re only listening, she just sounds constipated. Maybe the Borg have a problem with roughage? E says it’s because she was in the Collective and probably hasn’t got the hang of modulating for tone. I would just like to point out that she was taken when she was a child. The knowledge of modulationg for tone and emotional content would already have been embedded in her subconscious. Did the Borg erase it? I’d ask E, but there seems to be a hull breach on Deck 12 and it’s kind of noisy in there.

Neelix is there to make space nerds feel better about themselves. Sure, he looks like a scrofulous dwarf, but he has great empathic skills and has-or had at one time, an awesome girlfriend who was pretty cute. Of course (E is telling me as I type) she turned into a light energy being and pushed them closer to home. So she left the scrofulous empathetic dwarf, but it was for a better purpose, and not, you know, because he was short and looked like a Salvation Army teddy bear. Space nerds, rejoice! You may have ketchup stains on your shirt, and you may be able to converse at length about the Relevant Conundrum, but you, too can get a Hot Chick, even if she then dissipates into an energy form.

You know, I have to wonder. What could I accomplish if I wasn’t thinking about these things?

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