A-to-Z Challenge Day Ten: Jedi Knights, Jesters, and James T. Kirk
Man, the letter J. It’s English’s newest kid on the block and is the fourth-least-used letter. But it’s also the first letter of my name, the first letter in an order of religious sci-fi monks with super-human powers, and the first letter of the name of the captain of the Enterprise. The real difficulty with this letter was choosing what to write about from such a large constellation of topics.
So I chose to do a bit of a potpourri of different things that might fit under a word with a “J” in it. I’ve been on a bit of a slightly narcissistic streak with these posts lately and I don’t think that will be stopping tonight.
A few years ago, back when I still had the time, I liked to go to the Motor City Comic Con. It was always a good time, and there were always great geeky things to do and see. For instance, one year, when I was dressed as a bargain-bin Jedi Knight (I had to make the costume out of a tan dress shirt, tan dockers, a towel folded in a very clever way, and borrow a dark green cloak from a friend–it was serviceable) I had a run-in with Darth Vader and the 501st Legion. I think perhaps my favorite memory was meeting Max Brooks of World War Z fame and getting him to sign my book.
I bought my friend, Ben, a new copy of The Zombie Survival Guide because I had previously borrowed, and slightly destroyed, his copy. Ben got “Ben-Josh is a good friend” for his signature. I think I came out on top of that little exchange.
(As an aside, I’m really looking forward to this year’s comic con because other famous J-names will be there, including John Barrowman, Jason Momoa, William Shatner (he played Jim Kirk!), and Karl Urban (John Kennex, duh!), so that’s something to look forward to!)
Speaking of Ben, he was always my muse when we were in high school. He and I came up with some really hilarious ideas, none of which I’m willing to share right now because he never answers his phone and I can’t get him on the line to okay it.
Ben and I–we were jokers and jesters. I even wrote a poem about him once in which I compared him to the Jabberwock from Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky. For our senior prom, Ben and I dressed up a bit strange just because we could.
And, you know, I wrote an essay once in which I argued for the space program. In the conclusion, I referenced Captain James t. Kirk and how much Star Trek has influenced our culture. And really, that’s something that we need to think about with the shuttering of a lot of our space program today.
I think that two of humanity’s best assets is our curiosity and our desire to understand the universe in which we reside. Sure, it might be expensive and it might not give us an immediate return on our investment, but we have a space station!
A BLOODY SPACE STATION! How amazing is that?
You’re part of a species who build a station in space for scientific study and exploration. If that doesn’t make you proud to be a human being, I don’t know what will. And I feel like we need another James T. Kirk and another Starship Enterprise. We need something to inspire our youth to look at the sky with wonder and longing. There’s so much out there–so much to be explored.
We can’t sit on our tiny little planet forever, in this tiny little corner of space. As amazing as Earth is, and it is amazing, humanity thrives when it’s exploring new frontiers and pushing our limits. In Star Trek, a lot of what happened was breaking free of different kinds of cages: cultural, personal, and physical. Perhaps real life won’t be so idyllic, but we can’t let that hold us back.
NASA certainly made many mistakes, but I don’t think we can rely on private enterprise to pick up all the slack. I mean, do you think Richard Branson would really have the chops to send the Curiosity Rover to Mars? Nah, I don’t think so, either.