Home > A-to-Z Challenge, Geek, Life, Science > A-to-Z Challenge Day Ten: Jedi Knights, Jesters, and James T. Kirk

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.

"Josh-Ben will keep you alive!" That's some high-quality signing.

“Josh-Ben will keep you alive!”
That’s some high-quality signing.

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.

Cool Cats

As a friend said of Ben, “Look, it’s Mr. Mother-effing Darcy!”

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.

Even plutonium-powered robots like selfies. Source: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/pia16764.html

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  1. April 12, 2014 at 4:15 AM

    A fun and up-lifting post, the sentiments of which I certainly go along with – be a shame to through life and never witness another moon, or dare I say, a Mars landing..

  2. April 12, 2014 at 4:15 AM

    A fun and up-lifting post, the sentiments of which I certainly go along with – be a shame to through life and never witness another moon, or dare I say, a Mars landing..

    • April 12, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      I got really excited when I saw the NASA Valkyrie robot. If you haven’t seen it you should definitely look it up. It’s probably going to be how we build settlements on other planets.

  3. April 12, 2014 at 7:39 AM

    Hello, a very interesting post. As a genuine “Trekkie” from way back (watched the series when it ran the first time, way back yonder) I really enjoyed reading it. Best regards to you, my friend! Keep on Trekking. 🙂 Just dropped in on a visit through the list. BTW, if you so choose, please visit me at #772 on the list (at least for right now) I may be moved up again as others are dropped out. Best regards to you. Blabbin’ Grammy aka Ruby

    • April 12, 2014 at 12:44 PM

      Thanks for stopping by! I’ll definitely come by your place as soon as I’ve got access to a computer (I’m on my iPhone right now, how Star Trek is that? Ha ha!).

      Star Trek has always held a special place in my heart, and I’ve recently wrangled my girlfriend into watching it and she fell in love with the original series. We’ve had a number of great conversations about it.

  4. April 12, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    I love it when you can’t just pick one thing for the letter of the day! My dad is a huge star trek / star wars fan so we grew up with it in the house on a daily basis. I think the signature on your friend Ben’s book was awesome and will always be a great memory for both of you hopefully!

    • April 12, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      Hello Heather!

      Thanks for the comment. My grandfather introduced me to Star Wars when I was around 11 years old and, well, The Empire Strikes Back is now one of my favorite movies.

      And I think it will always be a really good memory. We went to a talk where Max spoke about what it was like to grow up with his father, Mel Brooks, and had a lot of funny stories to share.

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