Over in a Star Trek forum I quite like, there’s a heated debate raging. The question: is the “Captain’s Office”, the part of his quarters that Captain Kirk used for discussions with senior officers when they needed confidential discussions, functionally the same as the “Ready Room” where Captain Picard or the other, less important, Star Trek captains would go to not be on the bridge while still having tea and getting told that they’d “better come see this”? Or are they completely different structures, serving wholly different roles, not to be mistaken for one another except by people who didn’t understand the question?
And now the inspiration. You have no part whatsoever in this quarrel, and nobody is expecting you to have any part of it. Even if you have an opinion, you don’t have to have an opinion. And I believe that’s a comforting thought even in these difficult times.
You know what I haven’t talked about in a while? The flame wars going on in the Star Trek web forum where I like to hang out and find myself in oddball flame wars. The best one going right now concernes the 2009 movie, where you might kind of remember in an early scene the young James Kirk drives an antique car over the edge of an enormous rock quarry, establishing the important point point that he’s a incredible jerk who doesn’t know how brake pedals work.
Anyway. One of the posters in the forum is quite upset about the depiction of a rock quarry in Iowa. You might think this is because there aren’t rock quarries in Iowa, if you have less knowledge of the rock-quarrying industry of Iowa than the poster thinks I should have. Here I confess my ignorance: you could make nearly any claim about the rock-quarrying industries of Iowa, ranging from “there is none” to “it is entirely owned and operated by packs of robot wallabies made of wood, and is focused on the pulling up of agates which can be eaten by tactical assault pillows” and I would barely be able to say where you had gone wrong. But, no, the complaint is that rock quarries in that part of Iowa are not nearly so large as the one depicted, which apparently was an actual Vermont-based rock quarry digitally inserted in corn fields meant to represent Iowa. And that it’s as ridiculous to show a Vermont-sized rock quarry in Iowa as it would be to, say, pass off the Empire State Building as part of the skyline of Wichita, Kansas.
So now I’m left with the question of whether, in this story of time-travelling Romulans using liquid black holes to make Spock feel very, very bad for not stopping a supernova, I can swallow the idea that three hundred years from now Iowa could have rock quarries somewhat larger than it has today. It’s a tough decision.