Semantic Shenanigans Show #11 – It Goes Up to Eleven

Janet Gershen-Siegel

Jespah (Janet Gershen-Siegel) has been a fan of Star Trek since probably the first set of reruns of The Original Series. She has an eclectic background, including an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, a JD (she practiced insurance defense law for a few years in New York and is a lot happier since she retired from that in 1990), and a MS in Interactive Media, which is a real-live social media degree.

Along the way, she has about a decade and a half of data analysis work under her belt and currently works as a blog coordinator for a high-end wedding blog and also as a blogger for hire (topics include diverse subjects like ad retargeting but also the nursing job market), and has a shingle out to work on social media presence, with a focus on independent authors as she is also a published science fiction author. Plus, she has been a community manager for a large Q & A website since 2002, which is before that existed as a job title.

She was raised on Long Island so, when she is riled up, the accent gallops back out and she can sound like Fran Drescher with a law degree. She lives in Boston with her husband of over 20 years and more computers than they need.

She can always be bribed with pie.

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Semantic Shenanigans Show #11 – It Goes Up to Eleven

Eleven? Yes, eleven!

Semantic Shenanigans Show #11 - It Goes Up to Eleven

So our show (number eleven) is ready to download here.

Social Stuff

Shanna

First of all, Shanna has been spending time binge-watching Season 10 of the X-Files for a proposal for a panel for PCA/ACA (Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association. Plus she has been preparing for her prelims. There are SO. MANY. BOOKS. Eek!

Janet

Janet is up to her eyeballs in work and is scary busy. She blogs and writes articles for a living and the company (they do business credit counseling) is now having her submit articles to magazines such as Entrepreneur and Forbes. If she is published, she’ll tell everyone! Plus, on the writing side of things, Ladies Con was fun and included a book sale and a great panel on the Bechdel Test which people LOVED.

Star Trek Discovery

First of all, we wanted to bring up the new show, Star Trek Discovery. Spoiler alert: we both loved it! Shanna watched with her mother and then a second time with a friend who had never seen Star Trek. So the two episodes got him interested, and that is precisely what CBS wants! Janet absolutely loved it, particularly all of the nods both back to Enterprise and forward to The Original Series.

Some statistics

Most noteworthy, there were 9.6 million viewers on premiere night. Plus CBS attributes record number of single-day signups for All Access (though they don’t give a specific number). In addition, it is one of the most pirated shows. But please don’t pirate the show! Not paying means artists aren’t paid.

The Complaints About the Cost Can’t Really be About the Money, Because…

So we did a cost breakdown and discovered just how economical CBS All Access really is.

Cost breakdown

Shanna took a look at the cost of Star Trek Discovery on CBS All Access, versus the costs of other little luxuries.

  • Cost of a single episode on services like iTunes and Amazon: $1.99-$3.99
    Limited commercial CBS All Access option: $5.99/month
    Average # of Discovery episodes per month: 4
  • $5.99/4 = $1.50 per episode

IF YOU’RE WATCHING AFTER TREK, TOO…

  • Average # of After Trek episodes per month: 4
  • Star Trek Discovery + After Trek episodes per month = 8
  • $5.99/8 = $.75 per episode

YOU CAN FIND THIS IN YOUR COUCH!!!!!
Furthermore, there was a time when you would’ve spent $14.95 for a single episode of Trek:
And $12.95 here:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10213508732303913&set=g.138880103293512&type=1&theater&ifg=1

Furthermore, a Big Mac “extra value meal” at McDonald’s is $5.99.  In addition, the average cost of a pack of cigarettes is $4.52 (North Dakota) to $10.44 (New York).

Purists ruin everything

So we are getting awfully tired of gatekeepers. Check out this article on TV Tropes about FanDumb. Plus we also urge you to check out the Hollywood Reporter‘s article, Why Star Trek Fans are Wrong and Roberto Orci is Right, where they said:

“Fans are perceiving the original series not purely on its own merits, but instead within the context of everything else that came after it — so it’s a big mistake to use it as a yardstick to judge what Star Trek is or isn’t.”

We feel the biggest places where Trek purists are getting it wrong (and cranking their indignation up to eleven) are:

  • Spock’s family
  • The Klingons
  • The prequel aesthetic

The Orville

What we love about the Orville

Shanna adored the character development and complexity. And the best example is Kelly Grayson, a character who could have been one-dimensional, but isn’t. Janet has not yet gotten a chance to watch it. However, she knows that her fave actor Steven Culp will be on it so she will try to watch that episode.

The Orville vs. Discovery?

It doesn’t have to be either/or. It can be both! We also noticed these articles, Orville: the show Star Trek fans have been waiting for,
and The Orville’s Fourth Episode the most Star Trek So Far – Maybe Too Much.

Shanna thinks the Orville might be more comparable to MAS*H, in the sense that it is a mix of comedy and drama and can use comedy to comment on social issues.

The Problem with Opinion Rhetoric

(ties into current discourse about Trek and Orville but fandom in general)

Opinions should be open to change and growth. However, when they are set in concrete, they become beliefs. Shanna cited this Douglas Adams quote and also urges everyone to check out this article from SOTT: No, not all opinions are equal: An opinion piece about opinions.

Hugh Hefner

Because it was a big news story, we even covered the death of Hugh Hefner, first citing his obituary in the New York Times. Reactions and historical information are both over the place. First of all, there is the Hefner interview on Fresh Air.  Plus there is the article from Suzanne Moore for the Guardian, “I called Hugh Hefner a pimp.” In addition, erstwhile Star Trek writer David Gerrold weighed in on Hefner.

Normalization of misogyny and Internalized misogyny

This is, essentially, “When misogyny is right in our faces and we just shrug it off.” Shanna brought to the table some great articles, including, The Normalization of MisogynyThe Logic of Misogyny23 Ways You May Have Internalized Misogyny Without Even Realizing It, and How Sexist Jokes Normalize Sexist Behavior.

Highbrow crusader of the sexual revolution? Or domestic abuser who normalized misogyny?

Plus there were other articles on Hef, such as Good Riddance to an Abusive Creep and Hugh Hefner didn’t normalize sex, he normalized misogyny. Furthermore, he wasn’t even the best First Amendment crusader in his industry: Bob Guccione probably is (Larry Flynt’s notoriety in this area mainly comes from the film, The People vs. Larry Flynt).

My Immortal

Have you heard of My Immortal? This Ed Wood-so-bad-it’s-almost-good fan fic has a notorious reputation. Recently, the author revealed herself and her motivations in writing. If you dare, check out Chapters 1-22, or the article about her ‘outing’, Solving the Mystery of the Internet’s Most beloved – and Notorious – fic.

News

First of all, apparently a C & D doesn’t have to be stuffy, as a Stranger Things C & D becomes the friendliest, funniest cease and desist letter we’ve ever seen.

#TakeAKnee

In addition, the Colin Kaepernick protest against racism by kneeling during the national anthem has taken on a new life of its own.

Recently, X-Files and Star Trek Discovery cast members and others #takeaknee to protest racial injustice. More information about the X-Files.  And more about Star Trek. Plus kneeling isn’t aimed at veterans.Finally, per Shepard Smith – “It’s not about the Anthem.”

WORDS MEAN THINGS!!!

For example, we might be going to war with North Korea over a tweet. Yes, really. CNN and Time (among other news outlets) report on the potentially deadly Twitter exchanges between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un.

Hurricane Relief

Shout out to our friends in Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas. So Star Trek stars (coordinated by Jay Stobie) gave through Global Giving and they gave out prizes for donating. Janet is waiting on an autograph from Scott Bakula! You can still donate through Global Giving but the prizes are probably gone by now.

How do you, as a fan, react to eleven, Star Trek Discovery, Hugh Hefner, My Immortal, or anything else? Tell us in the comments, if you like. Or send us a note!

Thank you!

Thanks for listening! Our show would not be possible without the help, kindness, and generosity of some truly wonderful people. First of all, we would like to thank Busy Little Beaver Productions and more specifically the G & T Show for giving us this great opportunity.

We would also like to thank our music providers, Cerys and Kailani of Invocation Array. Thank you, ladies! Check them out on Facebook and BandCamp.

So our biggest thanks go to sound engineer extraordinaire, Michael Medeiros, and his niece, Katie, our announcer girl. Yes, we have the only announcer who has to take a break and study fractions and the times tables.

Furthermore, we would also like to thank our families for instilling in us our curious and creative impulses, and for encouraging us in all we do.

Finally, thank you, our audience. Because you’re why we are here. We do this for you.

Our Next Show

We will be on the 2017 24 Hours of G & T but we don’t have a time slot just yet. And we will be talking about Doctor Who!

Show Note URLs

Finally, please check out these links to everything we talked about! Or send us a note if you like! hosts@semanticshenanigans.com

Semantic Shenanigans | Eleven

It goes up to eleven!

Janet Gershen-Siegel

Jespah (Janet Gershen-Siegel) has been a fan of Star Trek since probably the first set of reruns of The Original Series. She has an eclectic background, including an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, a JD (she practiced insurance defense law for a few years in New York and is a lot happier since she retired from that in 1990), and a MS in Interactive Media, which is a real-live social media degree.

Along the way, she has about a decade and a half of data analysis work under her belt and currently works as a blog coordinator for a high-end wedding blog and also as a blogger for hire (topics include diverse subjects like ad retargeting but also the nursing job market), and has a shingle out to work on social media presence, with a focus on independent authors as she is also a published science fiction author. Plus, she has been a community manager for a large Q & A website since 2002, which is before that existed as a job title.

She was raised on Long Island so, when she is riled up, the accent gallops back out and she can sound like Fran Drescher with a law degree. She lives in Boston with her husband of over 20 years and more computers than they need.

She can always be bribed with pie.

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7 Comments:

  1. Pingback: G & T Show #296 | DIscovery Klingon Language | Star Trek

  2. Pingback: G & T Show #296

  3. Discovery is simply not Star Trek. Good Sci-Fi, yes. Star Trek, no.

    • Janet Gershen-Siegel

      Hi!

      This is the Janet half of the show.

      I know a lot of people feel that way, and I respect your opinion. Many thanks for listening!

  4. Wow, you guys really unpacked a lot here. First, I’ll start by saying are you sure that CBS will cancel Discovery if All Access doesn’t work out? Other streamers offered him lots of money but he turned them down. Since Discovery is on Netflix internationally, people who don’t want to pay are hoping he’ll punt back to Netflix US as a plan B. Also, another sticking point is the inferior streaming quality compared to Netflix and Hulu. It’s not so much the money as the principal. I’m glad you got value out of it but it has a 2 star rating on Google Play.

    https://trekmovie.com/2016/02/29/cbs-ceo-les-moonves-netflix-wanted-star-trek/
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/culture/tv/news/a28344/cbs-all-access-bad/
    https://www.tomsguide.com/us/cbs-all-access-worth-it,news-25907.html

    However, you hit the nail on the head about gatekeepers. A lot of “canon violations” are actually fanon. You should also do a series on opinions and internalized misogyny. There are a ton of important issues where too many people dismiss experts (climate change, vaccines). Of course we shouldn’t look at doctors and scientists as gods but the problem is some people think they know more than the experts. There are so many ways subtle sexism shows up in our lives. Sometimes, it’s what you don’t say that shows your unconscious biases.

    • Janet Gershen-Siegel

      Hi!

      This is the Janet half of the show.

      I don’t think we ever said DSC will be cancelled if AA doesn’t work out. Can’t remember!

      I suspect All Access will continue to find its way. It is imperfect, to be sure, but I think it will improve over time, much like anything else. One thing they could definitely do better is present even more of their back catalog. JAG, for example, is incomplete. I have no doubt that CBS owns all of that series, so why not have every bit of it on CBSAA?

      I know we’ve talked at least a bit about gatekeeping and I am more than happy to go back to discussing it again. It is SUCH a big topic these days. I’m getting awfully tired of the pink hat in baseball, fake geek girl in gaming, and the “you’re not a true Trek fan” nonsense I see all around me. A lot of that is misogyny, and probably some of it is generationally-driven as well.

      We are living in an us vs. them (tribal) culture, which is also an exceptionally judgmental and dig in your heels and double down before admitting anything culture. It’s not a great combination.

      Thank you for listening! 🙂

      • If I remember correctly, you said if CBS lowered prices, they may decide Trek isn’t worth it anymore, which implies canceling. Just curious, what are your thoughts on international price discrimination? A lot of people say if Country X pays less (or nothing at all) for the same show (which includes Trek), then why should I?

        Misogyny is a problem in fandom (particularly scifi) but I’ve seen plenty of women who are anal about canon. Have you listened to the fanfiction episode of Women at Warp? Their guest’s theory is that women dominate fanfiction because they’re more interested in creating their own canon than in having their favorite show stick to it. I’m not so sure about that but then again, I don’t know whether female “continuity” gatekeepers are into fanfiction. You’re right that gatekeeping is a big topic and you can spend an entire episode on just one subcategory.

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