Day 19: Three

Today’s prompt is supposed to be about things that come in three parts. Since I’ve spent the past two days marathoning Voyager, the first thing that popped into my head was Captain Proton. It’s a very silly holodeck program that Tom Paris runs as part of a historical study on how ancient people thought about the future. The Captain Program features in three episodes: “Night,” as mentioned yesterday; “Bride of Chaotica!,” which I watched this afternoon and which is among my favorite episodes; and “Shattered,” which at this rate, I’ll be watching sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Captain Proton, Protector of Earth

Honestly, it’s been so long since I saw “Shattered” last that I only vaguely remember what it’s about, and even then, what I was able to find on IMDb was less than helpful. But based on the plot summary, I expect that the appearance of Captain Proton is brief, as it was in “Night.” The program plays a key part in “Bride of Chaotica!,” though, and its rampant silliness is part of its appeal. These scenes look like they were a blast to shoot, and for me at least, they are a blast to watch. There’s something comforting in the knowledge that good will always triumph over evil, simplistic and unrealistic as such a notion may be (and no matter what Dark Helmet may say).

The Captain Proton program is based on Flash Gordon, a comic strip from the 1930s. I think that, too, is part of its appeal to me, because I’m fascinated with that era. I share Tom’s fascination with the way that earlier eras viewed the future – I mean, after all, we were promised hoverboards thirty-five years ago, and flying cars over fifty years ago. And where are they? Still in our collective imagination, that’s where! 😂😂 The Art Deco and Streamline Moderne aesthetics appeal to me, for some reason that I really can’t explain. But then, can anyone really explain why a style of art appeals to them? Well, I’m sure some people can, but that requires more thought than I’ve put into this. It’s been a long time since I’ve considered art and artistic movements with the depth of thought that I’ve spent the past two years giving to literature.

I don’t know that I’m making a whole lot of sense today. I’ve returned to a semi-regular diary habit to help me process this whole experience of enforced isolation, and I spent a considerable amount of time today pondering such things (namely, how to keep on writing – and what to write about – when the world is so small and monotonous) with pen and paper while watching Star Trek with my boys. I must have expended all my coherence for the day in those pages. Coherence seems to be in limited supply for me lately, but I’ve always found that I think better with a pencil and paper than I do without them. Or, at the very least, I’m able to articulate myself better with those implements than without them.

Besides, I’m feeling particularly unsettled today.

I could delete this post, but I’m not so sure that would be a good idea. Someday I may want to look back on this time, or my children might, and to bury my nerves would be to bury the truth. To bury the truth would be to allow history the possibility to be repeated. And while maybe my nerves are for nothing, while maybe things will indeed go back to normal someday, to deny that I am nervous right now – to deny that so many others are nervous right now – would be to deny that those feelings have value in this moment.

I can’t promise that my posts in the coming days and weeks will be any more coherent than this one, but I can promise to keep posting, to try to provide some rampant silliness, and to keep hope alive. I think we’re gonna need it.

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.


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