Thursday, December 17, 2009

Non-Roman Lettered Domain Name URLs: More Interesting Star Trek Websites?

If the planned use of domain names other than one’s currently using Roman or Latin letters gets an ok will the move lead to new, improved and more creative Star Trek websites?

By: Ringo Bones

Even though the various incarnations of Star Trek aired on TV and shown in movie theaters feature sentient beings from other worlds with an excellent grasp of the English language. Other Star Trek fans and I are probably wondering if this “scheme” was done in order to fit the particular episode or feature in the conveniently allotted time, isn’t it? But the existence of a vibrant Klingon language community only shows that the global Star Trek community could creatively exploit the recent ICANN approval of using domain names other than the Latin or Roman letter-based ones that are currently de rigueur.

Back in November 18, 2009, a UN backed conference held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt on the use of non-Latin or non-Roman lettered domain names has finally been put forth for serious discussion. Which – to me, and everyone else, can be a good thing since millions of perfectly literate people worldwide still has trouble using the Internet since their native language doesn’t use Latin or roman letters. And most of the folks denied the “convenience” of using the Internet belong to emerging markets and / or economies like China and India. Not to mention Arabic speaking countries who must go through the inconvenience of learning English just to enjoy the privilege of enjoying the fruits of knowledge currently available on the world wide web. Being proficient of languages other than English – especially ones that don’t use Latin or Roman letters – does have its privileges, but how can it help in setting up more interesting, and I mean more “interesting” Star Trek websites?

In the present universe of the Star Trek fan, the only “extra-terrestrial” language currently developed – i.e. both spoken and used for translating Shakespearean works – is Klingon. And those that offer to teach Star Trek fans on how to read and write the Klingon alphabet or letters are few and far between. Imagine in the near future, Klingon language tutorial websites that caters to the typical hardcore Star Trek fan sporting domain name URLs that feature the Klingon alphabet or Klingon letters.

And after that, Vulcan language tutorial websites would emerge. Which will be more interesting since the scant Vulcan writings featured in most Star Trek episodes that I’ve seen so far looks suspiciously like Samaritan writing. Or what about the Romulan language where the sentient android Data with his positronic brain even has trouble mastering the complex verb roots of the language. Whatever happens, I think this would be a boon for us who can now set up our “specialist” websites sporting Cyrillic or Hiragana, Katakana, or Kanji domain name URLs.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Is There Still A Need For A Proper Star Trek Canon?

Given J.J. Abrams somewhat “overtly liberal” rendition of the recent Star Trek motion picture, is there still a need to follow the proper established series’ canon?

By: Ringo Bones

The latest Star Trek movie did manage to earn serious money, but given that it has alienated a significant number of long-time Trekkers by deviating from the long-established Gene Roddenberry canon, can the movie be still considered an indisputable success? After all Trekkies / Trekkers are probably fed up with that “it’s all that we have” excuse, aren’t we?

This hitherto unprecedented breach of established canon had many long-established Star Trek fans up in arms over the latest Star Trek movie despite of its indisputable box office success. J.J. Abrams attempt at a “metaphysical” retelling of Star Trek’s most influential characters – i.e. James T. Kirk has not been to everyone’s taste. James Joyce’s Ulysses it is not, as some fans put it. Some Star Trek fans even suggested using the planned sequel to use as a “metaphorical” platform for the Free Tibet movement, given that the US Government is unable to take a justified stance on the Tibet issue because it is now beholden to the People’s Republic of China’s bond holders. No thanks to the malfeasance of the Bush-Cheney consortium that ran a disastrous “War on Terror” campaign.

If we don’t follow the Star Trek canon established by Gene Roddenberry (even those independent Star Trek-based novels tried to follow it), Spock could easily break out into song by singing the Ballad of Bilbo Baggins or is it the Ballad of Frodo Baggins. Especially during that famous campfire scene in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier just because Leonard Nimoy is a big fan of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. Or Captain Kirk singing William Shatner’s “famous” songs committed to vinyl during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Or what about Keith Carradine’s appearance on Star Trek: Enterprise. Does he have to sing a few songs from his I’m Easy album, which was released back in 1976? Maybe, I’ll subject this particular Keith Carradine musical opus to a music review once I get hold of a copy of I’m Easy – hopefully on the much-soulful vinyl format.

In my opinion, the established Gene Roddenberry canon is more than probably what makes those Star Trek TV episodes and movies that had been done before claim the upper echelons of the science fiction universe. J.J. Abrams’ use of inexplicable musical montages – i.e. the extremely youthful James T. Kirk’s joyride with The Beastie Boys’ Sabotage playing in the car stereo to poke fun at the latter Captain Kirk’s somewhat odd pronunciation of the word Sabotage – may work on an episode of Family Guy. But it will not work on a main feature of Star Trek.

Given that the J.J. Abrams Star Trek managed to earn serious money during the summer 2009 season and with a sequel in the works, Abrams could well be directing it. Because the taskmasters at Paramount are still very reluctant to risk hard earned money, especially during the recovery period of an economic recession. Maybe we’ll just hope that the storyline of the sequel will return Star Trek to the original Gene Roddenberry established canon, if not, we’ll there are those DVD remasters of the “glory day” episodes that we’ve grown to love over the years.