A workers state with executive dysfunction

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L.I. Underhill is a media critic and historian specializing in pop culture, with a focus on science fiction (especially Star Trek) and video games. Their projects include a critical history of Star Trek told through the narrative of a war in time, a “heretical” history of The Legend of Zelda series and a literary postmodern reading of Jim Davis' Garfield.


  1. elvwood
    August 5, 2015 @ 7:47 am

    Nope, can't remember anything about these, other than the first and last mudbath scenes (I take it there were more, then). Just this once (twice?) you have moved into agreement with the consensus – or at least the consensus on the Kethinov site, which placed them at 162nd and 174th, so both in the bottom 10% of episodes.


  2. David Faggiani
    August 6, 2015 @ 12:47 am

    Hi Josh, just wanted to let you know I've name-checked you in this (very brief and surface) piece about Captain Picard! Wasn't sure how else to let you know! Keep up the good work. http://www.libdemvoice.org/liberal-heroes-in-pop-culture-part-2-captain-jeanluc-picard-from-star-trek-the-next-generation-47051.html


  3. Josh Marsfelder
    August 6, 2015 @ 9:46 am

    Hey, thanks for the nod! And nice piece, too!


  4. Daru
    August 31, 2015 @ 9:05 pm

    "The episode simply sings whenever Lwaxana and Alexander are onscreen together, and the first mud bath scene in particular, where Lwaxana tells Alexander about the “hundreds of little people” who live inside all of us “waiting for just the right moment to come out and save us from ourselves”

    I adore all of the moments in "The Cost of Living" between Lwaxana and Alexander – that should have been the whole story for me! Maybe one where Worf could be struggling with supporting the more imaginative aspects of Alexander's development and Lwaxana comes along. Can't stand the whole 'rules must be followed' thing that spills into this story and the next (the next is even worse!)

    The whole thing that the writers have missed is inspiration – they have completely lacked any inspiration in these plots, as shown by the creation of fake conflict in them both. Surely in a Utopian society there would be a basic understanding that the development of the imagination of a child would be paramount, and that any attempt to suppress that would damage the growth of that individual? In Norway for example there is not structured schooling or curriculum of any kind until the age of 7, and all activities explored are based around play and making room for the fascinations of the child to be followed.

    I mean, I certainly don't live in a Utopian society, but in the work I carry out with children around 90% of the parents I meet, whose children I have worked with and bigged up the imaginations of, are so happy that I have done so.

    But sadly both of these stories seem to be about keeping children down to some extent, not a good vision for the future.


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