We stared into the untempered schism and all we saw was this dodgy CSO effect

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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. Kyle Edwards
    November 30, 2017 @ 4:56 am

    Your comments about trying to “catch up” with the world around us struck me as particularly apt as I read this wonderful post, as I split my time between enjoying your work and worrying about my other obligations.


  2. John G. Wood
    November 30, 2017 @ 9:24 am

    I don’t yet have a smartphone, just a cheap brick which does calls and texting (but literally text, no emojis). I usually remember to check it a couple of times a day. I look at my email every two or three days, and Facebook maybe once a week.

    The ironic thing is that I’m probably lurking here or looking at (the nicer parts of) Gallifrey Base far more often than any of the above…


  3. Przemek
    November 30, 2017 @ 11:59 am

    I understand why you feel like that about text messaging and social media and you’re certainly right about the negative consequences they sometimes have… but I just can’t see it that way.

    I’m not sending text messages because I don’t really want to call someone, I’m sending them because I’m at work and can’t call. Or because it’s pretty late and I don’t want to wake anybody up in case they’re asleep. Or because I just have a quick practical question that doesn’t require a long conversation. Or because I don’t want to intrude upon someone’s day, demanding their attention with my phonecall – they can respond to the text, or indeed read it, whenever they feel like it. Or perhaps because I have something important to say and I want to both take my time composing the message and give the other person time to process it. You know, like we used to do with paper letters.

    And above all else, if it wasn’t for text communication, I would be much more miserable as a teenager. A small town in the middle of nowhere, peers I didn’t really have that much in common with. I met some of my best friends through message boards. I fell in love with a girl who was half a world away thanks to instant messaging programs. I’m texting her right now. Not because I don’t want to call her but because when she wakes up she’ll have something to smile about.

    Aside from that, an interesting and well-written post. Thank you.


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