A Review of Two New Star Trek Children’s Books

Captain’s Log: Stardate 201902.16 For those of you with little ones who need to be exposed to classic Star Trek at the earliest possible age, I recommend the new books I Am Captain Kirk and I Am Mr. Spock, both available on amazon.com, and are thankfully based on classic Star Trek, not the reboots. The artwork is outstanding, although Kirk doesn’t look much like William Shatner. I sent both books to my niece so she can read them to my four-year-old great nephew. Let’s get a new generation to love classic Star Trek! Live long and prosper.

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This Side of Paradise and the End of the Kelvin Timeline

Captain’s Log: Stardate 201901.18. I am on holiday and thought I’d update the log. One of the most popular episodes of TOS featured in my class is This Side of Paradise, and it’s one of my favourites too. My students seem to rate this episode higher than The City on The Edge of Forever, and I think it is because they, mostly young Koreans, seem to prefer Spock-oriented stories over those that focus mainly on Kirk. In the book The Ultimate Star Trek and Philosophy: The Search for Socrates there is a chapter called “Destroying Utopias: Why Kirk is a Jerk” by David Kyle Johnson in which the author takes issue with Kirk’s decision to remove the spore-infected but extremely happy and healthy colonists on Omicron Ceti III because man was not meant to be completely happy all the time. Kirk says man will not achieve anything if he does not have a “challenge”, but Johnson says the people on the planet have already overcome all adversity and are happy so they don’t need to be challenged. They, he says, have already reached what all men and women want and strive for, so they should be left alone. He also points out that Omicron Ceti III would be ideal planet for people suffering from terminal diseases and depression, and I think he makes a pretty good point there. Is Kirk a jerk? I would say not usually, but in This Side of Paradise I think he was. He had to get his crew back, that is true, but the colonists should have had the right to stay if they wanted to remain wonderfully happy and healthy.

In other news, I don’t need to be infected by spores to be happy that Star Trek 4, the latest instalment in the dreadful Kelvin timeline started by JJ Abrams in 2009, has been cancelled. This is good news for all Star Trek traditionalists and I hope to see a return to old school Star Trek in the new animated show starring Patrick Stewart.

I’ve attached a public domain photo of Leonard Nimoy and Jill Ireland from This Side of Paradise for your enjoyment. Live long and prosper.

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Spock Action Figure from The Cage

Captain’s Log: Stardate 201801.12.

I think Spock looks better without the field jacket, so he will stay that way. In other news, I finally got around to buying Voyager seasons 1 and 2 on DVD, which will complete my collection. I also ordered US versions of Star Trek 2, 3, and 4 on DVD even though I already have the Korean versions. I will keep the Korean DVDs at school for viewing in my class and the American ones for home viewing. Live long and prosper.

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Spock Tie

Captain’s Log: Stardate 201706.7. Last week we watched and analyzed Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Nietzsche would likely consider Khan a slave and a failure as an Overman because his desire for revenge overwhelmed him, whilst Spock’s self-sacrifice to save his crew made him a strong candidate for an Overman. Speaking of Spock, check me out in this 1998-vintage Spock collage tie that arrived today. I think I look rather cool and logical in it. Live long and prosper.

Roger Spock Tie 7 June 2017

Election Day is Tomorrow

Captain’s Log: Stardate 201705.8. Tomorrow is election day in Korea, and as Kyung Hee University’s first foreign civics professor, and Korea’s first Star Trek professor, I think Spock would say it is logical for Koreans to vote tomorrow if they wish to have their say in how the country is run. Attached is a public domain photo of Spock for your enjoyment. Live long and prosper.

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Journey to Babel

Captain’s Log: Stardate 201705.6. Class was cancelled due to a national holiday, but next week we are going to watch and analyze two excellent Spock-oriented episodes, Journey to Babel and Amok Time. Here’s my take on Journey to Babel and a public domain photo. Live long and prosper.

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The Cloudminders

Captain’s Log: Stardate 201704.16.

“This troubled planet is a place of the most violent contrasts — those who receive the rewards are totally separated from those who shoulder the burdens. It is not a wise leadership.” — Spock

The Cloudminders is one of those episodes that I didn’t really care for until I started teaching ethics. The episode clearly demonstrates that social injustice can lead to violence, and possibly catastrophe for the inhabitants of planet Merak II because they desperately need Zenite from the troubled planet Ardana. Kirk’s decision to seal himself along with Vanna and the High Advisor of Ardana in the cave was a very effective way to bridge the gap between the two sides and eventually lead to mutual understanding, maybe even peace and equality. A very good episode, especially for season 3. I attach another public domain photo for your edification. Live long and prosper.

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