Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

I say, “Make Mary ‘Dehner’!”

Actor and devoted Star Trek fan Mary Czerwinski (known on Twitter as @Televixen) is staging a grassroots campaign to persuade J.J. Abrams & Co. to cast her in the next Star Trek feature film as Dr. Elizabeth Dehner. Whether that character is in the film or not.

Mary asked me to record a testimonial video for her site,, and because I find it nearly impossible to refuse foxy dames who ask for my help, I obliged:

Visit her website to see more testimonial videos by the likes of authors Kevin Dilmore (one of my partners-in-crime on the Star Trek Vanguard series) and Larry Nemecek, adult film star and director Lily Cade, TV host Chris Gore, Captain Picard impersonator Giles Aston, and G&T Show co-host Nick Minecci.

My New Mantra

A few weeks ago I watched a stand-up comedy special by Scottish comic and late-night TV talk-show host Craig Ferguson. The special was titled Does This Need to Be Said?, and in the show, he has a bit based on that question. That bit has become my new mantra, and it should be the mantra of any public or semi-public figure who uses social media or ever stands in front of a camera or microphone or live audience:

  1. Does this need to be said?
  2. Does this need to be said by me?
  3. Does this need to be said at this time?

I think that if everyone — especially me — were to impose this litmus test upon most things they might say, post, or tweet, there would be far fewer “Internet scandals” in the news. And then we could all go back to whatever drove scandals in the 90s.

Another reason to loathe Facebook

For reasons that have long surpassed my understanding, I have for some time maintained two separate but very similar pages on Facebook. The first is my personal profile page, and the other was my Official Author Page.

Ostensibly, the benefit of the latter type of page is that anyone can join it — for instance, if they like my work but don’t necessarily want to to “friend” me and reveal all of their personal data in the process. I was okay with this.

Then Facebook had to go and ruin it all.

Facebook, on its own initiative and without asking me first, changed my Official Author Page to a Community Page, a sort of public forum that anyone can create. This removes certain features, takes its content out of people’s newsfeeds, deprives me of official control over the page, and generally makes it sort of useless. It also makes it harder to distinguish from Facebook’s automatically generated info pages.

I might have restrained my response to an angry sigh and a shrug except for one thing. In the page’s top bar of information, they altered a key piece of information. It now reads “Community Page about David W. Mack” — complete with that link. That’s right: those morons at Facebook linked what had been MY OFFICIAL PAGE to one about the OTHER David Mack, the creator of Kabuki. And they did this FOR NO REASON. And left me NO MEANS OF FIXING IT.

As anyone who has ever had a grievance with Facebook knows, this $50-billion-valued corporation has no live chat support, no customer-service phone numbers, and no real means of submitting detailed complaints. They just run roughshod, do whatever they want, and unless one happens to be a megastar with a million Twitter followers or a TV or film celebrity or a major politician, there’s nothing one can do about it.

If I delete the page and try to start over, they’ll probably bar me from using my own name on an official page, since it’s already taken by this community page, which apparently is about someone else, anyway.

How I despise Facebook.

In Praise of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Today, the fine folks over at have posted my guest blog article, All For One: Star Trek III: The Search For Spock. It’s part of their week-long “Star Trek Movie Marathon” post series, which started on Monday with Dayton Ward‘s paean to Star Trek: The Motion Picture and continued yesterday with Ryan Britt’s essay on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and its impact on the franchise as a whole.

The gist of my article is simple: despite the many criticisms that fans like to heap upon the third film, I think it still deserves to be considered one of the best of the Star Trek films. Watch it again: in spite of its flaws (which I recount in detail), it remains a solid and thoroughly enjoyable film. To quote myself:

“There is so much that is right and awesome about this movie that it will knock your socks off.”

Nuff said. Go check it out, Trek fans!

Those crazy mother-cluckers in Arizona

First, a screen capture of an actual front-page news item from The Huffington Post

Go ahead, click the image to read the story. I’ll wait.

Basically, über-nutjob Sheriff Joe Arpaio decided to break up a cockfighting ring using a tank and bomb-squad robots. No word on whether any of the 115 chickens he crushed with his tank were explosive.

Why was actor Steven Seagall there? To ride the tank, of course. It seems Arpaio bulldozed the house and birds as a favor to Seagall, who had a crew taping the fiasco for an upcoming episode of Steven Seagall: Lawman.

Star Trek Re-watch: Season Three Wrap-Up

For those of you who have been taking this wild ride with me and Dayton Ward through the third season of the original Star Trek television series, over at the blog, we present our Season Three Wrap-Up.

This is not quite the end of our travels, however. To paraphrase T.S. Eliot’s poem “Little Gidding,” we end by arriving at our beginning and know the place for the first time. Which is a puffed-up way of saying that we’ll be back next week with a special bonus Star Trek Re-watch of the original series pilot, The Cage.”

As usual, please leave all comments on the article, to help me and Dayton stave off our editors’ inevitable question: “Why did we hire you two blockheads in the first place?”

Damned if we know, Hoss.