How Social Media Saved the World

It cannot be understated that we are living through a history-making difficult time. Hundreds of thousands of people are falling victim to a global pandemic and everyone is else either staying home or acting brazenly stupid. It shouldn't be surprising, though, that one of the upshots of all of this is that there has been a rise in meme-making.

First defined by Richard Dawkins in 1976 as a cultural idea that takes on a life of its own and is passed down through generations much the same way that genes are, the word "meme" has itself taken on a life of its own to define pictures made and passed around on the Internet that often lampoon various aspects of life. I don't think I've seen any new memes in the past few days that weren't about the COVID-19 epidemic. But this isn't the first time a global catastrophe has been made fun of in what could be described as a "childish" fashion. In fact, one of the memes I've seen compared the uptick in Cor…

Star Trek: Asterisk "Two Days and Two Nights"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S01E25
Written by: Chris Black
Directed by: Michael Dorn (WORF.)

The crew of the Enterprise finally gets some shore leave. But all things on Risa are not as they seem. (Ok, so I phoned in the premise punchline, so what? The rest of the episode is hilarious in itself)

It's been hinted at for a couple of episodes now, and Archer finally gets to go on shore leave with Trip, Reed, Hoshi and Mayweather. Now, I don't know about you, but if this was the case for me, I wouldn't hesitate to go down and enjoy myself. But Archer spends the teaser section complaining about how it doesn't seem fair that he gets to rest while half the crew still has to work. T'Pol assures him it's fair - that everyone drew lots and had an equal chance of going - and pushes him out the airlock.

At first blush this episode is a jumble of mismatched plot lines that have nothing to do with each other, but half way through you realize that the viewer is being taken on shore leave, too. This is the Voyage Home of the first season of Enterprise. The comedy relief. In the best tradition of Star Trek, this episode lightens the load before it piles more onto it. When they shuttle down to Risa, they discuss their plans. Mayweather is going to go rock climbing, Archer is going to take Porthos to a beautiful villa and do some reading, Hoshi is going to turn of her universal translator and learn new languages and Trip and Reed are going to "broaden their cultural horizons."
Translation: "SEX ALL THE THINGS."
Meanwhile back up on the Enterprise, Phlox is getting ready for a two-day hibernation period. Usually Denublians take seven days to hibernate, but Phlox says that two days should give him enough rest. He only requests that they not wake him unless it's a medical emergency.  AND, REALLY, HOW COULD A MEDICAL EMERGENCY EVER HAPPEN ON THE ENTERPRISE, AM I RIGHT?

Eventually we find Trip and Reed doing their best impression of the Roxbury guys, Hanging out at a local bar and scoping out all the beautiful alien chicks. Here we get such uproarious quips as "I think 'her' is the wrong pronoun" and "I just wouldn't know which eyes to look into." It really is pretty hilarious to see Trip and Reed ogling everyone trying to figure out which alien females would be compatible with human... "equipment." Especially since they don't even make a move until a couple alien females present themselves to be ogled.

Meanwhile, Archer, the one who's not trying to find female companionship, has a much easier time of it. Turns out there just happens to be a hot blonde staying at the same villa who also has a small dog. Yeah, that can't turn out well. They meet when the blonde's dog somehow ends up jumping up one floor onto Archer's porch and spooks Porthos. They speak briefly, but end up making plans for another day.

Hoshi, on the other hand, is having great success on her shore leave plans. She strikes up a conversation with an elderly Risan couple who is surprised that she speaks their language so well without the use of a universal translator, but when they leave, someone a little more interesting came along. This man speaks Risan as a second language, can pick up English in less than a day, and takes five minutes to pronounce the name of his planet in his native tongue. Obviously, Hoshi has found her dream guy.
And so it came to pass that the one person not looking for nookie
found it.
Meanwhile up on the Enterprise, T'Pol gets a message from Mayweather asking her to send a shuttle to pick him up because he's suffered a rock climbing accident. He was in a hospital at Risa, but he preferred being treated by Phlox. "Have you ever been in an alien hospital?" he asks T'Pol, who answers, "Yes. In San Fransisco." What follows is a hilarious scene where T'Pol and Cutler are forced to wake Phlox from hibernation and he immediately suffers from a delirious reaction to his rest being cut short. I won't go into all the uber-humorous details of this scene - you really have to watch it to fully appreciate it. All the awards to John Billingsley!

Well, down on the planet Trip and Reed (which I'm confident would make a great name for a buddy cop movie) have been deceived by what they believed to be a couple of alien hotties. In stead, they turn out to be alien uglies in disguise. When they reveal themselves, they take Trip and Reed's clothes and tie them up in their Starfleet-issue bright blue underwear. The same underwear Trip wore during the Farengi invasion. So when they finally free themselves, Trip is used to running around pantless, but Reed is a little more uncomfortable. Then again, he always looks uncomfortable.

Hello, ladies...
Also Archer's hot neighbor ends up being a Tandaran and starts harassing Archer for information about the Suliban and poisons him so he falls asleep and has a good rest, yadda, yadda... It's pretty much exactly what you thought, except it really doesn't advance any greater story arc. What gets me is that Porthos never attacked this woman when it became clear she was a threat! Bad guard dog! No biscuit!

On the ride back home, no one seems to want to talk about what they'd done. Which is pretty understandable. But leads to the impression that Archer's night was rather boring. Which is when Trip tells him that next time they go on shore leave he should get out, have some fun and meet some new people.


Overall Thoughts
Fantastic! I laughed at the delirious Dr. Phlox, I laughed at Trip and Reed's escapades, Hoshi's thing made me feel warm and fuzzy and there were two dogs! Overloading the cute quota. This is one episode you should definitely watch. Also, it was directed by Worf! Worf! Who knew that hulk of a man had a sense of humor?