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 "Cease Fire"

Vital Information
Series: Enterprise
Episode: S02E15
Air Date: February 12, 2003
Written by: Chris Black
Directed by: David Straiton

In an effort to give Archer the qualities of both Kirk and Picard, he is shoe-horned in to mediate a territorial dispute between Vulcans and Androians.

This particular Andorian appears to be pretty important to the series, so I'll go ahead and give him a name now. Shran brought a few friends over to a planet that the Andorians had laid claim to in order to renegotiate a treaty with the Vulcans. Turns out the renegotiation involves an exchange of weapons fire. When all hope appears to be lost, Shran decides that negotiation of this magnitude requires him to bring in the big guns. Call on Archer.

While Archer talks to T'Pol about the treaty made on that planet, she says it's a class D (uninhabitable) planet that holds no value save for its strategic proximity to Vulcan territory. When the Andorians attempted to terraform the planet, they deduced that the only logical reason to do so was to set up a military base. And so they struck back. They removed the Andorians by force and then set up a satellite to keep an eye on the planet. The planet remained uninhabited... until now.

When they get to the planet, they meet with the stuffy, good-for-nothing Vulcan Ambassador Soval who says that Shran has taken some hostages and the only reason Vulcan wants Human help is to get these hostages back. So, basically, Shran wants Archer because he's fair and Soval wants Archer because he's most likely to get the hostages back. Soval wants Archer to go with one of his Vulcan dudes, but Archer says if Shran was the one who called on him, it wouldn't look very good if he showed up looking like he's representing Vulcan interests. If he's going to bring along a Vulcan, he's going to bring along a Vulcan he can trust.
Sorry. Not you. Not this time.
Archer brings T'Pol to the surface and are immediately met with hostility. 'Cause, ya know... T'Pol has pointed ears. But then Archer explains she's part of his crew and they are brought to Shran who immediately produces his list of demands to be met. Shran expects Archer to present these demands to the Vulcans, but Archer's not gonna take that crap! He's no messenger! He says as a show of good faith they should release a hostage and hold negotiations on the planet.

So then Archer goes back to Enterprise and practically drags Soval kicking and screaming back down to the surface. The ambassador totally does not like being forced into negotiations and says that sitting down with the Andorians will simply legitimize their position. Which is really pretty legitimate, anyway, if you ask me.

Meanwhile, Shran's lieutenant, the most annoying Andorian female ever, gets all cranky 'cause she wants to kill off some Vulcans 'cause, I dunno, maybe they raped her mother during an especially randy Pon Farr season. That might as well be the case for all the otherwise misdirected hostility she radiates toward them. In any case, she's playing the part of "That Guy". You know - the annoying alien that mistrusts the Humans (or Vulcans in this case) for no especially good reason. She says they have to strike at the Vulcans now or risk losing whatever war she believes is going on. But Shran attempts to cool her down.
Which doesn't work, because when Archer, T'Pol and Soval shuttle back down to the planet, the most annoying Androian female ever shoots them down. Obviously, it's meant to be a surprise attack that no one sees coming, but, c'mon... Vulcans wouldn't shoot down their own ambassador. Soval wants to get out of there and back to the safety of the Vulcan base, but Archer insists they make their way to Shran. Because Shran is the trustworthy one and Soval's a d-bag for lumping all Andorians into the same stew of hostility.

Eventually the most annoying Andorian female ever finds Archer and Soval along with her friends and attacks. So Archer and Soval are forced to take cover, but Archer is able to flank the most annoying Androian female ever and tries to capture her, but not before figuring out what's going on. Then, when Shren and Soval turn up, everything gets under control.

Meanwhile, back in orbit, there are some shenanigans going on involving an Andorian ship and a Vulcan ship ready to go after each other, but Acting Captain Trip isn't having any of that crap. He physically maneuvers right in between them and disallows them to get into a fight like a mother getting in between two annoying children. When Archer calls back up from the surface, the situation is defused.
By the authority of Starfleet Command, I order you
to go to your room until further notice.
After that, negotiations are allowed to continue on the Enterprise where Shran toasts the fact that no one is getting what they want. Soval says Vulcans don't drink, but he'll make an exception on this occasion. And they all lived happily ever after and didn't learn a damn thing.

Overall Thoughts
Eh. Not bad. I started off liking the Andorian arc, but it's kinda getting stale. I hope it can pick up later. The big thing in this episode was that I really didn't like the most annoying Androian female in the world.