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 "Haven"

Vital Information
Series: The Next Generation
Episode: S01E11
Air Date: November 30, 1987
Written by: Tracy Tormé and Lan O'Kun
Directed by: Richard Compton

Deanna's mother, Lwaxana, shakes things up on the Enterprise when the man to whom Deanna is betrothed comes to marry her.

So the Enterprise shows up at this planet called Haven and plans to have a little R&R there. It, like many other planets in the galaxy, apparently, is rather idyllic and legend says that it holds many rejuvenative and healing properties. But there's no time for that because a box is transporting onto the ship. This box has a face and, apart from having no ears and being silver, looks very Ferengi. Ok, fine, it's Armin Shimerman. He is the face on the box. When he starts speaking, he announces that the Millers are about to come on board and he has brought inside of him some riches to be offered to the Troi family as a dowry for Deanna. And then Riker's heart sank.

So Wyatt Miller is supposed to be Deanna's husband. The Millers beam on board and Wyatt looks at Deanna with a sense of disappointment. She's not what he expected. The Millers go off to their quarters while Deanna's mother transports in. And she immediately steals the show. Lwaxana is eccentric and, despite her insistence that Deanna use her thoughts and not her mouth, is very loud, disallowing anyone to speak over her. After Lwaxana gets settled in her quarters, Deanna prepares to speak with Wyatt and accept her future with him, but he's not quite so willing...
"Gee! A girl's talking to me!"
See, all his life, Wyatt has had visions of this particular girl and he knew that she was his destiny. He's also been drawing this girl for as long as he's been seeing her and she definitely doesn't look a thing like Deanna. Nonetheless, he knew he was coming to Haven to meet his destiny, so he accepts that, no matter what she looks like, Deanna is his future. Now if we could just get the details of the wedding right. Lwaxana wants a Betazoid wedding, Mrs. Miller wants a human wedding, and the two of them are basically bitch-fighting at a dinner over the details while Data watches intrigued. Picard quickly attempts to put an end to the fight, but the two strong personalities never settle.

Meanwhile, in the background of the party, Riker is listening in and getting sadder by the moment. At one point he excuses himself and leaves while the dinner party continues. Mrs. Miller and Lwaxana start fighting again and eventually Deanna blows up, yells at both of them and storms out like an emo kid who doesn't want to go to the same college her mother wants for her. She makes her way to the holodeck and meets Riker where the two of them finally hash things out.
"No one understand me. :("
Riker explains that he still cares for Deanna. That Deanna once called him "imzadi" which means "beloved". The two of them apparently broke up when Riker decided he cared more about being a starship captain than starting a family, but now I think he might be having second thoughts. The thought of Deanna being with Wyatt just doesn't sit well with him... AND SPEAK OF THE DEVIL! Mr. Awkward himself walks into the holodeck and interrupts their conversation. Riker and Wyatt finally meet properly as ex and fiance. And as advanced, mature human beings, they kind of awkwardly muddle their way through and eventually leave.

Meanwhile, there's a ship coming into the system heading for Haven. Data reports that the ship is Terellian which is odd because they were supposed to have been wiped out decades ago by a plague. Turns out this is the last remaining ship and they do, in fact, still carry the plague. They can't allow the plague to reach Haven, so they stop the ship with a tractor beam and then the ship hails them. They request just a small part of Haven next to the waterfront to live out their final days, but that's not important because the girl on that ship is the girl that Wyatt has been drawing his entire life.
Rachel from Club 80's
Wyatt, being the great doctor that he is, steals some medical supplies and beams over to the Terellian ship without authorization. Everyone is shocked to see him over there, but now he can't come back. He's been infected. BY LOVE. No, really, he's been infected by a devastatingly brutal disease and could die any day now, but HE'S DOING IT FOR LOVE! His intention is to try and cure the disease while living out the rest of his life with Rachel from Club 80's. He came to Haven to find his destiny, and he's finally found it. The Terellians agree to move on, having received what they'd really come for. The threat to Haven is gone, and the relationship between Riker and Deanna is now in an awkward stage. As well as the relationship between Lwaxana and Picard... there's no way that could get complicated in the future.

Overall Thoughts
This is really a pretty great story about love reaching across the galaxy before either of them ever met. But aside from that it introduces us to the wonderful character of Lwaxana Troi and several Betazoid traditions, such as everyone at a wedding being naked. As far as a love story goes, this episode gets a thumbs up for creativity and believable characterization, and as far as everything else - thumbs up for awesome development!


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