Recommended June 3 2013

The AV Club considers the shortcomings of Star Trek: Voyager.

Still, Voyager’s ratings declined in tandem with its four-year project to defang the Borg, and its final two seasons underperformed Deep Space Nine at its lowest. After the new Star Trek standard of seven seasons, Voyager ended with a whimper. When the series began, Star Trek was bigger than ever, and Voyager explicitly tried to get back to basics instead of pushing ahead. In its wake came the George W. Bush era’s Enterprise—set before the original series and captained by a Southern, straight white male—and now J.J. Abrams’ original-series movies—action-adventure romps without much in the way of an explorer’s curiosity or science fiction’s moral dilemmas. Voyager may have presided over the property’s decline, such as it was, but looking back, Voyager eventually found what it was looking for: not just plot resolution, but also a character study about strong personalities longing for a place they can call home.

CSBG rehashes a dust-up between Stan Lee and Bernard Krigstein, possibly the most consequential comic book artist of the 1950s. Krigstein did not like Stan the Man.

From Andrew Sullivan’: the difference between boomers and stickers. Plus, James Brown liked Ronald Reagan.

Mitt Romney released some documents from back when he was planning to run the country. It gives a hint of the type of President he would have been.

“The White House staff is similar to a holding company” read one PowerPoint slide, which would have been presented to President-elect Romney as part of an expansive briefing on the morning after Election Day. It went on to list three main divisions of the metaphorical firm: “Care & Feeding Offices,” like speechwriting, “Policy Offices,” like the National Security Council, and “Packaging & Selling Offices,” like the office of the press secretary. This was the view of the Presidency Romney would have brought with him to Washington, a glimpse of the White House that never was — and plan that never saw the light of day.

Upon his retirement, Yale’s Don Kagan recalls the history of a liberal arts education. He is not very optimistic about its future.

From the beginning, the champions of a liberal education have thought of it as seeking at least four kinds of goals. One was as an end in itself, or at least as a way of achieving that contemplative life that Aristotle thought was the greatest happiness. Knowledge and the acts of acquiring and considering it were the ends of this education and good in themselves. A second was as a means of shaping the character, the style, the taste of a person—to make him good and better able to fit in well with and take his place in the society of others like him. A third was to prepare him for a useful career in the world, one appropriate to his status as a free man. For Cicero and Quintilian, this meant a career as an orator that would allow a man to protect the private interests of himself and his friends in the law courts and to advance the public interest in the assemblies, senate, and magistracies. The fourth was to contribute to the individual citizen’s freedom in ancient society. Servants were ignorant and parochial, so free men must be learned and cosmopolitan; servants were ruled by others, so free men must take part in their own government; servants specialized to become competent at some specific and limited task, so free men must know something of everything and understand general principles without yielding to the narrowness of expertise. The Romans’ recommended course of study was literature, history, philosophy, and rhetoric.

Abby Rapaport of the American Prospect considers polarization in state legislatures.

Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey has died at 89. Chris Christie has some options to replace him.

Dustin Nguyen ponders the point where artists should have found their own voice. Although I’m not sure mimicry is a bad thing. Sometimes, a second-rate George Perez clone is more than enough.

The RNC considered why they lost young voters.

Stuart Stevens looks at the embarrassing career of Al Sharpton.

Rick Perry seems more like to run for President again than for a fourth full term as Governor.

Why would Perry put himself through another national campaign after the embarrassing end to his first one?  It’s a question I recently posed to a political operative aligned with a potential Perry rival in 2016.  The answer: Pride.  Perry knows his slip on the banana peel damaged him, not only in the minds of early state primary voters, but also at home in Texas.   He may just see another run for president as a chance to vindicate himself, to show he’s not the scatterbrained lightweight that he was made out to be following his defining “Oops” debate moment.  In essence, he must rehabilitate his image in order to secure his stardom in conservative circles to give him a future post-governorship.  It’s difficult to imagine Perry becoming the 2016 nominee having to compete with the likes of Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Scott Walker, but a respectable campaign touting the Texas story could put him in line for a Cabinet job.

Kelly Sue Deconnick hits back at against a reader who suggested that she’s only emploed at Marvel because of her husband. Incidentally, the comment to which she is responding is an example of someone who is both wrong and rude, an annoying combination in discourse.

Greg Pollowitz of National Review isn’t pleased with an angry mediaite response to Game of Thrones. That did seem to be a situation in which the problem was with the reviewer, and not the program, but Pollowitz may be taking a shameless piece of click-bait too seriously.

There’s a flap about Congressman Darrell Issa referring to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney as a paid liar. This may be a kettle and pot incident, but it does seem to be literally true. Press Secretaries aren’t paid to be objective, although it may be an uncomfortable truth to mention considering how many guests on shows like Morning Joe have similar restrictions.

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About Thomas Mets

I’m a comic book fan, wannabe writer, politics buff and New Yorker. I don’t actually follow baseball. In the Estonian language, “Mets” simply means forest, or lousy sports team. Currently, I’m writing a few comic books about my grandparents’ experiences in Soviet Estonia for Grayhaven comics. You can email me at mistermets@gmail.com
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