Your Quatloos Can Help Save the Economy

23 Nov

November 23, 2010

I have long said that the economy, while bad, is not as bad as people think. Sure people are hurting, but let’s put this in a historical perspective. During the Great Depression people stood in line for apples. Today people stand in line for Apple iPads.  

The Modern Depression

As long as people still have disposable income to gobble up whatever electronic gee-gaw Steve Jobs and his black turtleneck put out, and flat screen TV’s are all the rage this Christmas, I think we’re OK.

The brings me to the newest waste of your disposable income, a manual for repairing your starship. From England, where they sound smarter because of the accent, but look dumber because of the teeth:

Yeah, that’s the ticket. The perfect item for the Trekkie on your list, a book not even noted author William “Tekwar” Shatner would bother with, but one the guy with the stained Picard t-shirt must have.

Let’s be clear. If you spend your money on this, you give up your right to complain about your bills, high taxes, or to get a loan from the bank. Clearly, you have no clue how to manage your money. If this book sells in big numbers, I’ll have faith in the strength of the economy, but no faith in the book buying public whatsoever.

(Of course, it is riddled with inaccuracies. The manual claims that on the Mark IV Jeffries Tube, the ion access is on the right and can be unbolted with standard Antares pincers. That is wrong. They are on the left and require Vulcan-metric pincers. I hope somebody got fired for that screw up.)

However, the real issue here is the blurring of the lines of fantasy and reality and economics. I am not against Star Trek, nor am I against Trekkies (and please no “we are called Trekkers” emails, please) or the buying of whatever you please. But this is too much. It is ridiculous. Who needs “a step-by-step approach to stripping the ship down to its essentials and reassembling it”?  You CAN’T strip it down and reassemble it! It DOESN’T EXIST! Put away your tool kits, tools. It is MADE UP.

Making things worse, this is published by a company that publishes manuals for things that actually exist and you can actually fix, like cars. Someone is going to turn up at NASA and demand to buy his own starship, mark my words. And he’ll be wearing a Worf t-shirt and demanding the manual translated into Klingon, mark those words too.

According to one of the authors, who is going to be laughing hysterically all the way to the bank, “It’s something I think people have wanted for a long time, a proper history that puts the Enterprises into context with one another and gives you the story of how they evolved, with each ship building on the last.”

Who? Who has wanted this for a long time? Bring me that person so I can scold him.

I want this book to come with a sticker on the cover, a disclaimer:

“I believe in fairies too, and by purchasing this book I give up the rights to grumble or complain about paying my bills ever again. I am doing my part to jump start the economy by wasting money on this book and even if I have to eat cheap sandwiches from 7-11 all week because I cannot afford food I will still be happy with this stupid book. And Kirk can totally take Picard in a fight.”

The Trekkie Bible?

But who am I to talk? Here are actual comments from the book’s Amazon page, which by the way, claims you will “find out exactly what powered these ships, how they were armed and what it took to operate them.” GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK!

(BTW, I have a grammar issue- should it be “what it took to operate them,” past tense, since the Enterprise is from the 1960’s? “What it takes to operate them,” present tense, as the movies are still being aired and produced? “What it will take to operate them,” future tense, since these ships are supposedly in the future? My God, I just can’t care.)

From a 1 star review:

What a great idea. A Haynes Manual for Star Trek. If you have ever seen a Haynes manual, you know what to expect from this book—wrong!
This book is simply embarrassing. Coming from Haynes, one would expect technical details. Instead, it is just a piece of garbage intended to milk those die hard trek fans who will buy anything trek.
No, I wouldn’t expect details! IT ISN’T REAL! THERE ARE NO TECHNICAL DETAILS, unless you want to know how much glue they used to hold the little television model together.
From a 2 star review:
I’m not impressed- this is a “Hack book, made to make money off the fans” rather than an actual book of what would be expected in real life.

“Real life?” Seriously? The “real life” of a fictional spaceship from the future? Really?

From a 4 star review:
This book isn’t like Haynes manuals for real-life vehicles, with tear-downs and rebuilds, written for D.I.Y. mechanics. This is more of a novelty item, (probably intended as such).

You think?????

Anyway, go out and support the economy by buying this book. You may not be able to afford steak for dinner, but you will know how to repair the squeak in the Enterprise’s warp drive. But remember, bring Earth currency. Federation credits, Triskelion quatloos, and gold-pressed latinum bars are not legal tender on this planet, no matter what the editor of your fanzine may say.

12 Responses to “Your Quatloos Can Help Save the Economy”

  1. Thomas Stazyk November 23, 2010 at 1:43 am #

    It’s even worse than you portray . . . the North Koreans could get their hands on that book, build a cloaking device and the UN weapons inspectors would be royally screwed


    • JRD Skinner November 23, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

      Oh noes! What if they get a hold of the ship from Star Trek VI that can fire while still cloaked?


  2. JRD Skinner November 23, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    I may or may not have some Trek related pseudo-manuals on the shelf, but I think you’ve really nailed the issue in this recession/depression situation.

    While, arguably, cinema had its golden age due to the depression and people looking for escapism, these days we’re so overwhelmed in luxury items that a cut into that frivolity strikes us as ‘hard times’, which is ridiculous.

    All too often those complaining about how hard up they are will give you an awkward look if you ask them how many iterations of the iPhone they’ve purchased in the last 3 years.


    • bmj2k November 23, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

      Times are bad, no doubt, but when I see the Beatles setting records on iTunes, and Amazon’s Kindle selling like hotcakes, I have to wonder. When people have to stop buying those things in order to buy food, then I’ll panic.

      I also don’t like to pass up a chance to take a shot at some of the more clueless Trekkies. I still have on my bookcase the first Star Trek Technical Manual, published in the 70’s. It also purports to show how the Enterprise and various Trek gadgets work. The diference? This book came out in the 70’s and I was born in 1970. See the difference?


      • Allen Keyes November 23, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

        When people have to stop buying those things in order to buy food, then I’ll panic

        >>> Except…..what if people have become so clueless that they’ll STILL buy those things, and worry about how to buy food later? That’s what worries me.


        • Thomas Stazyk November 23, 2010 at 11:32 pm #

          It could happen–like those rats with wires in the pleasure centers of their brains who forget to eat. Probably like some video gamers, too!


          • JRD Skinner November 25, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

            Oh, its a sweet notion, but, speaking as a man who’s about half way through the newest Fallout release, it’s my feeling that video gamers rarely forget to eat.


            • Allen Keyes November 27, 2010 at 1:01 am #

              Oh, its a sweet notion, but, speaking as a man who’s about half way through the newest Fallout release, it’s my feeling that video gamers rarely forget to eat.

              >>>> Can’t wait to play it. I’m just trying to finish off a few last challenges in Modern Warfare 2


              • JRD Skinner November 29, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

                It’s like you’re playing pre- and post-apocalypse. 🙂


    • Thomas Stazyk November 23, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

      Exactly. Last time I heard there were still big lines at Disneyland, etc.


      • JRD Skinner November 25, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

        Only because the starving mobs realize the possibilities of extracting Foie gras out of Donald.


  3. Allen Keyes November 23, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

    Federation tech is for noobs yo. Borg hardware pwns all others.


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