The end of September 2018

After a dramatic week of turmoil with the US Supreme Court confirmation hearings (coverage of which you  may find elsewhere), I was really looking for solace.

September 29, 2018, was something for being David Wright Day, on the penultimate game of the year for the NY Mets, playing against the Miami Marlins.

I had mixed feelings because we had started the season with such positive energy – all to watch everything go to blech, and meanwhile, David Wright, the captain of the team, kept trying to come back.

“Fourteen years and over 1,500 games later, Wright is wrapping up a career that has been both brilliant and heartbreaking.” – Kristie Ackert, NY Daily News.

I was reading the above line in the dead tree edition of the Daily News and all I could think was: yeah, David Wright sums up the Mets’ years of roller coaster rides – “brilliant and heartbreaking” indeed.

More heartbreak than not (I was reminded of the recent video clips of the say goodbye to Shea), but I do appreciate happy times.

As the Associated Press report notes, Wright got a nice ovation.

It was a celebration, not merely a farewell, but I hadn’t felt that sad in so long when watching a Mets game (that is, unrelated to seeing the score). All of it was such a bittersweet TV moment.

(I watched the game on TV; I’ve managed not to go to Citfield for awhile now).

And, thankfully, after such a long game (zero to zero for so many innings, even extra innings), what a relief that the NY Mets won on David Wright Day after all (in typical, extra-innings, too many men left on base, and oh well, fashion).

Thanks for all you’ve done as a Met, David Wright. Tip of the baseball cap back right at you.

Speaking of what feels like observing changes in eras: I had been somewhere earlier on Saturday, September 29, 2018, and I heard “Free Fallin'” in the store background music.

I then remembered: oh, wait, Tom Petty’s not around.

By coincidence, I then saw from NPR that there’s going to be a posthumous release of Petty’s music from Petty’s vault.

It’s weird to realize that we’re in a world without anymore Prince or Tom Petty (see here for FC’s post from last October, and here for mine from when Petty passed last year) – and even, as of this year, Aretha Franklin.

I remain not hip to music, but still: these were performing artists who were the soundtracks of our lives.

See here over at Vulture for an interesting interview with the archivist tasked to archive and sort Prince’s vault and, unsurprisingly,  NPR covered a posthumous release of a Prince recording.

Between Petty and Prince, it’d be curious to know what is in their respective vaults…

The Star Trek folks posted a link on their official Facebook page that it’s the anniversary of a classic ST: The Next Generation episode, 27 years ago on September 30, 1991: “Darmok.”

I liked that the linked article over that the Star Trek official site, by Mark Newbold, covered how “Darmok” was made, what happened during the episode, and the significance of it on trivial and deeper levels.

I was a kid back when I first watched the episode, and I hardly understood what was going on in that episode.

But, I recognized that it was the great character actor Paul Winfield under the alien makeup, and that something very interesting was happening with how Picard, as played by Patrick Stewart, was trying to find a non-violent way to interact with another species.

As I got older and re-watched the episode, the episode became more powerful because I had a better understanding of what was happening and realizing the metaphors involved.

“Darmok” is an episode worth watching more than once, to really appreciate how shared stories – and overcoming language barriers with finding something in common, like stories – may bridge gaps.

That lesson is probably still an important thing to think about in today’s world. I’d make this episode a required viewing for leadership and negotiations courses, in addition to linguistics and literature (but that may be just me).

Plus, Patrick Stewart matched up so well with a great actor like Paul Winfield, whose charisma, warmth, and tragic aura shone brightly.

(Spoiler/not-spoiler after so many years – hmmm… kind of weird to realize that Winfield played two characters in the Star Trek world universe who died terribly sadly).

To a much lesser extent: as Newbold pointed out in the linked article, the episode of “Darmok” was the first appearance of Ashley Judd as Ensign Robin Lefler  (a character who had her moments in TNG, and in Star Trek books), and the first appearance of the Picard jacket.

The Picard jacket usually signaled Action Hero Picard – but was just as much about the active mind in Picard, because he had to be a hell of a lot clever than usual to get out of sticky situations, and that seemed to occur a lot when Picard wore that jacket.

I wouldn’t have realized either points about Ensign Lefler and the Picard Jacket until Newbold noted that, and I had to nod over how much fun that was to realize that.

We’re living in weird times. Find fun where and when you can…

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