Instant Messaging


everleigh_icon.gif leroy_icon.gif

Scene Title Instant Messaging
Synopsis Have you ever wondered why a Star Trek character looks like female reproductive organs?
Date January 11, 2019

Many people in the safe zone have their own method of communication at this point, but for his closest circle, even if they're on the internet, Leroy has his own private messaging program. He calls it HanginWithMrClippy.exe. Its icon is Mark Curry photoshopped over Clippy.

Only a few people have access to this secure messenger, largely functional through a small private chain link of drones, using a smaller scale version of the city's system that's already in place. But in this case, he tends to reconfigure the formation of the drones depending on who he happens to be talking to.

Everleigh is one of the privileged few with access to his messenger.

bruceleroy: Everleigh, I bet you're working too hard. It's fine, I'm working too hard too. But have you considered deep late night thoughts? Like… have you considered that Quark looks like ovaries?


MakeItSew is typing…

(Ten minutes later)

MakeItSew: You know, it’s funny that you mentioned that because I actually have some thoughts about the Ferengi and their relationship with women (as well as their reproductive parts). I mean, we all know how outwardly patriarchal the Ferengi are (at least earlier on before Ishka and Rom shake things up). But it’s actually very interesting because there’s sort of a social subconscious in Ferengi about how they treat women. In fact, I’d argue that women are so highly regarded in Ferengi society that in many ways Ferengi males have a subconscious fear of females which manifests in a variety of ways including the way they treat women of alien races.

MakeItSew: I mean, look at the design of their starships. As they were originally introduced in The Next Generation, the Ferengi were a bit more savage and warlike, their focus on profits were sort of introduced later in order to make them more appealing to the audience at large. But the design of a ship should be, in some way, a reflection of the subconscious of a species. You want to design something that is aggressive or could strike fear into your potential adversaries as a deterrent to conflict, or something to establish dominance.


MakeItSew: If you look at the starship design, you can clearly see it is also similar to ovaries. Which then begs the question why ovaries? Phallic imagery isn’t uncommon in human cultures around the world, especially when establishing dominance and certainly one can argue that some of the Klingon and Romulan ship designs hedge towards a more phallic design. But again, we look at the Ferengi and I clearly see not a phallus but instead ovaries. Do the Ferengi have a collective unconscious fear of women? Is that why then that the Patriarchy strives so hard to keep their women subdued and powerless?

MakeItSew: Furthermore, there’s the romantic plotline between Quark and Pel. Within the scope of Star Trek, Quark is originally presented to the audience as a “True Male Ferengi”; and it is only through the exploration of his character throughout the series where he grew into something more. Pel was a female who disguised herself as a male in order to make profits. Up until this was revealed and the whole romantic subplot took over, Quark respected Pel more than most other Ferengi. When he found out that ‘he’ was in fact a ‘she’, he freaked out. Ferengi legal issues aside, I think that the concept that a woman could be as skilled if not more skilled than he destroys Quark’s mental construction of the role women play (or could play) in society.

MakeItSew: That brings me to the concept of the typical Ferengi household dynamic. A good Ferengi father is thought to be one that is out making profit and so it can be thought that the raising of the children rests solely on the mother. But what this often brings about is an inherent respect and protectiveness of one’s mother, along with fear as the mother would also be in the position of the chief disciplinarian and judge of their moral character. So, I argue, most male Ferengi would have a deep respect and fear of their mother figures. Extremes in behavior often beget other extremes. Extreme patriarchy perhaps gives way to the extreme power a mother’s approval has for their son. And while this may not ever manifest on a conscious social level, if we return to the idea of the subconscious of the Ferengi ship design, they have in fact designed a ship around a female. Soft lines and a uterine shape represents the Ferengi’s greatest form of domination: the shape of women in their life.

MakeItSew: #deeplatenightthoughts

MakeItSew: Hey, what are you still doing up anyway?

bruceleroy: That thought got super deep, holy shit. Now I'll look at everyone's designs here to see if they're expressing their unconscious fear of women through technology lol. Uh, wow, I don't know that much about Star Trek. I feel inadequate. I can't tell if this is because you're a Star Trek nerd or a psychology nerd.

bruceleroy: I'm doing work. Doing a proof of concept to see if we can take advantage of our currently advanced understanding of quantum physics. I'm more of a programmer and computer engineer guy, but I was thinking, what if I could code A.I that could detect an explosion a few seconds before it happens? Some kind of quantum time explosion detector… I haven't run this by anyone yet it just seems like a cool idea.

bruceleroy: Hey, I'm not afraid of women by the way. I still think we should meet soon. I mean, not that I'm in a hurry or anything, but… I mean you could come to Yamagato and have nice food.

MakeItSew: Probably some of both. I think about this kind of thing to help me fall asleep. Occupies my mind. Some would argue that I’m still busy psychoanalyzing things and that I’m just a workaholic. They’re probably right.

MakeItSew: I have no idea what any of that means, by the way, other than the vague descriptions of space travel and stuff they have in Star Trek. I was always more interested in the character development and the deep lore behind the races, but I’m glad ‘quantum time explosion detectors’ are a thing that other people think about. For the record, it does sound neat. Even if I don’t know how it works.

MakeItSew: I mean, Yamagato has nice food, yes. But there’s a deli around the corner from my office and I can cram half a sandwich in my face in fifteen minutes between appointments.

MakeItSew: Wait, you’re making a point that I should go out and be social aren’t you.

MakeItSew: Shit.

bruceleroy: I spend most of my time in my lab. I barely go to my apartment. You know I have one of those giant futuristic Yamagato apartments that they give us? I mostly sleep under my desk.

bruceleroy: In the end, it would just be us. I don't have a large group of friends to call out or anything… and we haven't seen each other since I was in college, even though we're in the same city now.

bruceleroy: No pressure, it's not a date or anything hahahahaha


MakeItSew: You’ve got an amazing apartment and you don’t even sleep in it? Go home, Leroy. The perks of a job like that are that you get that amazing apartment and all that comes along with it. I don’t sleep under my desk. I actually go home at night but that’s also because it would be very hard to cut fabric on my desk at work. Not enough surface area and I’d probably damage the wood if I didn’t have something there.

MakeItSew: And you saying “it’s not a date, no pressure” totally makes it sound like a date. I don’t date. People are too complicated for romantic relationships anyway. I mean, people can date each other, I just mean they’re too complicated for a relationship with me. I don’t mind eating some of Yamagato’s fancy food some time but don’t you dare come into thinking it’s a date. I am emotionally off-limits to the world as a whole. Yes, I am very aware this is unhealthy.

bruceleroy: It is pretty unhealthy, but it's okay. We've known each other long enough that I can't really think of any discernible difference between us dating and not dating. The important thing here is that we're both awake at 3am so that someone can tell the other to go to sleep.

bruceleroy: I also work too much to date. No one wants to be in a relationship with a guy who spends most of his time in a lab or getting cryptic messages from technopaths every other day. There's a reason we have to use this weird messaging system.

bruceleroy: But if we were both normal people who… what do normal people do… if we were both normal people who worked in a deli, I would do it.

bruceleroy: The upside of us being painfully unavailable is that we're both painfully unavailable at 3am at the same time.

MakeItSew: We’re not dating because we’re not dating. We’re two people on the internet at the same time that just happen to not hate each other, which is a miracle in and of itself. Just because you know someone for a long time doesn’t mean anything. But yes, we are both up at 3am because we’re workaholic idiots and I can’t find my sewing scissors.

bruceleroy: You remind me of a Vulcan sometimes. But I guess I'm harsh with my coworkers too. Programming is a delicate thing, and sometimes they think it's like magic. At least the ones who aren't as technologically inclined. Like the marketing people, they're the worst of all the coworkers.

bruceleroy: And I like to think that us knowing each other for a long time at least makes us adjacent to two Time Lords in a TARDIS, or wandering samurai on the same empty road. There's a shared experience with being workaholics who alienate the entire world but who are capable of talking to each other. Your Vulcan heart feels warm right now I bet. We're friiiieennddss. Close friiieeenndddsss.

MakeItSew: I’m not at all like a Vulcan. I don’t live by science and reason, I live by compassion towards my fellow man and emotions are good and valid. That being said I try to distance myself from personally feeling much about anything because I have seen exactly what kind of damage emotions can wreak and I certainly don’t want any of that because then I won’t be able to work. Feeling things are fine as long as they stay put and aren’t exposed to the sunlight to feed.

MakeItSew: Yes, we are friends, I will give you that. I certainly don’t have anyone else I’m talking to at 3am. WHERE THE HELL ARE MY SCISSORS

bruceleroy: You should let me make you a pair of bluetooth scissors, with wifi. Then you'll be able to find your scissors whenever you want.

bruceleroy: I think my reasons are a little different from yours. Getting hurt or feeling caught up is normal, that's just life. But with me, I'm afraid of being the one doing the neglecting and hurting. How would someone feel if I had some project I had to work on non-stop for two weeks? In a relationship, people want dinners, gifts, lots of attention, promises, things I'd like to give but work just doesn't allow for very much of. Finding someone who can tolerate my job isn't easy. The fancy apartment seems great until the reality sets in.

bruceleroy: I still don't think you should be a monk, but I respect your dedication.

MakeItSew: Actually bluetooth scissors kind of sound awesome. You should do that. But relationships aren’t about dinners and gifts and stuff. All of that? That’s just people trying their best to explain a complicated emotion to someone they share that complicated emotion with. The trick is to find someone you care enough about that you want to figure out ways to explain that to them. It’s all about what you value in the other person and what you’re willing to put up with. No, I don’t think a normal relationship would work for you because you have projects. But I think you could probably find someone who was understanding of when your deadlines are and works around them with you. People are flexible when they care, I’ve seen it.

MakeItSew: To be honest, if you’re asking me how I feel, I avoid personal relationships because it’s hard to shut off from work. All I do, all I see is people who need help with things. Sometimes I look and I see a solution right away and it’s all I can do to try and get that person where they need to be. I’ve done that thing my whole life. I don’t want to fix people, mind you, I just want them to realize they’re just stumbling and that rock is much smaller than they think it is. I wanna make it easier for people.

MakeItSew: The second I start letting myself get close to people I start muddying the waters. I’m gonna look at things differently. Plus there’s the fact that I’ll be constantly trying to help them with problems instead of just enjoying life like normal people. I’ll stick with 3am convos about Ferengi and Vulcans, thanks.

bruceleroy: Sounds like what you're telling me is that you don't believe you can date someone without instinctively becoming their therapist. So doesn't that mean you would need a unique kind of relationship situation too?"

bruceleroy: Approaching this from a problem solving perspective, because that's what I do all day too mind you, you'd need a relationship where they can appreciate your company, and appreciate your problems, while not necessarily sharing their problems. You'd enjoy other things about each other's company. On the surface it might sound like a selfish suggestion, but is it anymore selfish than someone not being able to provide for someone's physical needs, so the understanding of their relationship is that they seek that elsewhere, while the things about your current relationship remain healthy?

bruceleroy: I'm no psychologist, but what you're describing isn't a lack of desire, but a specific need that maybe you don't believe can be provided for you in a way that's entirely fair to someone. Personally, I believe that with honesty and communication, there's no such thing as an unfair need, as long as both people can continue to live their lives in a healthy way.

MakeItSew: Wow. You know, that’s not entirely bad advice. It doesn’t change the fact that I’m not looking for that sort of thing. I’m happy with my job and my tiny apartment and my sewing and my Star Trek. It’s uncomplicated and I can spend less time worrying about things that aren’t my patients. If I’m too caught up in my own problems, I can’t help them with theirs.

MakeItSew: You ever live life vicariously through another person? I just live life through a good couple dozen.

bruceleroy: I have this awful habit of having a very specific vision of life that no one else is living and I'm not living myself, so vicarious living is difficult since I can't find anyone with the life I want.

bruceleroy: I do work with beautiful women, so that's nice, but I try to keep a boundary so that we don't complicate things and end up accidentally building a deadly world destroying artificial intelligence because we flirted too hard.

bruceleroy: I think I feel strangely resigned about my life. I want more but I also don't feel like I'm missing enough to be sad about it. I helped give an entire city internet, it's difficult to think I'm failing at life after that. Talking to you is probably the best part of my private life, that and training artificial intelligences to beat increasingly difficult video games. So I guess you could say I kind of live online, and I'm not even a technopath.

MakeItSew: I’m sorry, who creates an AI from flirting? This sounds like a weird sci-fi novel now. I get the joke though. Sort of. In any case, life is what you make of it. If there’s a particular vision of life you want, go for it. Don’t let the world stop you. You’re intelligent, you’ve got useful skills, you’ve got your whole life ahead of you.

MakeItSew: I’m honestly sorry that this is the best part of your private life. It’s not much. I like it because sometimes you want to be able to see that it’s 3am and just say hi to someone. Sometimes you just need the spark of a human connection and that’s all you need to remember there’s good in the world and carry on.

MakeItSew: Go make a friend, Leroy. Doctor’s orders.

bruceleroy: Okay then let's go eat and talk in the day. Or I can give you a Yamagato tour. Or, I don't know a million other things we can do in a futuristic science wonderland.

bruceleroy: And when you're good enough at something, you can do a lot of things accidentally.

bruceleroy: But you don't have to be sorry, if we both enjoy this and no one's hurt by it, then doesn't that make it healthy? I admit, that sounds like something an unhealthy person would say…

MakeItSew: I will try to make time to hang out during a lunch break, but I make no promises. My patients are my priority and squishing in time can be busy. Consider it my polite socialization for the next decade.

MakeItSew: I’m not sorry that we talk, I’m sorry this is all you’ve got. That’s what I’m sorry about.

bruceleroy: Technically I should be sorry too, in that case. At least from what you tell me. So if we improve simultaneously then we'll both have one less reason to be sorry. "

bruceleroy: Just come over whenever you can find the time. I almost never leave Yamagato for any reason, it's not like I won't be here if you just show up one day. Have you ever even been here before?

MakeItSew: Not really. I’ve been in Yamagato Park before but I don’t have much reason to be over there, I don’t have any patients in the area. Never the building officially. Wouldn’t mind a tour, so long as it isn’t something excessively long.

MakeItSew: Found my scissors.

bruceleroy: Well, you go sew. I'll keep working on this proof of concept to present to the scientists that actually know what they're doing. I'll put you on the list as a guest.

MakeItSew: I appreciate it. Just don’t stay up too late, okay?

bruceleroy: You don't stay up too late either.

HanginWithMrClippy.exe is disconnecting…

Hangin' With Mr Cooper theme plays

HanginWithMrClippy.exe has disconnected

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License