Galaxy Quest Mathesar the Thermian (center)

Mathesar the Thermian (center).

What we can learn from the woeful, adorable cluelessness of our intergalactic friends the Thermians.

Sappy, upbeat, feel-good drivel from yours truly used to be a lot more rare before all this pandemic lockdown bullshit. Much as I've tried to maintain a steady flow of the silly/snarky crap you're used to—and even though we seem to be seeing a little bit of light at the end of the COVID tunnel, at least in terms of vaccine availability (and summer being right around the corner—wuhoo!)—I am, unfortunately, falling into the saccharine word trap more than I can say I'm proud of. For that, I ask your forgiveness.


Like most of you, not really being able to go anywhere or do anything "normal" sometimes makes me feel I've gone batty—especially during times of extra stress. Like right now. The PG staff has recently been working on migrating our thousands upon thousands of articles and videos to a new web host and completely different content-management system. On top of that, we've been putting the final touches on what inevitably ends up being one of our most complicated content projects of the year—our annual No-Brainer Mods DIY projects. Factor in other extraneous headaches and circumstances I won't bore you with, and it's all added up to an exceptionally stressful couple of weeks for the crew here.

As for how it's affected me and my somewhat pulverized brain, I'll put it this way: I didn't really know what I was going to write in this space till I woke at 5 a.m. this morning worrying about all this and more. What's weird is that, in the still of the not-quite-wakey-wakey time, the humming, monotonal voice of Mathesar the Thermian came into my head unbidden. "Never give up. Never surrender."

Like you, I sometimes just want to say, "fuck it." Screw this shit—whatever it might be.

Played with aplomb by Enrico Colantoni, Mathesar is actually quoting a worn-out line usually uttered by the stereotypically macho and overconfident Commander Peter Quincy Taggart (Tim Allen), but it means more coming from lovable ol' Mathy. (Sidenote: If you have no idea what I'm talking about, that means you haven't seen the hilariously witty and affectionate sci-fi send-up that is Galaxy Quest. Put it in your watch list, pronto.)

But back to me—the sarcastic, jaded curmudgeon you've come to love and loathe—awake at an ungodly hour and somehow feeling inexplicably optimistic. I won't try to understand the positivity that crept into my pitch-black bedroom, but I'm gonna roll with it.

Like you, I sometimes just want to say, "fuck it." Screw this shit—whatever it might be in your life or mine. Your hairstyle. Your job. Living where you live. Putting up with that bandmate who can't seem to communicate about a songwriting issue without coming across like a tool. That cool riff you can't seem to get out of your head—but also can't seem to get quite right. It can be anything, really. We're so "used to" the malaise/misery of this past year's worldwide predicament that it's really easy to just want to hit the nuke button without stepping back, taking a breath, and trying to assess the situation from a pre- or post-pandemic perspective.

That's not to say some aspects of our lives shouldn't be detonated and walked away from like the swaggering protagonist in a clichéd action flick. For our own growth, happiness, and/or sanity, sometimes it's a must. Just don't do it on a whim. Don't let the myriad weasels of annoyance popping up all over the place in our lives keep you seeing red too often. Sure, some of 'em really are rabid, disease-carrying rodents screaming out for nothing less than a bop on the head with a large sledgehammer … but others are just little creepers that have innocently wandered onto our life's weird "set."

Never give up. Never surrender.

Seriously, though. Put Galaxy Quest into your queue.


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