The 2016 World Series

It's on!

Tonight at 6:08pm Mountain Standard, it's Game 1 of the World Series.

The American League Champions: The Cleveland Indians
Record: 94-67, .584
Last 20 games: 15-5, including only one loss against Toronto since September 28th
Famous curse: The Curse of Rocky Colavito

The National League Champions: The Chicago Cubs (no, seriously!)
Record: 103-58, .640 and best in Major League Baseball
Last 20 games: 14-6
Famous curse: The Curse of the Billy Goat (vanquished)

The Indians pitching been almost perfect this postseason, holding Toronto to only three runs over their 4 wins (they gave up 5 in the loss), and posting three shutouts (2 with Toronto, 1 with Boston). They've needed to be, since they scored only 12 runs over three games in the ALCS. Of special note is the Cleveland rotation, who had to play almost the entirety of Game 3 after Trever Bauer's "old drone injury" acted up in the first inning.

The Cubs can counter with the best starting rotation in all of baseball, with the trio of Arrieta, Hendricks, and Lester. In games at Wrigley with NL rules they gain the advantage of pitchers who can hit: in the first 21 innings against the Giants the Cubs pitchers had more RBIs than the entire San Fransisco team. The Cubs had scoring issues of their own, going 21 scoreless innings in the NLCS before coming alive in Game 4 and scoring twenty-three (23) runs over the next three games.

Game 1: This is the game 6:08pm MT tonight at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Jon Lester (LHP, 0.86 postseason ERA) takes the mound for the Cubs, while Corey Kluber (RHP, 0.98 postseason ERA) will pitch for the Indians.

Game 2: Also at Progressive Field at 6pm MT tomorrow, Jake Arrieta (RHP, 4.91 postseason ERA) will pitch for the Cubs, while Cleveland hasn't been confirmed but will probably be Josh Tomlin (RHP, 2.53 postseason ERA) due to Bauer's injury.

Game 3: This game will be at Wrigley Field at 6pm MT on Friday. Chicago has announced Kyle Henricks (RHP, 1.65 postseason ERA) will be on the mound for the home team, with Trevor Bauer (RHP, 5.06 postseason ERA) the starting pitcher for the Cleveland Indians.

Game 4: This is also at Wrigley Field at 6pm on Saturday. Cleveland has yet to announce their starting pitcher, but assuming they aren't down 3-0 in the series it will likely be the rookie Mike Clevinger (RHP, 5.40 postseason ERA). Chicago has already announced that John Lackey (RHP, 5.63 postseason ERA) will be the starter, but this would probably change of the Cubs are down 3-0 at this point.

Game 5 (if required): Game 5 will be in Chicago at 6pm ET on Sunday, and neither team is in a position to project their starting pitchers going forward.

Game 6 (if required): Game 6 returns to Cleveland at 6pm MT Tuesday November 1st at 6pm ET.

Game 7 (if required): Game 7, representing the end of the 2016 MLB season, will be held in Cleveland at 6pm MT on Wednesday November 2nd. If required, Game 7 would be the eleventh ever November game in MLB history (not counting the "late night Halloween game" of 2001).

The Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs are going to the World Series.

That statement alone is, to be frank, shocking. The infamous "Curse of the Billy Goat", which I first wrote about almost ten years ago has been long interpreted to mean that the Chicago Cubs were never again even going to appear in a World Series. Throughout the 50s and 70s, the Cubs were famously a laughing stock. The only thing that saved them in the 60s was the legendary Ernie Banks along with the "great trio" of Ron Santo, Billy Williams and pitcher Fergie Jenkin. Attendance was still good, and it featured a 92-win season where the Mets still beat them for the pennant. However, the post-war era saw the "College of Coaches", the burning American flag incident, and three consecutive decades without an appearance in the postseason. The Cubs didn't reclaim any magic until the 1984 postseason, which, as I wrote at the start of the postseason, ended in a Billy Buckner play before there was even a Billy Buckner play. The Cubs would return to the postseason again in 1989 but without any heroics or interesting plays. Just another loss, just another year not making the World Series. The 1990s featured huge campaigns by Ryne Sandberg, Sammy Sosa, Greg Maddux, and Kerry Wood, and at least another postseason appearance. The Cubs are retaining their "lovable losers" status. With the exception of the 1984 disaster, it doesn't look like any dramatic curse-related stuff is bound to happen. Just decent but not good enough baseball.

Which brings us to the post-9/11 era of the Chicago Cubs. I was at Wrigley Field for a game in September 2003, and that was the year that the Cubs went on to win the pennant and secure a postseason berth. I was in New Orleans during the ALCS and was at a bar watching the game on...the day. You know what day that is. The day. The day that Steve Bartman, Cubs fan extraordinaire and participating in a routine fan activity that you see at least once or twice in every Major League Baseball game, fucks the team up and cements "The Curse" as a thing back in the collective consciousness.

I'm not kidding, either. Check out this SBNation post about the Steve Bartman game and scroll down until you see...
This guy. This guy in the gray jacket right here. This guy is you. And you were both lucky to walk away, whistling, free to go about your lives.

As the SBNation post mentions, and this is true about every "curse" event, is that that wasn't the be-all and end-all of the game and the series. The Steve Bartman incident was in Game 6 of the NLCS, an NLCS the Cubs had a 3-1 series lead in. What happened in Game 5? The Cubs lost, Steve Bartman wasn't involved. Game 7? The Cubs lost, Steve Bartman wasn't involved. And even in Game 6, the Steve Bartman incident wasn't a bottom of the 9th event that made or broke the game. Steve Bartman was nowhere near the ground ball hit by Miguel Cabrera and famously fumbled by Alex Gonzalez. Gonzalez makes that play, nobody knows who Steve Bartman was. Kyle Farnsworth was ordered to intentionally walk Mike Lowell, who then scored because Sammy Sosa didn't throw to the cutoff man. None of these people are Steve Bartman, and remember the Cubs still had a Game 7 they didn't win.

But then, that's true of every curse, every bad play. A black cat ran across Ron Santo in 1969, when the Cubs were 84-52 and the Mets were 5 games back. However, the black cat didn't shun a platoon system and left the best Cubs players exhausted in September: that was manager Leo Durocher. The Cubs played 26 games after the black cat incident and only won 8 of them, and no cats were seen at any of those games. Speaking of the Mets, any "Curse of the Bambino" fan can tell you about "Billy Fucking Buckner" and Game 6 of the World Series. That was a bottom of the 9th scenario (bottom of the 10th, actually), and had Buckner not misplayed that ball the Red Sox would have won the series. But they didn't lose the series that night either. Game 7 wasn't caused by Billy Fucking Buckner, though maybe had Oil Can Boyd not shown up to the game drunk as a skunk. Buckner actually had a pretty good game (2 hits in 4 AB with a run scored). The Oilers losing Dwayne Roloson in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final hurt, but the Oilers only scored a single goal in Game 7, and you can't blame Marc-Andre Bergeron for that. Baseball games are made up of a minimum 27 at-bats per team (as the Los Angeles Dodgers can attest to!) so there's always lots of reasons for a team to win or lose.

There was no "curse" involved in the Cubs losing the 2007 and 2008 NLDS, nor the 2015 NLCS sweep at the hands of the Mets. But what separates the 2003 Cubs from the 2008 Cubs is that in 2003, the Cubs weren't the only team in baseball facing a curse. Hell, they weren't the only team from Chicago facing a curse. Yet in 2004, the Red Sox broke the 86-year Curse of the Bambino, for the "crime" of selling Babe Ruth. The next year, 2005, saw the White Sox break their 88 year Curse of the...Cheating...Scumbags. There was hope for the Cubs to break their curse in 2006 when I wrote that blogpost linked to above (they finished 6th). In 2008 was the hundred year anniversary of the last Cubs World Series crown, and then they were swept out of the NLDS by the Dodgers. Last year they were playing in the NLCS and apparently being de-cursed by Back To The Future Part II. This curse, somehow, endured.

But now, for the first time since October 1945, the Chicago Cubs are playing in the World Series. What was going on when the Cubs were in the World Series?
  • Elvis Presley, aged 10, performed in public for the first time
  • A bloody riot takes place at the Warner Brothers lot when striking set designers get a little slap-happy
  • A patent is filed for the microwave oven
The day after the Cubs lose to the Tigers in the World Series, the Chinese Civil War began. Red China is younger than the Cubs' World Series drought. Cubs fans are excited, they are pumped, they are in awe of the history being made...and, if we can be honest, a little melancholy. What does it mean to support a successful Chicago Cubs team? Losing has defined the Cubs for so long that it's more than just a habit, more than just a default position, it's a part of Cubs fans identity. They're the lovable losers from the (rich, white) north side of Chicago, Illinois. We always get teased with the possibility of greatness to have it stolen away from us. Babe Ruth calling the ball. Losing a game when winning 8-0. Leon Durham losing the ball between his legs. Black cats, Steve Bartman, and a goat. At the start of the postseason I laughed in the blogpost title at the notion of the Cubs making it to the World Series. Something always happens. You saw young people excited over the Cubs, and just chuckled. The Curse would teach them. They would learn to be a fan of the team without ever being deluded into thinking they could win it all. They would learn to be Cubs fans.

But now the paradigm is turned on its head. The Cubs are in the World Series. 71 years of heartache has already ended, and 108 years of heartache is within our grasp. What will it mean to cheer on a Cubs team after their curse has lifted? The Boston Red Sox saw a big leap in popularity following their 2004 World Series win (which coincided with hundreds of thousands of Expos fans looking for a new team). The Cubs have never been short on fans, but how will Cubs fans deal with all these new Johnny-come-lately fans who will jump onto the Cubs bandwagon only to be frustrated if they don't make it to the World Series between 2018-2030? What will young fans who only know the post-Bartman era think? If you're a 20 year old, the Cubs have made it to the postseason six times in your lifetime, four times since you can remember, and twice in a row playing in the NLCS. Is it being that special to be a fan of such a team? Pandora's Box of Cubs achievements has already been opened, and closing it may be difficult. The Curse of the Billy Goat is over, and if the Cubs miss the World Series next year in a humiliating or hilarious fashion, it's not something we can blame on a bar-owner named Sianis anymore. It's just our favourite team being shitty and disappointing us. But it's only a tiny disappointment now, a season's disappointment, a temporary event caused by rich athletes letting us down. Before, it was but a tiny part of a lifetime of disappointment, a long-standing tradition older than the...Angels, Senators/Twins, Astros, Mets, Royals, Expos/Nationals, Padres, Pilots/Brewers, Mariners, Blue Jays, Marlins, Rockies, Diamondbacks, and Devil Rays. The prototypical Cubs fan was Al Bundy (who, by the way, was Steve Bartman before Steve Bartman was Steve Bartman), like the second-season episode where Al and Steve collect classic Chicago Cubs baseball cards (minus Ernie Banks and Ken Hubbs).

We've replaced Al Bundy and Steve Goodman with Eddie Vedder and Bill Murray. Not to be a dig against either one of them, but they're just too...successful...to be Cubs fans. Even John Cusack feels like a step a little too high. When the holy figures of hipsterdom are fans of your team, can you be the lovable losers again? Can you be the lovable losers after a big win like this? It's not easy learning to adapt to plenty after being used to starvation. Most lottery winners end up miserable. The Red Sox and the White Sox have already beaten their curses. If the Cubs have moved from being "the cursed team you can tell your grandchildren about" to just another team that sometimes wins and sometimes loses, who is left to turn to? The second longest Cubs World Series drought is the Cleveland Indians (who are also in the World Series). After that is two teams who never played in the World Series since forming: the Nationals and the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners might be a good candidate: after all, they tied for the best record in the history of baseball only to lose the ALCS to the Yankees in the wake of 9/11. The Pirates haven't been in the World Series since their 1979 win, and the Brewers only appeared in one World Series in 1982 and never have won it all. They're also from Milwaukee, which is basically just northside Chicago extended slightly north. These are all decent picks, and you can easily live a lifetime where one of these teams is around but never wins a World Series. They do miss out on being generational losers, and in a sense nothing can ever replace the Chicago Cubs.

And that's maybe why I'm a little down about them in the World Series. A 71-year curse has been abolished, and it won't even be in my lifetime or even my children's lifetime that we can see anything like it ever again.

If there's any consolation in all of this, let's remember that the Curse of the Billy Goat covers the black cat and Steve Bartman and Leon Durham and four infield errors in Game 2 of the 2008 NLDS. You know what it doesn't cover? Billy Herman misplaying the ball and costing the Cubs the 1935 World Series. It doesn't cover the 1932 World Series where Cubs fans "got the goat" (no pun intended, Ruth said so himself) of Babe Ruth and he reacted by calling the next hit. The Cubs gave up an 8-0 lead in Game 4 of the 1929 World Series, and Billy Sianis hadn't even founded the damned Tavern yet (it opened in 1934). In other words, and I don't think you can say this enough, the legend of the Cubs didn't start with the Curse in 1945.

So if the Cubs can stink up the World Series and lose to the Cleveland Indians (another team of destiny, drawing many comparisons to the Kansas City Royals of 2015), then the cosmos isn't going to collapse. The Chicago Cubs will still be the lovable losers of yore. You'll still be able to say that there is not a single person alive today who remembers the Chicago Cubs last winning a World Series. The century-plus World Series victory drought will still be a thing, and getting one step closer and somehow failing to reach it (possibly in hilariously heartbreaking fashion) will just be another feather in the cap of long-suffering Cubs fans. This will remain a generational failure, where your great-grandfather who you never met was the last relative who read about a Cubs World Series in the newspapers. In other words, the Cubs can still be the Cubs. All the Cleveland Indians have to do is break their losing streak.



Nobody (especially me) could have believed it, but the Cubs won tonight in dominant fashion, and are...this is no joke...heading to the 2016 World Series.

Now read up on the musical legacy behind "Go Cubs Go". And now that you know all about the song, it's damned time that you sung it.


The Chicago Cubs quest to be the 2016 World Series Ch....Ch....Ch.... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh man! I almost got through that whole thing with a straight face!

At 7pm today Mountain Standard Time, the Chicago Cubs will start their postseason campaign by hosting the San Francisco Giants.

Many Cubs fans are riding high right now. The Cubs finished the season with 103 wins, the most in all of Major League Baseball, and their .640 winning percentage beats the next highest (Texas and Washington, each of which had 95 wins) by .054...which is more than the gap between the .500 Kansas City Royals and the wild card Jays/Orioles. Their OPS was the third highest in the league, Kris Bryant was a top ten home run hitter, and four of their players are in the top 15 for on-base percentage. But the real story of the Cubs this year has been the pitching, not the hitting: Jake Arrieta allowed the lowest batting average in the majors this year, and three more Cubs pitchers are in the top ten. Three Cubs pitchers are in the top ten lowest WHIP in the league as well, with two Cubs pitchers taking the top two ERA spots in all of baseball this season. The Cubs can play a dominant game, no question about it.

Will they win the World Series?

[Editor's Note: Feynman and Coulter's Love Child is busy having another laughing and crying fit, so I'll assume the answer is no.]

Okay look. The Cubs are riding high. The last time they broke 100 wins was 1935...when they only played 154. Shockingly enough, that mark only ranks fifth in the all-time number of season wins (they won 116 in 1906 when they lost the World Series). But the Cubs have been here before. They won 97 games just last season, 97 in 2008, 96 in 1984, and 98 in 1945...when again a season was only 154 games. You might remember hearing something about a Cubs World Series run in 1945...most Cubs fans today weren't even born when that campaign went on, but it reverberates through history.

The Cubs lost the World Series because of a goddamned goat. We've remarked how weird it is that the Curse of the Goat remains to this day...but yet it remains. Every year, a Cubs season ends in heartbreak. The nature of the heartbreak changes year to year, but it doesn't ever go away. And I mean never.

In that 1984 season, the Cubs had their own "Bill Fucking Buckner Moment" when Cubs first baseman Leon Durham allowed San Diego's Carmelo Martínez easy hit to dribble through his knees and score a tying RBI that kicked off a Padres rally that eliminated the Cubs from the postseason. Third Edge of the Sword favourite James Loney hit a rare home run to give the Dodgers a 4-2 Game 1 lead...oh, it was a 2-0 game before he hit it. In 1969 the "black cat incident" jinxed the Cubs and started them on the road to a losing streak that cost them the pennant. The Cubs would go on to get swept after leading the National League with 97 wins. And every baseball fan knows about the 2003 Steve Bartman incident. But there's more to the Cubs heartbreak than the Billy Sianis incident that kept them from ever even seeing the World Series.

The Chicago Cubs lost the World Series in 1906 and then won in 1907 and 1908. They then played in the 1910, 1918, 1929, 1932, 1935, 1938, and 1945 World Series. They won a whopping eight games in those seven World Series. The worst of them was the 1935 Series where the Cubs blew a 3-2 lead in Game 6 and then coughed up a weak hit in the ninth inning over Billy Herman's glove. The Cubs had won 21 games straight in September and then lost when it really mattered.

Second to that had to be the 1932 World Series. You know that one....Babe Ruth gestured to the stands in Game 3 and then delivered on his promise. Despite having a lead in every game, the Cubs were swept in four. That was probably the second worst World Series game in Cubs history. The worst? Game 4 of the 1929 World Series where the Cubs had an 8-0 lead going into the bottom of the 7th...an hour later the score was 10-8 and the Cubs were out...including a routine fly ball dropped that turned into a 3-run inside-the-park home run.

So Cubs fans are going to be disappointed. There's no question of that. The bigger the hype for a Cubs season, the bigger the disappointment. And that's why every time you see younger Cubs fans getting excited, you'll see an older fan...not even necessarily that old, just more experienced...standing behind him and telling him to calm down.

You develop the callouses eventually. The Cubs are on top of the league. They are the favourites to win the NLDS, the NLCS, and the World Series.

They won't. They'll collapse. Somehow. Almost certainly before making it to the Series. It will be another chapter, it will be glorious, and it will be something nobody could expect. A routine fly ball in the sun. A routine bloop to first base. A cat in the dugout. A goat in the stands. An overly aggressive fan in the stands. A superstar calling the ball in a way never before seen in sports.

I'll be cheering on the Cubs for the next week. Maybe even the next two weeks.

But not three. I won't get overly excited. They're the Cubs.


This day in (blog) history

Do you miss Stephen Harper yet?

Who do we have to thank for this? Paul Martin. For one thing, as some will remember, the dollar was a relatively strong high 70s performer when he took power in 1993. By his departure in 2003 the dollar had dropped to historic lows. (This, incidently, is a major reason why 1995-2003 was also the drought of Canadian teams appearing in the Stanley Cup Finals). Martin's coup suddenly caused the dollar to shoot up in value, as Canadian currency was no longer under the control of a dangerous lunatic. Additionally, Martin's politiking skills were so poor that Stephen Harper was able to become Prime Minister, and I don't need to tell you how confident the world markets are in his leadership abilities. (Unless you're from Saskatchewan. I'll summarize. Tory good. Liberal bad).
Of note in the original post, already Ontario is happy that the low dollar is hiding their inefficient manufacturing sector.


The only bigger joke is pretending there are more than two (intransmutable) genders

I thought the Edmonton Fag Pride Parade was held in June...why are they having it now?

And yes, of course, this is a classic joke that works year after year.

And now a musical number reminding poofters that their sick lifestyle choices are the reason they have to get together every year to commiserate their pain.


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode 5x26 and 6x01 liveblog

In commemoration with the 50th anniversary of the debut of Star Trek, September 8th 1996, we here at Third Edge of the Sword World Headquarters in Riverside, Iowa present a liveblog of the DS9 Season 5 finale "A Call to Arms" and the sixth season debut "A Time to Stand".

We'll start "A Call to Arms" at 11pm Eastern Standard Time, 8pm Pacific. "A Time to Stand" will start at midnight EST, 9pm Pacific.

Note: all times are in Mountain Standard Time

21:01: And we're off. Garak is showing Leeta and Rom wedding dresses. Compelling!

21:03: "It's two hankerchiefs and a loincloth!". Sometimes the non-Trek writing on this show sparkels. And who wants a Tellarite wedding dress?

21:04: "Any marriage where the female is allowed to speak and wear clothing is doomed to failure." Man, you gotta love Quark. It's a shame they pussified the Ferengi at the end of the series.

21:05: "Would you marry me?" Rom propositions Sisko in a rare Star Trek fagshenanigans gag. The scary music swells as a convoy leaves the wormhole bound for Cardassia. War is coming, kids.

21:06: Deep Space Nine really has an underappreciated theme song doesn't it? Obviously it can't hold a candle to the TNG theme since it was just a ripoff of the Jerry Goldsmith Star Trek: The Motion Picture theme. But DS9 is hopeful, brooding, often triumphant and apprehensive, and it never gets much respect. You can listen to 30 remixes and covers of the Voyager theme, but none for DS9. It's a shame.

21:08: It's worth noting that "A Call to Arms" is the only episode of Deep Space Nine that shares its title with a narrative piece on Babylon 5, specifically the fourth TNT movie where Sheridan and Garibaldi [rest in peace, Jerry Doyle... -ed] oversee the construction of the destroyer-class White Star. That episode features the legendary Tony Todd, who of course also plays Worf's brother.

21:10: Ben and Jake have a conversation about Jake being involved in the "Starfleet News Service", and Sisko doesn't like his public (or possibly private?) statements reported in the press. If this is a military press, then Sisko should already have some authority over what they publish. Later Jake will work for the Federation News Service, a civilian press organization which obviously wouldn't be subject to Starfleet oversight.

21:11: Everybody pay attention to this scene. It's a big and important scene, and not just because the geopolitical structure of the galaxy is being discussed. The Romulans have signed a nonaggression pact with The Dominion, which will ultimately lead in one of the greatest hours of television ever: "In the Pale Moonlight". There's a Tholian name-drop, which happened a lot in DS9 without payoff. We'd have to wait until Enterprise to see that.

21:12: Anyways, Sisko and Starfleet agree that they're losing the peace. Which means the Federation will mine the entrance to the wormhole.

21:15: If you think really hard about the minefield, you'll see that the science doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Each mine could have a replicator unit, but they need power to replicate other mines. This realistically wouldn't work scientifically, but all you need to know is magical technobabble means the mines will do the job your brain thinks they will. It also means that laying the mines will take a lot of time and tie up the Defiant while she has no cloaking device or shields.

21:16: Odo makes an excuse to see Kira: cutting off subspace traffic to prevent leaks. Seeing how Sisko basically just openly said on the bridge "Starfleet is preparing an armada to make a first strike on Dominion holdings in Cardassian territory" that is probably a good idea. The Odo-Kira relationship never sat well with me, and this is Odo being as he should be: cold and emotionless. Not sappy, even though René Auberjonois does that look so well.

21:20: Weyoun has arrived to threaten Sisko fairly blatently. Usually the Vorta are the classic nice-talking diplomats, but here Weyoun almost pounds his shoe on the table and cries "we will bury you!" Sisko doesn't give any quarter back either, and when Weyoun tries to "compromise" Sisko holds his ground. Weyoun tries his good cop routine again, of course, and gives a total bullshit reason for the military convoy. This is a great scene. Weyoun proposes civilian-only transport ships to cease the mining of the wormhole.

21:22: I enjoyed this scene more when you the viewer had to see through the subtext yourself. Unfortunately, as Penksy File notes, 90s audiences needed things spelled out though. After Weyoun leaves on "good terms" and Sisko explains to the senior staff that the entire last half of the conversation was a ruse. The minefield has to be finished within 16 hours.

21:24: Sisko asks Kira to meet with the Council of Ministers, so that he can persuade them to sign a nonaggression pact with the Dominion. He says Bajor must be kept safe, those were his orders in the first episode. Actually, his orders were to do everything short of violating the Prime Directive to get Bajor to join the Federation. Dude should learn to read better.

21:25: Remember what I said about the Odo-Kira romance? Double goes to the Garak-Ziyal romance. Robinson plays a great speech, but he's really a softie compared to the cold hearted bastard from "The Wire".

21:26: Rom and Leeta are married. This is still a horrible romance, but not as bad as those other two. Nog refers to the Dabo Girl as "Moogie" which is weird. Chase Masterson is 6 years older than Aron Einsenberg.

21:28: All Bajorans have left the station, Sisko has prepared his top secret program (which shouldn't need any computer prep time, but whatever), and Martok has the Dominion Fleet on sensors. Gul Dukat does his best 1989 Batman Joker gag and takes over the screen, making idle threats.

21:30: Already it's the "Federation News Service". Way to stay internally consistent, episode writers.

21:31: Garak is telling Odo about the events of "The Way of the Warrior" where he and Dukat fought side-by-side and Garak turned down the
opportunity to kill him.

21:32: I didn't remember this episode having so much family and relationship drama. The brothers Ferengi argue and then make up in the face of disaster.

21:33: Kira "officially" protests Starfleet still occupying Deep Space Nine, and then reports for duty. That's a lot of ships!

21:35: Dukat gives the game away, talking about how he plans to invade Bajor next. Weyoun will have none of that.

21:36: SHOTS FIRED! The Battle for Deep Space Nine has commenced. It's awfully hard to write about a bunch of effects shots, though at least Weyoun comes in to be shocked the Federation has developed shields the Dominion weapons cannot penetrate. Dukat references their science abilities, and then oddly enough brings up Sisko.

21:38: Martok saves the Defiant from Jem'Hadar warships so they can finish the mines. Dukat uses his knowledge of the station to tell the Dominion/Cardassian fleet to concentrate on a section of the docking ring, a move he stole from Captain Picard in Star Trek: First Contact. He penetrates the shields just as the last mine is deployed. The mines all activate and then cloak, which confuses me since I thought they weren't cloaking them.

21:39: Sisko gives up the ghost, Starfleet will evacuate the station. Spoiler warning: this will somehow be done very slowly without any tension.

21:41: Oh my God, another romance scene? This one between Dax and Worf. She kisses him when they should be evacuating the station, seeing how the Dominion has punched through the shields.

21:42: Sisko is explaining how important Deep Space Nine has been to him, and also how Starfleet has successfully destroyed Dominion shipyards. After his long-winded speech on a station apparently about to be destroyed/invaded, he beams aboard a (shieldless) Defiant and Starfleet evacuates DS9 along with...Garak. Somehow they let him on a warship.

21:43: The Defiant found time to dock in this mess? Both she and Martok's ship cloak and escape.

21:44: Kira welcomes the Dominion to Deep Space Nine and launches Sisko's secret program, which does to the computers on the station what the Goldeneye satellite did in the eponymous James Bond movie. Quark's, somehow, has lights despite Sisko's program. I don't know how that works.

21:45: Rom has gone back to work for his brother, and openly says that he's a Federation spy. He runs into Federation citizen Jake Sisko, who wants to stay in the warzone and report for the Federation and/or Starfleet news services.

21:46: Sisko is mad as hell about Jake, but he can't risk the ship to go back for him. Starfleet will regroup for a counterstrike while Dukat and Weyoun stride onto the promenade. Weyoun wants to remind everybody that the Federation probably won this round. Kira/Odo/Quark welcome the Dominion (and arrogant Cardassians) to Terok Nor, as Weyoun snivels.

21:47: Dukat has discovered...

(cue scary music)...

...Sisko's baseball. See you next year! Or, for the purposes of this liveblog, see you in about ten minutes.

22:02: "In memory of Brandon Tartikoff", the Paramount executive who green-lit The Next Generation in 1986.

22:03: We're still looking at scenes from the previous episode. Remember back when they had to do this?

22:04: "And now, the continuation". That's a phrase that only was said on Deep Space Nine. A battered Starfleet/Klingon task force retreats to safety while O'Brian complains.

22:05: Why is Garak still on the Defiant? Sure, he can "study star charts" but he's not Starfleet personnel. In fact, he's not even from the Cardassian military. He was an intelligence officer.

22:06: Is Bashir "showing off" by using his super-enhanced brain, or are the writers just being lazy? I'd say the latter. We already have Dax doing the Spock "recite the odds" thing, we don't need another one.

22:07: Speaking of Vulcans, Garak accuses Bashir of being one. These same arguments will be used by Bashir against the "Jack Pack" in "Statistical Probabilities" later this season.

22:08: "You get married the way you want" Dax says to Sisko. He will. Against Starfleet wishes.

22:09: Why is Bashir the only one who's dirty? Why is Sisko able to break the table? Opening credits...

22:12: "Permanent documentation file". I'm glad I don't live in the Star Trek universe, it seems like everybody has to record captain's logs and personal logs repeatedly. Odo made fun of that fact in one episode, apparently he's the only one in the universe.

22:13: The Bajorans are coming back! Weyoun has a vision of the station that sounded like what Sean Penn claimed pre-war Iraq was like. Kira wants the Bajoran security officers to be reinstated, and Weyoun is cool with it. Dukat refuses though. Weyoun promises the security guards will be reinstated...eventually.

22:14: Poor Weyoun. He's desperate to win Odo's affections. Try having a bumpy nose and a nice rack...

22:15: Weyoun kicks Damar out of the room and insists that Dukat consults him on future decisions. He doesn't like having to tell a Dominion ally "no".

22:17: Quark is trying to get the table-hogging Jem'Hadar soldiers in the spirit of the bar/casino, and it's just not working. They don't want holosuites, they don't want the dabo tables. I kept waiting for the "maybe Vorta are sex maniacs" talk from Leeta, I guess it's not in this episode.

22:19: "As occupations go, this one isn't that bad". Compared to the Cardassians running the station, Quark notes that Terok Nor used to be a worse place to be. There's no outward sign of problems on the station (other than no Bajoran security officers). Everything is clean and well behaved.

22:21: Hi Admiral Ross! While at Regula One Starbase, Sisko is relieved of command of the Defiant.

22:22: Hi Admiral Cartwright! Brock Peters has come back to the Star Trek franchise to yell at Sisko for not sending a fleet to rescue an 18 year old who dreams of being a journalist. I keep forgetting he was already in season four episodes.

22:24: Sisko Sr. says space is so big and infinite...so why can't all these galactic powers be happy with the territory they already have? Good line. Now he should ask why ships always meet along the same plane when meeting in space.

22:26: Jake tries to interview "Mr. Weyoun" for his articles, but Weyoun doesn't like Jake's biased reporting and "pejorative terminology" and therefore he has blocked transmission of Jake's articles. Weyoun insists that Jake will need a "more balanced" perspective if he wants his news reports to make it to Federation space. At least Jake isn't writing "Dominion propaganda" after receiving $150 million annually...

22:28: Starfleet is using the stolen Dominion destroyer to infiltrate Dominion space and destroy the Ketracel-white facilities. Nog and O'Brien discuss the issues with the ship: no chairs, no infirmary, no replicators, and no viewscreen.

22:30: They brought Garak on this mission too? The whole joy of Garak is when he's used in small doses. Without a viewscreen, only Sisko can see what it looks like outside with that eye-thingy.

22:31: How does the door in Sisko/Dukat's office know not to open because Dukat hasn't "dismissed" Kira yet? Dukat does the usual thing he does with Kira, trying to get on her good side so that he can get in that elusive "mother and daughter" screw. It also know when he steps in front of the door that he wants to block her rather than walk out through it.

22:34: Dukat figures that the worst thing in the galaxy is Cardassia as a "third rate power", and now he dreams of the Dominion turning the Alpha Quadrant (Bajor, Earth, all of it) to him, and naked Kira as a handy side dish. Now the door knows to open.

22:35: Sisko needed a shot to get over the headaches caused by the Jem'Hadar headsets, and Garak notes that Cardassians have been seen to use them. I think he just senses deep down inside that Gul Dukat is treating his baseball like the top from Inception

22:37: The USS Centaur has opened fire on them, and followed them across the border. Sisko uses baseball analogies and the weapons array to disable the ship. Unfortunately, the real Jem'Hadar are chasing after "Charlie", the Centaur's captain.

22:39: The Jem'Hadar are receiving their daily dose of the Ketracel White drug, and Dukat has finally combed the messy hair he used to try and seduce Kira. Dukat tries to figure out the specific hierarchy of the Dominion, and Weyoun insists that everybody serves the Founders. Odo (a Founder) arrives at Kira's behest to ask for his security services. Weyoun consents without the slightest hesitation...but then asks Odo to join Weyoun and Dukat on the Ruling Council.

22:41: Is Odo on the council a good idea? Dukat doesn't like it, so Odo thinks it will be good based on that alone. Kira is less sure, but Odo talks her into accepting it. She's scared that Odo on the council legitimizes the invasion.

22:42: Starfleet's Jem'Hadar destroyer watches a real destroyer load up on White, and then plans to repeat it themselves...and beam down a bomb.

22:43: As our heroes make the exchange, the base raises its shields. 90 seconds to go to warp or we're all dead.

22:45: Sisko's plan is to time their escape so that they pass the security net just as their bomb goes off...just like Bashir requests: 1.3 seconds before detonation. This is kind of tense.

22:46: Things didn't go as planned. The bomb went off ahead of schedule, and the ship is in one piece...mostly. Deflectors and navigation are down, and the warp engines are gone forever. That means a 17 year trip back to a starbase, which means they are...pretty close, since that means going less than lightspeed. Bashir should have really answered "56,312,092 years" or something.

22:47: And that's the episode...ends on a bit of a downer for a season opener, but then Season 6 will be that sort of season.


@emmaoulton @chescaleigh

Hey guess what? Free speech is a fundamental and inalienable human right.

But if somebody's speech is curtailed, cowardly left-wing cunt Franchesca Ramsey should be the first to suffer. After all, she doesn't believe in your free expression.

So punish her when she tries to exercise hers.

`emmaoulton Im in favour of imprisoning and/or executing chescaleigh to prevent her from speaking Everybody else gets FreeSpeech


Turnabout (Intruder) is Fair Play

I've been listening to the Pensky Podcasts discussing Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Earlier this year they reviewed "The Outcast" and I have posted a YouTube comment regarding the episode:

I'm gonna go with a -1 and say that I wish this episode didn't exist. Not only would I never watch it again, I was very uncomfortable while I watched the whole thing, and I think their treatment of it, while not overtly rage-worthy, it adds to the normalization of sodomy and the Homo Agenda that I find very pervasive in our society and I think that if things like this that sort of water down the sexual perversions than the repercussions of this kind of act, the act of you choosing an illegitimate lifestyle...I wish it didn't exist, I would never watch it again, and I wish they hadn't made it.

Where did I borrow that vicious invective from? Easy, from this earlier video in which one of the commenters used the same language to attack "rape culture" (which, as we all know, isn't really a problem).


Culinary discovery of the day

Yes, Virginia, that jar of peanut butter in the back of the fridge can go bad.

So much for my "whew, I'm not out of peanut butter my morning PB&J is saved."


35th Edmonton International Fringe Festival: That Was Then, This Is Fringe

(this post is "sticky" and will remain at the top until August 22nd. Scroll down for new content)

It's that time of year again, where the streets of Old Scona come alive with green onion cakes, lame busker shows, and 140 plays which promise to be edgy and counter-cultural (and at least 95 of them will contain one tired Donald Trump joke).

And that means it's also time for Third Edge of the Sword's annual collection of Fringe reviews, highlights, and photos.

Keep your eye on this page for the eleven days of the 2016 Fringe Festival as more and more content is loaded. You can also take a look at the content from the 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

And, naturally, it almost goes without saying at this point...

No fags.