Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Kobayashi Maru

I've been thinking lately about Star Trek's Kobayashi Maru test, the fictional assessment of a Star Fleet cadet's ability to handle pressure. No one has ever won the Kobayashi Maru, with the exception of James T. Kirk, who won by cheating. Kirk (as played by William Shatner) doesn't believe in no-win scenarios.

I'm actually more interested in how Kirk (as played by Chris Pine) handles his third (and winning) attempt at the Kobayashi Maru in the recent film. He knows he's going to win, and to show just how nonchalant he's feeling, you'll notice he's eating an apple.

I started thinking about how film likes to show utter unconcern about something, and it generally is through the character's degustation of something crunchy:

Of course, my takeaway from this is that I need to be bolting down the apples and carrots, pronto, when I'm feeling stressed. (Never mind the fact that none of these three characters is in the least bit stressed even before they took their first crunchtastic bite, but I always did love me some circular logic).

My problem now is that apples aren't in season and mush rather than crunch when you bite into them, and carrots are simply not a food I'm likely to reach for in the thick of a stresstastrophe. So I'm going to ask that my own personal Kobayashi Maru hold off for a few months. I simply don't have the fruit drawer for any no-win scenarios, ghost pirates, or giant red monsters that are sooooo interESTing. Once the weather cools down and I can do some apple picking, I'm sure I can handle anything Star Fleet Academy chooses to throw at me. But until that time, I'll just have to make do with watermelon, and that simply connotes stickiness. Not the non-chalance I'm looking for.

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