Entry for April 05, 2007: The never-ending struggle…

In between juggling work, various games, and weekend visitors, I've been following a number of debates online. The most important is the discussion, exemplified by friends and fellow bloggers Steve M.R. and Jim J.D'B., about politics and how to best protect our future. Should the U.S. continue its current military engagement in the Middle East? How can we contain the threat of nuclear proliferation? What's more important at home, security or freedom? Nobody has all the right answers.

As co-worker Ken G. noted, today is "First Contact Day," which in the "Star Trek" space opera franchise refers to the day in 2063 when humanity takes its first steps toward becoming part of an interstellar society. Let us hope that even if Gene Roddenberry's vision of the future (from World War III to the utopian Federation) isn't correct, that we can successfully strive for a world in which our environment is nurtured, our people are at peace, and each person can fulfill his or her true potential.

At work, there has been dynamic tension as journalists and others in our industry struggle to best serve readers and preserve their careers in the face of changing reader habits and the shift of advertising from print to online. How do we broaden our audience without losing our distinctive and authoritative voice? How can we maintain quality while increasing workoads? Only time will tell if we're successful.

David I.S. and I spoke last night over the telephone about the constant challenge of time management. As tempting as videogames and other genre entertainment may be, there's still no substitute for face-to-face socializing and creativity. Even I, who tend to prefer sedentary pursuits, have gotten a bit stir crazy after the belated and long New England winter. On the other hand, I also want to make the best use of time playing "Dungeons & Dragons" Edition 3.5 and "City of Heroes," which has been leading me, if not all my peers, toward "rules-lite" rules systems and more rationed scheduling. Ah, to sleep, perchance to dream–there's the rub!

Of course, fanboys are always happy to debate the merits of a particular franchise or medium: Was "Highlander: the Series" better than the movies? (Yes to all but the first one.) Can the "Buffy: the Vampire Slayer" comic books sustain the cult following of Joss Whedon's ensemble horror/drama television series? (Maybe.) Of course, we also have to look at things in their historical context and acknowledge our own biases.

Are all the summer movie sequels good for our favorite franchises or bad for them? I'm optimistic about "Fantastic Four 2: Rise of the Silver Surfer" and the next "Harry Potter," but less so for "Spider-Man 3," and I wonder how long Hollywood can keep mining comic books. Why has "Justice Society of America" been more interesting than "Justice League of America" so far, and will readers keep following Tony Stark's plan to turn superheroes into SHIELD flunkies?

I promise a less-philosophical and more detailed update after this weekend…