Apparently, I’m supposed to be outraged over this:
According to various news stories I’ve read, this is one of two “in-house” training videos created by/for the Internal Revenue Service three years ago. This one, the Trek spoof, was created as part of some kind of opening presentation at a training and leadership conference. The second one (which I’ve not seen) apparently was a riff on Gilligan’s Island.
The total cost to make both videos reportedly was in the neighborhood of $60,000. If I’m to believe some of the comments I’ve been reading, this also is the exact amount needed to execute 25,000 kittens. Or, something.
You know this shit is serious because CONGRESS GOT INVOLVED, wanting to know what was what. You know Congress, those bold advocates and champions for at least a portion of our citizenry. Apparently, somebody within those hallowed halls has expressed grave concern over possible misuse of taxpayer dollars, and so on and so forth. Aside from their own salaries, of course.
Having watched the video, my first reaction is that it’s horrific, but no more so than…oh…every other corporate training video in the history of the medium. Given the subject matter and the fact that you’re having to make yet another lame-assed corporate training video, I can understand the desire to pump into the mix anything which might resemble humor or whimsy, because at the end of it all, we’re still talking about a corporate training video, and those suck.
(He’s ready for his close up.)
Predictably, Trekkies have knots in their red shirts, because the parody video is rife with various errors and other affronts to Star Trek, such as incorrect uniforms, inaccurate set design, incorrect use of Trek terminology in the dialogue, and so forth. My initial response to this was that I had seen such observations before, namely back when the first of Hustler’s Star Trek porn parodies was released. Of course, in that case, the sets and uniforms and whatnot actually did look a damned sight better than what the IRS gave us, and there was that whole added advantage of having people boning each other.
Um, so I’ve heard.
(Yes, this is a real movie. So, I’m told.)
The big uproar stems from the fact that the money involved–again, a total of $60,000, spread across this and the other video–seems to have constituted the commissioning of an egregious sin on the part of the IRS, aided and abetted as it was with the use of taxpayer dollars. This, of course, is different from all the other evil and skullduggery they perpetrate that’s funded through charitable donations and bake sales. “Massive waste” and other terms are being thrown about, with calls for investigations and beheadings. Okay, I’m not sure about the beheadings, but I’m willing to bet that at least one person out there thinks that’s not a bad idea.
Now, I don’t know about the money, and whether it may have been too much to spend for such an endeavor. In some ways, I think we all can agree that it certainly wasn’t enough…know what I mean? Anyhoo, as I know nothing about the costs involved in the creation of such a production, I have no way to know how much is too much. I’m assuming some of the work had to be contracted, likely to some private sector outfit, so there’s something of an “Okay, cool” factor for throwing some money at whatever local businesses may have been hired. That part doesn’t bug me at all, really.
As for the people shouting and wailing about this…are you fucking serious? This is what’s got undies wedged into ass cracks? Get a grip, people. It’s a corporate training video. Every company of any size makes these things, and as we’ve already discussed, they all suck. There are laws in place requiring such productions to suck. That’s their whole reason for being, for fuck’s sake.
As for the money, it’s almost certain that whatever group produced this thing has funds allocated for training…again, just like any other decent-sized company. This, presumably, would include creating videos or whatever other “aids” might be required, and this is what somebody thought might be a different and perhaps even fun way to mix up the tired old cliche’ that is the sucky corporate training video.
Congress has seen fit to “rebuke” the IRS for this bit of weirdness from years past, and the IRS has offered up an explanation: ABC News: IRS Regrets Making Star Trek Video
No apologies have been extended to the Star Trek community, of course, for all of the various canon and continuity violations the video contains. This is worse than President Obama’s “Jedi Mind Meld” gaffe earlier this month. I mean, even Brannon Braga has been overheard saying he could not believe such grievous errors were allowed to go unchecked. That’s how serious this is, yo!
Meanwhile, as people are up in arms and crying about this sort of stupid shit, Congress goes and slides this one right by us:
Me? I’d be curious to see a nickel by nickel accounting of the money Hoover’d up by firms like Haliburton during the period when these shitty videos were being produced. Or, maybe we could see a final tally on the TARP funds diverted as bonuses to the CEOs and other executives of companies which at the time were drowning in the very debt those people had created as a consequence of their piss-poor decision making and greed. How about the money shoveled as federal subsidies to the oil companies? I know they’ve been struggling in this sluggish economy, but maybe it’s time to see if they can make it on their own for a while, okay?
So, fuck Congress and their “rebukes.”
(But, yeah, that video does suck something fierce, right?)