Strained carrots is a dish best served cold

By Phil Plait | June 6, 2010 7:37 am

I have nothing to add here, except that after nearly 5000 posts, this one has my favorite title ever.

Original here, and tip of the forehead ridge to Neatorama.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Geekery, Humor, SciFi, TV/Movies

Comments (31)

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  1. Quick & Dirty « monstropolis | June 8, 2010
  1. That is simultaneously the most disturbing and coolest video ever.

  2. Richard

    The dangers of living in a world of sci-fi. lol

  3. Okay, it’s one thing for consenting adults to dress up like that, but the poor kid doesn’t really have a choice in the matter.

  4. What came first do you reckon: the outfit or the Q’apla?

  5. Jamey

    It might be interesting to see what happens when a kid grows up having been bilingual all of his life, one of the languages being an artificial, rather limited one like Klingon. Especially with the linguistic twists Okrand installed from the beginning. (One anecdote I’ve been since unable to find again said that he originally designed the language with a verb of being, and then got handed as one of the first things to translate for the 6th movie “To be, or not to be!”

  6. Rory Kent

    “It might be interesting to see what happens when a kid grows up having been bilingual all of his life, one of the languages being an artificial, rather limited one like Klingon”

    One of the members of the Klingon community tried to raise his son to be bilingual like that. Unfortunately (or fortunately, as the case may be) the child rejected the language at about when he realised what it was he was learning at about 7/8 years old. Not surprising, really.

  7. @John Armstrong: Yes, and this is different from every other baby that’s been dressed up in a silly costume (or just hideous clothes)?

  8. Jess Tauber

    Most artificial languages have very limited appeal. Those that succeed to some extent may do so because human languages have an underlying coherence that most linguists miss because of their focus on this or that aspect of language structure and use, not seeing the ‘big picture’ like the wise men and the elephant. One researcher reviewed literature on morphosyntactic type versus syllable type, phonology, etc. and found that there were certain trends about what goes with what, as if the brain were operating with linguistic features as if they formed a kind of matrix. For artificial languages such as Esperanto, actual Indo-European roots were used, so the system isn’t TOO far from the statistical/typological norms. Klingon, on the other hand, though phonologically reminiscent of certain California native languages, nonetheless deviates way too much in other areas. While obviously not impossible to learn, it just wouldn’t roll off the brain quite right. It doesn’t hang together the way our human nervous systems prefer.


  9. That more looks like a baby Gene Simmons but I think he is more Ferengi than Klingon.

  10. Ken


  11. Bastiaan Hebing

    Hmmm… I know dressing up your baby and having some fun is rather innocent, but I’m still opposed to it. It seems a bit slippery slope to me.

    If these parents dressed the kid up as baby Jesus and posted it on Youtube, it probably wouldn’t be seen as awesome.

  12. alfaniner

    That makeup is at least as simple as half the “alien” species’ that showed up in NextGen and others.

  13. Wong

    @ Jess Tauber. Interesting!

  14. One thing that’s always bothered me about the depiction of alien cultures and languages – especially in Star Trek but also in others, is: When are we going to meet an alien race with more than one culture / language? I mean, look how many we humans have! Does every Klingon speak the same language, with the same dialect and the same accent? I can barely understand people living in Manchester, which is only 100 miles away from me, and the average Mancunian probably wouldn’t understand me either. And look at all the cultures we humans have around the world, all radically different from one another.

    The Star Trek franchise has certainly gone a long way to invent and depict a variety of believable alien cultures but they all ultimately suffer from the same problem: homogeneity.

  15. Kinaihiri

    @Elwood Herring
    You know, I’ve thought about this too. Aside from the creators thinking of aliens in rather simple terms, the only satisfactory answer I’ve come up with is that as a species progresses technologically and in knowledge, they should inevitably come to the conclusion that differences in culture and language should be erased to create a global identity. Different cultures, for us, right now, are great because they give us a new perspective and new ideas about how life can be lived. At the same time though, they bring the great problem of divisiveness. Space travel not only requires advanced technology, it also requires global consent and harmony. It won’t do very good to be able to travel large distances if at home you have people bickering about how one country gets all the money and glory for space travel, does it?

    Of course… the creators also forget that on Earth we should also have a global culture if we belong to star fleet. (pardon the Star Trek mistakes!! eep.)

    On the other hand, if a planet is big enough, it should still have local flavors and accents, but again, not really great differences in culture.

  16. @Kinaihiri: I considered that too; the idea that a truly space-faring species would necessarily have to be homogeneous to some extent, but still… Of course we both know that it’s all really down to keeping things simple enough for a TV series; too much complexity would turn viewers off. However, I think something akin to this was attempted in the portrayal of the Xindi races in Enterprise 3rd season. Six sentient species on a single planet, each with their own culture and language; the Arboreals, the Aquatics, the Insectoids and so on. It made for very interesting viewing, for me at least.

  17. Cory

    The whole “an alien race is homogenous” trope is given an interesting treatment in the Mass Effect series of games, where humans are considered curiosities because of their high levels of “genetic diversity”.

    Anyway, it would simply be too confusing for the reader (heck, for the writer) to create alien races with diversity anywhere near ours. Alien races in the first place are almost always archetypal/stereotypical renditions of human groups.

  18. TheBlackCat

    Roddy MacStew: At least let the boy go!
    Gutierrez: No.
    Roddy MacStew: Why not?
    Gutierrez: Because he tasks me! He *tasks* me! Around the moons of Vega, I chuckle at thee. Around the suns of Andromeda, I chuckle more at thee. Revenge is a dish best served with pinto beans and muffins! Kirk, oh, friend, I… Oh!
    [fixes tie]
    Gutierrez: I’m sorry…

    I love Freakazoid.

  19. Mother with a smooth forehead

    As creator of this Klingon baby video, I absolutely love your title “Strained carrots is a dish best served cold”, unfortunately my young warrior only eats live Gagh. Thank you for posting this on your blog. I also want to thank all your readers for their comments. It really made my day! Hegh pa’ quvHa’ghach.

  20. “If these parents dressed the kid up as baby Jesus and posted it on Youtube, it probably wouldn’t be seen as awesome.”

    …And I can bet you that people on here would be screaming how those evil fundie parents are brainwashing their kids. Sorry, but I think some of these Trek people are stupid…

    *Bring on the hate*

  21. Ben

    Yeah, I really can’t imagine parents dressing their baby up as Jesus. As part of some sort of religious ritual. Or… pageant.

    No, I’m sure if anyone tried to do that, there’d be no end to the outrage and controversy.

  22. Allen

    @Kinaihiri 15:

    Belong to the Federation, you mean. And yeah, Earth does have a bit of diversity in Star Trek (not as much as it does today), probably most prominent with regional accents. Earth colonies do have their own local culture, however.

    @MichaelL 19:

    Did you just compare Star Trek fandom to religious fundamentalism?

  23. Radwaste

    Well, it doesn’t take long to shuck the robes of logic and reason, does it?

    Is someone going to call Child Protective Services now, and take this toddler from his family for knowing more than his drooling chums?

    If you give your kid a bicycle, you’re doing worse than this. Lighten up.

  24. Cloud

    There’s been a few people who have taught their children artificial languages like Quenya or Klingon, but the children usually forget them when they enter the phase of developement called “peer pressure”, or school age. Fitting in was probably what their parents never achieved (it’s not bad, it’s just different, in a cool yet disturbing way), but children always want to fit in, so forgetting their parents weird language is the first thing they do. This happens with real languages too with immigrants to a country with an obvious preferred language, like the US.

  25. Gary Ansorge

    20. MichaelL

    I think Randy Newman said it most succinctly, as in “Short people ain’t got no business ’round here,,,”

    We dress our kids in all sorts of costumes. Halloween wouldn’t be much fun if everyone dressed in business attire. Xmas is often a time for kids to be dressed as baby Jesus and the three wise guys. Some are even dressed as sheep or trees or,,,

    Any parent is likely to re-inforce their social norms thru language, dress, etc. Fundies are only guilty of restricting their kids access to the social norms of the greater culture, which is generally liberal and progressive. Conservatives only account for about a third of the culture, fundies account for about 10 percent. Middle of the road are another third.

    I recall, during the American Revolution, 1/3 were Royalists, 1/3 were active revolutionaries and the remaining 1/3 sat on the fence and watched the angst. That seems pretty normal to me.

    Your could dress your kids as Mohammed if you want. Just don’t expect them to be any more popular amongst their peers than a Klingon kid. Plus they could rouse the ire of the local Muslim club,,,

    Gary 7
    PS That recording will be great when they’re 16. Wish I’d thought of it myself, 35 years ago,,,

  26. Kinaihiri

    @Elwood Herring And if a lot of us don’t bother to know (or really can’t, there’s too many) all the cultures of our people on Earth then… yep it’ll be too much for us if we’re presented that on something that’s supposed to be leisure. But it does fill a plot hole if you think about it like I try to, no? 😛

    @Cory Yeah, usually aliens are kind of an archetype of something we know here on Earth, but really, what else can we really come up with? Besides, something too weird would alienate the viewer, and the point is to be able to identify with the characters on-screen up to a point.
    …except for Avatar. That was just grossly stereotyped.

    @Allen Oops, sorry. I’m not actually a Star Trek fan, so do pardon the mistake.

  27. mike burkhart

    Well now the kid needs to learn to battle with the bathlat . Learn the ways of Kaeleth the unfrogetable . Ane get jabed with pain sticks in a few years as the right of passiage. If he needs instruction in klingon battle cruseers and birds of prey he can see me I v’e used both on my PSP in the game Star Trek Tactal assult .P.S. Lighten up people how many of you played with Star Wars toys as kids? or had toy laser guns?

  28. Crux Australis

    Jeez, my wife thinks teaching our kids a few words of Russian is a waste of time…

  29. @Gary Ansorge:
    I just think it would have been so much better if the kid was dressed as a Cylon Centurion… hehehe… OR Commander Adama!

  30. When I view your RSS feed it simply gives me a webpage of weird text, may be the problem on my reader? TY for putting this up, it was very useful and explained tons.


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