Jim Kirk respects women
Jim Kirk respects women
Jim Kirk respects women
Alyssa Rosenberg, in Damon Lindelof’s Blithe Treatment Of ‘Star Trek’ Sexism And Why Genre Fiction Gets No Respect (via themarysue)
— Hugh Laurie (via zucchinis)
The thing that really gets me about Star Trek is that almost everyone has a story about it. I had to taxi to and from the theatre today to see the new movie (no spoilers here!), and both ways, my cab drivers had tales to tell.
The first guy’s a bit younger, and he’s thrilled when I mention I’m going to see the movie. “You ever see The Next Generation?” Sure, says I, I grew up on it. He beams at me in the rearview mirror. “Well,” he says, and pauses for effect, “I went to school with Number One!” If it weren’t for the fact that I was nearly late for the movie, he would’ve stopped and pointed out on Google Maps the town where Jonathan Frakes grew up, but we do make time to gush about our favourite episodes for the rest of the journey. “So Kirk’s okay,” he calls out, in parting, “but Picard’ll always be my captain.”
On the way back, I’ve got a much older driver, kinda mumbly and grumpy. He asks what I just watched, I tell him Star Trek, and he just grunts, but his eyes keep flicking back to me in the rearview mirror. “Hey,” he says, almost in spite of himself. “I got a story for you if you wanna hear it.” And hey, I’ve got nowhere to be. “Back in ‘85, I was out at a horse show with my wife, I mean, we don’t know anything about horses but figured it’d be a nice day out. So we’re wandering around and this real good-looking guy’s standing next to us, all dressed up in riding clothes, and I can’t stop looking over because he looks really familiar, and I says to my wife, I know that guy from somewhere, but we kinda shrug it off. Then we’re in the tack store and the same guy wanders in, and I tells my wife, I know that guy from somewhere. And now she’s looking at him too, and she tells me, you’re not kidding, I know him too.
“He’s gone at that point and we go about our business. But when we bump into him a third time, I figure there’s no harm in asking, so I go up to this guy and says, ‘Hey, I know you from somewhere and it’s driving me crazy. Who are you?’ And he just kind of smiles at me, like he’s waiting for me to figure it out. Finally, it clicks, and I ask him, ‘Did you ever tend bar in Philly?’ And he goes, ‘Well, no, I didn’t. You probably know me from TV.’ And I look at him again and says, ‘You sure you were never a bartender in Philly?’ And I guess he’s getting exasperated, because he says, ‘I’m William Shatner. You know, Captain Kirk?’ And you know, it just about broke my heart, I was so set on seeing this old bartender I knew, and the first thing that came out of my mouth was, ‘Eh, I never watched that crap.’ The look on his face!”
And that’s the thing - no matter how intensely problematic or wrongfooted or screwed-up this franchise can get, the sad fact is that I’m utterly, hopelessly hooked from the second the Enterprise hits the screen, because it’s not just the shows or the movies or the fanfic or the vids, it’s the stories echoing back in every frame, it’s me and my brother as tiny kids wearing redshirt pyjamas while my parents cackle evilly, it’s my best friend in undergrad grabbing me on our way out of the theatre and leaning in close to hiss in betrayed tones ‘why did you never tell me Star Trek is actually good?’ It’s stick-to-your-ribs sci-fi, comfort food, and no matter how much my adult eyes pick at flaws and clichés and a thousand perfectly valid complaints, beneath it all my little-kid voice is whispering along, awestruck, “These are the voyages…”
Fucking Star Trek, man. It gets to you.
The other day I was late to work and had to get a cab. The cabbie and I got chatting, and I told him I was a writer, and I’d just interviewed the costume designer for the new Star Trek movie. “You know, I once drove William Shatner,” he said. Shatner had been in town for a sci-fi convention, and the cabbie had been hired to drive him from the airport. “I could tell he was pissed off because I wasn’t a limo. But I asked him, ‘What’s wrong with my cab?’ and he laughed and got in.” Apparently Shatner was wearing a VERY obvious corset under his shirt, and even though everyone could see it, nobody ever mentioned it, like the Emperor’s New Clothes.
The thing is, I grew up in a household without a TV — the first TV show I ever watched was Buffy the Vampire Slayer when I was about 14, after I bought the DVDs and watched them on my parents’ computer. But goddamn, I still knew about Star Trek. Thanks, tie-in novels! :):