Mentioned on Twitter that the actress who played Yeoman Janice Rand on Star Trek - the one who had the stiffest beehive in the galaxy; I mean it literally looked like something insects would use for a commune - is 81 this year. One year older than Shatner. The other day while home ill I watched “Captains,” a movie he wrote and directed earlier this year for EPIX channel. The idea is simple and brilliant: he interviews everyone who played a captain on Star Trek. He’s a very good interviewer. The subjects are varied - Kate Mulgrew is full of THE THEATAH, Scott Bakula is still the good-natured
smart brave guy, Mel’s straight-arrow brother (remember, I liked Enterprise, at least the last two seasons.) Patrick Stewart is as genuinely mannered as ever, and Avery Brooks has apparently turned into a bebop pianist from 1966; he is out there, but loving wherever he is. In the end it’s about Bill, and life, and work, and what you lose, and death, and what you make in life. There’s even a big trip to a convention, and one scene that just about grinds your heart into a fine dry paste - which you can reanimate with your tears, if you please. Recommended.
Yes, I know about the Bohemian Rhapsody cover. I have no idea why. Another spoken-word sing-talk record, but I’m pretty sure that this time he’s in on the joke.
The week ends on an up note, I think; the antibiotics seem to be doing their trick. Also, I have learned how much the internet infects the subconscious. Woke in the middle of the night, and actually imagined a memepic of Sean Bean saying BRACE YOURSELF THE NIGHT SWEATS ARE COMING. These have been the most coherent fever dreams ever. Sorry, it’s the internet. Evah. There.
Having done nothing I have nothing to report; having thought nothing, I have little to relate. The sun was out. I wrote a column, barely, feeling somewhat abashed for doing so with a dim brain. There has been one pleasure at these sick-at-home days, thought: it’s teacher’s convention weekend. Can’t have it in the summer, because everyone’s busy, I guess. In October school lets out and the teachers go caucus somewhere. Some families get out of town for a vacation, but this year we’re here. Which means I’ve been home for three days with my daughter. Wife comes home and asks what did you do? and I hesitate to say “nothing,” but nothing’s the point. Oh, If I’d been well we might have gone to a movie or seen an exhibit, but
Now. This doesn’t feel unusual; happened a lot over the summer, I guess, but in the fall, when the leaves are scraping in the gutters and the weak sun trickles through the branches, it seemed like a throwback to pre-school days. Consequently I’m quite surprised when she comes out of her room and she’s 4 foot 10. Doesn’t help that I’m digitizing old tapes, where she’s three feet of bowl-cut chunky pudge. (We used to worry about that; the pediatrician would always shrug, say “She’s going to shoot up and burn it off,” and voila, the fellow knew he business.) So in once sense it’s just dad and daughter as usual, but underneath it there’s this ancient little script playing. Because it’s always been like this, and that's a comfort you can't quantify.
Conversation. “There are some kids on the bus who say the N word.”
“That’s bad. Does the driver tell them they shouldn’t?”
“Are there any black kids on your bus?”
“Well, they are. The ones who use the N word.”
“Well, it’s different.”
“It was a nasty, horrible insult, so they use it themselves to show it has no power, or take the word away from the people who use it out of hate.”
“In Sunday school I remember the teacher said that people called early Lutherans Lutherans as an insult, so they decided, well, okay, call us that if you like, we don’t care. We’ll call ourselves that.”
The idea of the two words having equal origins is highly amusing, isn’t it? LUTHERAN, PLEASE
She went upstairs to write; for once it’s not a story about quests or cats or any animals. She’s gotten away from that. Character studies and vignettes. This one’s about a girl who lives in a trailer park with a drunk father. The boys like her but she doesn’t know why, because she thinks she’s “dull as a blunt pencil.”
“Hey, is this autobiographical.”
“Father, it’s called fiction.”
Okay, right. I was impressed. After I turned in my own work we had a tournament . . . of UNO. Been a while. Been a year. Thought: wonder if she’ll come home from college, and I’ll get out the deck from the closet and hold it up, and she’ll smile and say “sure.” I hope so, because it’s a wonderful feeling. They might remember the trips to Disneyland, indistinctly. They will remember the time spent sitting on the floor in the family room, playing together, nothing else in the world mattering at all.
Okay. Found an old Underdog comic book. Something very wrong here right away:
The kid's drawn as if he's supposed to be someone. And he is: Harry Elson II! You know exactly what this is about, don’t you? There was a contest. A kid won the honor of having his character inserted into an Underdog comic. Seems he was responsible for the plot, too:
Let’s zoom in on the item the child uses to defeat the burglar: a phone, not connected to anything. That may have been his entire plot: I help Underdog defeat a bank robber with a phone and the day is saved.
The comic is from 1971. What happened to the kid? Did he really grow up to be an architect - with an office in the Chrysler Building, too.
I may have to make a call here.
Have a great weekend! Oh: nearly forgot. New site in the 70s section. Finally, I got it out of my system. Been meaning to do this for years, but I'm glad I waited. You'll see why. Go HERE.
Comments? Sure! Right here.