Thursday, March 22, 2007

Something's Rotten in The Village

A clap of thunder.
Cool 60s spy genre music with syncopation.

And then we have The Prisoner meets Deadwood.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Not Just for Leprechauns

Gus is a treasure. He's Hermione Granger, only more high-strung. He's a geek, he's fastidious, he sweats the details. Even Adrian Monk admires his sartorial neatness. He was pre-law, you know. He has a highly sensitive nature and a heightened sense of smell. And he can scream like a banshee when he thinks there's a ghost in the area.

From now on, Gus should provide the voiceover for all drug commercials. When it comes to articulating repulsive side effects, Gus is preeminent--"headaches, toothaches, stomachaches, balding, weight loss, weight gain, severe oily valve discharge, and, in rare cases, it makes you pee fire."

Let's hear it for Burton Guster. He doesn't need a wand: He has a magic head.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Enterprise is a Hoochie Mama

This article,, is worrying to a comfort-driven Trekkie like me. Now, Freud’s theories have been debunked by a lot of people—I certainly never was keen on the idea of having big external sex organs flopping around down there--and he was way off in positing only two basic and conflicting desires, the Death Drive and Life Drive. I insist that what I will call the Comfort Drive is central to most of our desires, and it contributes greatly to Star Trek’s appeal. It’s The Ship, you know. The Ship provides for every need: it holds a large community of people, working toward collective goals within an enclosed, serene, and well-ordered locale, outside of which looms the vastness and unpredictability of space. But within the limited space of The Ship lie unlimited possibilities for creativity, exploration, culture, play, and all that contributes to meaning and joy in life. The Ship is our conceit that science and reason will ultimately prevail in perfecting our social systems, eliminating want and bigotry and greed and all of our human failings. The Ship reaches the level of a fetish in many episodes (and you thought there was no sex in Trek, hmmm?—they’re kind of pervy with tropes), and especially in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, where the camera lingers obsessively over her curves. My sister and her friends are all mundanes (or is that Muggles? I can't keep track), but their one reference to Trek is to include “Star Trekkin’” in their large lexicon of phrases that mean “boinking.”

Voyager makes the womb-like qualities of The Ship more explicit, right down to the vulva between the two nacelles (pervs!). I don’t mean to reduce the complexity of the Trek verse to the representations of comfort-as-science/reason/community, etc., but these are important themes that should not be overlooked by anyone intending to “reimagine” this world.

And this is where the worry comes in. Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are writing and producing the next film; their plan is to “go[] for the broad audience to bring people into Trek for the first time,” with more action and a bigger budget than any previous Trek film. These guys’ major claim to fame is the third Mission Impossible installment with Tom Cruise. Oh, joy. Shall we expect an expression of hypermasculinity characterized by endless motion and grimacing theatrics? These writers claim to have an interest in the technobabble of Trek; I wonder if gadgetry and weaponry will be the only strong link between the current Trek and its reimagining. I am afraid that the claim to be “100 percent true to the fanbase” and the plan for a big-budget action film are completely at odds. Action--at the frenzied pace we see in MI--will almost always exist in film at the expense of ideas. And that makes me uncomfortable.