Posts Tagged ‘star trek’

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Love mankind

November 1, 2012

Only assholes write on walls (of the Enterprise).



Star Trek: TOS. “The Naked Time.” Season 1, Episode 4. Original airdate: September 29, 1966.

Analysis of “The Naked Time,” from which these caps come, here. If Spock’s disdain for graffiti is not enough to turn your head, perhaps this helps.


The crew is infected with a mysterious disease that removes people’s emotional inhibitions to a dangerous degree.

It happens.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Talk Nerdy to Me and Science Friday — New set of prime operatives

October 21, 2011

Two-step plan for becoming the only species in the multiverse.


Art installation by Lori Hershberger.

We’ve already got cracking on this, really. Well done … Earth. Let’s see what we can do with the rest of the Milky Way, and maybe Intergalactic Viceroy Hawking* will okay a mission to the Large Magellanic Cloud.

You know. Just to see what’s what over there with those guys. Kick the tires, shoot the breeze, strip mine a couple of planets and turn them in to dumps.



*You didn’t actually think he was human, did you? Tell me you didn’t buy that hype.

Girls of Summer: Susan Denberg, Miss August 1966

June 26, 2011


Photographed by super amaze-balls Peter Gowland!

Miss August 1966 was the lovely and talented Susan Denberg, a cult hottie of yesteryear who is somewhat obscure today but still beloved by vintage sci-fi and Hammer horror film fans. Who do I know who is in to that stuff? It’s on the tip of my tongue …

Oh, right. Me. Let’s do this!

Ms. Denberg was born Dietlinde Zechner in Bad Polzin, Germany on August 2, 1944, nine months and seven days before V-E Day, when the Allied forces accepted the Germans’ surrender on May 8 (an inauspicious date in my book if you remember my apocalyptic ramblings).

I’m saying it was probably not the best of times to be born in Germany, what with how the country was going to be totally defeated and carved up in, like, a year. The Zechner clan beat feet to Austria (…better?), where Ms. Denberg grew up working in her parents’ appliance stores in Klagenfurt.

In her Playboy write-up, she is cited as being “born and bred” in Klagenfurt. The discrepancy could be due to a misunderstanding or wanting to downplay her German heritage for some unguessed-at reason. I think most likely she was Austrian to begin with and moved to Klagenfurt so young that it was not a big deal.


Suspect is wigless, I repeat, wigless.

Susan Denberg, our striking Miss August, joins a long and lovely line of Playmates whose centerfold appearances have preceded their cinematic debuts — a comely clan that includes such gatefold delights as Jayne Mansfield (February 1955), Stella Stevens (January 1960), Donna Michelle (December 1963), Jo Collins (December 1964) and Sue Williams (April 1965).

(“Picture Playmate.” Playboy, August 1966.)


Susan, a honey of a blonde, will make her filmic bow this fall in the celluloid version of Norman Mailer’s recent best-selling novel An American Dream.

No. Not a best-selling novel. Considered the least of Mailer’s fiction works, actually. A misogynistic bundle of bullshit — and that’s coming from me. So I’m not just whistling “Dixie.”

An American Dream is a 1966 movie based on a 1965 novel based on a series of installments in Esquire about a man and the women he kills and screws before he slouches off in to the sunset, perhaps to mine the meaning of existence, perhaps to die of an overdose of modern society. Its one mercy is that it is short. I may be oversimplifying to avoid talking about it more. Sorry.

An American Dream is a Mailer-adapted picture, sadly too crappily, or perhaps too quickly, executed to be called camp, about Stephen Rojack, a former war hero – turned also-run politician – turned call-in talk show host who murders his rich-bitch wife and basically goes on a postmodern movie-length bender with Janet Leigh (story as old as time — we’ve all been there). He spends the film in a pingballing search for the meaning of existence via sex, drugs, murder-rap evasion and jazz, pissing off underworld gangsters along the way. The story does not so much end as “halt” in what amounts to a lot of, to quote a deservedly better praised writer, sound and fury, signifying nothing. Mailer’s original source material has marginally greater depth — but only marginally.

Ms. Denberg plays Ruta, the luckless harpy Mrs. Rojack’s German maid. In his March 14, 1965 New York Times review of the book, Conrad Knickerbocker said of Ruta’s character that she “must have attended charm school with Ilse Koch.” For those who don’t know, Ilse Koch is the “Red Witch of Buchenwald,” an infamously horrible Nazi war criminal on whom Ilse, She-Wolf of the SS is super-obviously based (except Koch was not hot — and she has spent way longer burning in hell).

Koch was a fat, genuinely evil brunette who tortured and murdered interred Jews for pleasure at one of the most horrible concentration camps the earth has ever known. Ruta is a slightly mercenary, lithe blonde sexpot who is willing to screw her boss’s husband if it will get her ahead. Absolutely nothing in book or film merits Knickerbocker’s sensationalist comparison, other than both women being German. Disgusting and not at all funny, if that was the attempt. Bleah.

But then what do I expect from a rave review of a randomly constructed crock of self-indulgent shit? Knickerbocker praised the book as a modern masterpiece and said people who didn’t like An American Dream wouldn’t like it because they wouldn’t want to admit that it speaks to the true soul of America and what-have-you. All like, J’accuse, bourgeois pigs! You don’t like it because you’re judging it, and you’re judging it because you don’t understand it, and you don’t understand it because you’re afraid to.

Cool story, bro.

Yeah, there’s always been a lot of so-called values getting touted around that are hypocritical at best and hollow, tarnished, destructive compulsions at worst. But that’s not my soul, and it’s not the soul of most people I know. Most people weren’t and aren’t rich, disaffected, murdering alcoholics — most people were and are just trying to hold a job, find some love, and eat dinner. Like, Jesus. What a hopeless and lackwitted thing to assert. Not to mention, if you do want a story about rotting American dreams and rich, murdering, alcoholics, why don’t you just pick up a little timeless piece of exponentially greater writing called The Great Gatsby?

In the book, Rojack sleeps with Ruta after killing Deborah, then pretends to discover Deborah’s body and tells Ruta she must have committed suicide. In the film, Ruta tries to seduce Rojack after his initial fight with Deborah, but he doesn’t go for it. Then he returns to the bedroom to fight with Deborah again, which is the fight that results in her death.

I assume the change in “he-did,” “he-didn’t,” with Ruta from novel to film is an effort to make Rojack’s character seem more sympathetic in the movie, in much the same way that making Cherry (Leigh’s character) in the film be Rojack’s fallen-on-bad-times childhood sweetheart from before he “made it” — versus her role in the source material as a trashy torch singer that he just meets that night — is supposed to make Rojack’s affair with her, begun the day after he murders his wife, more reasonable. There is also the little matter of Rojack allowing his wife to slip from the balcony of her own drunken accord, falling to her death only to then be further run over by a mafioso’s limo in the movie, rather than Rojack strangling her and throwing her body over the railing himself, the corpse falling to the street only to then be further run over by an et cetera’s et cetera, in the book.

Ugh. I spent forever talking about a thing I don’t like. I guess spite is as strong a writing motivator as enthusiasm. So let’s get back to enthusiasm. Fun fact follows.



For a while … it appeared as though Susan might not be Susan at all by the time [An American Dream’s] release date rolled around. As part of a nationwide contest to find a nom de cinéma for its latest ascending starlet, Warner Bros. offered a $500 award for the winning entry and received 5,000 name suggestions from cinemaphiles throughout both hemispheres before wisely deciding to leave Susan — name and all — exactly as they’d found her.

“Some of the names submitted were pretty far out,” recalls Susan. “But the funniest entry of them all was Norma Mailer.”

(Ibid.)

She just doesn’t look like a Norma.

The main thing of it is, on the set for An American Dream, Ms. Denberg worked with Star Trek‘s George Takei (Sulu), Warren Stevens (Rojan, “By Any Other Name”), and Richard Derr (Commodore Barstow, “The Alternative Command” and Admiral Fitzgerald, “The Mark of Gideon”). Plus An American Dream’s director, Robert Gist, was involved as a director for TOS.

Ms. Denberg subsequently appeared on the then-fledgling sci-fi series Star Trek as Magda Kovacs, one of the three mail-order bride hopefuls voyaging to Ophiucus III with honey-tongued con man and Venus drug purveyor Harcourt Fenton “Harry” Mudd (Star Trek: TOS. “Mudd’s Women.” Season One, Episode 3. Originally aired October 13, 1966.).

On their way to Ophiucus III and being tailed by Kirk and co., petty criminal Mudd pushes his little class J ship too hard and breaks down in the middle of an asteroid belt. The pursuing Enterprise has their own shields up and throws them hastily over Mudd’s ship as well, but three of their lithium crystals are destroyed by this shield extension. Scotty beams Mudd and his passengers aboard the Enterprise just as the ship is struck by an asteroid and obliterated.


Eve McHuron (Karen Steele), Ruth Bonaventure (Maggie Thrett), and Magda Kovacs (Ms. Denberg).

The Enterprise plots a course to mining planet Rigel XII to replace the lithium crystals. It is revealed that the alluring women are being made more beautiful by the illegal Venus drug, which Mudd doesn’t want Kirk to find out. Mudd further wants to screw over Kirk and get back to peddling wives on Ophiucus III so of course the logical solution is for hot chicks to seduce Kirk; first Magda and then Eve. (Neither bid succeeds in the final aim but he gets flirty action in the short run.)


Magda without the apparently beauty-enhancing Venus drug. Rough.

Long story short, Magda and Ruth marry miners from Rigel XII over subspace radio (and you thought internet hookups were risky), who are concerned when it turns out they’ve been fleeced by a con man and druggies, and Eve marries their boss, Ben Childress. It is also discovered that the Venus drug’s efficacy lies completely in the mind of its imbiber: the ladies appeared more beautiful because of their confidence in the drug and not any transformative elements of its composition, which is a good thing because the scenes of them not under the influence made them look pretty deliberately rough. Also, the miners don’t negate the marriage as a fraud when they find out the chicks are hot again, plus they like companionship or whatever. Still waters run so deep.

Ms. Denberg next appeared in the 1967 Hammer horror film Frankenstein Created Woman, alongside perennial Hammer favorite Peter Cushing. The film is lucky number four in the production company’s Frankenstein series.

Frankenstein Created Woman finds Baron Frankenstein (Cushing) awakened from a sort of cryogenic sleep by companion Dr. Hertz and his lab assistant Hans, the latter of whom is shortly executed by guillotine for murdering an innkeeeper following an altercation with local toughs.

Distraught over his gruesome death, Hans’s disfigured and paralyzed ladyfriend Christina (Ms. Denberg), whose father Hans was wrongly convicted of killing, kills herself.

Baron Frankenstein resurrects Christina’s body in the same way he was resurrected by Hertz and Hans, but gives her Hans’ soul and not her own. See, Frankenstein has become concerned with the question of whether the soul leaves the body at the moment of death, and if not can it be separated from a body, and if so can it be preserved and transferred to a different body after being divorced from its original corpse, and what would the consequence be for consciousness, and all sorts of similar metaphysical things pondered over as only Frankenstein would do. (The guy is simply a maniac for severing and swapping stuff around. You cannot stop him.) You get the gist.

The resurrected soul of Hans in Christina’s body results in a confused consciousness, driven by compulsions of revenge against Christina’s father’s actual killers (the three local toughs with whom Hans had fought earlier on the evening of Christina’s father’s death), for Christina’s part to avenge her father and for Hans’ to avenge himself. This is of course inexplicable behavior to the good doctors because the actions are based on information only Hans and Christina technically know, but which Dr.s Frankenstein and Hertz could have easily found out if they weren’t constantly playing God.

The struggle of living with an infant consciousness and two memories of bad shit and all the rest, and probably also Dr. Hertz’s cooking, drives Christina to kill herself again — but not before all three of the men who beat her father to death and pinned it on her lover have been murdered in return. The End.

It’s one of the most critically acclaimed Frankenstein Hammer movies because of the concern with metaphysics and the fairytale-like revenge structure, or so says the wiki. Later this week I’ll show you one of my most critically acclaimed Hammer flicks. It has nothing to do with Frankenstein, I’m afraid.

Ms. Denberg was the victim of a very weird rumor circuit beginning in the 1970’s. It was said for, like, two decades that the excesses of the Hollywood life were too much for Susan and that she either a) moved back to Klagenfurt with her parents but then killed herself, or b) took too much acid and was in a mental institution. These rumors were probably based on some stuff Susan said in the National Police Gazette in 1968.



“[I became] hooked on LSD and marijuana. It calmed me down, and I made such wonderful love. I needed LSD every day, almost every hour. I took all sorts of drugs when I was in Hollywood… I used to do wild, nude dances at parties held by big-time Hollywood stars.”

(The National Police Gazette. September, 1968. qtd. in Susan Denberg Biography.)

However, she did not die and is not in a mental institution conversing freely with invisible sentient orange juice (again, we’ve all been there).

These days, the 66-year-old Ms. Denberg is alive and well and presumably acid-free back home in Klagenfurt, where she is back to being good old Dietlinde Zechner. She has happily settled in to family life after her brief splash in films and television.

Talk nerdy to me: What’s wrong with this picture?

February 6, 2011


via fyeahst on the tumblr.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Uhura is sitting in the captain’s chair. She’s a girl. Get real!

Pussy Magnet: Leonard Nimoy edition

February 1, 2011

Join them later for The Search for Spock’s Keys.

Dr. King’s Day: Talk nerdy to me, “Trek” connection

January 17, 2011

“Uhura” comes from the Swahili word “uhuru,” which means freedom.


via Gorgeous Black Women right here on the wordpress.

[Nichelle] Nichols planned on leaving the role after her first season but was persuaded by Martin Luther King Jr. to stay. Dr. King felt like her character was a great role model for the African-American community.

(source)

Take-two Tuesday — Talk nerdy to me: LeVar Burton “The science of peace” edition

January 12, 2011

This post originally appeared on April 25, 2010, at 2:18 pm.

I have mentioned before that I follow me the shit out of some LeVar Burton on the twitter, which keeps me abreast of his doings. I have these pictures up mainly to get your attention.


From LeVar Burton’s twitpic account. With the Shat-man. Look at those OG’s! Super-cute!

It is obvious, accepted, manifest fact that LeVar Burton is one of the coolest and best human beings to walk the earth. Duh. Would you like to be as basically all-around amazing and centered and loving and a vessel of karmic groove in this universe Just Like Him? Then let’s talk about LeVar’s involvement with the extremely cool documentary The Science of Peace, dudes!

What if …
  • …science discovered a unified field of consciousness which affected the way people think and behave?
  • …we could find a way to consciously impact this field with our thoughts and feelings?
  • …a global media event would succesfully enroll millions of people to participate in an unprecedented world peace experiment?

    (official site)


  • with the amazing STEVIE WONDER!!

    Great minds from Tesla to Kant to Rosseau to Jung have believed in this tantalizing possibility of reaching a positive meta-energy which just might happen to be God’s will for mankind, so don’t dismiss it straight out of hand as tree-hugging hippie crap! There is some real Science to this, guys.

    Hosted by LeVar Burton, The Science of Peace features pioneering physicists, biologists, and philosophers who are established in the emerging new field of Peace Science.

    The film effectively illustrates how each person, when bringing peace in to his or her own life, becomes an instrument for global peace.

    He is also the executive producer. Putting this post together lead meto some really neato-terrific and amazing sources.


    Yes.

    I hope to share more about Peace Studies soon but here is the essential lowdown on relative newcomer Peace Science, which is the subject of the documentary: it is a hard-science effort to unify the threads of ideas that run through the incredibly important social sciences movement of Peace Studies. The Peace Science Society has an explanation of the various philosophies and social sciences that comprise the touchstones of the “argument” for peace studies at Penn State, and it is always well-spent time to give the latest articles in The Acorn a spin. (The Acorn is the official journal of the Gandhi-King society. If you don’t feel like subscribing, it’s on ProjectMUSE and the JSTOR.)


    Great picture with Nichelle Nichols. Remember on Dr. King’s Day when she came up? In case you forgot, the factoid that was related then was how she was thinking of leaving the TOS cast and Dr. King told her to stay because Lt. Uhura was a wonderful role model for people of color, especially women. Soooo great.

    Anyway, check the documentary’s official site out and show some love by visiting the “How You Can Help” section — it’s too late to participate in the documented experiment, but you can still donate and help subside costs for production, travel, distribution, etc. Cool beans!

    Movie Moment — 12 Days of Highly Tolerable Holiday Movies, Inaugural Edition: Better Off Dead

    December 12, 2010

    Welcome to the inaugural edition of 12 Days of Highly Tolerable Holiday Movies, because Jingle All the Way and all its ilk should burn in hell. I’m kicking things off with a little Better off Dead.

    Better Off Dead (Savage Steve Holland, 1985). Maybe some forgot this was a holidayish film, but I did not. How could anyone forget when you have the following scene?

    “Chrissssstmassss!”



    Lane, I think it’d be in my best interest if I dated somebody more popular. Better looking. Drives a nicer car.

    (Beth Truss. And we’re all like that, each one of us.)

    What do you do when the center of your universe walks away?

    A teenager has to deal with his girlfriend dumping him among family crises, homicidal paper boys, and a rival skier.

    (the imdb.)

    Absolutely sick pyjamas. On the kid, not on David Ogden Stiers. Scooter Stevens, who plays the lineless younger brother, did some television roles and played “Bonnie’s Date” in She’s Out of Control. That’s his final credit, so I think it’s safe to say he went on to a life of education and handsomer-than-average anonymity.

    Though his voice work in this film was dubbed by Rich Little, Yuji Okumoto, the Howard Cosell brother, has gone on to act his ass off. Seriously, you give that guy a spin on the imdb and he has a credit or ten for, like, every year since this movie was released. Very impressive. He was the one I thought was cuter. So I’m pleased. Brian Imada, who plays his brother, has done a crapload of stunt work and will be appearing in utility stunt capacity in the upcoming Green Hornet film, which is getting its own post soon as a “Hot Man Bein’ Hot” for the new Kato. Ow! I like Asian dudes. Blame Sulu and alert the media.

    Featuring marvelous Curtis Armstrong as Lane’s best friend, the eccentric Charles De Mar. Doin’ whippits and trying to get a line on nosespray in a top hat.

    Suicide is never the answer, little trooper.

    Curtis Armstrong is so good at conveying the “cool” geek. Total old school unlikely G. In fact, I do believe he was the second subject in that category.



    Steve Holland: That part when Lane does this in the garage is true. I went into the garage, and I put an extension cord on a pipe, and I’m on a garbage can, and I’m thinking, “Should I do this? Maybe this isn’t a good idea.” Anyway, it was a plastic garbage can, and my weight just, like, crashed through it, and I fell, and the pipe broke!

    And it starts pouring water everywhere. And I’m basically in a garbage can, drowning. And my mom comes in, and my mom starts yelling at me for breaking a pipe, which is what any mom would do.

    So I started writing down stupid ways to kill yourself that would fail after that, and I put them in sort of a diary. And that diary kind of became Better Off Dead.

    (“Better Off Dead – Savage Steve Holland.” Awesome interview and article on The Sneeze.)


    It’s got raisins in it. You like raisins.

    Lane’s suicide stunts smack a little of Harold and Maude, but only a little. Certainly Jenny Meyer is worlds away from Vivan Pickles. Taking it down the very absurd road carries it far enough from Harold and Maude that it becomes apples and oranges (with raisins). Mainly.



    Holland’s vision of the cafeteria as the intersection of absurd personal fantasy time and a rigidly enforced caste system is a standout in a decade that brought us dozens of shudder-inducingly accurate cafeteria scenes (I think of Sixteen Candles, when Molly Ringwold spots Jake Ryan, dumps her tray, and runs: “I can’t let him know I eat,” or Martha Dumptruck from Heathers).


    Lane, I’m thinking about asking out Elizabeth.

    R.I.P., Vincent Schiavelli. A great character actor and kickass chef.

    Charles de Mar has a hand in a jar. Say it three times fast and Curtis Armstrong will appear! He currently voices Steve’s friend Snot on American Dad.

    I love the animation Scooter Stevens brings to his role — it’s a shock to realize Badger has no speaking parts, yes? His eyes on the “Trashy Women” book … priceless.


    One of the taglines for this film is: Insanity doesn’t run in the family, it gallops. This is a reference to Arsenic and Old Lace, where the line went, “Darling, insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops.”

    During a screening of Better Off Dead, John Cusack stormed out after twenty minutes, saying, “You’ve ruined my career!” He allegedly hated and despaired of the film, and told Holland, “I will never trust you as a director ever again, so don’t speak to me.”



    I’m guessing that the mad science at Pig Burger was one of the scenes he found unpardonable, cause I guess if you are trying to be a cool cat, it could be perceived as kind of cheesey and out of place. But, hey, what a great anticipation of Igor. Who knew? Because that entire movie was insanely cheesey and out of place. I hold children’s movies to a very high standard and I don’t brook a bunch of shit, sorry.



    And Cusack went ahead and allowed Hot Tub Time Machine to refer to the film, so perhaps time has softened his view. Or money. But most likely time, I’m just sure.


    I have great fear of tools. I once made a birdhouse in woodshop and the fair housing committee condemned it. I can’t.

    “I cannot do it” is your middle name. I think all you need is a small taste of success, and you will find it suits you.


    [Lane’s] father is so stumped in trying to understand the confusing habits and behavior of his teenage son (and, at one point, is temporarily convinced Lane is using drugs) that he clumsily attempts repeatedly to interfere in Lane’s love life.

    (the wiki)

    For half a second, the q-tip face makes me like John Cusack and start to giggle, and then I remember all the reasons I’m mad at him and I wipe the smile off my face. Spiders in the mail? So immature.



    It’s kind of an interesting phenomenon. Any actor wants to play the cool guy. So playing the role of a borderline mental dork in the movie is not necessarily your first choice as an actor, however, in a way you’re kind of creating it yourself.

    It’s not like you’re being made fun of, you’re making fun of yourself by creating this persona. So it didn’t bother me a lot since I was playing a character who was so far away from me.

    (Interview with Dan “Ricky” Schneider. The Sneeze.)

    This is similar to the kind of present-giving I did one Christmas as a child. I wrapped up things we already had and was surprised when my parents were clearly feigning their enthusiasm. I think it was very zen: I considered all of our possessions to be gifts.


    Savage Steve Holland: And every day we were going, “This is hilarious. Am I wrong?” And it was like, every day anything we shot was really funny. So at my first test screening… I’ll never forget it, the movie was like five or seven minutes longer, and the audience reaction was pretty good, but it wasn’t that good.

    And I remember one guy walking out, and for some reason he knew me, and he goes, “Hey, better luck next time.”

    And I’m like, “Oh shit, I’m doomed.” It really hurt.

    The Sneeze: Do you know where he is today?

    SS: He’s probably running Paramount with my luck.

    The Sneeze: I was just hoping he was homeless.

    SS: No, because mean people always get the good jobs.

    (Aforementioned The Sneeze interview.)



    I’ve been going to this school for seven years. I’m no dummy. I know high school girls.


    You’ll make a fine little helper. What’s your name?

    Charles de Mar!

    Not you, geek. Her.



    John will never talk about Better Off Dead, and One Crazy Summer, and I read something recently where he called me “the director.” He wouldn’t use my name, and he said, “the director wanted to do absurdist comedy and that’s just not the thing I like to do,” or something like that.

    I feel like I let him down. And it totally surprises me so much because I have to say the most important person to me about that movie, was John. I really wanted him to love it as much as I loved it. And once he said that stuff, it was like a girlfriend who breaks up with you. You can’t fight with her. It’s like everything is so great, and then they say “I hate you!” out of nowhere. There’s really no argument you can have. I had my heart broken. That was the second time my heart was broken since that girl that Better Off Dead was about — honest to God.

    (Steve Holland, Ibid.)



    Truly a sight to behold. A man beaten. The once great champ, now, a study in moppishness. No longer the victory hungry stallion we’ve raced so many times before, but a pathetic, washed up, aged ex-champion.

    That’s actually a line from one of the car race scenes, but it’s my favorite. Challenge: call someone “a study in moppishness” this week — to their face!


    I really thought as time went by, [Cusack] might feel differently. But I read one other article that he got jailed for something. Somebody in his car had something, I don’t know what, but he got jailed for something. He said, “Jail sucked the most because everybody kept coming up to me going, ‘I want my two dollars!'”

    (Steve Holland, Ibid.)

    The buttrape, on the other hand, was “pretty okay”.



    Look, Charles, I’ve got to do this. If I don’t, I’ll be nothing. I’ll end up like my neighbor, Ricky Smith. He sits around crocheting all day and snorting nasal spray.

    He snorts nasal spray? You know where I can score some?!


    So you won’t tell anyone?

    What, that you’re a Dodgers fan?

    I do love the wink, here. It always comforts me to know that there are other people on the earth who are as truly bad at winking as I am. Not a lot of other people, but a few.

    Sure, you can park your Camaro on the lawn at Dodger Stadium. Happens all the time. Goddamn if that is not the most eighties-riffic thing I’ve seen all week. Ski rack, saxophone, mom jeans, and John Cusack: winner, winner, chicken dinner!



    Hope you’ve found the inaugural edition of 12 Days of Highly Tolerable Holiday Movies enlightening. And now you’re armed with this very sad backstory of the dissolution of the friendship between the star and the director — because nothing says the holidays like, “You are dead to me.” So cue it up, grab your gelatinous raisin-riddled mass, and bask in Better Off Dead’s warm 80’s glow.

    Sharon Tate’s Actual Life Awareness Month: Day 24, Teevee Time — Sharon’s “The Beverly Hillbillies” gigs and more

    August 24, 2010

    Sharon Tate’s agent, Marty Ransohoff, had a very specific plan for Sharon’s path to stardom. He wanted her to have acting lessons and cut her teeth in small parts on television, growing accustomed to being before the cameras. Mr. Ransohoff chose for Sharon to appear in series in which he himself was involved in one way or another so that he could continue his supervision of her career.

    Ransohoff insisted that Ms. Tate go uncredited in these roles — that way, when she was ready for the big time, he could spring her on Hollywood as a breakout smash. Because of this long-term plan and careful keeping of her under wraps, Sharon could pop up repeatedly on the same show, slowly gaining experience and getting more lines, and the audiences would be none the wiser.

    Wearing a black bobbed wig, Sharon anonymously portrayed Janet Trego in about fifteen episodes of “The Beverly Hillbillies,” and appeared in another, wigless, as “young girl” at a garden party. (She showed up first as “Sharon,” in a different hairpiece.)

    Star Trek: TOS actress and small-screen beauty Grace Lee Whitney — you know I will always find a sci-fi connection — recalls hanging out with Sharon as aspiring actresses in L.A. in her autobiography:

    I was in make up with Sharon Tate a number of times, and I remember her as a very friendly, sweet girl in her early twenties. We used to gossip like schoolgirls about how cute Troy [Donahue] and Chad [Everett] were.


    Like me, she was doing a lot of episodic television–shows like The Beverly Hillbillies and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. I vividly recall how shocked and horrified I was a few years later when I heard that she [died].

    (Whitney, Grace Lee. The Longest Trek: My Tour of the Galaxy Clovis, CA: Quill Driver Books, 1998.)

    Besides a guest spot on The Man From U.N.C.L.E and her more regularly featured role of Janet Trego on The Beverly Hillbillies, Sharon also appeared in a 1963 episode of Mr. Ed as “Telephone Operator.”

    Photos via PolarBlairsDen and tesla on liketelevision.com.

    Talk nerdy to me: Hippo Birdie to David Duchovny (why don’t you love me?)

    August 7, 2010

    Happy 50th birthday to handsome and talented David “Agent Fox Mulder” Duchovny…


    Baby geek! David Duchovny dressed as Spock for Halloween with sister.

    …And many happy returns.


    X-Files, Season 6, Episode 15: “Arcadia.” Original airdate March 7, 1999.

    Now get back in there and make him a sandwich!

    Talk nerdy to me and Unlikely G: Happy bappy other cappy

    July 15, 2010


    Stop. G-face time. “Darmok.”

    Oh, my gosh, guys! I don’t know how it happened, but Patrick Stewart’s birthday slid right past me this week with no acknowledgement.


    “Time’s Arrow.” Superfly.

    All apologies, dude. Here is an unlikely G posting to mend the riff.

    It’s only when you’re going through screencaps that you realize, holy shit, Patrick Stewart looks g as fuck at all possible times. He is a serious G master and we can only learn from his flyness.


    “The Game.” That’s the one with Ashley Judd in it.

    Except possibly in that picture I just put up. It’s the only really, really horrible one. But he was merely expressing what the script called for, which was hokey mind control by a game. So you can see that really Patrick Stewart was still fulfilling his financial obligation as a performer on the show, which all good G’s know they got to use their skillz to pay the billz. Still G, see?


    “True Q” — a post is coming soon that is related to this episode.

    And yes, I was alerted to the oversight by @LeVar Burton‘s twitter feed. I also follow @TheRealNimoy and @WilliamShatner. Do I get the Biggest Dork award yet? I promise never to take it out of the package and decrease its value. (“I bent my wookiee.”)

    Showdown!: Inaugural edition featuring yellow slickers

    July 9, 2010

    Did you ever have to make up your mind?

    I’m’a lead off this story with the reminder that I’m lactose intolerant. So. I was at a friendoh’s place recently and after some pizza I found myself with time on my hands in the bathroom. All there was to read was People or something like that, so I flopped it open at random.


    I do not know who they are but I like the one on the right because she has Crazy Eyes.

    The page to which I opened had the headline “Who wore it best?” and showed three women who were I’m assuming celebrities — I did not really recognize them because none of them were Muppets, former guest stars on Star Trek TNG, or playmates of the month — all wearing the same dress at various red carpet events. I thought, given the human tendency toward recognizing and enjoying that which is patterned and symmetrical, this is an intriguing premise — only what would be better is if they were not in boring clothes at a boring party.


    Twins Maurine and Noreene via thesisterproject. I’m going with Noreene because she looks more fun (open smile, body toward camera).

    Welcome to the inaugural edition of Showdown! where we decide between either a) two people in one picture or b) two or more pictures of people with something in common: age, hair color, a thematic prop, or, in special cases — such as today — which playmate has put forth the best of two similar photos.


    The face-down twin in the background is totally “selling it” better than the one in the foreground, who looks more like “asleep while sick” than “dead from axe wounds.” Fuck, why did I use this picture, now I’m going to have nightmares.

    In fact we have already done a Showdown! by accident, which I will put together and repeat as today’s Flashback Friday. Anyway, here is the inaugural outing of this thrilling new category: Showdown!: Yellow Rain Slicker edition.

    I noticed that the same slicker was used in the photoshoots of Delores Wells, Miss June 1960 and Sheralee Connors, Playboy‘s Miss July 1961. (Spoiler: they are both coming up as Girls of Summer.) Who rocked it harder?


    left: Ms. Wells ; right: Ms. Connors. Click either picture to enlarge.

    Camera A? or Camera B?

    Mean Girls Monday: Talk nerdy to me, another Star Trek edition, by way of introducing Kevmo’s awesome new “Project: NerdTrek” blog

    May 17, 2010

    My grandmother is having a Bad Day so while she’s taking a nap I’m going to throw some stuff up really quick and then when she’s awake again, I’m afraid I will be definitely tied up.

    A dear old friendoh who is a funny, clever, and all-around smashing good family man has started an intriguing and fun new blog called Project: NerdTrek over on the blogger. Kevin’s plan is to watch all the various Star Trek franchise viewing material in stardate order, hopefully squeezing in an episode a day. I look forward to keeping up with him and encourage my fellow nerds to follow, too! (I have also linked to him in the new and improved categorized blogroll on the right of the page.)

    Oh, but he would, Mr. Spock.

    Check Kevmo’s stuff out, and, in the meantime, please send vibes that my grandmother’s mind will — since I think it cannot at this point fully rethread itself — at least be set at ease by some well-earned rest.

    Talk nerdy to me: Wesley Crusher’s Mommy Issues edition

    May 9, 2010

    In honor of Mother’s Day. After all, “A boy’s best friend is his mother” (Mr. N. Bates, Psycho).


    The child’s relation to his mother, as the first and strongest object of love, becomes the prototype of all subsequent love relationships. The character of all later relationships is established by that first unparalleled love relationship. Whether the child is breast-fed or bottle-fed, whether he receives all the tenderness of a mother’s care or not, the development is the same.


    No matter how long a child is fed at his mother’s breast, he will always feel that his feeding was cut short too soon.

    These considerations of the relationship between mother and child prepare us for the intensity of what Freud has called “the Oedipus complex.”

    (Hollitscher, Walter. Sigmund Freud, An Introduction. London: Kegan, Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co., Ltd. 1947. 33-34. Print.)

    Yes, Wesley. You should think about this.





    PSA: Actor, writer, and renaissance man Wil Wheaton is awesome and hilarious and this is his website. If you merely think of him as Wesley Crusher or Gordie LaChance, you are missing out — check him out!

    Talk nerdy to me: LeVar Burton “The science of peace” edition

    April 25, 2010

    I have mentioned before that I follow me the shit out of some LeVar Burton on the twitter (for the record, the Red Cross “Haiti” texting thing is still on like Khan so think about donating, because the need is still very strong, especially as summer comes on and people have gradually stopped donating money needed very badly to keep plenty of clean, purified water around and sanitized conditions for the food getting to refugees, for example: to displaced children — a diptheria epidemic happening now among all those orphaned kids would basically be about the most disastrous and heartbreaking thing I can even think of, you know?).


    From LeVar Burton’s twitpic account. With the Shat-man. Look at those OG’s! Super-cute!

    I have these pictures up mainly to get your attention. It is obvious, accepted, manifest fact that LeVar Burton is one of the coolest and best human beings to walk the earth. Duh. Would you like to be as basically all-around amazing and centered and loving and a vessel of karmic groove in this universe Just Like Him? Then let’s talk about LeVar’s involvement with the extremely cool documentary The Science of Peace, dudes!

    What if …
  • …science discovered a unified field of consciousness which affected the way people think and behave?
  • …we could find a way to consciously impact this field with our thoughts and feelings?
  • …a global media event would succesfully enroll millions of people to participate in an unprecedented world peace experiment?

    (official site)


  • with the amazing STEVIE WONDER!!

    Great minds from Tesla to Kant to Rosseau to Jung have believed in this tantalizing possibility of reaching a positive meta-energy which just might happen to be God’s will for mankind, so don’t dismiss it straight out of hand as tree-hugging hippie crap! There is some real Science to this, guys.

    Hosted by LeVar Burton, The Science of Peace features pioneering physicists, biologists, and philosophers who are established in the emerging new field of Peace Science.

    The film effectively illustrates how each person, when bringing peace in to his or her own life, becomes an instrument for global peace.

    He is also the executive producer. Putting this post together lead meto some really neato-terrific and amazing sources.


    Yes.

    I hope to share more about Peace Studies soon but here is the essential lowdown on relative newcomer Peace Science, which is the subject of the documentary: it is a hard-science effort to unify the threads of ideas that run through the incredibly important social sciences movement of Peace Studies. The Peace Science Society has an explanation of the various philosophies and social sciences that comprise the touchstones of the “argument” for peace studies at Penn State, and it is always well-spent time to give the latest articles in The Acorn a spin. (The Acorn is the official journal of the Gandhi-King society. If you don’t feel like subscribing, it’s on ProjectMUSE and the JSTOR.)


    Great picture with Nichelle Nichols. Remember on Dr. King’s Day when she came up? In case you forgot, the factoid that was related then was how she was thinking of leaving the TOS cast and Dr. King told her to stay because Lt. Uhura was a wonderful role model for people of color, especially women. Soooo great.

    Anyway, check the documentary’s official site out and show some love by visiting the “How You Can Help” section — it’s too late to participate in the documented experiment, but you can still donate and help subside costs for production, travel, distribution, etc. Cool beans!

    Mean Girls Monday: “OMG, Sulu” edition

    April 12, 2010

    Mean Girls Monday: Star Trek reboot edition feat. Spock’s mom

    March 22, 2010

    And, continuing that, Zachary Quinto and Winona Ryder at the premiere of Star Trek.

    Finally, because it is extremely true:

    Of course.

    I got about a million Star Trek ones, as you might guess. So prep yourself.

    Mean Girls Monday: Inaugural Edition feat. Gone With the Wind

    March 8, 2010

    Last week was a rough one, so I asked my husband to mail me some of the DVDs sitting around our house in Portland and he graciously did. One of them was Mean Girls (Mark Waters, 2001), a movie that I am not ashamed to call a guilty pleasure. Introducing … Mean Girls Monday! A maybe-weekly feature directly or indirectly referencing the film. Because I can.

    First Edition. What if every movie were Mean Girls? As Picard would suggest, make it so. This is a wonderfully dorky meme that’s been floating around where people juxtapose lines from Mean Girls with screencaps from other flicks and I’m loving it. Thought I’d kick it off with a little classic Gone With the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939).


    (God, Vivien Leigh’s faces are so priceless. I’m planning an upcoming The Way They Were on Vivien and Laurence Olivier. Mad love for my Vivs for-evvvv-errr.)

    This has been your first Mean Girls Monday!

    Hippo Birdie

    March 2, 2010

    Happy birthday, I guess, to Gates “Dr. Beverly Crusher” McFadden, who turns 61 today.


    Still from Star Trek: The Next Generation. “Thine Own Self,” Season 7, Episode 16.

    This was the one where Troi must undergo the holodeck test to become a commanding officer, proctored by her pigdog ex Riker, and the first time through the simulation, everyone dies — including the doc, here — but the second time, after really annoying counsel from a predictably arrogant and slimy Riker (get this, he squints and tilts his head lecherously! wow! the moves!), Troi forces Geordi to sacrifice himself and everyone else lives.


    Insert some kind of “Riker’s boner” joke here. Pigdog.

    Lesson being greater good kind of stuff. That’s what matters. Not the first picture, which I mainly selected because, in it, Dr. Crusher has a typically bitchy look on her face. (I am a big anti-Crusher guy from Way Back, so I approach her scenes with a bias. Sorry.) That was the subplot, actually; the main thing of the episode was Data’s memory crashed and he was stranded on a planet where people thought he had the plague.

    Actually, in my search for the above shot, I found the below one, and I take back almost all the mean things I’ve said over the years.

    I said goddamn, Gates McFadden. Haters to the left. And this time, that’s me. Happy birthday, madame!

    Daily Batman — Take this phone and shove it

    February 26, 2010


    Oh, my stars and garters, yes. I hate the telephone. I had to spend all kinds of time on the phone yesterday wading through officious folklore and bureaucratic shenanigans, and, as a consequence, I’ve kept my phone off almost this whole day. I only turned it on when Miss D, knowing me too well, alerted me to the fact that she’d be calling in the late morning and I ought to turn my cell on at least until I heard from her. I did, and, once she called, I silenced it again.

    I warned her that I think I am slowly transitioning toward abandoning phones as a method of communication altogether. It started with my hatred of texting and has steadily devolved since, to the point that I scowl any time I see someone with so much as a bluetooth earpiece strolling around. Ass, I think to myself, and actively begin to draw wide Borg comparisons. Go ahead, everyone else on Earth it seems, and do join the collective hive-mind of buzz and nothing-talk, but resistance is not so futile in my book. People will claim to hate their cell phones and act like it’s such a hassle to be tethered to everyone they know at all times, shrugging and alluding to the convenience of being able to instantly hear from colleagues or family, but the truth is mainly that you have just allowed the phone to become necessary, and to paraphrase Ms. Steinem, it is no more needed than a shrimp’s hipster fixie bicycle, even if he does have the coolest nalgene bottle evah, with a special attachment for him to hook it on the bike so he can take drinks at intersections and look like hot shit. (You know how shellfish care about appearances. Pfft. Sooo shallow. You’d never catch a catfish pulling that manner of chicanery.)

    Look, I’m sure Alexander Graham Bell was a nice guy with nothing but good intentions who could not possibly have foreseen the midnight calls of drunk out-of-touch friends or robo-dialing mortgage adjusters who interrupt dinner, but when I run across him in Heaven, he’s getting a punch in the gut just the same.

    Bonus Patricia Highsmith sketch because I can and she was the source of the quote that started this chain of luddite fit-pitchery. I do not have a Graham Greene sketch or I’d post one of him as well — The Destructors is a favorite short story from Way Back.