March 29, 2009

Help me, Spock!

Flipping through the channels at 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning, you can get a real cross-section of the self-loathing to which advertisers pander. I didn't notice this until now, but when I was in Jordan earlier this month, I don't think I saw a single infomercial. Those poor, unenlightened, people.

It's funny ... people presumably watch TV for escapism, right? Yet every five minutes we're reminded how bald we are, how fat we are, how undefined our abs are, how untrusty and prone to malfunction our penises are, how mysterious our credit reports are, how clogged with crap our colons are ... how damned we are. What exactly are we escaping from? I guess the escapism lies in the dream that these conditions are correctable.

Oh, and uh, just for the record, when I said "we" in the paragraph above, I didn't mean me specifically ... I wouldn't want you to get the wrong idea about my credit report.

The other thing I've found is the episode of Star Trek in which Kirk, Spock, a mildly crosseyed Abraham Lincoln, and a vulcan named Surak or something take on Genghis Khan, a Glenn Fordish guy who, unlike Glenn Ford as far as I know, led a genocidal war on earth in the early 21st century (in a snazzy red jumpsuit), a wild woman with a nice looking midriff who conducted some kind of genetic experiments, and Somebody or Other the Unforgettable, the guy who introduced badness to the Klingons.

All at the behest of a giant steaming dog turd.

When I was a kid, I loved this episode, and I was horrified when Lincoln died at the business end of a pointed stick. As I watch it now, there are some problems with this episode, but none more glaring than the fact that the bad guy's strategy relies on Genghis Khan's relentless talent for ... mimicry.

I just skimmed the wikipedia article on the Mongol warlord, and I guess I need to head over there and add some information about Genghis Khan's most dangerous skill.


Tom said...

Almost thought the "liar-bird" was an April Fool's story. But I guess not.

One of the local (commercial) channels has recently started showing original Star Trek here on Saturday mornings: I saw "Shore Leave" this last weekend, where Kirk gets to beat up his Irish tormentor: I'm hoping that character's included in the new Trek film.

JB said...

Tom, thanks for reminding me of that episode ... I'd forgotten that essential pre-O'Brien portrayal of mid-millennial Irishness.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely one of my favourite all time television episodes. HELP ME, SPOCK! The words still ring out in my mind. A great moment when Abraham Lincoln seeks the aid of a Vulcan. Thank you for sharing.