Sunday, May 10, 2009

MOTHER'S DAY POST (FROM THE FAR REACHES OF THE UNIVERSE)


Hey! The new Star Trek movie is out; I'm so glad it's gotten good reviews and generally everyone I've spoken to has said good things. I grew up on TNG (reference picture above*) and since it's mother's day, I have a very special story about growing up Trek with my mom.

I think it was the winter of 1992 or 1993; living right in between Boston and New Hampshire, you didn't go out a whole lot in the dead of winter. Winter in this area of the world means lots of dirty snow covered in street salt that never goes away because it never gets warm enough to melt.

You find yourself staying in a whole lot. Luckily for the Turnbull family, WNDS 50, "The Winds of New England" ... the station located in Portsmouth, N.H., had just the cure for the snowy prime time blues. 2 repeat episodes of "The Simpsons" followed by an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation".

The combination was perfect; 2 comedies and a drama. The Simpsons supplied us with a satrical whit, pop culture maxims and dark humor while Star Trek lifted our souls and let us imagine about a future better than the ones we were in; ones with Klingon, Vulcans and other cultures yet to even be discovered. And the most surreal part?


This guy was the weather man in between the Simpsons and Star Trek and if you watch this video you'll know he's total viral video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nplpiNH5Nqw&feature=related ... this video is a bit bland (even though he has the best New Hampshire accent ever) but when this guy was younger he was SO PUMPED on doing the weather.

It wasn't like we were obsessed; it was a dark time for the Celtics in 92/93 (Bird started having back problems, Reggie Lewis DIED) and this seemed to be the only other family friendly 2 hour pack for family bonding, since the Family Channel, as we all agreed, was weird.

But we started really getting into it. So when we started channel surfing between it and the two weeks of the Winter Olympics, it got a little discombobulating.

We knew it was time to take a TV break when my mother said, "Why, this downhill skiing event really doesn't represent anyone! Where are the Klingon, where are the Romulians?"

I've never told my mom this, but I was right there with her in the fantasy. For a moment, I logically paused and thought "The Romulans are not a part of the Federation, mom."

But at around the exact same time, we both came to our senses and realized we had become, if we wanted to believe it or not, Trekkies. We turned off the Television, I retreated into my room to doodle space ships and I suspect my mother did a cross word puzzle.

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!

**********

I just watched this video above and thought to myself; this is what mom must have felt when the Beatles started dressing in bright colors and traveling to India.

This band plays pop songs that sound so familiar and from so many different histories. I hear the beach boys, Paul Simon's "graceland", house and afrobeats, maybe even chanting(and scatting? - What do you call what Avey Tare is doing with his voice?) ... and the lyrics re-enforce the nostalgic themes; the song references wearing summertime clothes and taking off your socks - a poetic visual both mundane and sublime. Mundane because it is a logical solution to the weather, sublime in the erotic undertones. A perfect pop song: made for the season, just a little dirty and just weird and psychedelic enough to be appealing to just about anyone whose got a lil' freak in them.

* Note scene is of Lt. Commander Geordi LaForge's mandolin being taken away by Lt. Commander Worf. They are dressed in Robin Hood attire in an extended space of reality by the cosmic trouble maker "Q". This is the famous episode where Worf insists to Captain Picard that he is "Not a merry man."

1 comment:

Bird flu girl said...

Oh_my_God. I haven't thought of Al the weather guy (isn't it Al Kaprinian or something?) in years. Jesus Christ, the things you assume are "normal" growing up. Jack, I'm not sure if anyone outside our family will appreciate this post, but I am having killer flashbacks to eating dinner on the rug in front of the television. I can't remember what year that was at all although I'm tempted to say it was like '92 or '93. It doesn't seem that long ago until I do the math and realize - Holy F*&# that was more than 15 year ago!! No wonder the Star Wars scene looks so hokey and dated.