Dad got de-tubed today. Mum says he’s completely off his face and will take a few days to get back in the reality zone. Now that he’s over the worst of all this, I thought I’d do a more frivolous post about something else very dear to my heart…
For the fortnight following my Dad’s attack, all I’ve felt like watching in the evenings is classic Star Trek, not a show I ever chose to watch this past decade at least. I understand why I’ve been so drawn to it. Back when I was a nineteen year old art student living in a filthy share house with a bunch of friends, I somehow managed to contract a serious illness that laid me out flat (and contagious) for a couple of weeks. I was so sick I had to return to my parent’s house to wait out the worst of it. My liver was inflamed, my piss dark brown, my skin a mess of unsightly rash. All I could so was lie on the sofa and watch TV. And the only thing even remotely worth watching was Star Trek reruns, only they weren’t reruns to me because I’d somehow managed to never have seen the show before, despite being a long time space cadet. 3pm every afternoon became the high point of my existence. I threw in my lot with the Enterprise crew and by the end of the week I was well and truly hooked, despite the dated sexist rubber headed alien bullshit of it all. The Enterprise crew became my friends and so here I found myself again, twenty-something years later reaching out to Kirk, Spock and Bones when reality started poking me uncomfortably in the ribs.
Classic Trek is now available in utterly beautiful remixed, remastered, rescored, digitally enhanced, colour boosted, special effects enhanced boxed sets. Bright primary colors, stunning space shots, sweeping vistas of the Enterprise as she orbits various planets. I figure my current Trek obsession is the visual equivalent of eating a tub of double choc chip icecream every night or hitting the vino. Whatever the reason, I’m loving every minute and, strangely enough, Rob is too.
One thing, though, has been totally shitting me. The stupid dresses the Enterprise women wear. They look as if, called to the bridge in a hurry, the women haven’t had time to get properly dressed. Every time I see Uhura I think put on some pants, woman! It’s me, isn’t it? I’m getting old and crabby. Sure, those mini dresses are iconic, but they are so demeaning and serve to date the show far more than rubber headed aliens ever could. In early episodes where they were still experimenting with uniform design, women crew members did wear pants. That simple alternate clothing item transforms women crew members from glorified space secretaries and waitresses into seamlessly integrated crew members, whether they get much in the way of speaking parts or not.
Star Trek was revolutionary for its time in its inclusion of crew members from various racial backgrounds. Imagine if they’d gone that one step further and dealt sexism a hefty smack across the face too with the mere inclusion of PANTS!
(note: yeah, I have read somewhere about how it was test audiences that rejected the idea of a ‘number one’ character being played by a woman rather than studio executives.)