Captain’s Log: Stardate 201906.30. So I wake up this morning and receive an email from one of my former students, who goes by the nickname Dodo. She writes: “Hi professor, This is Dodo . I visited the National Air and Space Museum in Washington and just saw this Star Trek spaceship hehe. It reminds me of our class! Have a great summer .”
Captain’s Log: Stardate 201902.16 For those of you with little ones who need to be exposed to classic Star Trek at the earliest possible age, I recommend the new books I Am Captain Kirk and I Am Mr. Spock, both available on amazon.com, and are thankfully based on classic Star Trek, not the reboots. The artwork is outstanding, although Kirk doesn’t look much like William Shatner. I sent both books to my niece so she can read them to my four-year-old great nephew. Let’s get a new generation to love classic Star Trek! Live long and prosper.
Captain’s Log: Stardate 201901.18. I am on holiday and thought I’d update the log. One of the most popular episodes of TOS featured in my class is This Side of Paradise, and it’s one of my favourites too. My students seem to rate this episode higher than The City on The Edge of Forever, and I think it is because they, mostly young Koreans, seem to prefer Spock-oriented stories over those that focus mainly on Kirk. In the book The Ultimate Star Trek and Philosophy: The Search for Socrates there is a chapter called “Destroying Utopias: Why Kirk is a Jerk” by David Kyle Johnson in which the author takes issue with Kirk’s decision to remove the spore-infected but extremely happy and healthy colonists on Omicron Ceti III because man was not meant to be completely happy all the time. Kirk says man will not achieve anything if he does not have a “challenge”, but Johnson says the people on the planet have already overcome all adversity and are happy so they don’t need to be challenged. They, he says, have already reached what all men and women want and strive for, so they should be left alone. He also points out that Omicron Ceti III would be ideal planet for people suffering from terminal diseases and depression, and I think he makes a pretty good point there. Is Kirk a jerk? I would say not usually, but in This Side of Paradise I think he was. He had to get his crew back, that is true, but the colonists should have had the right to stay if they wanted to remain wonderfully happy and healthy.
In other news, I don’t need to be infected by spores to be happy that Star Trek 4, the latest instalment in the dreadful Kelvin timeline started by JJ Abrams in 2009, has been cancelled. This is good news for all Star Trek traditionalists and I hope to see a return to old school Star Trek in the new animated show starring Patrick Stewart.
I’ve attached a public domain photo of Leonard Nimoy and Jill Ireland from This Side of Paradise for your enjoyment. Live long and prosper.
Captain’s Log: Stardate 201901.15. As a fan of classic Star Trek (including TOS, naturally, but also TAS, TNG, STC, and Voyager), I really like The Orville. And apparently I am not the only Star Trek fan who prefers this programme over Discovery, which I find too dark. The Orville is light, bright, optimistic about the future, funny, and has likeable characters, something I cannot say about Discovery. Before I forget, the spring 2019 issue of the official Star Trek magazine will feature a profile on me as a Star Trek educator and I’m really excited about this! Hope all of you get a chance to read it. In any case, you can be a classic Star Trek fan AND love The Orville at the same time. Here’s me as Captain Ed Mercer of the USS Orville. Enjoy.
Supplemental: Click here to read a British article that urges disappointed classic Star Trek fans to watch The Orville.
Captain’s Log: Stardate 201811.30. Today we watched Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and learned about what Jeremy Bentham and Nietzsche would say about this outstanding movie. I remember seeing this at age 17 back in ’82 when it was released, with my mom and dad. The ending had me all choked up, and even now it still triggers an emotional response. Let’s just say I could not be a utilitarian like Spock. I also received today this portrait with me as Admiral Kirk and two of my students as Spock and McCoy. Live long and prosper.
Captain’s Log: Stardate 201810.31. Today is Halloween, and my day off, although I do have to grade exams today. In other news, here’s the first two-person Star Trek portrait I’ve commissioned, featuring a younger me as Kirk and my former student and good friend Tomoka Yamamoto as the yeoman. Tomoka was in my class eight years ago and I still call her by her nickname, which is, believe it or not, Cheeky Rabbit.
Captain’s Log: Stardate 201809.6. I am pleased to show off the latest work of my preferred digital artist, Scott Jackson, who specializes in Star Trek art. Here I am as Captain Kirk in his full dress green uniform. What do you think? Not bad, huh? Looks like a scene from The Menagerie.