R&B, Vulcan style

Spock
Speaking of intertexual experiments with pop culture icons (see my previous post on "The Superfriends and multiculturalism"), some genres just aren’t meant to be mixed. 

While sci-fi purists might find Star Trek intellectually and artistically wanting–let’s face it, with the exception of the occasional allegory about contemporary affairs (e.g., the episodes that criticized America’s involvement in the Vietnam war), most of STOS’s plots were if truth be told formulaic and devoid of the speculative spark that inspires real sci-fi; the gang would beam down to the latest new planet, a hapless redshirt would quickly die a horrible death, Kirk would kill some creature in hand-to-hand combat and celebrate by bedding some alien beauty, and the away team would return sans one member, etc.; not that this detracts from its appeal for me in any way)– I think we can all agree that there’s something sacrilegious about having Mr. Spock croon Bobby Brown’s execrable "It’s My Prerogative" while bogeying like a late 1980s b-boy.  (Boy, that song hasn’t aged well.  The knowledge that I  bought that dreadful album as a confused, esthetically-challenged teen will haunt me till my dying day.)

Brace yourself, fellow Trekkies.  This little stop motion animation skit entitled "Star Trek Karaoke" would be funny if it weren’t so painful to watch and just downright wrong.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  [HT: MyAsylum]  As myAsylum puts it, "Yes, the United Federation of Planets has not been spared by the scourge of karaoke."

As esthetically disquieting as that clip is, it does provide an intriguing glimpse of how realistic stop motion animation can be.  Those dolls are getting down like Soul Train dancers!  It’s a far cry from the halting movements (think of Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer) that I associate with this type of animation.

Still, I think I’m going to have to gouge my eyes out like Oedipus.  Doing that to Mr. Spock is just haram.  I did enjoy Lt. Uhura’s rowdy encouragement, though (she yells out in inebriation, "Do it Vulcan style!")

  • http://vonaurum.wordpress.com vonaurum

    >>>Doing that to Mr. Spock is just haram.
    Agreed.
    This is soooo wrong!

  • George Bush is God

    Someone once asked Gene Roddenberry why there were no muslims portrayed in Star Trek.
    Gene replied, “Because it’s set in the future”.

  • svend

    Famous last words! Take a look at conversion rates, pal. Our next acquisition might be well your neighbor or daughter. The future’s going to be a lonely place for people like you.

  • George Bush is God

    Islam, like the Borg collective was designed to be an extremely efficient form of assimilation. With mechanisms in place making leaving the religion next to impossible.
    I was born and raised muslim family but stopped believing decades ago.
    My kids and grandkids are muslim.
    So’s my wife and the rest of the family.
    They’re free to practice anything they like, I don’t love them any less because we don’t share the same religion and vice versa.
    I assume you’re seeing islam grow significantly in the west, probably by the increased immigration and intermarriages (the same way it started in South East Asia centuries ago and displaced Hinduism and Buddihism.
    At some point in time I believe that will either stop or non muslim governments (particularly in the US and allied countries) will clamp down on it, as they are presently doing.
    Elsewhere, year by year, despite the threat of death or imprisonment, the number of apostates grows in my country.
    Started in hundreds a few years ago, now in the thousands.
    We’ve still got several centuries to rid ourselves of these primative practices and hit warp factor 8.

  • svend

    Ah, the plot thickens.
    For whatever it’s worth, my family’s story (my parents, an American and a Dane, each converted to Islam before my birth, raising me as a Muslim in Boston in the 1970s and 1980s) certainly doesn’t fit into your narrative.
    Western sociologists and intellectuals have been predicting the demise of religion in modern society for a long time, and history (Muslim history and American history in particular) keeps proving them wrong. Like Marx’s proletarian revolution, secular enlightenment seems eternally around the corner.
    Speaking of englightenment, I have no problems with you or anybody else sharing their beliefs openly and honestly, but I don’t think there is anything particularly “enlightened” about intentionally denigrating other people’s religious beliefs (or lack thereof).
    As the Quran says, “Unto you your religion and unto me mine.” It also establishes that there is no compulsion of religion–whatever some ignorant Muslims may believe–and that Allah *chose* to create us in nations and tribes (i.e., different from one another).
    May you find peace in whatever path you choose.

  • svend

    There was an obvious point that somehow eluded me: What religion *IS* in Star Trek??
    With the laughably PC exception of Chakotay’s cosmic Native American belief system in Voyager, no characters exhibit any religious attachments. Apparently, the only people who will be religious in the future will be animists.
    I haven’t followed Enterprise closely–Bakula’s squinting, touchy-feely leadership style makes me lurch to the bathroom to yack–but the closest thing to a traditional religion to have appeared in ST history is probably the faith system of the Bajorans, which of all Terran faiths most resembles Shiah Islam. So there…
    But when you really get down to it, the Star Trek franchise has *no* religion, Islamic or otherwise, as its cold vision of the future hews to the tired old secular pseudo-universalism of smug Western intellectuals (at least until they hit their mid-life crisis, and which point many turn fundie and become the worst nightmare of their “enlightened” youth).

  • csabill

    Well… Star Trek does have religion… Just that religion does not matter too much. I dont think Gene really said that.
    And dont worry… There will never be enough strictly practising muslims. Do all sport beards??? Do all avoid pork??? Do all avoid trading in risk???
    Islam is too strict to be followed word by word without hindering growth. There are too many taboos. But mankind is too varied for Islam to remain Islam forever.

  • svend

    Well, if it doesn’t matter much then they don’t really “have” religion. Real, spritual commitment to a religion (at least in the Western sense) doesn’t necessarily affect the mundane details of daily life–And even if it does, so what? So long as you’re not imposing those values on others, it’s nobody’s business.–but it’s always there, always important (in fact, it’s the most important thing in one’s life by definition), and regularly manifests itself visibly in one’s life. Whether it’s specific taboos or specific values, it’s there. WHether we’re talking about Islam, Judaism or Christianity.
    BTW, the same criticism could be leveled at Judaism. It’s just that contemporary Jews practice the religion differently from the past. But the principles and limitations are still there and, some would argue, still binding.
    But enlightened people never criticize Jews for practicing their religion as fully as they wish and are able. They only do that with Muslims.


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