Viewing posts tagged Bonus Posts

Review: The Impossible Has Happened: The Life and Work of Gene Roddenberry, Creator of Star Trek

When I was writing my first volume of Vaka Rangi, I was faced with a dilemma on how to frame the book. I have little to no personal or nostalgic connection to the original Star Trek or its animated sequel so my episode-to-episode reactions were by definition going to be mostly as I saw it. But I still wanted to come up with something unique to say about this most important period of Star Trek history, so I initially decided to structure the book around telling as “real” a story about the franchise's formative years as I could, with a careful eye towards historical mythbusting in general, in particular how it pertained to the shows creator, the ever-mythologized Gene Roddenberry. I soon realised, however, that this was a task far too massive for me to undertake given the scope of the project I had cast, and quickly found myself intimidated and overwhelmed by the sheer scale of conflicting stories and seemingly deliberate disinformation surrounding Roddenberry and Star Trek. While I still hoped to convey a general idea for what Star Trek actually was and was envisioned as being (and I do feel, and hope, I managed some degree of ...

Vaka Rangi: Three Year Anniversary


So I'm not going to put too fine a point on it, but this past year has not been an amazing one for me either. But I'm also not going to make a big deal about it-We all have our own suite of hardships to deal with in our lives, and all we can do is continue to carry on to the best of our abilities.
To the future then. Obviously, the post on “All Good Things...” (and some other stuff) goes out Monday, thus officially taking the blog out of Star Trek: The Next Generation as well as the joint coverage of it and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. This is, to put it mildly, a major turning point. Apart from closing off a sustained block of writing for this project that dates back to 2014, this is also the place where I exit Star Trek permanently. Though my affection for the series never goes away and no matter how much my thinking and identity will remain bound up in it, from here on out Star Trek remains firmly and irretrievably a part of my past. There will be a rather ...

Streaming Update (and a Brief Treatise on Crap Home Video Standards)

Hey Dirty Pair fans! All three of you! Guess what?

I just found out something really exciting: It turns out Nozomi Entertainment, one of the rights-holders to the English language version of the Classic Anime Series, has been putting up complete, *subtitled* versions of Dirty Pair: Affair of Nolandia, Original Dirty Pair and Dirty Pair: Flight 005 Conspiracy on its official YouTube channel all summer! You may recall that these were among the releases Manga Entertainment chose not to include in subtitled form among its own uploads of the Classic Anime Series, so it's a really big deal to finally get these versions in free, legal streaming form.

The TV show never received an English dub because it was localized on the cheap and only very recently, so this doesn't apply to the Manga Entertainment releases of those episodes,  but this is, to my knowledge at least, the first time folks who prefer to stream their visual media over the Internet have had to watch these later Classic Series Dirty Pair anime productions with the original Japanese language track and English subtitles. I've updated the video embeds on all my posts about those episodes and movies ...

Vaka Rangi: Two Year Anniversary

The Dirty Pair, by Alan Gutierrez

My entire past year can be summarised in just one phrase.
Dirty Pair.
It was almost exactly a year ago today that I began my week-long miniseries on the history of professional wrestling to lead into my essay on The Great Adventure of the Dirty Pair that would introduce Kei and Yuri and change the shape of this project forever. It was an intentionally cheeky move, I admit, and I took great pleasure in watching you all try and guess where on Earth I was going with that tangent. I enjoy making unpredictable moves like that and keeping my audience on their toes: Not only is it fun for me, but it keeps the project fresh and is a way of offering a subtle reminder that Vaka Rangi is meant to be far from another standard-issue history of Star Trek narrative.
But of course Dirty Pair was never an out-of-the blue, 90-degree turn for this project. Even though I've only been a fan of the series myself for the past three years or so, I've known about its existence, and its shared history with Star Trek ...

Subspace Radio

Hi Everyone!

My friend and colleague Jack Graham of Shabogan Graffiti and Xenomorph's Paradox recently started his own podcast series The Shabcast (graciously hosted by Kevin and James from Pex Lives, another superb podcast y'all should check out. Jack and I were on this past December), and he was kind enough to invite me on as a guest this month!

Ostensibly, Jack wanted to interview me about this blog, but me being me the conversation inevitably spun off in a number of different directions. Fair warning, this is over two hours, most of which consists of me never, ever shutting up. And this is just part 1. In all seriousness though, we had a delightful conversation I was honoured and privileged to be a part of.

Some of the things we talked about were, naturally, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Dirty Pair and how I fell into all three and came to be writing about them for the Internet. We also talked about my interest in Polynesian wayfinding, my training in cultural anthropology, philosophy and science and technology studies and my conception of reading derived from me reading someone else reading Jacques Lacan ...

Subspace Radio

Hi Everyone!

My friend and colleague Jack Graham of Shabogan Graffiti and Xenomorph's Paradox recently started his own podcast series The Shabcast (graciously hosted by Kevin and James from Pex Lives, another superb podcast y'all should check out. Jack and I were on this past December), and he was kind enough to invite me on as a guest this month!

Ostensibly, Jack wanted to interview me about this blog, but me being me the conversation inevitably spun off in a number of different directions. Fair warning, this is over two hours, most of which consists of me never, ever shutting up. And this is just part 1. In all seriousness though, we had a delightful conversation I was honoured and privileged to be a part of.

Some of the things we talked about were, naturally, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Dirty Pair and how I fell into all three and came to be writing about them for the Internet. We also talked about my interest in Polynesian wayfinding, my training in cultural anthropology, philosophy and science and technology studies and my conception of reading derived from me reading someone else reading Jacques Lacan ...

Star Trek in Sound and Not Vision

Hey all,

Back in June, I was a guest on the Pex Lives! podcast with my good friend Jack Graham (of Shabogan Graffiti and Xenomorph's Paradox). The subject at hand was tacitly the Doctor Who movie starring Paul McGann, but we very quickly spiraled tangentially off into a great conversation that had perishingly little to do with Doctor Who. The details largely escape me now, but I seem to recall at least touching on topics as disparate as Sliders, Homicide: Life on the Street, the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Melora", Super Sentai, capitalism and domesticity, capitalism and Pop Christianity, the difference between high fantasy and science fiction, the aesthetic of non-modern naturalistic generativity in sci-fi, Dirty Pair, Gothic cathedrals, fascism vs. anarchy, the origins of mainline fandom histories, radical politics and detournement in fanfiction and criticism, pop culture as western oral mythology, and Toho's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde game for the NES.

Sadly, the recording and editing process was marred by a myriad of technical problems that can really only be described as "we fucked up big time", so the episode hasn't actually been able to see the light of day until now. But ...

Ship's Log, Supplemental Bonus: “Oh, don't even go to the first season!”


Was what LeVar Burton once said in an interview with the now-defunct Star Trek Magazine when the DVD box sets for Star Trek: The Next Generation started being released. Even cast members, when prompted in fan environments, will tow mainline fandom's party line and cringe on cue at the prospect of the series' supposedly irredeemable first season. And while I grant there are issues to be found in this year's crop of episodes, there are issues to be found in *all* of Star Trek: The Next Generation's seven seasons and I'm still resolute in my belief the first year is unfairly singled out for blame. No, it's not what we've come to expect from Star Trek: The Next Generation and yes, it's a bit awkward in places, but Jonathan Frakes is correct to point out this was a year where the show took risks it wouldn't take later on. And, love her or hate her, this is your only opportunity to see Tasha Yar as a crewmember.
So these are my picks for the ...

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