Eruditorum Press

We’re all for praxis, just not for going outside

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L.I. Underhill is a media critic and historian specializing in pop culture, with a focus on science fiction (especially Star Trek) and video games. Their projects include a critical history of Star Trek told through the narrative of a war in time, a “heretical” history of The Legend of Zelda series and a literary postmodern reading of Jim Davis' Garfield.

5 Comments

  1. thepoparena.com
    March 17, 2014 @ 3:25 pm

    I had never actually made the connection between "Rocket Man" and space trucking, but then again I haven't actually thought about Elton John at all in years. Great work as always, I'm loving all the Shatner love.

    Speaking of out-there William Shatner works, have you seen Incubus, the pre-Star-Trek-by-the-guy-who-made-The-Outer-Limits-Ingmar-Bergman-looking-all-dialogue-in-Esperanto-western-mythology-art-horror-film? Certainly doesn't fit into the project timeline, but if you ever need a guest written essay… 😛

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  2. Josh Marsfelder
    March 17, 2014 @ 5:46 pm

    Glad you liked the post! I think "Rocket Man", both the original and Shatner's version, is something that can be tougher to get a hold on outside of its cultural context. But I still love it.

    I am indeed familiar with Incubus: James Rolfe talks about it in the video I linked to in the "William Shatner in the 1970s" post. A weird and fascinating little film. Thought about addressing it, but couldn't find a way to fit it in.

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  3. Daru
    March 19, 2014 @ 11:39 pm

    Man where do I begin? I LOVE that you have done this post. Way back as a design student I had one friend with whom I shared music, and included in that things like Shatner's Transformed Man. I get the impression now that my friend kind of took it as a joke, but it was with that album of Shatner's and people like William S. Burroughs, that I found the influences that got me into spoken word performance. It is great to hear WSB name checked in this blog, as I feel he has had a major effect on current culture and what toy term Pop Soda Art.

    His knowing performance blows me away in this. The first moments when he is smoking, alone as the solitary space trucker are truly astonishing in their level of focus to me.

    "And all this science, I don't understand
    It's just a job, five days a week"

    That moment really hit me, his delivery there is so spot on and I heard the serious jobbing actor talking in Shatner. I remember reading Shatner talking about his time of being pretty much homeless and living out of a truck or van whilst he took work on the stage after TOS ended. I can so hear the voice of that man revealed there. What a beautiful and aware piece of work.

    I find it such a shame that Shatner has been derided and utterly misunderstood in regards to his spoken word work.

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  4. Josh Marsfelder
    March 20, 2014 @ 3:30 pm

    "His knowing performance blows me away in this. The first moments when he is smoking, alone as the solitary space trucker are truly astonishing in their level of focus to me."

    I totally agree. Before you even get at how good the rest of the performance is, those first moments alone immediately elevate it to classic status.

    "Rocket Man" really is perfect. It's definitive William Shatner, and I mean that in the best possible way. I wish more people recognised it as such.

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  5. Daru
    March 23, 2014 @ 8:50 pm

    Man yeah. Love it! It is pretty wonderful isn't it? Big shame that her gets derided by so many for this work.

    Reply

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