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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.

8 Comments

  1. Daru
    March 12, 2014 @ 10:35 pm

    Brilliant to hear about Roots again. I had a really strong moment of nostalgia on seeing the poster above, and remember watching this with my parents on a dodgy TV when I was about seven – and I have not seen it since. For that reason (and this is really genuine) I have absolutely no idea that LeVar Burton was in this, none at all! That was a genuine and pleasing moment for me to see his face and name – and kind of wonderful that Roots: The Next Generations exists, as well as so many Trek actors starring in Roots: The Gift!

    I am in complete agreement with regards to oral storytelling and that its power lies in its mutability, which always adds in my mind, to its essential aliveness. About half of my living comes from being a professional storyteller, and I always change the stories I gather from other tellers. They change first to suit my personality, as not teller can even tell one story the same way, it's not really possible, as I think each teller has to find their own sense of meaning in the story. The biggest changes come though to match the story to the audience, which in my experience is always foremost when telling as the story needs to meet them, rather that just being told 'at them'. Quite often too I change locations to match the story to the surroundings I am in, as this can actually situate the audience within the story's own landscapes.

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  2. Josh Marsfelder
    March 13, 2014 @ 6:02 pm

    So much in your comment mirrors my own perspective, I'll just say that this:

    "I always change the stories I gather from other tellers. They change first to suit my personality, as not teller can even tell one story the same way, it's not really possible, as I think each teller has to find their own sense of meaning in the story."

    Resonated particularly strongly with me, as it's something I've been thinking a lot about lately, not just in regards to this project but a number of others I'm working on in the background. Wonderfully put.

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  3. Daru
    March 18, 2014 @ 10:11 pm

    Thanks Josh! Appreciate your comments. I was really struck by this essay, for me the idea that stories are alive and change has become an important idea in my life – and especially in relation to your writing above. We can always re-story our tales of our personal and collective histories, in fact I really feel they need to be constantly brought to life and renewed (in part that is what Doctor Who represents for me). When stories become immutable fixed points, life ends.

    Look forwards to future projects!

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  4. Josh Marsfelder
    March 19, 2014 @ 4:21 pm

    Well, knowing that, I'll bet you had fun with Phil's "End of Time" post 🙂

    IRT Star Trek, I have a feeling you'll get a kick out of where this project is starting to go with the phase it's now entering. As you say, it's the mutability of the personal and the collective that means a lot to me at this point in time. It's going to influence the rest of Vaka Rangi, and is central to the thing I want to do next.

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  5. Daru
    March 19, 2014 @ 10:03 pm

    Absolutely – I found it quite wonderful reading his post the day after I had written my last sentence above! That was an exciting day to get his Hartnell book in the post, your Start Trek: The Motion Picture post and Phil's End of Time on the same day – I popped a link for your most recent essay in my comment on Phil's post.

    Yes, I do feel excited about where you are going with this project – look forwards to it all!

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  6. Josh Marsfelder
    March 20, 2014 @ 3:18 pm

    Thanks a lot for the plug! I did record traffic yesterday, so I'm grateful for any and all help.

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  7. Daru
    March 23, 2014 @ 8:47 pm

    Yeah for sure – glad to help out! Great that you got more traffic,well deserved.

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  8. BerserkRL
    April 3, 2014 @ 8:28 pm

    Nostalgia here too. I watched this series (except the first episode,which I missed and didn't see till a few years later) a few days before my 13th birthday.

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