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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.

11 Comments

  1. Jack Graham
    April 12, 2017 @ 9:21 am

    No, Josh, thank you.

    Incidentally, Shabcast 31 – which be posted on Friday – features Josh and I talking about ‘Species’. Pardon my cross-promotion.

    Reply

  2. David Faggiani
    April 12, 2017 @ 10:29 am

    It’s been (and will continue to be) our pleasure!

    Reply

  3. Sean Dillon
    April 12, 2017 @ 1:32 pm

    Your work has always been interesting to me, even when I don’t fully grasp what you’re talking about. When those times happen, I try to explore for the things you refer to in the text and read them because they sound interesting (I was the kind of person who, while in middle school, read the entire Divine Comedy because of the VGA trailer for Dante’s Inferno, essentially a God of War clone that missed the entire point of the Comedy). I’ll always be grateful for the new and interesting ideas put in my head, be they of the terrors of the telephone or a pair of bisexual swingers and their pet cat or even the simple pleasures of actually wanting to watch Star Trek rather than peoples opinions on it. Thank you, and here’s to many years to come.

    Best to kill off that which you don’t understand (and what has been more othered and less understood throughout human history than woman?) quickly so as not to bother yourself with a potentially serious challenge to your worldview and entitlement.

    Ok, one more thing. If experience has taught me anything, it’s that the better phrasing is “Best to kill off that which you almost understand,” as understanding what you think something is and what something is are two different ideas entirely. This all ties into the implicit implications of “Everyone’s the hero of their own story” i.e. everyone shares my politics. Many of us believe people will act the way “we” have acted in certain circumstances (hence bullshit ideas like White Genocide) and, should people “we” despise get into power, they will try to do what “we” did to them to “us,” no matter how often we are corrected. I could be wrong, and I’m willing to learn.

    Reply

  4. Josh Bernhard
    April 12, 2017 @ 6:10 pm

    Thank you, Josh. Your unique thoughts and perspective have challenged how I approach and consume media.

    We are still reading.

    Reply

  5. Jacob
    April 13, 2017 @ 12:21 am

    I’m definitely still reading. Can’t wait to see what comes next.

    Reply

  6. Froborr
    April 13, 2017 @ 4:23 pm

    Still reading. Just haven’t commented much because I’m usually not comfortable commenting on discussion of something I haven’t watched/read/experienced, and it’s been quite some time since you covered something I’m familiar with. (Actually, that’s true of Eruditorum Press in general the last few months.)

    Reply

    • Elizabeth Sandifer
      April 14, 2017 @ 12:56 am

      You should check out Star Wars, Jed.

      Reply

      • Froborr
        April 17, 2017 @ 2:27 am

        I commented on at least one of the Star Wars posts! But not the Rogue One posts, because I only watched it on Friday.

        Reply

  7. rusty
    April 14, 2017 @ 4:07 pm

    Still here, still reading since the TOS review days. It can be hard to engage with some of your show critiques when you’re always holding it up to that headcanon of yours, but this project has changed my perspective on trek more than anything since the phase II book you so helpfully mentioned earlier. As someone slogging through their own big project it’s always an inspiration to see the posts go up, and I’m excited (scared) to see what’s next.

    PS: The Dominion war arc was good and cool.

    Reply

  8. John G. Wood
    April 15, 2017 @ 8:08 am

    Still reading, still mostly lurking. I’ve never seen Species, but I can certainly relate to many of the things you say in different contexts. When we first got Freeview I gorged myself on documentaries – mostly history and natural history – for a few months, before sinking back to my previous state of only watching TV a few times a week.

    I’m sorry your personal story is dropping out of Vaka Rangi – I hope you will continue to include your reactions, even though they will be coming from a later perspective. I do like it when your personal viewpoint shines through and transforms what we watch. I see Vaka Rangi as a kind of grand scale redemptive reading (which doesn’t stop you from being harsh on individual episodes), and that’s not really compatible with what you call ‘proper critique’ anyway. Though I feel the self-criticism implied by that phrase is about as valid as saying that genre fiction is automatically not proper literature…

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  9. David Dukes
    April 18, 2017 @ 2:09 pm

    Great article and I can’t wait to listen to the podcast. I’ve never seen Species but you’ve made me want to track it down. My early memory of it is of a large billboard at the end of our street with the picture of Sil at the top of the page featuring prominently. I remember being interested in it and only just begining to understand why…

    I started reading this blog as just an interesting companion piece to my own Trek rewatch. As I caught up with the various other paths you go down, your personal history with Trek became as much a part of it as the readings of the episodes. Even if I don’t share your positionality (I’m more of a movie fan and aren’t much of a gamer) getting an idea of how other people see the world can’t help but grow the model of the Universe we have in our heads. I think Deanna Troi would say It’s what empathy is all about ultimately.

    Reply

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