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Engaging Design
March 19, 2009 8:05 AM   Subscribe


 
Heh. I saw a "limited edition" version of those chairs for sale for $2700 in the SkyMall magazine. Seems liked a motivated Trekkie could make one for 1/10th that price.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:13 AM on March 19, 2009


Mr. Sturgeon's picture in that article is brilliant since he's clearly doing a well-practiced Shatner Lean. And is damn proud of it.
posted by Spatch at 8:17 AM on March 19, 2009 [5 favorites]


NEEEEERRRRRRRRRDDDDDDS!

(Says the guy who fell asleep reading Doctor Who comic books last night)
posted by jbickers at 8:20 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Mr. Veazie, a manager at Underwriters Laboratories, built the chair himself last year, and has been gratified to find, since installing it in the living room in May, that 'when someone comes in, it’s the first thing they comment on.' "

This is the kind of paragraph that gives everyone in the newsroom a good chuckle but doesn't always make it into the paper.
posted by veggieboy at 8:20 AM on March 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


when someone comes in, it’s the first thing they comment on

Really? Not that atrocious window treatment?
posted by PlusDistance at 8:21 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I couldn't in a million years imagine putting that in my living room.

As a toilet seat, though? That would be awesome.
posted by PlusDistance at 8:23 AM on March 19, 2009 [5 favorites]


[Cue joke about captain's log]
posted by veggieboy at 8:24 AM on March 19, 2009 [7 favorites]


If someone gave me that as a gift I would freak the fuck out.

I really would. I'd be power posing for months.

Somebody get one for me.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:24 AM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Where are the specs for Yeoman Rand?
posted by DU at 8:28 AM on March 19, 2009 [5 favorites]


No word, though, from Captain Kirk himself. “Mr. Shatner is not doing any ‘Star Trek’-related interviews right now,” his assistant, Christopher T. Carley, wrote in an e-mail message, “because of the new movie.”

Man, he is really pissed about that, isn't he?
posted by middleclasstool at 8:28 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Where are the specs for Yeoman Rand?

Captain's joke, supplemental: 36, 24, 36.
posted by DU at 8:29 AM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


George Bush has a good nickname for those guys: Nerd-Alert.
posted by dopamine at 8:29 AM on March 19, 2009


Cargo cult.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 8:31 AM on March 19, 2009


wouldn't kirk be dictating the supplemental in his quarters rather than on the bridge?
posted by doobiedoo at 8:31 AM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


A lot of us kids wanted to be Captain Kirk — and part of that was the chair

I don't remember this from childhood.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:32 AM on March 19, 2009


Kirk should one of those chairs in his quarters. Also in the lift. In fact, there should be an 8 man team of redshirts carrying one around in case Kirk needs to lean thoughtfully or press any buttons.
posted by DU at 8:32 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


“Personally,” said his wife, Barbara, “I think my husband is a nerd.”

That's a little harsh, considering she did marry the guy.
posted by hallowdmachine at 8:33 AM on March 19, 2009


I like that Sturgeon's chair is placed in front of a picture of (presumably) Sturgeon in (presumably) Sturgeon's chair, surrounded by a bunch of Star Trek supporting actors. The resolution makes it hard to tell, but the picture seems to include a beaming George "Sulu" Takei, Tim "Tuvok" Russ, Grace Lee "Rand" Whitney, Walter "Chekov" Koenig, and Nichelle "Uhura" Nichols, as well as a glum J.G. "Martok" Hertzler, and a baffled Mark "But I Was Never in Star Trek" Harmon.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:34 AM on March 19, 2009 [5 favorites]


Wesley and I are going to Studio 54 in the holodeck tonight.
posted by digaman at 8:36 AM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


To his regret, he must strike those poses in his home office. “My wife is not big on it,” he said. “I’ve actually been threatened with divorce if it comes into the living room.”

That seems slightly more harsh than calling your husband a nerd.
posted by blucevalo at 8:37 AM on March 19, 2009


The problem with something like this is that it starts a process that leads nowhere good. First you get the chair, just as something to show off to your friends, and sit in when watching TV. But then you think, "I could take this just a bit further" and you start dressing up in Starfleet clothing. But then you notice that you are a crew of one, so you get the spouse and kids some uniforms too. Unfortunately, that still doesn't represent a full bridge crew so the dog and cats get dressed up too.

The next thing you know, you are barking orders at your household, demanding that they give you just a bit more power to the forward shield so you can engage and defeat the Romulan menace down the street (your neighbor's house).

Down this path leads madness.

*orders cat to bring ship around and parrot to fire the photon torpedoes*
posted by quin at 8:38 AM on March 19, 2009 [13 favorites]


Also, the title of this post is an anachronism.
posted by DU at 8:39 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


If someone gave me that as a gift I would freak the fuck out try to trade it for a Wassily chair.

That's the first picture I've seen of the new bridge. That retro-sixties vibe they have going looks pretty groovy.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:40 AM on March 19, 2009


I think it's adorable even though I'm not a Trekker myself. I can relate to the fellow who said he got chills the first time he sat in the chair. I went to the Narnia exhibit here in Philadelphia about a month ago and when the "wardrobe" doors opened and I walked through the fur coats into the swirling snow with THE lamp post right in front of me, I got a little emotional.

I think anyone who has had a strong connection to some fictional world from childhood would understand.
posted by chihiro at 8:40 AM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


If someone gave me that as a gift I would freak the fuck out try to trade it for a Wassily chair.

Design nerds always think they're better than regular nerds. Why isn't that on the nerd hierarchy chart?
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:45 AM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


Wesley and I are going to Studio 54 in the holodeck tonight.

Computer. *beep* Delete Captoe. *beeply beep* Ah, much better.
posted by The Whelk at 8:48 AM on March 19, 2009


The next thing you know, you are barking orders at your household, demanding that they give you just a bit more power to the forward shield so you can engage and defeat the Romulan menace down the street (your neighbor's house).

Down this path leads madness.


Forward sensors indicate no madness, sir.
posted by DU at 8:51 AM on March 19, 2009 [13 favorites]


I could sit in my Wassily chair and pretend I was at the Bauhaus.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:53 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's a chair? For sitting in?
posted by DU at 8:55 AM on March 19, 2009


My first inclination was to poke fun.

Then I thought about the colossal amount of effort that each of these people individually put into comprehensively researching every angle and measurement of this fictional chair. Then, building the chair from scratch requires carpentry, engineering, prop building, painting, and electronics skill sets. Serious craftsmanship.

Then I thought about how many of these chairs are in a place of honor in the house, without a care about who sees the chairs or being mocked by family, friends, and visitors. That's a whole lot of balls.

So I gotta say, I respect this. My hat is off to you, Mr. Kirk-Chair-Builder.
posted by mattybonez at 9:07 AM on March 19, 2009 [10 favorites]


I'll bet the guy who's wife won't let him keep his chair in the living room is always firing photon torpedoes at her when she isn't looking.

PEW!

PEW! PEW!
posted by orme at 9:09 AM on March 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


Well, you needn't sit in it.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:10 AM on March 19, 2009


A chair? Pfft. Embrace the madness and make yourself a Next Gen bridge styled home movie theater.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:10 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


“The closet command-chair Trekkies have come out of the closet,” said Keith Marshall, 45, an unemployed phlebotomist, emergency medical technician, corrections officer and firefighter

I, for the record, am an unemployed coffee bean analyst, astronaut, level 15 mage, secretary of the interior, and power forward. There are a hell of a lot of things I feel personally qualified to do that no one seems willing to pay me for.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:16 AM on March 19, 2009 [13 favorites]


Mei's lost sandal: "Cargo cult."

Excellent.
posted by stbalbach at 9:22 AM on March 19, 2009


Well what level are you at power forward, Pater Aletheias? I need someone who is at least level 18.
posted by Mister_A at 9:22 AM on March 19, 2009


My computer nearly melted in the resulting tackyon-pulse wave.
posted by clockzero at 9:25 AM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


One person in the article said that he loves the original series so much because its so idealistic. Is it really? I guess they have some kind of communist post-capitalism going on, but you never really see earth but you do see the Enterprise which is just a military ship with a captain who runs off half-cocked, constantly getting into fights with aliens, having sex with all manner of alien women, and who seems to have no chain of command or any oversight.

I mean, lets just admit what the allure is. Its not about ideals. Its about being in control of a powerful machine, getting into fights, having sex, and being your own boss. Its just a male power and sex fantasy. Not that I think there's anything wrong with a little fantasy, but lets call a spade a spade. This is also like saying youre into anime/hentai because of the story.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:31 AM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Navigation: Captain, sensors indicate March Madness ahead.

Captain: On screen!

Captain: Engine room, we need nachos on the bridge immediately.

Chief Engineer: Aye, cap'n but we're running low on dilithium cheese.

Captain: Engine room, I need those nachos now!

Chief Engineer: I can nae work miracles, cap'n. I'm giving it all I've got.
posted by effwerd at 9:40 AM on March 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


This is also like saying youre into anime/hentai because of the story.

Damn, good one! I wish I were still in the Troll Academy so I could nominate you.
posted by DU at 9:44 AM on March 19, 2009


Navigation: Captain, sensors indicate March Madness ahead.

MADNESS?! THIS! IS! STAR TREK!
posted by spaceman_spiff at 9:51 AM on March 19, 2009


"My idea of the perfect living room would be the bridge on the Starship Enterprise. Big chair, nice screen, remote control. That's why Star Trek really was the ultimate male fantasy. Just hurtling through space in your living room, watching TV. That's why all the aliens were always dropping in, because Kirk was the only one that had the big screen. They came over Friday nights, Klingon boxing, gotta be there."

--Jerry Seinfeld
posted by mattdidthat at 9:52 AM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm enjoying this thread. Just wanted to say that.
posted by grubi at 10:09 AM on March 19, 2009


Where are the specs for Yeoman Rand?

Captain's joke, supplemental: 36, 24, 36.


And that's just her head!
posted by mazola at 10:13 AM on March 19, 2009


Is it really?

The overarching theme of Star Trek is "What if liberals ran the navy? In SPACE?"

I don't know if it's idealism as we think of it, but, for a show with a ships doctor who is racist against aliens "God damn your pointy ears, spock, don't you have a trace of humanity in that green blood of yours?"), a captain whose fondest wish is to beat an Irishman to death ("This is for you, Finnegan, and for every damned Irishman I've ever had to deal with, especially Lieutenant Reilly!"), and a show creator who gave his Jewish lead the most Christian name ever (James Tiberius Kirk> Really? An apostle, a place of christian pilgrimage, and the Scottish work for church) and gave him dialogue about how awesome Christianisty is (Paraphrase: "Son worshippers? Could it be that finally the perfect religion of peace and love and compassion has come to this desolate world?"), it's pretty liberal.

You know, for a ship staffed with an international crew who all behave like stereotypes of their ethnicities.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:17 AM on March 19, 2009 [5 favorites]


Grubi is enjoying this thread. Just wanted to say that.... and you know what... So am I!
posted by Mastercheddaar at 10:21 AM on March 19, 2009


AZ, Trek might not appear liberal now but that was 45 years ago when the civil rights battle was still being fought and women's lib was still a few years in the future. If the network had gotten their way, the crew would have been 100% male, white and human and the ship would have been The United States Enterprise. Roddenberry had to fight hard to get the show to be as progressive as it was for its time.
posted by octothorpe at 10:32 AM on March 19, 2009 [5 favorites]


You know, for a ship staffed with an international crew who all behave like stereotypes of their ethnicities.

I don't recall ever hearing Uhura yell AW HELL, NO or seeing Sulu bow emphatically and grin and refer to Kirk as "Captain Number One."
posted by middleclasstool at 10:32 AM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


I used to live in a school bus and my son and I would pretend we were on the command deck of the Enterprise. Great times. (God, thinking back to what happened, that was a pretty good metaphor.)
posted by JohnR at 10:33 AM on March 19, 2009


Yah, octothorpe's right. IIRC, Star Trek had the first televised interracial kiss, between Kirk and Uhura. There were lots of problems with the show, but it was a stand-out for its day.
posted by nushustu at 10:35 AM on March 19, 2009


Here I sit in my cushy La-Z-Boy recliner, reading all of this, and all I can think is, "Damn, I wish this chair had buttons like that!"
posted by briank at 10:37 AM on March 19, 2009


But you might recall Sulu with a samurai sword or Lietenant Reilly drunkenly singing "I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen."

I love the show, but it strayed into some weird territory. Even Harry Mudd starts off speaking with an Irish accent, perhaps to let us know he is not to be trusted, before morphing into one of the most overacted Falstaffs ever put on film.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:38 AM on March 19, 2009


STAR TREK WAS PERFECT AND YOU'RE A BAD PERSON IF YOU DISAGREE
posted by Mister_A at 10:38 AM on March 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


posted by nushustu Star Trek had the first televised interracial kiss, between Kirk and Uhura.

Not exactly.
posted by mattdidthat at 10:39 AM on March 19, 2009


saw the title of the post, the first picture in the article, and thought "OMG...it's a toilet!"
posted by sexyrobot at 10:44 AM on March 19, 2009


But you might recall Sulu with a samurai sword or Lietenant Reilly drunkenly singing "I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen."

Yes, but we all know that Japanese people all use samurai swords and Irishmen all are alcoholics who sing songs about women named Kathleen. I guess Sulu shirtless with the sword did play into that whole gay stereotype, though.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:44 AM on March 19, 2009


“I think my husband is a nerd.” That's a little harsh, considering she did marry the guy.

For those of us who use the term "nerd" as a compliment - and there are plenty of us here on MeFi, which is one of the reasons I love it here - it's not harsh at all. Just the opposite, in fact.

I've dated and socialized with fellow nerds all my life. I'd gladly watch Star Trek with 'em, help 'em build a Captain's chair while geeking out over all the authentic-looking details, or enthusiastically engage in whatever nerdly pursuits their li'l ol' nerd-hearts desire. I'd be proud to be married to someone like that. And I say that without a trace of sarcasm.

In my world, "nerd" is an honorific that must be earned.
posted by velvet winter at 11:02 AM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


This does not look like a katana samurai sword...
posted by porpoise at 11:03 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


“It’s not the most comfortable of chairs,” Mr. Veazie said. “The arms are too low and they’re too far apart. Now I know why William Shatner was always leaning forward in it.”

Heh.
posted by niles at 11:03 AM on March 19, 2009


This does not look like a katana samurai sword...

Shore leave. He actually fights a Samurai.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:10 AM on March 19, 2009


Nerd factor 2 Mr. Sulu... nerd factor 2.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:13 AM on March 19, 2009


I'm pretty sure the original chair was made out of styrofoam.
posted by srboisvert at 11:22 AM on March 19, 2009


Indeed, it is a commonly held view that Captain Kirk’s throne was built around the black Naugahyde cushioning and slim walnut arms of a model No. 2405 or No. 4449 armchair produced by Madison Furniture Industries of Canton, Miss., between 1962 and 1968.
Anyone having luck finding pictures of these? My Google-Fu is weak today...
posted by mazola at 11:26 AM on March 19, 2009


For those of us who use the term "nerd" as a compliment - and there are plenty of us here on MeFi, which is one of the reasons I love it here - it's not harsh at all. Just the opposite, in fact.

I've dated and socialized with fellow nerds all my life. I'd gladly watch Star Trek with 'em, help 'em build a Captain's chair while geeking out over all the authentic-looking details, or enthusiastically engage in whatever nerdly pursuits their li'l ol' nerd-hearts desire. I'd be proud to be married to someone like that. And I say that without a trace of sarcasm.

In my world, "nerd" is an honorific that must be earned.


The statement itself sounded harsh to me. I did not mean to imply that being a nerd is a bad thing. As a self-professed geek, that'd be a bit hypocritical of me. I'd gladly watch Star Trek, help build a Captain's chair, and anything else as well. I just got the impression that, for the wife, nerd is not an honorific.
posted by hallowdmachine at 11:45 AM on March 19, 2009


Shore leave. He actually fights a Samurai.

I don't remember that! I'm not saying it didn't happen, but it does surprise me, given that Takei pushed for a European sword in The Naked Time. Which episode was this? I'm googling for the info, but alls I'm getting is Heroes pictures.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:49 AM on March 19, 2009


This was all I could find, mazola.
posted by hallowdmachine at 11:49 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fuck, and now my afternoon is about to disappear into browsing Memory Alpha for hours.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:50 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


In retropsect, I think Sulu just jumps around the samurai, and never really takes his sword. Kirk kicks the samurai's ass. Nonetheless, since Shore Leave is about a planet that magically makes people's deepest fantasies come true, the fact that Kirk fantasizes about beating up an Irish stereotype and Sulu fantasizes about Samurai's suggests that Star Trek was sometimes given to using easy cultural tropes.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:00 PM on March 19, 2009


Anyway, we're getting distracted by my criticisms, which were meant to be humorous (exceot the anti-Irish part; I mean, honestly). My main point is that the show is about liberals running the navy in space, and I think I'm right about that.

All right, back to me whiskey. I'll take you HOME AGAAAIIIN KATHLEEEEEN.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:10 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


>easy cultural tropes.

Koerig's horrible Russian accent. The entire Scotty character. The reoccuring Irish drunk stereotype. The Ferengi jewish stereotype. The white guy is in charge.

As far as ideals go, the women wore impossible short skirts and had lower positions than the men.

I dont think there's a conspiracy here but this show trades on stereotypes more than any other show I've ever seen. Its easy to write stereotypes, theyre the tool of a hack writer. While I respect quite a bit of TOS, its progressive spirit really is overplayed and the show appeals to young male nerds because it fulfulls a male fantasy. So much sci-fi is targeted at us with big breasted women holding laser pistols and Kirk-like sex fantasies. Lets not pretend its not there and lets certainly not call this pulp progressive, idealistic, or groundbreaking.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:14 PM on March 19, 2009


I'm a Next Generation kind of guy so that I have had all of my clothes tailored to make my shirts rise up so they must be tugged back down any time I make the slightest movement. Judging by frequency of this move by Captain Piccard, it seems to be some indication of studliness in the 24th century.
posted by digsrus at 12:15 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Will Shatner wasn't joking when he did that SNL skit that bashed Trekkies, people.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:15 PM on March 19, 2009


The statement itself sounded harsh to me. I did not mean to imply that being a nerd is a bad thing.

Ah, okay, I get it now - makes perfect sense. I misunderstood. Thanks for the clarification. I'm quick to defend my fellow nerds from any perceived slights; perhaps all the childhood social ostracism has warped my brain. :)
posted by velvet winter at 12:19 PM on March 19, 2009


That's why you should never go past warp ten.

OH GOD I AM ALSO A NERD.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:23 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm quick to defend my fellow nerds from any perceived slights; perhaps all the childhood social ostracism has warped my brain. :)

Nerd solidarity. I like it.


That's why you should never go past warp ten.

OH GOD I AM ALSO A NERD.


Busted!
posted by hallowdmachine at 12:37 PM on March 19, 2009


I'm a Next Generation kind of guy so that I have had all of my clothes tailored to make my shirts rise up so they must be tugged back down any time I make the slightest movement. Judging by frequency of this move by Captain Piccard, it seems to be some indication of studliness in the 24th century.

This is sometimes known as "The Picard Maneuver"
posted by vibrotronica at 1:11 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


jbickers: "NEEEEERRRRRRRRRDDDDDDS!"

Although I know and appreciate that that comment was made in a self-depreciating sense, I always wonder why there's not a catch-cry like...

SPORTS FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANS!!!
posted by Effigy2000 at 1:12 PM on March 19, 2009


And now, to be Uber-nerd: Why hasn't anyone pointed out that Scott Veazie is in the wrong uniform to be in that chair?
posted by schmedeman at 1:29 PM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


Why hasn't anyone pointed out that Scott Veazie is in the wrong uniform to be in that chair?

Hmm, lemme guess. Because we're nerdy enough to believe it was self-evident, and therefore unworthy of comment?
posted by velvet winter at 2:11 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Touche.
posted by schmedeman at 2:22 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, nerds understand why a uniform designed to play down the physique of an older Shatner might be chosen rather than the one used to show off the physique of a younger Shatner.
posted by Quonab at 2:25 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


And when you're not sitting in it, you can dress your RealDoll like Yeoman Rand and let her sit in it.
posted by localroger at 2:46 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


So much sci-fi is targeted at us with big breasted women holding laser pistols and Kirk-like sex fantasies.

You say that like it's bad. Was this supposed to be critical? I have parsed this statement out about two thousand four hundred ways and I have yet to find anything not AWESOME about it.
posted by tkchrist at 3:05 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Getting my Kirk on doesn't sound the last bit tempting.
posted by flippant at 3:07 PM on March 19, 2009


least. least. least.
posted by flippant at 3:07 PM on March 19, 2009


"Captain": Number two! Are you in the engine room?

No. 2: You mean the kitchen?

"Captain": Yes yes, the engine room. We've been through this.

No. 2: I am. Did you want something?

"Captain": Tau Ceti Space Brew!

No. 2: You mean another beer.

"Captain": Just go along with me for god's sake!

No. 2: You can fetch your own bloody beer.

"Captain": But it's the season finale of BSG, I can hardly be expected to do that.

No. 2: I'll consider getting you a beer when I'm good and ready, you fat slob.

"Captain" (muttering): Sensors indicate that my wife is a bi-...oh, hello dear.

No. 2: You were saying?

"Captain": Nothing of consequence number two. You are dismissed.

No. 2: Dismiss me, will you? (she storms off, slamming things)

"Captain" (makes *beep beep* noise, speaks into television remote): Captain's log, stardate March 20, 2009. I think one of my subordinates may be plotting to kill me.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:14 PM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


Actually, this would be good for Australians yobs and bogans (collectively "rednecks"). When watching football, they have a tendency to scream "come on [team name]!", but the way they do it, "come on" gets mutilated to "CAAAARN!"
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:17 PM on March 19, 2009


"Captain": Number two! Are you in the engine room?

OK, if she's Number Two, then who is Number One?
posted by InfidelZombie at 3:23 PM on March 19, 2009


The captain. Their immediate offsiders are always called "Number 2" because they're second in charge. Aren't they? I don't even know any more. Perhaps only...in the future!
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:38 PM on March 19, 2009


OK, if she's Number Two, then who is Number One?

You are. Number 6.
posted by mazola at 3:51 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


OK, if she's Number Two, then who is Number One?

You are. Number 6.


I was just going to say it. Can this thread get any geekier?
posted by Avelwood at 4:01 PM on March 19, 2009


saw the title of the post, the first picture in the article, and thought "OMG...it's a toilet!"

If I had one, I'd make it a toilet. Then I'd engage all the obvious puns about captain's logs and Photon Torpedoes and circling 'round Uranus looking for Klingons.

Make it so, Number two.
posted by Mcable at 4:24 PM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Whoever does the captain's chair thing should also make this required viewing to get more of a Shatneresque vibe.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 4:51 PM on March 19, 2009


I was logging in to say that, awesome as the chair is, I would also ban it from the living room, but the hideous ad I saw right below the login link at the bottom of the screen distracted me.

Gah!
posted by winna at 4:58 PM on March 19, 2009


I think the original Star Trek is the only TV show for which I still maintain a powerful veneration. I'm 46, and I think I may have seen a few of the originally broadcast episodes, but certainly my childhood was filled with watching an endless stream of re-runs in the 1970's. I own all the DVDs now. As I grew older, I began to start noticing the incongruities, subtle mistakes, and design flaws.

At some point the great realization hit me; why must Kirk give a verbal order to initiate an action as important as firing the phasers? Obviously scripted for dramatic effect, but firing the ship's weapons usually involved split-second timing.

Why didn't the Captain's chair have a "fire phasers" button? In fact, why did so many vital orders have to be verbally relayed, either to engineering, the transporter room, or the helm?

Heck, I'd even be OK with a toggle switch protected by a hinged cover...
posted by Tube at 5:24 PM on March 19, 2009


Can this thread get any geekier?

God, Yes.
posted by CynicalKnight at 6:09 PM on March 19, 2009


Tube -- Gene Roddenberry originally conceived Star Trek as "Captain Hornblower in space." There are denials out there but David Gerrold knew them in the day and explained this very specifically in The World of Star Trek. And there is a tradition that remains to this day in naval vessels that the captain doesn't press a button to make something happen; he issues an order to the person whose responsibility is to make it happen, often someone who will be lugging big weights and getting grease all over themselves as they comply. But even in a modern nuclear submarine the captain doesn't push a "launch" button, he issues an order across the bridge (kind of the way Kirk does to Sulu) that he has authority to fire.
posted by localroger at 6:27 PM on March 19, 2009


AZ, Trek might not appear liberal now but that was 45 years ago when the civil rights battle was still being fought and women's lib was still a few years in the future..

Martin Luther King himself talked Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) into taking the role.
posted by eye of newt at 8:44 PM on March 19, 2009


*orders cat to bring ship around and parrot to fire the photon torpedoes*

I had a next door neighbor who had this big white cockatoo who liked science fiction sound effects. When I first heard it I thought his kids were fighting a light saber battle. I always knew when he watched a science fiction movie at night because the next day that bird would go nuts and act out noisy alien battles all day long. I'm just imagining one of these guys with this bird on its shoulder firing off torpedoes, both of them in nerd heaven.
posted by eye of newt at 8:47 PM on March 19, 2009


a captain who runs off half-cocked, constantly getting into fights with aliens, having sex with all manner of alien women, and who seems to have no chain of command or any oversight.

I gotta say, that I think this is a huge distortion of the characterization of Captain Kirk. Yeah, in some of the crappier episodes parts of this are true, but generally Kirk is portrayed as highly disciplined, compassionate and self-sacrificing. Yeah, he loves the ladies, but how many times is he using his masculine wiles in order to complete his mission or save his ship? Rarely does he get involved with a women for purely emotional reasons.

Besides, he's already got one female to worry about. Her name is Enterprise.
posted by Snyder at 9:57 PM on March 19, 2009


damn dirty ape - While I respect quite a bit of TOS, its progressive spirit really is overplayed

I concur, and I would like to add a corollary - TOS's science fiction genre is overplayed. Star Trek was and is a Western innnn.... spaaaaaaccccce.... The "Final Frontier" and whotnot.

And Star Wars definitely is not science fiction - it's pure fantasy. The only thing scifi about it is that they have FTL travel and energy weapons and energy shields and ion drives and AI and... but very little about how those things affect society - SW universe is a fait accompli rather than a "given this, then what then."

Instead of elves and dwarves and magic it has droids and ewoks and midichlorions. If midichlorions were a central concept, sure, it'd skew SW into the realm of SciFi (or speculative fiction, whatever) as it'd take a plausible 'scientific' or speculative idea and then extrapolate as to what consequences would arise from it then build a story around that. Are people with midichlorions able to reproduce with people without? Are different species able to reproduce if they both have midichlorions. How the hell did midichlorions get into only *some* members of a limited number of species who arose independently(?) on different world in different systems? Are they infectious? Do they also exert an effect on their hosts like toxoplasma or is it only a host-exploiting-a-symbiote thing? Is it only passed on to offspring maternally (like human females and mitochondria)? If it's rare, wouldn't people without it develop some sort of systematic prejudice or police action against people who are positive for this symbiote/parasite? Are there religious or political orders who denounce and wish to eradicate/segregate people with these things inside of them? Does midichlorion powered effects also follow the r^3 law? What kind of energy requirements does it need - and how does it bypass basic laws of thermodynamics? &c&c&c.

posted by porpoise at 10:14 PM on March 19, 2009


And if midichlorians are detectable in blood, why didn't they figure out a way to bottle it, like the Japanese did with horse placenta?
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:18 PM on March 19, 2009


This is the level of geekdom I would like to achieve some day. I have already convinced my boyfriend to get married on the bridge of the enterprise, I have a next generation ensign uniform in my mom's storage space, next is my adventure into learning to speak Klingon. Some day I will have a basement billiards room designed to look like ten forward and I will serve my guests drinks while wearing this hat.
posted by SheMulp AKA Plus 1 at 10:25 PM on March 19, 2009


1) Arthur C. Clark authoritatively refuted the notion that Star Wars was Sci-Fi many years ago, even though every nerd thinks that they are the first ever to formulate such an idea. 2) I can't believe I just read a story about Spock giving Kirk wake up fellatio.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:50 PM on March 19, 2009


(Clarke--my apologies to the Monolith)
posted by Burhanistan at 10:52 PM on March 19, 2009


Burhanistan, you can shove the grey up your ass all you like and while you enjoy it, most mefi threads die the moment they come off the front page.

I don't deny that ACClarke influenced me, hell my fondness for ACC is that he's influences LOTS of people, but aside from your being a troll, er, from reading your comment and other comments, you're just a trll. Yep, nothing more than a tll.

Wait - we're talking about some guy who reconstructed an iconic prop from something that had permeated Western culture.


What were we arguing about again?
posted by porpoise at 11:49 PM on March 19, 2009


porpoise: uh, I wasn't arguing. You just told me to shove a color up my ass though so you seem to have lost something.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:31 AM on March 20, 2009


Are we really bringing up the Trek is more sciencey than Star Wars argument? Because you really don't want me to play that one. No-one gets out safely, lemme tell you.
posted by grubi at 5:35 AM on March 20, 2009


Sorry, I was a lot too drunk and I should have stepped away from the internet. I will do so now.
posted by porpoise at 8:21 AM on March 20, 2009


Fellas, the only way to calm our frayed nerves is to do it Enterprise-style. Let's retcon the shit out of your argument! We'll say it was due to a wormhole or something, it'll be swell.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:44 AM on March 20, 2009


It was probably a wizard.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:49 AM on March 20, 2009


We'll say it was due to a wormhole or something

or time travel you can always blame things on time travel.
posted by SheMulp AKA Plus 1 at 6:48 PM on March 21, 2009


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