Spock is Greek?
June 9, 2008 9:06 AM   Subscribe

Star Trek: The Animated Series + Shatner (previously) "singing" (previ|ously) Common People (previously) = THIS.
posted by Sys Rq (40 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Yep, yep, yep ... bag on Shatner all you want. But he kills in "Boston Legal".

Denny Crane

... Denny CRANE

... DENNY "Friggin' CRANE!!!
posted by RavinDave at 9:19 AM on June 9, 2008

That's got to be the shittiest Pulp cover ever.
posted by farishta at 9:20 AM on June 9, 2008

I was in the perfect mood for this today. So, thanks.
posted by Pallas Athena at 9:20 AM on June 9, 2008

Bravo. Let me be the first to say...
posted by Muddler at 9:28 AM on June 9, 2008

My work has this weird thing where, while youtube isn't actually blocked in any clear and fundamental sense, a given video nonetheless has something like a 60% chance of not playing, period, ever. There's no rhyme or reason to it, as far as I can tell; it's all just chance, luck, serendipity. Some videos just have to wait until I get home.

I don't think I've ever been as annoyed about that situation as I am right now.
posted by cortex at 9:33 AM on June 9, 2008

That worked much better than I thought it would. I haven't seen those animated Trek episodes since they were new, they're a lot cheesier than I remember. I love that Shatner album (for real) there's some great stuff on there. FWIW, I've never actually heard the Blur version of that song, I don't think it ever made it to the States.
posted by octothorpe at 9:42 AM on June 9, 2008

Pulp, octothorpe, not Blur.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:29 AM on June 9, 2008

It's funny, but my first thought was "Why is Spock the priviledged elitist and Kirk the lower-class everyman?"

Kirk is supposedly a former Iowa farmboy and Spock the intellectual son of an interplanetary ambassador or two. But ask yourself: Which one of these men has a history of throwing his rank around? Which one gets his hands dirty with the facts and which one gets out of things by shmoozing, especially with the laydeez?

The fact that Kirk is the one that people would want to "have a beer with" and Spock is an intellectual and so the former is an "everyman" and the latter an "elitist" says a lot about American culture.
posted by DU at 10:31 AM on June 9, 2008 [2 favorites]

I love that cover.

When I was a kid I thought that Animated Star Trek was the bomb. However it appears the peak of the action is them blinking.
posted by tkchrist at 10:34 AM on June 9, 2008

"The series featured most of the original cast performing the voices for their characters, except for Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig), who was omitted because the show's budget could not afford the complete cast."

Sucks to be Chekov, I guess.
posted by crickets at 10:36 AM on June 9, 2008

Farishta: If you ever want to see something really funny, find a slightly doughy guy in his thirties--the sort who thought that High Fidelity was a lifestyle guide, not a scathing indictment of emotional immaturity--and start talking about Pulp's "Common People." Mention that you think it's one of the greatest singles of the 90s, and that Cocker's genius lies in how he starts out condemning the strawman of the rich art school girl, but by the end of the song the "you" he's raging against has become the listener himself. And the listener is just as bad as the rich girl because not only does he think being poor is cool but he also sees himself AS poor, aligned against the rich art school girls of the world, even though the true working-class common people would never accept him and in fact sees him as just as bad as the rich girl.

About twenty seconds into this, you'll see the most hilarious thing happen: the doughy guys start getting that I-have-to-sneeze look on their faces, as they no longer pay attention to anything you're saying. Just keep talking, don't let them interrupt. Eventually you'll get them to do this cramped little pee-pee dance of excitement.


Serious lulz. Try it at the next meet-up...I guarantee you'll find plenty of guys who will take the bait at one of those.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:43 AM on June 9, 2008 [4 favorites]

Nice find. I thought the Shatner cover rocked much better than the Pulp original.
posted by carter at 10:43 AM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

On the other hand, DU, Kirk earned his title. He had to work for it. He has every right to "throw it around." And, hey, if some green chick gets off on power, who is he to refuse?

Spock? Even disregarding his rich and powerful parents (as he did when he ruined their marriage by joining Starfleet), Spock is a cold, unfeeling religious fanatic and the half-brother of a known terrorist hijacker. Hell, even his betrothed bride preferred Kirk.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:48 AM on June 9, 2008 [3 favorites]

Den-ny Craaaaane!
posted by RavinDave at 10:50 AM on June 9, 2008

Not to raise too much of a fuss, Ian A.T., but I'm wondering where your reading of Common People as being, at its end, an indictment of the band's listeners. I'm not seeing it justified by the lyrics, and Jarvis Cocker himself has said that it was an attempt to needle his band members for writing political songs. So, if anything, it's an indictment of Pulp.

And the Shatner version is better.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:06 AM on June 9, 2008

Ian A.T.: fucking brilliant. Couldn't be with you more. You captured perfectly everything that's wrong with that cover and everything that's right about that song. Fantastic.
posted by farishta at 11:08 AM on June 9, 2008

Kirk earned his title. He had to work for it.

Reprogramming the simulation computer doesn't count as earning your title. If any (named) character on ToS deserves the title "working man" it's Scotty, but of the two, Spock is definitely the winner. Kirk just basically sits in his armchair all day, unless he's joining the landing party for a little fun.
posted by DU at 11:09 AM on June 9, 2008

Does anyone honestly believe that Kirk himself reprogrammed the computer? No doubt he got some first-year engineering cadet with an extra short mini-skirt to do it for him. I seriously doubt he had any mad-skillz at computer programming.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:23 AM on June 9, 2008 [4 favorites]

Reprogramming the computer was not Kirk's defining moment at the Academy. As a student instructor, he was notorious for the intellectual rigor of his class. He also developed a hatred of the Irish, inspired by his classmate Finnegan, who he endlessly fantasized about beating to death, which eventually caused him engage in hiring staff members who fulfilled his sense of the Irish people as being incompetent and mentally unstable -- Most specifically in the form of Kevin Reilly. I've often suspected Kirk knew Harry Mudd was a crook because when they first met Mudd affected an Irish accent.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:25 AM on June 9, 2008 [3 favorites]

As a student instructor, he was notorious for the intellectual rigor of his class.

So then what happened when he got a command?

But don't get the wrong idea. I think Kirk is awesome. I'm just saying that he's more of a charming kind of populist than a get-your-hands-dirty kind. Or maybe I'm just projecting since I've always identified more with Spock.
posted by DU at 11:37 AM on June 9, 2008

Keep in mind, these are Original Series computers that Kirk is reprogramming. All he's got to do is say "Computer, how about this time only one Klingon ship shows up? Thanks!"
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 11:43 AM on June 9, 2008 [3 favorites]

It's funny, but my first thought was "Why is Spock the priviledged elitist and Kirk the lower-class everyman?"

It could be some really deep insightful choice reflective of the values of American culture. Or it could be because IT WAS SHATNER SINGING THE SONG.

I'm not sure.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:48 AM on June 9, 2008 [3 favorites]

octothorpe, not Blur.

Don't know them either.
posted by octothorpe at 11:48 AM on June 9, 2008

Kirk just basically sits in his armchair all day

Do you not understand how horrible and soul-crushing it must be to sit in the same spot for every waking hour, every day, just staring out into the emptiness of space? So, yeah, Kirk's going to want humanoid contact. He needs it. He has to risk his life leading an away team every now and then just to break up the monotony and keep from eating his phaser.

You know what Spock is always looking at in that little screen of his? It's just fuckin' Tetris, man. He's not even very good at it, either.

And I'm pretty sure Scotty pretends to know more than he really does. I mean, it's his job to keep the ship up and running, and like half the time he's all, "The shields won't hold," and "She cannae take much more of this"--maybe if he weren't a lazy, worthless lump, the ship might actually, you know, work. You ever see him welding anything? Didn't think so. When he hears someone coming, he stamps out his cigarette and starts twiddling random knobs. One of these days he's gonna cause a core breach doing that.

Don't even get me started with Uhura: When she's not chatting away on the phone, she's just lounging around listening to the radio. And that mini skirt, and all that makeup? Really professional. Does she even realize this is a workplace?
posted by Sys Rq at 11:49 AM on June 9, 2008 [5 favorites]

Or it could be because IT WAS SHATNER SINGING THE SONG.

Yes, duh. My point was that the roles in the song made me realize that the two characters have certain images. It led me to reexamine those images to see if they were warranted by the facts.
posted by DU at 12:03 PM on June 9, 2008

I was all set to report that I enjoyed the "splash-up" but now that seems a bit common.
posted by maxwelton at 12:13 PM on June 9, 2008


posted by WolfDaddy at 12:15 PM on June 9, 2008

This is where I repeat my daily mantra: I'd take a bullet for William Shatner.
Thank you.
posted by Dizzy at 12:34 PM on June 9, 2008

I'm just here to publically proclaim my love for Shatner's version of Common People. I love that song, and not ironically.
posted by Space Kitty at 12:53 PM on June 9, 2008


not in an ironic way....
posted by Space Kitty at 12:54 PM on June 9, 2008

Common people is catchy, but I also noticed that most of the people who talked to me about the song were exactly the people the song seemed to be about. Which I found amusing enough to like the song myself - but to keep my ditch-digging trap shut about it.

And I realize its no fun to dislike bands other people like, but Ben Folds?
posted by elwoodwiles at 1:07 PM on June 9, 2008

"He has to risk his life leading an away team every now and then just to break up the monotony and keep from eating his phaser." posted by Sys Rq
Does this sound like a leader we all know who goes away to meetups, interviews etc. now and then?
posted by Cranberry at 1:22 PM on June 9, 2008

Ben Folds is one of the most talented and least-sexy-to-like guys working in music. He's a hell of a songwriter and has good production instincts. And he did a great fucking job with Bill's album, with which Bill, too, did a great fucking job. None of which obliges anyone to like (or to not dislike) Ben, Bill, the album, the choice of covers, or the fact that anyone other then the truly and unambiguously poor likes the song, of course.
posted by cortex at 1:31 PM on June 9, 2008

I really, REALLY fucking hate these vague posts that don't tell you a damn thing about the actual content of the links and yet they expect you to click anyway.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 3:10 PM on June 9, 2008

Are you in the right thread?
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:59 PM on June 9, 2008

Yeah unless this is one of those irony doesn't get expressed well via the internet things CitrusFreak12. This is quite possibly one of the least vague posts on the blue in recent weeks and regardless of the vagueness or not of the description that last link really is the best of the web.
posted by electricinca at 5:04 PM on June 9, 2008

I'm pretty sure it was a joke, there, yes.
posted by cortex at 5:23 PM on June 9, 2008

My best friend and I have long ago decided that the Federation is so incredibly advanced that everyone is where they are best suited, even to putting people who aren't very good at things in situations where they can excel. Everyone gets ribbons!

So the explanation for many of the idiotic things* the crews of the various Star Trek shows do is that they are on 'missions' that are created to give the less talented members of the Federation some dignity and self-respect. When people 'die', they are just transferred to other commands in other places, or, if they have somehow developed relevant skills, they get promoted to the real world.

* There is not enough space on the servers to list all of them, but here are a few. First, no one wears any sort of protective gear when going to strange planets, even though environmental contaminants are not just a theoretical problem - they happen all the time! Secondly, crew members who represent real threats to security are permitted to remain. Data or Seven of Nine, for instance, are a huge holes in operational security which are exploited time after time, but they never decommission them! Finally, and most significantly, the most obvious indicator that the missions of Star Trek are just make-work for incompetents - Wesley Crusher.
posted by winna at 6:18 PM on June 9, 2008 [5 favorites]

Shatner's cool, always has been. He does well for a little man. TJ Hooker? His partner always calling him Hooker-a cop and a Hooker!?? I loved the animated series. Filmation productions were my favorite in my early and mid teens. They had one called Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle. The guy looked like Bruce Lee..and he always moved by rotoscope animation(?), it looked cool as hell.
posted by Flex1970 at 8:16 AM on June 10, 2008

All LOLSHATNERSING aside, I'm strongly of the opinion that this version is at least the equal of the original.

There's a menace in it which Jarvis doesn't bring to the party quite as much, and Joe Jackson's part in the enterprise is just fantastic, imho.
posted by genghis at 9:52 AM on June 10, 2008

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