Comments Show – Episode 3: Miri

 

We go through listener comments with great joy! This one we dip a toe into Afrofuturism and dedicate it to cool uncles and Hart to Hart!

Nichelle Nichols Interview about Dr. Martin Luther King

This American Life: We are in the Future

9 thoughts on “Comments Show – Episode 3: Miri”

  1. I do wish I had not been away and offline during the comments period. I missed something you two noticed right away….the age factor in how Kirk interacted with Miri. In my day, and even more so for the writers, who were mostly older than me (I’m 68), it was common for adolescent girls to be complimented on their attractiveness as soon as they began to develop. Women were supposed to be wives and mothers, not professors or doctors, after all, so attractiveness was important. Marriage at 16 or earlier had been common until the 30’s-40’s, and plenty of people had parents and grandparents who had married early. It seems inappropriate to me now for Kirk to be flirting with such a young girl, but at the time I don’t think it struck me at all. I might have thought he was callous for toying with her, but the idea that he commented on her attractiveness probably seemed unremarkable. (My mother married at 17, when my father was 24….they had met when she was 15. Today he’d be in prison, back then he was a promising young teacher ready to start a family.)
    Understand I am not defending or championing these attitudes, just pointing out why this didn’t raise eyebrows when the episode was broadcast.

    For another example of changing mores, Google Maurice Chevalier’s “Thank Heaven for little girls”, a perfectly mainstream song in the 60’s that today would have people calling the police.

    Once again, the podcast really shines a spotlight on the cultural changes that have happened since the show was first broadcast…..and the lack of even basic protections against contamination by alien microbes.
    Keep up the good work!

    1. Goodness, yes. Also ‘Young Girl’ (1968):
      Young girl get out of my mind
      My love for you is way out of line
      Better run girl!
      You’re much too young girl

      Shudder

  2. Hi guys, being included in your podcast is awesome, feel like I’m part of the family.

    My name is the French pronunciation of Louis, so it sounds like Lew-ee. This makes the name Cthulouis a play on the idea of being Cthulhu-ish. Sadly this play on words never works as people always read it as Cthulewis.

    This will all be relevant to your podcast in a few years time, when Star Trek introduces a long-running French character. They will cast in this role a Yorkshire Shakespearian actor, one of the most English people imaginable. Either the Americans didn’t understand the nature of European in-fighting, or they knew exactly what they were doing and thought it would be hilarious.

    If it was the second option, I entirely approve of their decision, and laugh every time the script goes out of its way to remind viewers of the character’s French background. He even has a friend in one episode called Louis, presumably because the writers wanted the most stereotypical French name imaginable. So, of course, everyone calls him Lewis. One of the actors gets it right in a single line of dialogue. After that, somebody must have explained the joke, as she correctly mocks the name by mispronouncing it in every other scene.

  3. Hi Louis,

    Yes that does sound better with the French pronounciation.

    We might have to call on you when the French (Yorkshire) guy shows up, if we’re still at it by then! Remind me please.

    R

    1. Haha, I’d be honoured, though I am very much not an authority here. I’m not French myself, just find it funny that no matter how much they get Jean-Luc Picard to sing frere jacque or reminisce about his youth in Paris , you still can’t escape the fact that he is really, really English. No doubt there’s some fragment of the expanded universe that explains it all.

  4. You’re right there, Cthulouis, and it’s actually mentioned on screen rather than in the novels or somesuch. This is touched on in early Next Generation episode ‘Code of Honor’ – apparently French has become an obscure language by the 24th century, hence J-LP and his family speak English despite being from France:

    TROI: Captain, we have more information from the briefing studies on Ligon.
    PICARD: Excuse me. Doctor Crusher, some of this may interest you. Let’s hear the analysis.
    DATA: It is a highly structured society in which people live by strict codes of honour. For example, what Lutan did is similar to what certain American Indians once did called counting coup. That’s from an obscure language called French. Counting coup.
    PICARD: Mister Data, the French language for centuries on Earth represented civilisation.
    DATA: Indeed? But surely, sir-
    RIKER: I suggest you drop it, Mister Data.

    1. Ah yes, I remember laughing at that line. I don’t consider ‘French is now obscure’ as a sufficient explanation though, just another in the long line of jibes at France’s expense.

      1. I think my favourite is when the Enterprise crew are transported back to 19th Century San Francisco in “Time’s Arrow” and Data’s odd appearance and mannerisms are readily accepted by the locals when he explains “I am a Frenchman”!

        Perhaps they felt a little bad about poking fun at France towards the end of the series, as in the final episode of ST:TNG, Q reveals that all life on Earth began with amino acids combining to form the first protein in a pool of goo in the place that, three and a half billion years later, would become France!

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