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by Diepiriye Kuku

21 May 2010

Trekkie compilations like “Star Trek Sex Compilation” really hit home the pint of sexism in the various series. The plots, undertones, and catchy phrases connected in this compilation tell much of that story. Another story is even more visually reductive. The black women in an episode from the final season of Deep Space Nine provoke one of those ‘cases in point’ that causes for pause (to literally press “pause”). It is undeniable that the entire Star Trek franchise resists ethnic diversity on Earth, and even fails to hire black extras for even the most mundane roles. Hence, when we see some cocoa where no man has gone before, we notice.

Like most all women in modern Star Trek series, she wears a unitard as if she is ready to twirl on a pole. This might work well on most of the unitard-wearing women in Starfleet. Yet, on this sister, you can’t avoid those healthy humps—in the back and in the front. Beyoncé has got thighs like that. So, isn’t it out of character that some officers wear unitards and others wear shirts and pants? While there’s regularly a camel toe threatening to burst out, have you seen any male packages on Star Trek?

Admittedly, some aspects of this gender divide are certainly worse than the second skin that 7 of 9 wears in the Voyager series. Another unitard diva is T’pol is the Vulcan science officer in Enterprise. I am searching for a tailor to copy T’Pol’s red velvety V-neck unitard, or the spandex turquoise unitard she more often wears. Yet, one cannot help notice that over half the women encountered in the whole galaxy walk around with their chest so perched out they look like they have a sever case of scoliosis. Why are so many women in the 24th century strutting around with the “f**k me” walk!?! Enterprise is the series which chronologically predates Spock, Kirk, Sulu, Scottie, Uhura, Checkov and Bones. Each character was a stereotype of the main players in the geo-political politics of the day—and reflected a preferred world order. For sure, men wore the pants, and women wore teeny, tiny, short mini-skirts.

If it weren’t for the military setting, one is certain that the women would have been assigned hooker heels to announce and help reproduce them as weak and in need of being escorted and rescued by men. Though Tina Tuner makes it look sexy, that’s part of the allure of performance. And anyway, what woman wears a unitard into battle? Oh, women are still not on the frontlines in many nation’s military or heads of corporate structures. And as Sarah Palin’s candidacy shows, even women in modern politics better wear some lipstick and sexy clothes. I guess we’ll expect the first female president to have served her time on the pole.

by Oliver Ho

19 May 2010

Best known as “Ginger Grant” from Gilligan’s Island, Tina Louise recorded several swingin’ albums, the most notable of which was 1957’s It’s Time for Tina. The single, “It’s Been a Long Time” is available for listening on the YouTubes (non-embeddable, dammit ... but there’s an excellent album cover). According to Wikipedia, the album featured Coleman Hawkins (!) on tenor sax, and Harkit Records may be re-releasing it. Their site is worth browsing for the album art alone. Also, Louise’s real name was Tatiana Josivovna Chernova Blacker, which is just awesome.

by Alistair Dickinson

19 May 2010

Idris Elba, the man known to most as The Wire’s Stringer Bell, wants to promote a new alter-ego. This time he’s “King Driis”, a multi-accented singer and rapper who has a new song and music video, “Hold On”, to share with the world. The British-born, half-Sierra-Leonean and half-Ghanaian Elba forces us to sit through a barely-decipherable, Mos Def (or a Mos Def look-alike) starring skit before we get to his new tune. It may well be worth it, however, thanks to producer 9th Wonder’s delirious dancehall beat, a laid-back, bouncy number which provides the perfect backdrop for “Driis’s” questionable range of patois.

by Dean Blumberg

19 May 2010

After reading all Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels to date and devouring the first two seasons of HBO’s True Blood, you may be left wondering, “What’s next?” Thankfully IDW Publishing, the comic book publisher specializing in licensed properties like Angel, Transformers, G.I. Joe and The A-Team, is bringing True Blood to the graphic medium in a six issue mini-series starting this summer.

The comic is a new partnership between IDW and HBO and appears to be more reflective of the television series than the novels with character art influenced by the show’s actors. The IDW website hints at a more adult-oriented audience, saying, “The first six-issue True Blood comic series offers the same erotically-charged romance, wry humor and intriguing mystery and suspense the show has become known for.”

The comic has very close ties to the HBO series as the plot was developed by Oscar-winning show creator Alan Ball (American Beauty, Six Feet Under) and will be written by series writers Elisabeth Finch and Kate Barnow in conjunction with co-writers David Tischman and Mariah Huehner. David Messina (Angel: The Curse, Star Trek: Countdown) is responsible for art duties and his personal blog, Spider Behind the Mirror, offers fans lots of preview illustrations. Additionally, IDW recently posted a sneak peek of issue #1 on the True Blood Facebook page.

True Blood #1 arrives in July.

by Dean Blumberg

18 May 2010

A cultural phenomenon of the ’00s, Lost is quickly wrapping up. What better way to commemorate the conclusion of one of television’s most-loved series than to own a part of it! A few days ago EW blogger Annie Barrett posted a blurb about nearly 100 items currently previewed for this summer’s Lost auction.

Dharma-brand food stuffs, Charlie’s acoustic guitar, the photo of Desmond and Penny, Jin’s wedding ring, Locke’s wheelchair, Virgin Mary statues (sans heroin!). It’s all here! All of the items are posted on the Profiles in History website which indicates only that Lost: The Auction is happening in Los Angeles this summer.

Even though I will probably never be able to afford the Swan Station Apple-II computer (which would be a great conversation piece for my living room!), it’s fun to scan through the previews and be reminded of the context in which they all appear on the show. Each item is accompanied by a brief entry that indicates which episodes the item appeared in and its relationship to major plot threads and characters.

No word on the exact date of the auction, but Profiles in History allows fans to subscribe to an email list for further updates.

//Mixed media

Notes, Hoaxes, and Jokes: Silkworm's 'Lifestyle' - "Ooh La La"

// Sound Affects

"Lifestyle's penultimate track eases the pace and finds fresh nuance and depth in a rock classic, as Silkworm offer their take on the Faces' "Ooh La La".

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