Monday, January 26, 2009

Star Trek feminist rant

So lately I have become addicted to Star Trek. I have a sort of love-hate relationship with it. I find Captain Kirk SO IRRITATING, Mr. Alpha Male. The story lines are sometimes so ridiculously cheesy, and the special effects, well, mostly paper mache and chicken-wire! My biggest problem, however, is that it's outrageously sexist. I know it is merely reflective of the 60s, but it makes me SO GLAD that I did not grow up then, and that there were women who fought the good fight so I don't have to wander around a starship in a miniskirt, serving the men. They have their token woman officer (Uhura, who is a pretty decent female character, but the ONLY one), and the rest of the women portrayed are wimpy and get overly emotional so easily and they ALL manage to fall for Kirk! And they MUST have a different super-hot girl each episode. Fine. But if you are going to have a super-hot girl, you also have to have a different super-hot guy in every episode (NOT Kirk), to balance it out.

In one episode, an attractive young woman comes by with something for Kirk to sign (as one does every episode . . . because attractive women are only capable of secretarial work . . . grrr), and just after she leaves, Kirk discusses her with whoever else is on the bridge at the moment, basically saying, "Wow, she's attractive. Well, I'm sure she'll meet a nice man sometime soon and drop out of the fleet. They all do." !!!!! It pissed me off so much!!

Oh, and then there was the (really bad) episode where they find the ancient spirit of Jack the Ripper and all such killers, who feeds off fear. This ancient spirit attacks women because they get scared more easily, giving off more fear!!!! OK, I will readily admit, women are often more cautious than men, and probably I am more likely to scream in fright (or otherwise express emotion) than the average guy. But that does not mean I actually FEEL MORE FEAR than a man. I think, actually, that women are just as brave, and sometimes braver, than men, thank you very much.

Oh, and it was on that same episode where they all go to this "pleasure planet" and take Scotty to a strip joint, essentially, so help him relax after some incident on the ship. I guess it used to be pretty common for businessmen to go to strip joints, until women started joining the workforce in larger numbers and made this awkward. So I guess it's just another sign of the times. But I thought it was pretty ridiculous that Kirk kept telling McCoy about this one place where the women are just so . . . *wink* Not to mention that nearly every episode includes a shot of Kirk leering at some poor girl. In those horrible uniforms. So obviously dreamed up by geeky boys. The last episode I watched also made a little too frequent mention of getting the necessary thrust to penetrate the sensitive part of a giant space amoeba. Now maybe that double entendre was not intentional, but it kept coming up and made me giggle.

Alright, feminist rant over and out. I am glad that it is not 1968 anymore, and I will continue to enjoy Star Trek while at the same time ridiculing their outrageously dated outlook on the future.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Obama

Today, I got up at 6:45 am to leave by 7:15 to get to my friend Jenny's place in downtown LA by 8 am to watch the inauguration. This is a big deal for me because I am NOT a morning person. Living on the West Coast is great when it comes to seeing election results at a decent hour, or not having to stay up til 1 am to see the end of the Oscars, but for morning events on the East Coast, well, not so great. But I got there, and enjoyed oatmeal and coffee in front of the TV (thanks Jenny!) and watched this historical moment, and it was worth it. I loved hearing John William's new piece, which was very pretty and appropriate for the event. They sure got wonderful musicians to play, too. I was just very glad that they included classical music. Obama's speech was excellent, as usual. It was interesting to me that it could be both very somber and very uplifting at the same time. I am so happy that we have such a capable mind in the Presidency, and such a beautiful first family in the White House. President Obama (doesn't that sound great??) is right, we have a lot to do, but hopefully with some hard work we can turn things around!

Monday, January 12, 2009

run, forrest, run!

I just got home from AYS's Gala Concert, honoring Alan Silvestri this year. We played music from Back to the Future, What Lies Beneath, Beowulf, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Mouse Hunt, Cast Away, The Polar Express, and Forrest Gump. Since it was a fundraiser, we all played for free, and there was a dinner afterwards (so I guess not totally free--we did get a good meal out of it!) with an auction for donated items, including wine from the Silvestri Vineyard. It was great fun. I know sometimes musicians complain about doing movie music, but I enjoy it, and I feel like it's a great way to introduce people to classical music. Maybe some musicians dislike it because it's often the same movie music done over and over again (John Williams, Lord of the Rings--both of which, in my young and unjaded state, I still LOVE to play!). I think there's loads of good movie music out there, and if arranged well (I believe ours was put together with the help of David Newman, AYS alumnus, parent, and composer himself), it can make for a really good concert. Free wine afterwards doesn't hurt, either :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009