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Why, you ask, is everyone wearing Chucks?

After the honesty of Blair’s post (the fanboy in me doesn’t know which is more disturbing – that I understand everything he says, or that he rates Generations as a good example of a Star Trek film!!) I thought I’d answer a question I’m sure Henry V audiences were asking: what’s with the Converse advert?

After a decade of wearing Docs, I bought a pair of red shoes in May 2007. I’m actually quite shy, and I hate clothing that draws attention – for years I was black trousers, logo-less tops and dark coat, with all-purpose Doc boots rounding out the non-descript ensemble. I embraced my love of stripes at the turn of the century, but the red Chucks were a HUGE step and they transformed me – suddenly I felt light, bouncy and happy and my feet didn’t perpetually hurt. And my red Chucks gave me such joy that I suddenly started noticing Chucks everywhere – all over town and all through popular culture. Soon I was trying different colours – blue! black! green! charcoal!

I became fascinated discovering that Converse would ‘seed’ their product in the ’80s – by giving free shoes to the ‘in-crowd’ at US high schools, they could ensure all the wannabes would buy Chucks so they could look like the popular kids. When we did Henry V I liked that the Chucks could be a symbol of uniformity and the hipness of ‘youth’ in a predominantly university-driven production; I liked also that they could be a symbol of consumerist greed and faceless pointless commercialism, because I think my wearing of them is intended to be ironic and subversive on one level. Yes, there’s the comfort and that they look great, but I think I’m also making an obscure political statement. But I guess ironic footwear is even harder to pull off than an ironic mullet. The fine line between it being ironic and just being a mullet is too fine. (Yes, everyone, I’ll admit it: my present hairstyle is a mullet.)

At the Sheilah Winn festival last Queen’s Birthday weekend I had to emcee part of the Sunday night proceedings and took the opportunity to make a few subversive political statements, since National’s arts minister was in the audience and I’d rather have a tax cut than see the ballet company and NZSO get more multi-million dollar bail-outs while RFOs like BATS and the Fortune are on the bones of their arse funding-wise. I got a big laugh by pointing at my shoes when stating my personal political allegiance ….

DT wearing Chucks 2

 … but the really funny thing is, they aren’t even my Labour shoes, they’re my David Tennant shoes!

Next time: Why Facebook Is Evil!

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Remember that first meeting all those weeks ago, when asked what we thought of the play, I announced that it was “pretty sweet” and then proceeded to explain myself by saying the equivalent of “Oh.. Talbot’s pretty cool.”? Well now after weeks of thinking about how I would answer that question not sounding like a giant idiot (this is what I spend about 50% of my life doing) I have come up with another idiotic summary of why Henry VI Part One is “Pretty sweet.”

I will begin with what I look for in a Star Trek film and then I will begin to make sense. My favourite Star Trek films are the ones that feature grand shows of heroism, usually the death of an important character and are so fast paced that almost every scene takes place at an entirely new location (generally with the Enterprise being the mainstay location, to be referred back to every so often, just like the English court in Henry VI). I could use either The Search for Spock or Generations as examples here but I will use Generations as it is fresher in my mind and the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation is so much cooler than the cast of the original series. Basically, Henry VI plays out like a good Star Trek film. A lot of adventure, a dash of politics and a whole lot of interesting characters. Allow me to compare. And since I’m on the internet, I’ll say;

Beware: SPOILERS

Henry VI Part One Star Trek: Generations
The funeral of Henry V, Gloucester and Exeter are present, as is Richard Plantagenet who later becomes the central villain. The [supposed] death of Captain Kirk during the christening of the new Starship Enterprise. Scotty and Pavel Chekov are present as is Dr. Tolian Soran who later becomes the central villain.
At some point, Talbot, the fiercest warrior in the English army is promoted to Earl of Shrewsbury. At some point, Worf, possibly the fiercest warrior (being that he is now the most highly ranked Klingon in Starfleet) in the film is promoted to Lieutenant Corporal.
The French acquire Joan of Arc, capable of destroying a Talbot. A group of Klingons acquire a new weapon, capable of destroying a star.
Talbot becomes trapped inside the Countess of Auvergne’s castle but quickly and easily breaks out. Picard (played by Patrick Stewart and who is constantly quoting Shakespeare, even quoting the first part of the Contention at one point) becomes trapped inside ‘The Nexus’ but quickly and easily breaks out.
Talbot dies losing France due to the actions of Richard Plantagenet. About 50 lines earlier he had a son who died heroically. It turns out Kirk isn’t really dead, but he dies stopping a star (and its surrounding planets) from being destroyed by Dr. Tolian Soran. About five films earlier, he had a son who died heroically.

There, now I feel like I’m in Oyster (Amirite? Eh?) and have posted what may be the most non-Star Wars related Henry VI comparison to a piece of Science Fiction so far.

Henry VI, in court
“We charge you, on allegiance to ourself,
To hold your slaughtering hands and keep the peace.”


Captain Picard, on the bridge
“Rumours of my assimilation have been greatly exaggerated.”

What a nerd.

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