Friday, January 17, 2014

The Captains Close-Up

As I was reminded today and yesterday by my wife, I haven't written anything in almost a month. All of my reason for not having done so are personal, some of them good reasons, some of them not so good. First, I'll try and explain two good reasons, and then I'll tell you about what reminded me to #justwrite.

Even when I'm not being the best father I can be, or should be, my little #padawan dominates all of my thoughts and dreams. Literally, my dreams. I've been having lots of dreams lately that are all about fear. Just in the last two nights I've dreamt about falling through the sky to my death, dropping my son on his fragile neck, and a close family member being on his death bed. Apparently, no matter how much I like this little boy, I still have serious reservations about my role as a father. I understand that. I get it. I just hope that it all goes away before he's thirty years old.

My second reason is a lot more mundane. People that are into the arts will understand, more than others. When you get out of the habit of using whatever skill you may have, it diminishes. In addition, it becomes harder to get back into a habit of using it. I didn't write anything for a couple of weeks, and I forgot to just sit down and #blog when a great idea came to me. Don't get me wrong, I still have thoughts and ideas scribbled in one of my journals. But unless I'm #Beethoven or #Salinger, what I write in my journals is barely worth the paper it's scribbled on. It's kind of like my stove-top burners. If I don't use them, they stop working. And if I don't have food stored away, it's not worth the ingredients dying in the fridge, and it's not worth the non-stick pan I have in the cupboard.

So what reminded me? Tonight I watched "The Captains Close-Up", a companion mini-series to a #WilliamShatner documentary called #TheCaptains. In the first doc he interviews previous #StarTrek captains about the experience they had running through the Star Trek franchise. In the follow up, which is in five parts on #Netflix, he goes behind the scenes of the Captains' interviews, and adds commentary from previous #Trek cast members. It concludes with an interview of #Shatner, in addition to #ChrisPine. I can't vouch for anything past episode two, but I'll let you know.

#AveryBrooks #DS9 is a crazy, musical, genius. He's still, currently a tenured professor of drama and music at #Rutgers but he doesn't care about that, at all. Shatner asked him about his inspirations and heroes to learn and teach music, and about his role as the first black Star Trek Captain. Bill Shatner mention plenty of inspiring black heroes, but Brooks brushed them all off. "My heroes? My heroes were my parents." Avery goes on to explain that it was his parents that taught him about history, and music, and about being black in a world that didn't get it yet. As for being the first black captain, he didn't care about that either. Because of his education and upbringing he cares, more about the human condition. How do we treat each other in general? Not as a black person, or a white person, or a Jew, or a woman, or any other type of person we could be referred to as. We, as humans need to care about the stake of our spirituality as a race, rather than worry about what we call ourselves, or what others calls us.

I paraphrased his sentiments, but it made sense to me.

I was equally blown away by #KateMulgrew, who I've always said was my least favorite captain. For completely different reasons than Brooks, I was impressed with #Mulgrew. She struggled non-stop with maintaining her family as a mother, a daughter, and a sister. Her cast mates couldn't stop mentioning how hard she worked to maintain her relationships with her family, and her life outside of Star Trek. I can't imagine the task that must have been. She was the first female captain, on one of the most watched shows of all time, and a mother of three. And she still managed to remind her crew mates to not forget to maintain the important parts of their family lives. That's impressive. And also ridiculous.

Anytime I watch a show about an actor, or musician, or any other kind of artist "selling out", I crack up. I watched a #FamilyGuy before my wife and baby went to bed about Bryan selling out to #CBS on his sitcom. These two episodes of #TheCaptainsCloseUp remind me why I don't want to ever do that.

But don't be confused. Offer me a million bucks, and I'll do just about anything.

Over, and out.

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