A Star Trek Christmas

Star Trek ChristmasThe 10 Least Successful Holiday Specials of All Time describes The Lost Star Trek Christmas Episode: “A Most Illogical Holiday” (1968):

Mr. Spock, with his pointy ears, is hailed as a messiah on a wintry world where elves toil for a mysterious master, revealed to be Santa just prior to the first commercial break. Santa, enraged, kills Ensign Jones and attacks the Enterprise in his sleigh.

I like the last paragraph:

Rumor suggests Harlan Ellison may have written the original script; asked about the episode at 1978’s IgunaCon II science fiction convention, however, Ellison described the episode as “a quiescently glistening cherem of pus.”

8 Replies to “A Star Trek Christmas”

  1. This comment has nothing to do with Star Trek, and more to do with the current post on Rebecca’s blog. It’s 2:40am and I woke up because I was reading Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, and instead of helping me go to sleep, it stimulated my brain in a way that left me frustrated, unable to sleep. My head’s been hurting from a restlessness I can’t seem to shake; Jenny’s been away almost two weeks now (doing an internship with her journalism programme), won’t be back for another three weeks, and physiologically all my systems are starting to freeze. Emotionally, mentally, cognitively, I feel like I’m pushing cement through my veins. Which is another way of saying I haven’t slept well since Jenny left, and it’s not getting better. I’ve been watching movies to fall asleep; sometimes it works, most of the time it doesn’t. And books don’t seem to work any better. So that’s the main reason I’m awake.

    Nevertheless, this Italo Calvino really has stimulated my mind in a frustrating way. There’s a section called “Cities of Memory 4,” about the city of Zora. The way he describes Zora itself as an aid to memory demonstrates to me his profound understanding of what history really is. History isn’t knowledge; it’s MEANING. And he nails it perfectly with: “forced to remain motionless and always the same, in order to be more easily remembered, Zora has languished, disintegrated, disappeared. The earth has forgotten her.”

    To echo Dennis Hopper’s character in True Romance: I find that shit fascinating. And it’s frustrating at the moment, because I’m currently working on a Religious Studies ‘Masters’ thesis where I have to explain a particular Catholic theologian’s theory of history (a guy named Bernard Lonergan). He just happens to be a theologian; his understanding of history is profound and original—despite being the member of a dusty 2000-year-old club whose general praxis does not appeal to me.

    My problem, and frustration, is twofold: I find real history so overwhelmingly stimulating, I’m not sure how to even begin talking about it, and there’s no one to talk to about it, anyway. Shit, it’s threefold: I also find Bernard Lonergan’s writing style stifling. The man was first and foremost a scientist and an academic. As much as those who adore him might argue, the man was not a master of the English language. He wrote because it was required of him as a scholar to write, and to be very detailed in his writing. I realize it was necessary, and it’s his attention to detail (and what he uncovers in those details) that makes him one of the important scholars of the 20th century (whose work will be studied for generations to come)—but man oh man, he takes the fun out of reading and writing. I like what he’s saying, but I’m sick of reading the way he writes. It’s long since taken the fun out of my having to write about him. I used to think I wrote with a bit of style, with blood pumping through my veins, but now… it’s a different scene. And it’s frustrating, because I realize (and I’ve probably realized it for a very long time but just wouldn’t come out and admit it)—I’m not writing the way I want to write. And I haven’t written that way for years. What I’m studying stirs my interest, but it seems to have stifled my passion.

    As much as I’m genuinely interested in what I’m studying, I’ll think I’ll be happy to be done with it, one way or another. I’ve been fooling myself thinking some day I’d make a good professor, even a renegade professor who doesn’t tow the party line (as opposed to most of my PhD friends)—which is the best I could envision for myself.

    Now, I read someone like Italo Calvino and I know, I should be writing stuff like this. I remember a time, before I immersed myself in academics, when I used to write—and enjoyed writing (hated it, but was glad to be doing it). And did it every day. I wrote over 1 million words the year before I decided to go back to university. The next year I wrote 100,000. These days, outside of my academic scribblings, all I write are emails.

    That sucks shit through party straws. It blows fucking big time. I know I’m talking about quantity, not quality. But a writer often has to plough through the quality of words to uncover the quality. Which brings me to this:

    Rebecca wrote: “…I knew I wasn’t going to reach the 50,000 word goal for a multitude of reasons, but I was trying.” Goddam right! I didn’t follow exactly what she was referring to. But it reminded me of when I used to write a minimum of 10,000 words a week. And I didn’t care what I wrote about—walking to the grocery store to pick up a loaf of bread, didn’t matter. Stories are all over the place. And most of the time you don’t even know the stories are there until you start writing and realize there’s a whole lot more to your short walk to the grocery store than meets the eye. Most “ideas” people have for stories turn out to be shit. But the ones you uncover through writing, by having the courage to face that totally blank page (or screen) every day—that’s where you find the gold.

    Fuck, I used to read good books, too, you know. I can’t remember the last time I read something good—something that made me want to get up and write myself, something that inspired me (not just intellectually stimulated me).

    Bob Marley once said: “I and I got no education. I got inspiration! If I was educated, I’d be a damn fool.”

    That’s a good enough place to end.

    What a night.

    P.S., I wrote all this here because trying post a comment on Rebecca’s blog quickly became a hassle I didn’t have the patience for. Not the first blog I’ve tried to post to and couldn’t. Bloody friggin’ blogs, man.

  2. I just find it funny that you posted the longest comment in the history of the interweb underneath a homo-erotic picture of captain kirk and spock.

  3. Hmm, maybe I should just post the comment as a regular post… or maybe not. I haven’t finished my thesis yet, and if anyone of import happened to notice this, it probably wouldn’t help my chances of getting a good grade.

  4. Phillip – if you still want to comment on the post, you can email it to me or send it as a txt file and I can post it.

    (It was in reference to National Novel Writing Month, which happens every November. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel between November 1-30. Last year was the first time I tried, and even though the product was crappy, the process and the fact I sat down to write were all the motivation I needed to participate again this year.)

  5. Rebecca, I was thinking that’s what it was (sorry for not paying attention to the details of your post). My girlfriend, Jenny, interviewed a guy in St. John’s last week who did the same thing—wrote 50,000 words in a month for NNRM, which I think is a hell of a feat, especially 50,000 of a single work. I don’t know if the guy won a prize, but apparently he was pretty wired after having locked himself away in his writing room for a month.

  6. No prob :)

    Stories are all over the place. And most of the time you don’t even know the stories are there until you start writing and realize there’s a whole lot more to your short walk to the grocery store than meets the eye

    When I reread your comment, this sentence jumped out at me. It’s so true – since I started keeping a blog (last January on the old one, August on the current one), I find myself seeing things in a different way, as if it’s important to remember not only what is happening, but how I feel about it and how I would describe it to others.

    As for inspirational writing, try Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett. Dude, if I could write like either of them, all my creative problems would be solved :) (My benchmark for liking something is if I would a)buy a book by an author I like without knowing anything about the plot, etc, and b)if they wrote the telephone book, would I read it. If it had either of their names on it, my answer would be an enthusiastic “YES!” to both.)

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