Kirk’s manly, sensitive advice to young Charlie

In poplar culture, Captain Kirk from the original Star Trek has a reputation of being a womanizer. Chris Pine’s portrayal of Kirk in the rebooted movies certainly plays up that character trait, but in Kirk’s original appearance, the second pilot episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” it’s Kirk’s helmsman Gary Mitchell who follows a female crewmember with his eyes, holds hands with a pretty yeoman during a crisis on…

A stranger approached me today.

A stranger approached me today. I was actually kind of terrified at first, since the last time a stranger approached me it was a security guard telling me I had overstayed my welcome in a mall that was closing for the night. (I was trying to get work done while waiting for a family member to return from a sidequest.) But this person was just curious, and friendly. And she…

My #AugustWilson #Steampunk Nightmare

Today is my last official day teaching a compressed winter term “Special Topics in American Literature” course devoted to August Wilson’s Century Cycle. Last night I had a dream that Wilson wrote an eleventh play that I didn’t know about; or that I somehow missed covering one of his ten cycle plays.  In my dream, I was shuffling through my stack of books, trying to put them in order, so…

Gem of the Ocean (August Wilson’s Century Cycle, 1 of 10)

August Wilson’s Century Cycle > Spoiler-free scene breakdown. Premiere: 2003 Setting: Aunt Ester’s parlor, 1839 Wylie, Pittsburgh. 1904. Prologue (late at night) Troubled Citizen Barlow arrives, seeking Aunt Ester. Eli (handyman and “gatekeeper”) tells him to come back Tuesday. Citizen tries to push past him; they tussle, upsetting a lamp. Ester picks up Citizen’s hat and hands it to him, gently telling him to come back Tuesday. Act I.1 (next…

I’m just getting around to watching this speech from Arnold Schwarzenegger. Impressive!

I really never paid much attention to Schwarzenegger’s time as governor of California, but because I was in living in Wisconsin during part of former pro wrestler Jesse Ventura’s time as governor of Minnesota, I guess I expected bluster and bravado. Yes, waving the Conan sword certainly provided manly spectacle for the groundlings, but the sword was an opportunity to introduce a metaphor — he put it down with a…