I haven’t seen Star Trek Beyond yet—as I get further and further into Star Trek: The Next Generation, the more disenchanted I am with the Alternate Original Series’ emphasis on action over philosophy. But the Alternate Original Series boasts an absolutely stellar cast, including John Cho. I quite enjoyed this interview with him at Vulture, especially because he gave me language to talk about something that I did not previously have:
Do you feel like the culture has shifted in a positive way around this conversation? With a hashtag like #starringjohncho, I feel like things take a life on social media that they wouldn’t have been able to in the past.
There was a moment where I was like, How should I feel about this? Am I childhood leukemia? Am I pediatric AIDS? I didn’t know how to feel about it. Now I think I feel correctly about it, which is that it’s a precise way of talking about a general issue. And I’m happy that it’s been so effective. I’m happy that the guy behind it is so thoughtful and that he’s able to talk about it, and I don’t have to talk about it.
“a precise way of talking about a general issue” is going to be very helpful to me going forward.
I continue to make progress through Star Wars: The Clone Wars, with “Shadow Warrior,” “Mercy Mission,” “Nomad Droids,” and three quarters of the Krell arc “Darkness on Umbara,” “The General,” and “Plan of Dissent.” The first three are not much to write home about—especially since The Clone Wars occasionally likes to dumble down on the Gungans. Although I did love Padmé trading General Grevious for Anakin, because these two idiots will always prioritize each other over anything else (which is probably why they cling to their political roles so tightly—to feel better about that). I love complicating that relationship with their possessiveness over each other so much. I haven’t been loving the Krell arc, largely because I’m not that interested in the clones on their own.
I finished Mary Renault’s The Last of the Wine at the beginning of the week. As a debut to her historical fiction, I find it lackluster. There’s a lot of action but not much plot. I assumed that the book might climax with Sokrates’ death, but nope! It just runs out, with a note from Alexias’ son about how he found his papers.
That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it. I enjoyed Renault’s obvious affection for the ancient world, even when it led her to just portray and not interrogate things like the low-level misogyny pervading the culture (I was so shocked when Lysis, Alexias’ beloved and a generally perfect fella, used the word “bitch” when referring to the mother of the fourteen year old girl he marries, ugh). And, as a queer woman reading a queer woman, I see the obvious appeal for Renault to write about a society where being incapable of homosexual attraction is considered kind of weird. I see the same impulses when it comes to queer women writing slash, honestly.
I also read the first collected volume of the new Jem and the Holograms comic, Showtime! Two years ago, inspired by the gorgeous Integrity Toy line for the show, I spent a summer consumed by eighties fashion dolls, reading every entry on Jem vs. Prancetron and making my way through the first season or so of the television show. The comic is a full reboot that’s very sweet and charming, although some of the camp factor is gone. However, Sophie Campbell’s art is nice and appealing. I really appreciate the body diversity inherent in the proceedings—no two girls are the same kind of tall. I may or may not continue, but it’s lovely.