Wednesday: Hili dialogue (& Leon lagniappe)

by Grania

Good morning! Jerry is in dreamland after a day spent prepping for tomorrow’s Great Kea Hunt. More later on this. For the rest of us, it’s business as usual.

Today is the birthday of William Shatner (1931) a man whose identity is now forever intrinsically merged with Captain James T. Kirk of Star Trek, even though it was only one of many roles he’s played in series such as T.J. Hooker and Boston Legal. But Star Trek, in spite of cheesy dialogue, creaky sets, tacky costumes and occasionally dubious acting skills, came to define an entire sub-genre of science fiction in the 20th century.

Unintentional comedy:

But he can do restrained comedy too.

But the best thing that Star Trek did was create a new generation of skeptics and atheists.

Shatner is Jewish, but is quite comfortable pointing out the weaknesses in religious morality.

In Poland today our furry friends are up to shenanigans again.

Hili: Let’s go to the kitchen.
Cyrus: What for? The bowls are empty.
Hili: We’ll shout that the cake is burning.

In Polish:

Hili: Idziemy do kuchni.
Cyrus: Po co, miski są puste.
Hili: Będziemy krzyczeć, że ciasto się pali.

Meanwhile in Włocławek, Leon is pining for warmer weather:

Leon: So? Where is the spring?

Well, it’s not Spring in Ireland, anyway: the weather has gone back to cold and miserable again. In fact it’s been snowing all morning, even though we had no snow to speak of this winter.


  1. Dominic
    Posted March 22, 2017 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    In these parts of north-west Europe there is often snow in March/April. In London we need the rain frankly!

    It is also World Water Day

  2. Posted March 22, 2017 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Here on Dartmoor, spring sprang weeks ago when the daffodils came out. From my window I can see the long whale-backed mass of Gibbet Hill, its moorish colours dappling as the sun appears behind the fluffy white clouds.

    From my garden hedgerow I hear singing chaffinches, robins, sparrows and maybe goldcrests: beyond, the church bell will soon strike midday, Grantchester-like, and up on top of the granite outcrop, the 800-year old St. Micahel de Rupe church looks out to Cornwall, the last resting place of Sir Laurens van der Post’s wife.

    Life is beautiful.

    • Claudia Baker
      Posted March 22, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Jeez, this is beautiful writing Dermot!

      By contrast with Dartmoor: It’s -23 with the wind chill here. The lake is still totally iced up. And I’m tucked up by the wood stove to keep warm. Kitty is curled up in a sun spot on the floor and we are both avoiding going outdoors. I had a bowl of hot oatmeal for breakfast and there are certainly no daffodils in sight. Won’t be for another month or so…

      Life is still beautiful. It’s just that, to keep it that way, one has to wear a warm jumper.

  3. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted March 22, 2017 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Ohmigods, that ‘fight’ scene. Styrofoam rocks and all. If one was staging a comedy sci-fi parody it couldn’t have been done better.

    1931?? Jeez, he’s bloody prehistoric. That was when they still had dinosaurs wandering around, wasn’t it?


    • Posted March 22, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      The Gorn fight did, however, inspire one of the best lines from Galaxy Quest: “Can you fashion a crude lathe?”!

    • Filippo
      Posted March 22, 2017 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      “1931?? Jeez, he’s bloody prehistoric.”

      Not up to resisting the temptation to get in a gratuitous personal dig at him, eh?

      How much younger would he have to be that it wouldn’t occur to you to utter such a kind sentiment? You do hope, do you not, to live to at least his age, in a state of reasonably good health and mental acuity I gather he continues to be fortunate to enjoy (unless I’m otherwise informed)? Not everyone does, eh?

      (My father would have turned 93 last October, had he not otherwise died at 36 of his second heart attack when I was age four. Guess I was cheated out of the opportunity to “bless” him with pearls of congeniality about his being “prehistoric.” I myself feel fortunate to have lived long enough to enjoy the “privilege” of the occasional omniscient, narcissistic middle schooler trying to get in a dig at me about my own age.)

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted March 22, 2017 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

        Yeah yeah yeah. Get over it.

        My father lived till 96.

        I was just a bit surprised to find that Bill Shatner was that old, I’d always imagined him younger than that. Doubtless because he was, of course, much younger in his best-known role.

        I was also (unthinkingly) surprised to find someone so much older than me still alive – it gets bloody disconcerting when I keep having to go to the funeral of people I knew and realise they were exactly the same age as me.

        So here’s a gratuitous personal dig at [everybody older than me]: You’re living on borrowed time. Don’t forget that. Just try and grow old disgracefully, as they say. And watch out for the dinosaurs.

        (geriatric juvenile delinquent)

  4. Randy schenck
    Posted March 22, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    1966 – a great year in TV. For those not quite old enough to remember, there were only three channels and it was all free.

  5. rickflick
    Posted March 22, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    I used to enjoy watching Star Trek. It was easy for me to forgive the weaknesses of the show and concentrate on the noble plots emphasizing moral issues playing out at an emotional distance from the contemporary Earth. The plots were good chance to exercise your imagination. But, when I think of Shatner now I think of aging and what it does to the body. You gradually lose your shape and become more immobile. The texture of your skin roughens like a well plowed garden. And Leonard Nimoy, that idol of rationality, was so cool I wanted to be him. But when he died of clogged lungs from heavy smoking, I had to admit, he was also a frail god.

    • Posted March 22, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      He quit smoking 30 years before he died, it’s not quite as if he was still lighting them up on his deathbed. /Grania

      • rickflick
        Posted March 22, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

        True. He had enough good sense to quit long ago. But, he admitted the cause of his fatal condition(COPD) was his earlier tobacco habit. In my minds eye, I could see him doing his cool Spock lines on the set and when the director yells “cut”, pulling out a cigarette. The clash of images is disturbing.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted March 22, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        Thanks for the reminder. As someone who did smoke for over 40 years I can verify that while it was very stupid, it is not a guaranty (100%) that when you die, cancer was the cause. Just give the guy credit for quitting and try not to go all judgmental on the cause. It’s kind of a smoke of the gaps thing.

    • darrelle
      Posted March 22, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Leonard Nimoy was great as Spock. I couldn’t, and still can’t, fully accept him in any other role. I don’t mean that I have a reasoned, premeditated position regarding this. It’s just my un-sullied-by reasoning “primal” reaction.

      I remember seeing a movie he starred in years ago and I just couldn’t make it work. If I recall correctly he played a surgeon. It seemed as if it were a parody of some sort. Of course the fact that it was a really bad movie all around might have had something to do with it.

      I still remember one scene vividly. Nimoy (Spock!) was in his kitchen humming / singing while he was preparing a whole chicken for cooking. Any time I think about that scene it cracks me up because it is so corny. I’m laughing right now.

      • JonLynnHarvey
        Posted March 22, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        Nimoy’s best role outside of Spock is in a movie he produced himself “Never Forget”. It’s about a pro bono publico lawsuit to aid Mel Mermelstein, an Holocaust survivor, against some Holocaust denialists. Nimoy is MM.

        He’s not bad as Golda Meir’s husband in “A Woman Called Golda”, but on the whole he hasn’t had a lot of interesting roles outside of Trek.

        • darrelle
          Posted March 22, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

          Interesting, thanks. I’ve never come across either of those movies before.

      • John Conoboy
        Posted March 22, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        Nimoy’s son made a documentary about his dad called, “For the Love of Spock.” It is available on Netflix. Worth watching.

        • darrelle
          Posted March 22, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

          I’ve seen it advertised but haven’t watched it yet. It’s good to hear that it is worth watching.

        • Posted March 23, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

          Is that the real version of the fictionalized one that we saw Adam Nimoy working on The Big Bang Theory a few years ago?

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted March 22, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Of the weaknesses Grania mentioned above, the chief IMO is the cheesy dialogue, but there are also some great gems as well.

      When you have good story-lines you can often get away with low production values.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted March 22, 2017 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        Ah, Star Trek. The series which spawned every (to a first approximation) tagline on the Internet. (Remember when bulletin boards were all text-only?).

        Even non-Trekkies (like me) could appreciate them.

        … She’s breaking up Captain, the plotline canna take no more!

      • rickflick
        Posted March 22, 2017 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        I had a gut feeling that the series was breaking new ground. I felt it’s philosophical point of view was totally new for television. That was a big part of it’s appeal. Watching it, I had a sense of witnessing history.

  6. Alpha Neil
    Posted March 22, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    In the fight scene, did they put aluminum foil on the rocks in the background to make it look like it’s an alien world?

    It seems like they filmed the fight with the intention of speeding it up to make it more exciting but then forgot.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted March 22, 2017 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Well spotted. Yes! Now you mention it, it looks exactly like those behind-the-scenes snippets you see of actors rehearsing fights.


  7. Jenny Haniver
    Posted March 22, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Don’t forget that Shatner is also a consummate vocalist. Here’s a sample of is formidable vocal skills and priceless delivery If you like this, many more examples on Youtube,from “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” to “O Canada.”

    • Filippo
      Posted March 22, 2017 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      Let’s provisionally grant that Shatner is a “consummate vocalist,” that he is “singing.”

      Suppose instead that he were giving a dramatic reading, with instrumental music in the background.” How would that sound differently?

      Is he “singing” “Hamlet” or “Henry the V” or “Romeo” or “Cyrano” on the album “The Transformed Man” which also contains, e.g., “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “It Was a Very Good Year”?

  8. James Walker
    Posted March 22, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    That was only round 1! Here’s round 2:

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted March 22, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely brilliant! And kudos to the game makers and Shatner for not taking themselves too seriously.


    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted March 23, 2017 at 4:59 am | Permalink

      Excellent, and more realistic than the first round. What cr said.

  9. RPGNo1
    Posted March 22, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Congratulations, James Tiberius Kirk! 😉

  10. Posted March 22, 2017 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Inane dialogue. Cheesy sets. Blatant sexism. American chauvinism. And yet what other tv series of that time had more impact?

  11. Posted March 23, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Shatner has gusts of brilliance (or at least not nearly so hammy) when he’s given a good script. See “The City on the Edge of Forever”.

  12. Vaal
    Posted March 23, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    I still enjoy watching the original start trek series, with my boys (one of whom became a real fan). Shatner was often terrific. He’s always thought of as a ham actor, dialed to “11” all the time, but in fact in the earlier Star Trek episodes he was the epitome of cool and collected much of the time.

    As for Nimoy, unfortunately he created a one-off. No one has really been able to do a vulcan after Nimoy. It was the particular combination of his looks, his dedication to the role, his particular elocution, amazing stillness and stoicism, and his voice, that somehow made Spock truly seem believably “other.” Everyone following Nimoy trying to be vulcan either emotes too much, or they simply try to “sound logical” in some stilted unconvincing fashion. The intelligence of Spock was so distilled, and seemed to radiate from within, from Nimoy himself, vs the superficial exterior performances of others.

  13. richardespinosa125
    Posted March 24, 2017 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    Even on my stressful activities I enjoy reading blogs, and your blogs has been added among the ones I dearly enjoy reading.

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