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For the love of Shatner

A father passes on his love of a sci-fi icon

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I can get behind this

My kids say, "He said to me and I'm like, and he's like, and she's like..."

It's all, "He's all, she's all..."

I can't get behind that kinda like... English

-- William Shatner, "I Can't Get Behind That"

My wife and I try hard to minimize our children's immersion in popular culture. I do love pop culture myself, though like most of us, I suppose myself to be discerning about it (ha). And I want to share some of my enjoyment with my kids, but what and how? The arch sarcasm of so much of what we currently have distresses me somehow. I mean, The Simpsons is smart and funny, but it's so cynical. Do little kids need that? Do they have the tools to parse it?

So we've embarked on a three-season mission to explore the original Star Trek series. I've heard that some network is reworking the terrible special effects to make it appeal to a new generation, but my kids are loving it in all its lofty atrocity. I used to laud its silliness, the great Mr. Spock, the moments of Shakespearean grandeur. And I still love all that.

But I'm on a Shatner binge of late. That go-for-the-gusto melodrama sends me, and that great voice of his. This led me to Has Been, Bill's recent record produced by Ben Folds, which is, as my buddy Carl says, "as good as the first album is bad." If you have to ask...

So if you see three kids at the supermarket yelling, "I'm Captain Kirk! I'M CAPTAIN KIRK!" Now you'll know why. In Shatner I trust.

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