A Starfleet insignia bumper sticker on the car in front of me. “Chekov’s job description” as a clue in a crossword puzzle. A passing reference to “Vulcan death grip” in a cultural critic’s essay collection. Or, later in that same collection, this sentence: “Like Trekkies, Hitchcockians have no trivia threshold.”
So I’ve started cataloging these references and thinking about how they fit into a larger cultural context. After all, collecting and analyzing trivia is exactly what makes someone – me – a nerd.
And that’s my mission for Star Trekking, my weekly newsletter in which I share and discuss the way Star Trek continues to infiltrate the culture at large. More than anything, I hope it’s an amusing distraction.
I’ve been listening to Penn Jillette’s podcast since it was a radio show. And it stopped being a radio show in 2007(!).
One constant of the show has been cohost Michael Goudeau. I always enjoyed Goudeau’s quick wit and generally happy attitude. What’s not to love about a juggler whose favorite song is “Tomorrow” from Annie?
Earlier this year (maybe it was this year? It’s so hard to remember anymore. 2020, amirite?) Goudeau said something on the podcast that really struck a chord for me, so I wrote it down.
Last week I started thinking about the quote again and it occurred to me that it contained a new resonance in this time of lockdown. So I wrote an article about it, published in the online magazine An Idea.