Late Night Open Thread: Geeks, Represent!

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(h/t commentor Elizabelle)
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Ron McNair’s brother: “Later on, a show came on, called Star Trek. Star Trek showed a future where there were black folk and white folk working together. I looked at it as science fiction, ‘cuz that wasn’t gonna happen, really. But Ronald saw it as science possibility.”
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Living memory, people. I was four years old in 1959…

89 replies
  1. 1
    Chris says:

    Bless that show. So much good sci-fi would probably never have happened without it, and as “message” shows go, it rocked.

  2. 2
    Nunca el Jefe says:

    I agree that it is, generally, quite a beautiful vision for humanity.

  3. 3
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    You always find us the best stuff Anne Laurie. Thank you.

  4. 4
    Punchy says:

    KU fans freakin out b/c they didnt beat Worst Vagina by eleventy brazillian. Greedy basturdz.

  5. 5
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    Thanks Anne, that was great.

  6. 6
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Punchy:

    beat Worst Vagina by eleventy brazillian.

    Think I saw that line in my spam folder once.

  7. 7

    Nichelle Nichols has a great story about a little girl who grew up watching Star Trek and the first time she saw Uhura, she flipped out, running through the house, screaming “Momma there’s a black lady on TV and she’s not playing a maid!”

    That little girl was Whoopie Goldberg.

  8. 8
    MJ says:

    Thanks for linking that sweet little story Anne Laurie. It brought tears to my eyes.

  9. 9
    TS says:

    Delightful story – brought a few tears to the eyes.

  10. 10
    Kyle says:

    Dang, those onion-cutting ninjas strike again…

  11. 11
    Cathy W says:

    …there’s something in my eye.

  12. 12
    J. Michael Neal says:

    It’s not often that the #8 team in the country can get swept in its own building by a combined score of 7-1 and not fall in the polls. That’s what just happened. Between that and a couple of anonymous quotes from coaches I’ve seen in the last couple of days, the idea seems to be settling in that the Gophers really might go unbeaten this year. At this point, someone is going to have to beat us at Ridder, because we’re hosting both the WCHA Final Four and the NCAA Frozen Four and I don’t think either of the teams we still have to play on the road can beat us.

  13. 13
    Violet says:

    One of my relatives trained Ron McNair at NASA, along with many of the other astronauts on the Challenger. She was devastated by the Challenger disaster. She said he was a wonderful guy.

  14. 14
    Mnemosyne says:

    This NPR story from 2011 has the tale of how McNair caused a “disturbance” at their town’s library by trying to check out books while black.

    ETA: To be clear, the incident happened in 1959 South Carolina.

  15. 15
    Poopyman says:

    Twenty seven years. My, my, where have the years gone.

    It may not be one of those events where everyone remembers what they were doing when they got the word, but I do. I was in a meeting in our offices at Goddard Space Flight Center when someone stuck their head in the door and said the shuttle had exploded. Shuttle launches had started to be so commonplace we didn’t pay much mind anymore. We thought that joke was in the poorest taste, but the truth soon sunk in. Things were never the same again.

  16. 16
  17. 17
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Poopyman:

    I was in study hall in high school. The principal made an annoucement over the loudspeaker. He was crying.

  18. 18
    Yutsano says:

    @Mnemosyne: I was in the library for English class when they wheeled a TV in. When we asked what happened the teacher told us. I don’t think we had ever been that quiet.

  19. 19
    Buffalo Rude says:

    @Mnemosyne: That’s the same audio clip. Great story, though. Thank FSM for StoryCorps. amirite?

  20. 20
    Jay S says:

    1959? Typo? ETA need to view the video. Never assume.

  21. 21
    Buffalo Rude says:

    @Poopyman: I watched it live in my second grade classroom.

  22. 22
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Buffalo Rude:

    People sometimes have trouble running audio clips, so that’s the link to the (partial) transcript.

    Sorry, should have been more clear.

  23. 23
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Poopyman: I was in elementary school. I’ve always thought that crash killed interest in space exploration for my generation. But the last couple years with the Mars Rover and that guy jumping out of the balloon maybe things are changing.

  24. 24
    Suzanne says:

    The Challenger disaster. I was in kindergarten. I had recently gone to Kennedy Space Center with my mom and we were going to watch a shuttle launch, but weather was bad, so it was scratched. I can’t even begin to imagine how awful that was to watch.

    Did the families get anything back to bury?

  25. 25
    Buffalo Rude says:

    @Mnemosyne: Ah. I’m sorry that it came across like I was trolling. I’m not so good at these internets comments. But thanks for posting the link because it prompted me to listen to the story again.

  26. 26
    Poopyman says:

    @Suzanne:
    Oh yes. I believe the crew compartment was more or less intact … all the way down.

  27. 27
    The Dangerman says:

    @Suzanne:

    Did the families get anything back to bury?

    Without going into details, I’ll just answer yes.

    There are things in the public domain you probably don’t want to know about the Challenger recovery and I hope others that might already know won’t share them.

    ETA: Oops. Poopyman beat me to it, without going into the details, thankfully.

    ETA2: I should probably add that I likely learned much about Challenger from working in the same location as Greg Jarvis worked (FWIW, I did not know him). So, full disclosure, I don’t know what IS or isn’t in public domain.

  28. 28
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Buffalo Rude:

    No worries. It was not one of my more coherent efforts. :-)

  29. 29
    ruemara says:

    That was really beautiful, thanks.

  30. 30
    Arclite says:

    Speaking of Star Trek, I offer this interview with Nichelle Nichols (Uhura) who had just quit Star Trek in the middle of season 2, when she met a fan who convinced her to return to the show.

    Halfway through the second year of the series, Nichols was offered her own Broadway Show, something she always dreamed of. On a Friday in the Fall of 1967, amidst rumors that the show was going to be canceled, Nichols went to the series’ creator , Gene Rodenberry, and submitted her resignation. The following day she was invited to speak on a dais by the NAACP at UCLA. Following the panel discussion an aide informed Nichols that there was huge fan in the audience who asked to meet her. Nichols agreed to meet with the fan, whom she expected to be a ‘Trekkie.’ But, as the handsome young man approached her she quickly recognized the smiling face of

  31. 31
    Soonergrunt says:

    I’m up at 1:00 AM because some dumbass lab tech can’t remember the password he uses to logon to the computer 20 times a damn day.
    2hrs of overtime for 20 minutes worth of work–thank you, dumbass lab tech and US Taxpayers!

    Challenger disaster–I was in German class in my Freshman year of high school. We were supposed to be conversing in German, but most of us were just bullshitting instead. The Vice Principal made an announcement over the intercom. Everything just stopped.

  32. 32
    Yutsano says:

    @Arclite: I will never get tired of that story.

  33. 33

    Challenger disaster – I was on my way from my dorm room to my first class of the day, my sophomore year in college, when someone told me about it. Ugh.

  34. 34
    freelancer says:

    I don’t even remember it. I was 3 years old.

  35. 35
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Arclite, you got cut off right at the good spot.

    I know who that man was.

    The rest of the story is all sorts of awesome.

    When I heard about the Challenger, I was participating in a command post exercise at Fort Lewis, WA. Things slowed down, and I tried to get one of the TVs in the “war room” (where the junior officers playing the war game that generated the “war” for the higher headquarters to react to) to one of the Seattle stations, not very good reception, but enough to figure out what was going on. We were all sort of in a state of shock.

  36. 36
    Arclite says:

    Also, want to post this article about the first interracial kiss on TV between Kirk and Uhura.

    It was Gene’s idea, but Shatner really made it happen:

    He told us to shoot two versions: one with the kiss and one without it. The whole time, Bill is still being silly and pretending to have to take the kiss shot over and over again. He’d say, “I didn’t feel right about that one. Let’s do it again.” Meanwhile, the NBC guys keep talking to the director about how the station affiliates in the South might react, which just made us all the more tense. Finally, we get to the take with no kiss. We ran through all of the dialogue and Bill suddenly turns me toward the camera. He then picks his head up and makes a silly face into the camera. Nobody knows what he’s done, except maybe the cameraman. The director calls it a wrap and we’re done for the day.

    GoD: So you only did one take of the kiss-less version?

    Nichelle Nichols: No. We did a few takes. But Bill kept acting ridiculous through them and in that final shot, he crossed his eyes. But it wasn’t until we saw the dailies that any of us knew what he’d done.

    GoD: So Shatner sabotaged the kiss-less takes on purpose?

    Nichelle Nichols: I believe he did. Yes. And the NBC suits were forced to let us air the kiss.

  37. 37
    sb says:

    @Arclite: That is quite a punchline. Thanks for making me click through to get it–well worth it.

    Beautiful story Anne, just like a lot of stuff you post.

    I was at my first radio gig when the challenger disaster happened. I will never forget the looks on the faces of the McAuliffe (sp?) parents.

    One of the things I like about this blog is occasionally, we find a sympathetic ear when we’re going through a difficult time. We can fight like cats and dogs over issues titanic and trivial but if someone is having a hard go, we’re there. At least, that’s my experience. So with that said, I wanted to share that depression really, really sucks. I was kind of hoping it would skip a generation. I just found out today that it didn’t. And yeah, I know it might be more than genetic but, damn, that’s three generations in a row. I’m getting a copy of The Noonday Demon and staying in tomorrow.

    Take care, people. Talk to you soon.

  38. 38
    Arclite says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: The cutoff was intentional. Such a great story, I wanted people to go read it. :D

  39. 39
  40. 40
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Arclite:

    Understood…and you’re right! FOLLOW THE LINK!

  41. 41
    Arclite says:

    I was home from school sick, although I don’t remember feeling too too bad. I think I just wanted to stay home. So I spent the day watching TV, and I just remember the Challenger story was on every channel the whole day.

  42. 42
    NotMax says:

    Must admit some surprise that the Breitbartistas or Beck or some such haven’t yet woven a skein of innuendo, misinformation, coincidence and mendacity to tie Challenger to the Major Moozlim Menace.

  43. 43
    JeffhisDudeness says:

    I cried.

  44. 44
    Jason says:

    By “black people and white people working together”, I assume he means the white guy sat in the captains chair and the black girl operated the telephone switchboard.

    There’s altogether too much nerd triumphalisim about that silly, dated show.

  45. 45
    MikeJ says:

    @Jason: Uhura was a Lieutenant in the military that did as much as the Russian or Chinese guy or Vulcan.

  46. 46
    Geoduck says:

    @MikeJ: Yeah, people today just can’t understand how revolutionary the show was in some ways. Yes, Uhura was a glorified switchboard operator, and this was still a MASSIVE step up in terms of the portrayal of black women on TV. Ditto Sulu not being a racist caricature, and Chekov being a Russian who wasn’t mustache-twirlingly evil.

  47. 47
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Jason:

    I assume he means the white guy sat in the captains chair and the black girl operated the telephone switchboard.

    Check your privilege word choice, mister.

  48. 48
    freelancer says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Not to assume motive, but I am willing to consider that Jason is being a contrarian in that he thinks that the show, in retrospect, may not have been as groundbreaking as some remember. The idea that while Kirk was the captain, it was still non-white, non-male, non-human officers that reported to him. Ergo, Star Trek, while not having Uhura as a Mammy, was still prejudiced, and not worthy of the praise it is given.

    It was the 1960s, and Jason, if arguing in this context, is a purist. It is also a stupid, reductionist argument.

  49. 49
    Yutsano says:

    @freelancer: Apparently Jason missed the episode where Uhura gently admonished President Lincoln. Granted, he was a robot, but the idea that a black woman could correct a white man WITH NO CONSEQUENCES was downright earth-shattering. And let’s never forget the kiss.

  50. 50
    kdaug says:

    @freelancer (iPhone): Whoopie Goldberg actually requested to play Guinan on ST:TNG. IIRC, they created the character for her.

  51. 51
    Origuy says:

    Uhura, like the other officers, was a graduate of Starfleet Academy. In 1966, when the series started, the United States Naval Academy got its first African-American faculty member, and it would be ten years before women would be accepted.

  52. 52
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jason:

    I can only assume that you only know the 60s through the lens of books, old TV shows, or old movies.

    You have no idea how RADICAL it was to have a black woman in a position of responsibility like that in such a matter of fact manner.

    Things we take absolutely for granted now took major effort to pull off in the 60’s.

  53. 53
    patrick II says:

    @Geoduck:
    I love the story of how Uhuru and Kirk became the first interracial kiss on broadcast television. They had written the kiss into the script, and Shatner and Uhuru did the kiss. However, the director chickened out and had them perform a second near kiss without touching lips. On the side of his face away from the director Shatner ruined the second shot by winking at the camera — thus leaving the only good shot as the kiss, so the actual kiss made it to the broadcast show.
    And, from the perspective of a 19 year old boy at the time, Uhura looked like a wonderful person to kiss.

  54. 54
    magurakurin says:

    @Jason:

    So, what Whoopie Goldberg said about how the show inspired her is just bullshit?

    A history professor once told me that the greatest mistake we can make about looking at history is to judge the events and actors of the past with the standards and moralities of present time.

  55. 55
    The Dangerman says:

    @JeffhisDudeness:

    I cried.

    I did, too, then I think I went home and drank; it wasn’t too long after I had been part of a Mission Review related to Satellites that didn’t have their Geo rockets fire (Palapa and Westar). That was a comparatively minor failure, but it was an incredible process to find out what had gone wrong; the Challenger investigation was going to be a defining moment for the industry.

    Hey, Yuts, see my comment to you about ID theft and taxes a couple or so threads back? Sleep won’t be easy tonight. Like I have time for one more thing on the ToDo list. Oh, well.

  56. 56
    patrick II says:

    The story was a great demonstratiion of the precocious courage of the young Ron McNair. I just wanted to put in a word for the cop though. Nov every southern cop would have handled that boy in the library like he did, and I could go back and give him a handshake or something I would.

  57. 57
    Yutsano says:

    @The Dangerman: I actually responded when Tunch hit the eat comment button. You really should fill out the ID theft paperwork. If nothing else, it will make it easier for the IRS to keep an eyeball on your account in case there are any further shenanigans.

    More than likely the thief gave up on your number since it didn’t yield any results. Having said that, they can still file a return with made up numbers, pocket the refund, and leave you holding the bag while we collect the overpayment. It’s getting better but it’s still pretty lucrative for them right now. We just don’t have the bodies to dedicate to getting ahead of this game.

  58. 58
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Yutsano: “We just don’t have the bodies to dedicate to getting ahead of this game.”
    And if there’s one government agency that politicians of both parties love to short, it’s the IRS.

  59. 59
    Cermet says:

    I see that no one has posted what hero’s the Cop’s were; especially the one who asked the sour old, racist, and complete ass wipe bitch to let the boy check out the book; these Cops were honest enough to see the truth of the situation even if they were part of that ‘still evil’ system. Not today, through; now cops are the bitches of the fascist state. Strange, when things were nearly at their worse these Cops would begin to serve the public in the manner they were supposed too. But today cops only enforce insane laws like thugs … wow; times are a-changing.

  60. 60
    Raven says:

    @Cermet: Pretty early to be drunk.

  61. 61
    gene108 says:

    @sb:

    I wanted to share that depression really, really sucks. I was kind of hoping it would skip a generation. I just found out today that it didn’t. And yeah, I know it might be more than genetic but, damn, that’s three generations in a row. I’m getting a copy of The Noonday Demon and staying in tomorrow.

    Take care sb.

    Down days are temporary and will give way to better days, sort of like the weather. Rainy days aren’t going to last forever and sunny days will follow.

  62. 62
    geg6 says:

    Wow, has it been that long?

    I was in my last year of college and working part-time in advertising at the newspaper where my mom was a reporter. They still had the big old wire machines that spit out news bulletins from AP and UPI. I remember asking my mom if it was like the movies–the wires sound an alarm and the news is so big that someone shouts “STOP THE PRESSES!”. She had always said no, it never happens any more because it’s too expensive to stop the presses and they cover whatever it is in the next day’s edition. Well, that day, the alarms sounded. I didn’t know what they were at first. My office was right next to the newsroom and I went into the newsroom to see what the noise was. I thought maybe a problem with the presses as they were printing the first edition of the afternoon. All the reporters and editors were gathered around the wire machines and someone went over and turned on the one and only tv in the newsroom. Once they realized what had happened, the executive editor screamed “STOP THE PRESSES!”. Just like n the movies! I’ll never forget that.

    As for Star Trek, it sure changed my conception of what women might do in the future (I was about 7 or 8 when in its first run). I found it inspiring. And I wasn’t a girl of color, I was just a lily white girl who was odd because I already liked science and politics. It was an amazing thing for its time. If you weren’t alive, you can’t begin to imagine how groundbreaking it was and how it inspired those of us who weren’t your average white male.

  63. 63
    Schlemizel says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I worked at Kennedy Space Center in the 90’s and I know what was public knowledge there.

    Did you know that someone tried to kill the Thiokol engineer that had tried to sop the launch? Tried to run his car off the road into a swamp while leaving KSC .

    It really started to get to me because people would get all weepy about the explosion but then too many went about their jobs as if it didn’t really matter. I witnessed incidents where nobody was responsible and nobody would take responsibility to see to it that jobs were done correctly. Yet they would all concede that the exact same lack of responsibility was the major reason people died needlessly.

  64. 64
    Raven says:

    @Schlemizel: I saw a documentary about the kids of the space center staff in the 60’s. Buncha heavy stoners. There was supposed to be all this security but they knew exactly what was going on.

  65. 65
    WereBear says:

    @sb: So sorry to hear. That’s a real monster to wrestle. Best to you.

  66. 66
    mai naem says:

    I tuned into NPR when they were talking about Columbia exploding in 2003 and for the first few moments I was listening I thought they were just doing a remembrance of the Challenger disaster. It happened about the same time of year. I was in school with Challenger and CNN kept on replaying it over and over and over….. and I remember thinking to myself, this repeating the clip has got to be awful for the families and the other people involved. Don’t forget this was when cable was relatively new and CNN was “it” was far as news.

  67. 67
  68. 68
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Jason: Maybe you should click through Arclite’s link before making silly contrarian arguments.

  69. 69
    Schlemizel says:

    @Raven:

    I never witnessed any drug use or suspected anyone of it. A lot of cluelessness though.

    Funny story – Contractors kept a different holiday calendar than government guys. I was on base on Presidents Day & noticed security running sniffer dogs around the parking lot. One of the long-timers said “Yeah, its Federal Holiday, they always bring the drug dogs around on Federal Holidays so they don’t accidentally catch any NASA people”. I will admit I never saw the drug dogs except on Federal Holidays.

    But I don’t thin kit was drugs that was their problem. It was the lack of personal responsibility. That extended into the contractors also.

  70. 70
    RSA says:

    I took a drive out to North Carolina A & T University a couple of years ago for a meeting, and when our group toured the campus, I saw enormous plaques and memorials for Ron McNair. Who was this guy? And then I read about him. Nice story.

  71. 71
    PLH ~ NYC says:

    Star Trek first aired in 1966.

  72. 72
    tesslibrarian says:

    I was in 8th grade, on my way to Latin. A friend’s boyfriend, also in the class, came running up to me, saying the space shuttle had exploded. I remember saying to him, “The space shuttle did NOT explode–don’t be awful!” But he dragged me to our class and sure enough, the tv was on, and it had happened. I think that’s all the school did the rest of the day.

    While in DC last weekend, we went to see Discovery at the Air & Space museum in Dulles. I thought it would be larger, but in a giant hanger, scale is thrown off considerably. I couldn’t help but look carefully at the tiles, all with numbers on the outside, on the bottom of the craft and think about Columbia. For all their potential fragility, space shuttles are amazing machines.

  73. 73
    redshirt says:

    Star Trek changed my life in 1973. I suspect it changed lots of people’s lives back then.

    Nowadays? Not so much. Damn you Braga and Berman!

  74. 74
    peorgietirebiter says:

    Thanks for the story. Still difficult to believe any adult could treat a child in such a manner no matter the circumstance.

  75. 75
    Interrobang says:

    @Schlemizel: The Thiokol engineer in question was named Roger Boisjoly (which he inexplicably pronounced like “Beaujolais”), and in every interview I’ve ever seen with him, he seemed like someone with enormous integrity.

    There are some really excellent stories on this thread. Thank you all.

  76. 76
    Elizabelle says:

    Loved Arclite’s story about Lt. Uhura’s biggest fan. Had never heard that before.

    Props to Columbia, SC’s “The State” newspaper, which featured the McNair animated short story.

    The State is a McClatchy paper, and has its work cut out for it, located in the Republic of Crazy.

  77. 77
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Poopyman:

    It may not be one of those events where everyone remembers what they were doing when they got the word, but I do.

    I remember it exactly. I can see the room I was in when I saw the news on TV. I stayed home sick with a bad cold and didn’t go to classes that day at Crafton Hills College.

    Strange that I was also sick from work on the morning of 9/11.

  78. 78
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Poopyman:

    I later met the para-rescue diver who was literally the first man in the water to look for survivors.

    Yeah, they think the crew was alive for pretty much the entire fall back to the water.

  79. 79
    ruemara says:

    @Jason: Hush, you ignorant douche. You have no idea how amazing it was to see a woman as part of a COMMAND team, & not the clean up crew. That black men were warriors, even if some of them got killed in action. Respected by their leader and not simply tolerated. Just, shut up and move, if that’s all you got to say.

  80. 80
    cosima says:

    I was in high school. Can’t remember which class. A TV was wheeled in so that we could watch the news coverage. That is a lovely story, to have a dream and to be so committed to it, he must have been an amazing man.

    I so love StoryCorps. Was watching the DVD (has about 7 StoryCorps stories on it, mostly about 9/11) with our 7 yr old about a month ago. She & I cried pretty much all the way through, the only one that I remember not being a tear-jerker was the story about Miss Devine. My daughter asked “why are all of the stories so SAD?” We’ve not really discussed 9/11 with her, sometimes it feels like she is too young, mostly it’s because there is so much sadness to talk about with children already.

    We watched Django Unchained a while back, and The Help (on cable) around the same time. At the time I was struck by how much more appalled I was at the treatment of black people in The Help than in Django. When viewing Star Trek in terms of its removal (in years) from de-segregation, it’s striking how little time had lapsed (relatively), and in how many places blacks were undoubtedly still being actively & violently discriminated against. I guess that I led a pretty sheltered life, having been a long way from the South, so I am finding this a thought-provoking topic…

  81. 81
    SinnedBackwards says:

    Another Star Trek breakthrough was Dr. Daystrom on “The Ultimate Computer” being played by a black actor, when skintone had utterly nothing to do with the role. He was the bad guy computer genius. Gee, black guys could be run-of-the-mill villains too, unrelated to race.

    A baby step on the long and far from completed road to treating skin color like eye color or any other variable human trait, and toward our “more perfect union”.

    Just looked it up. William Marshall was the actor.

  82. 82
    Heliopause says:

    @Jason:

    In case nobody else mentioned it in comments, Roddenberry’s original pilot had a female as second in command, meaning that she would be in the captain’s chair frequently. In fact, in that pilot she was in command for a good deal of the episode while Pike was being held captive. The network shot down that idea.

  83. 83
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Heliopause:

    The network shot down that idea.

    Well, to use Rodenberry’s anecdote: “They told me I could have iether a female second-in-command or Mr. Spock. So I married the woman (Majel Barrett, who was re-cast as Nurse Chapel) and kept Mr. Spock — because in California, it was illegal to do it the other way around!”

    Speaking of less progressive days…

  84. 84
    Brachiator says:

    @SinnedBackwards:

    Another Star Trek breakthrough was Dr. Daystrom on “The Ultimate Computer” being played by a black actor, when skintone had utterly nothing to do with the role. He was the bad guy computer genius.

    With an impressive resume to go along with his impressive ego.

    Doctor Richard Daystrom was one of the most influential Human scientists of the 23rd century. Daystrom, who was born in 2219, was considered a genius in his day, and was compared to such minds as Albert Einstein, Kazanga and Sitar of Vulcan. In 2243, at 24, Daystrom made the duotronic breakthrough that won him the Nobel and Zee-Magnees Prizes. However, he felt underappreciated by his peers and successors, and resented them for developing improvements based on his work, while he was in essence left behind.

    I recall that Trek and the relatively contemporary Mission Impossible were among the memorable tv shows that showed nonwhite characters as part of the team, not just domestics or ineffectual sidekicks.

  85. 85
    redshirt says:

    @Anne Laurie: Roddenberry was an enormous cad, and one of those figures wherein it’s better to look at his work than his life.

  86. 86
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    Also “I Spy,” where Bill Cosby was the brains of the team.

    Not incidentally, Cosby had a clause in his contract saying that he would not appear in an on-screen interracial romance, which gave a lot of black actresses a chance to play sexy spies instead of domestics.

  87. 87
    Brachiator says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Not incidentally, Cosby had a clause in his contract saying that he would not appear in an on-screen interracial romance, which gave a lot of black actresses a chance to play sexy spies instead of domestics.

    I seem to recall that Kelly Robinson got do most of the romancing on that show, but either way I am surprised that Cosby had enough clout that early on to have such a clause in his contract.

    One of the digital broadcast channels here has been running I Spy. I caught what may have been one of the first episodes of the show, set in Japan, I think. Sheldon Leonard, who created or produced the show, was the bad guy.

    Interesting, immediate chemistry between the two leads, and it was clear that they were equal partners in the spy game.

    Maybe it was the same channel that ran an episode of Robert Wagner’s It Takes A Thief. I had never much watched the show before, and on this episode his love interest was one of the singers from the singing group The Fifth Dimension. Her race was not an issue, she was just a star who had become intangled in an international assassination plot.

    These shows were followed by an episode of the old TV comedy show Hazel. With all the progress we’ve made, it’s funny that there are not (I don’t think) too many tv shows starring blue collar workers.

    And yes, my late night tv watching habits are largely determined by insomnia. but one night I enjoyed an old film I had never seen before, but knew a little about, Made For Each Other, with Jimmy Stewart and Carole Lombard.

  88. 88
    Commenting at Balloon Juice Since 1937 says:

    that was awesome. thanks.

  89. 89
    Joey Giraud says:

    @redshirt:

    You say that like it was a bad thing.

    @Mnemosyne:

    Bill Cosby always was more concerned with personal success then social progress. He used to be kind of funny.

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