Mindy Newell Is Trekkin’

Have you heard Star Trek Continues? I happened to discover it just today, as I was surfing the web this morning. It is an award-winning …well, let me quote from the site itself:

Star Trek Continues is a critically-acclaimed, award-winning, fan-produced webseries… the brainchild of long-time Star Trek: The Original Series fan – and producer, director, actor, voice-actor, musician – Vic Mignogna.

Star Trek Continues is proud to be part of Trek history, aimed at completing

the final two years of the original five-year mission. After mounting a successful Kickstarter campaign, the show is already making waves and attracting guest stars such as Michael Forest, Jamie Bamber, Lou Ferrigno, and Erin Gray – as well as cameos by Star Trek alums like Marina Sirtis and Michael Dorn.”

It really is absolutely captivating. Mr. Mignogna is perfect – and I mean perfect! – William Shatner as Captain James Tiberius Kirk, down to body movements and personal tics. And Chris Doohan is the living embodiment of Lt. Commander Montgomery Scott, Chief Engineer and Second Officer of the Enterprise. Then again, he should be. Mr. Doohan is the son of the late James Doohan, who, just in case you don’t know, played Scotty in the original series. (Fun fact I discovered on the website: Chris Doohan first boarded the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC1701 in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and continues to do so, up to and including Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness, in which he appeared in a scene with Simon Pegg, a.k.a. the “new” Scotty.

Everyone is perfect in their roles, costuming, and make-up; except for, I have to say, Kim Stinger as Nichel Nichols as Lt. Nyota Uhura. Her 2014 hairdo and voice and physicality does absolutely nothing to remind me of Ms. Nichols or Lt. Uhura. She is the only one who takes me completely out of the spell, out of my “ suspension of disbelief.” She might as well be a new character.

Still, if you’re a Star Trek fan, you must check this website; all the music and sound effects of the original are incorporated into the series and even the special effects are so seamless and could easily “melt” into any of the episodes on your DVD set.

•     •     •     •     •

The reverberations of the attack on Charlie Hebdo continue to dominate the news cycle, even pushing the opening bell of the 2016 Presidential race here in the States to the second or third news story – yeah, here we go again – Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and Mitt Romney (!!!) are all “exploring” the possibility of running – but as I read websites and newspapers and watch the news stations, I’m realizing that it’s about more than the right to free speech. It’s also about the rise of violence against Jews in France over the last decade, coinciding with the rise in the French Muslim population.

The history of French cooperation with the Nazis during World War II (aside from the Free French, who made valuable contributions) does not put that country of the list of “Righteous Gentiles“ at Yad Veshem, the Holocaust memorial in Israel. Historically, France has been the center of European Jewish learning and assimilation into the greater society; after the French Revolution Jews were emancipated, and Napoleon deconstructed the ghettos.

Today the Jewish community in France numbers between 500.000 and 600,000. But over the last few years there has been a huge exodus as increasing anti-Semitism fostered by the French Muslim population has become a palpable threat, with almost 8,000 occurrences since 2000, including one very large and violent event last July in which 200 Jews were trapped inside a synagogue while the demonstrators outside shouted obscenities and threatened death.

This is why the French police and security offices have been protecting Jewish neighborhoods and sites in Paris and around the country since the assault at Charlie Hebdo and the Hyper Cache kosher deli, including schools and synagogues.

*sigh* And the story of Cain and Abel, and Isaac and Ishmael, just keeps on trekkin’.