July 24, 2012

Inspired by the success of last summer’s KIRB YOUR ENTHUSIASM series (25 posts, by 25 authors, about Jack “King” Kirby), next week HILOBROW will launch a 25-part series dedicated to the one, the only Captain James T. Kirk. The series’ 25 contributors will examine this key science fiction character from every angle — social, political, cultural, psychological, historical, dramaturgical, epistemological — but always lovingly.

KIRK YOUR ENTHUSIASM was made possible thanks to the generosity of (HiLoBrow friend and contributor) Greg Rowland, Star Trek aficionado and impresario of Greg Rowland Semiotics. Not only did Greg make this series worth the participants’ while, but upon the series’ conclusion he will donate $500 to a charity dear to William Shatner’s heart!

HiLobrow also wishes to thank our friend and contributor Adam McGovern, who went above and beyond the call of duty in his efforts to help us recruit the best possible writers…

Here’s a preview of the series’ installments. Stay tuned! It’s going to be amazing.


Justice or vengeance? by DAFNA PLEBAN

Kirk teaches his drill thrall to kiss by MARK KINGWELL


“No kill I” by STEPHEN BURT

Kirk browbeats NOMAD by GREG ROWLAND

Kirk’s eulogy for Spock by ZACK HANDLEN

The joke is on Kirk by PEGGY NELSON

Kirk vs. Decker by KEVIN CHURCH

Good Kirk vs. Evil Kirk by ENRIQUE RAMIREZ

Captain Camelot by ADAM MCGOVERN

Koon-ut-kal-if-fee by FLOURISH KLINK

Federation exceptionalism by DAVID SMAY

Wizard fight by AMANDA LAPERGOLA

A million things you can’t have by STEVE SCHNEIDER

Debating in a vacuum by JOSHUA GLENN

Klingon diplomacy by KELLY JEAN FITZSIMMONS

“We… the PEOPLE” by TRAV S.D.

Brinksmanship on the brink by MATTHEW BATTLES

Captain Smirk by ANNIE NOCENTI

Sisko meets Kirk by IAN W. HILL

Noninterference policy by GABBY NICASIO

Kirk’s countdown by PETER BEBERGAL

Kirk’s ghost by MATT GLASER

Watching Kirk vs. Gorn by JOE ALTERIO

How Spock wins by ANNALEE NEWITZ



Enthusiasms, Read-outs

What do you think?

  1. I’m all over this, like sweat on Sulu’s torso in The Naked Time. I suddenly have the urge to do a piece of my own.

    Why, before there was a word for it, did slash exist for Kirk/Spock?

  2. I have to say that revisiting Original Trek since it’s been remastered is revelatory.

    The colors are insanely ultravivid mod sixties. The episodes look like they were art directed by Mario Bava.

  3. I hope that we’ll be sufficiently entertaining, Raphie …

    The remastered series is dazzling. I’ve been watching them on an I-Pad Retina display. As David hints,, it’s best approached cautiously at first. I suggest viewing a few segments of the 1966 Batman show to line your optic nerves before mainlining TOS in Meta-HD.

    It all starts tomorrow.

  4. That slash has been there as long as the sun-god, underworld-king equation, Raphie — Kirk’s Apollo-like lightness and fire needs Spock’s cold careful Plutonian persistence and vice versa — though if Freud is what came after gods, I could incorporate my erstwhile art-teacher Christopher Cozier’s theory that Kirk’s intuitive confidence, Spock’s informed analysis and a third force, McCoy’s advised hysteria, composed the emotion/intellect/action, id/ego/superego of the Enterprise’s collective mind (and, by proxy, America’s colonial braintrust, as Chris saw the Federation symbolically)…

  5. It’s a taken-for-granted truism that Kirk, McCoy, and Spock represent a Freudian trio — but if that were the case, then one of the three would be a relentless monster; another a critical, moralistic nag; and the third deformed by his efforts to reconcile and appease the other two.

    It’s incorrect to say that the id is emotional, the superego rational and intellectual, and the ego a synthesis or reconciliation of the two. Freud points out that, for example, that the Superego is very emotional. It’s also incorrect to say, e.g., that McCoy is irrational and unintellectual.

    Freudian trios exist — John Huston’s The Asphalt Jungle provides one excellent example — but it’s not so in Star Trek. That’s my two cents, anyway.

    I have a different theory about the Star Trek trio, which I’ll trot out in installment no. 15 of this series.

  6. But Josh, they have color-coded shirts and everything. But then why would McCoy’s be cool blue like Spock’s? Okay, you’ve debunked me :-) — I was trying to brush in some realistic blurs by saying McCoy’s hysteria was “advised” — and in less smartassness the Trek Trinity could be seen as the essentials of working together, not straining at crossed impulses — and that can account for overlaps rather than contrasts, though I’m sure the makers of American TV (not to mention the makers of America itself) feel confident they could punch up Freud’s flowery prose and give him a solid three-lobe structure.

  7. McCoy’s the glue – he’d often react emotionally to Spock but be so level-headed in advising Kirk. What I love about McCoy is that he’d never show jealousy of Kirk and Spock’s friendship and he’d never admit out loud to anyone how dear Spock is to him too, in case that changes the balance of things. Hence the way he positions himself as the antithesis of Spock most of the time – it’s convenient (and entertaining).

    He and Spock often change places, or perhaps occupy the same place, slight poles in opposition – just different sides of the same uber-character. Spock and McCoy are Kirk’s Jiminy Cricket.

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