Grey Matters

The original Star Trek series engendered several memes before the word was even invented; including some very vulgar ones about Spock and Kirk.

But most probably, the record for all the franchise is held by Captain Jean-Luc Picard. The Picard Song, for instance, made a meal out of his Make It So line.

There was the time he boldly went on Sesame Street and, with the aforementioned order, persuaded the recalcitrant Number One to stand in his place so the Count could, well, count him: and this gave the aristocrat the opportunity to utter the throwaway line “you need classical training…”

Then there was the compilation of the instances in which Picard asked for tea — Earl Grey — hot, an iconic catchphrase of his,  into a YouTube clip:


from scenes out of the episodes Contagion, Journey’s End, In Purgatory’s Shadow, Redemption, Lessons …

And then there was the alternate timeline is which, oh woe, Earl Grey had not yet been programmed into the Enterprise-D’s replicator system.

But I digress.


Until last week, I must have been one of the very few women in Malta who did not know that the ‘book’ was, in fact a trilogy. Perhaps I am naïve, but I would never have imagined that a neophyte glutton for punishment would not be shot of her Lord and Master after the first bruise or ten.

Now to add insult to injury, a section of the local press is conjecturing whether the books will lead to a new baby boom because reading it is ostensibly shooting the libido of hitherto frigid couples into the stratosphere.

The journalist surmises that a ‘different approach’ to sex will conquer routine sex meant for conception, and re-kindle desire in women with post-partum or post-miscarriage depression.

Is it possible that these people would not have sought professional help, and only got out of their rut by reading about subjugation?

Each to his own – but I wonder why women are actually praising a book (and I say this from hearsay not because I have bothered wasting my time on reading the ‘story’) that objectifies a person and strips her of her basic rights as a human being.

Of course there are many who will disagree with me and say I have first to read the book before commenting – just as there are those who ay doctors who have never had earache cannot possibly know how to cure it.

I have been offered the book by several friends of mine whom I straw-polled before writing this blog; and I was quite amused at their reactions when I said I would pass up their kind offer.

However, at this point I must also ‘admit’ that I have not read many cult books like The Da Vinci Code or the Harry Potter books or the Twilight series either; yet I devour anything by Michael Crichton and Terry Pratchett. Oh – and I only watched about two hours in toto of the whole  Olympic Games – most of which happened when I was at a friend’s house.

To say that “anyone” can sit down and write smut could be stretching a point. But friends of mine who do write said that some excerpts of the books appear to have been written on (by?) Automatic Pilot.

People seem to think that erotica justifies bad syntax – and even worse, a lack of basic research about BDSM.  It does not.  All it does is pander to people who want to impress by saying that they “read” and that, moreover, they read “the latest releases”.

Whose business is it why we read or watch something, or why we do not congregate at certain places or eat certain foods?  Just because some of us refuse to go with the flow and read or watch anything that is trending, it does not mean we are fuddy-duddies.

Do we owe people explanations as to why we refuse to cover grey hair, or get our short nails gelled into luminescent perfection, or fix our teeth into precise flawlessness?

One of my honorary aunties spent her mornings reading three newspapers. She could repeat what was written, verbatim – but she never bothered to compare and contrast what was said in In-Nazzjon and l-Orizzont; but, to be fair, always held what The Times said as gospel truth.

She was always well-informed, but I would not say she was educated.

Each of us has different priorities; and it may be difficult for someone to understand why having the latest technological gizmo is not important for the rest of us… because changing the stickers on our old cellular telephone is enough to make it “new”.

Life is not about being a trendy hip, cool, and chic clone because you do what everyone else is doing. I would rather win a Pub Trivia Quiz than a News Twenty Questions, any day.

And I do.


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