March 10, 2013

"Does that happen a lot?"/"Not like that."



Via Metafilter. I didn't even know Whoopi Goldberg was ever connected to "Star Trek," but that isn't the important thing here.

In the comments, please stay on topic, which is this particular video clip. Don't bring up the usual grievances about Whoopi. That's been done many times. The larger topic, also legitimate here, is the effect of art on the individual.

98 comments:

Synova said...

What I would say about that is... I wish that more actors would respect the work and value of the work of acting and not feel like they had to gain legitimacy through advocacy.

Entertainment has value. Actors themselves should not disrespect that.

Original Mike said...

I've always had a soft spot for Whoopi despite her, what are we going to call it?, advocacy?, because of the Guinan character.

Christy said...

Guinan was a wonderful character which made me love Whoopi. How foolish that I esteem an actor because I love the character, but there you have it.

Synova said...

I really hated the Guinan character.
(Though by that point, I pretty much couldn't stand the whole show.)

Original Mike said...

The Next Generation was the zenith of the Star Trek arc, Synova.

Just so you know.

edutcher said...

Her character was something of a token - you couldn't see Michael Dorn was black under all the makeup and she replaced the security officer (white actress) as a saloonkeeper, so they were stretching things.

That said, a lot of people gain some kind of connection through regulars on TV shows.

It's one thing Jack Warner never understood. He worked with giants up on the silver screen (Errol Flynn, Bette Davis, Jimmy Cagney, Edward G), but he never understood the people on TV were even more important - they were family.

Well, good on for Caryn, she's bragged about being a welfare queen, now she can say she's done something useful.

edutcher said...

Original Mike said...

The Next Generation was the zenith of the Star Trek arc, Synova.

Just so you know.


It was?

I thought it was all downhill after the second season of Kirk and Spock.

Astro said...

Agree with Synova.

I liked the original series, the rest, ugh.

St. George said...

--To finish that I was saying about beauty, said Stephen, the most satisfying relations of the sensible must therefore correspond to the necessary phases of artistic apprehension. Find these and you will find the qualities of universal beauty. Aquinas says: ad pulcritudinem tria requiruntur, integritas, consonantia, claritas. I translate it so: Three things are needed for beauty, wholeness, harmony and radiance. Do these correspond to the phases of apprehension? Are you following?
--Of course, I am, said Lynch. If you think I have an excrementitious intelligence run after Donovan and ask him to listen to you.
Stephen pointed to a basket which a butcher's boy had slung inverted on his head.
--Look at that basket, he said.
--I see it, said Lynch.
--In order to see that basket, said Stephen, your mind first of all separates the basket from the rest of the visible universe which is not the basket. The first phase of apprehension is a bounding line drawn about the object to be apprehended. An esthetic image is presented to us either in space or in time. What is audible is presented in time, what is visible is presented in space." But, temporal or spatial, the esthetic image is first luminously apprehended as selfbounded and selfcontained upon the immeasurable background of space or time which is not it. You apprehend it as one thing. You see it as one whole. You apprehend its wholeness. That is integritas.
--Bull's eye! said Lynch, laughing. Go on.

.....

St. George said...

--Then, said Stephen, you pass from point to point, led by its formal lines; you apprehend it as balanced part against part within its limits; you feel the rhythm of its structure. In other words the synthesis of immediate perception is followed by the analysis of apprehension. Having first felt that it is one thing you feel now that it is a thing. You apprehend it as complex, multiple, divisible, separable, made up of its parts, the results of its parts and their sum, harmonious. That is consonantia.
--Bull's eye again! said Lynch wittily. Tell me now what is claritas and you win the cigar.
--The connotation of the word, Stephen said, is rather vague. Aquinas uses a term which seems to be inexact. It baffled me for a long time. it would lead you to believe that he had in mind symbolism or idealism, the supreme quality of beauty being a light from some other world, the idea of which the matter is but the shadow, the reality of which it is but the symbol. I thought he might mean that claritas is the artistic discovery and representation of the divine purpose in anything or a force of gener- alisation which would make the esthetic image a universal one, make it outshine its proper conditions. But that is literary talk. I understand it so. When you have apprehended that basket as one thing and have then analysed it according to its form and apprehended it as a thing you make the only synthesis which is logically and esthetically permissible. You see that it is that thing which it is and no other thing. The radiance of which he speaks is the scholastic quidditas, the whatness of a thing. This supreme quality is felt by the artist when the esthetic image is first conceived in his imagination. The mind in that mysterious instant Shelley likened beautifully to a fading coal." The instant wherein that supreme quality of beauty, the clear radiance of the esthetic image, is apprehended luminously by the mind which has been arrested by its wholeness and fascinated by its harmony is the luminous silent stasis of esthetic pleasure, a spiritual state very like to that cardiac condition which the Italian physiologist Luigi Galvani, using a phrase almost as beautiful as Shelley's, called the enchantment of the heart.
Stephen paused and, though his companion did not speak, felt that his words had called up around them a thoughtenchanted silence.
--What I have said, he began again, refers to beauty in the wider sense of the word, in the sense which the word has in the literary tradition. In the marketplace it has another sense. When we speak of beauty in the second sense of the term our judgment is influenced in the first place by the art itself and by the form of that art. The image, it is clear, must be set between the mind or senses of the artist himself and the mind or senses of others. If you bear this in memory you will see that art necessarily divides itself into three forms progressing from one to the next. These forms are: the lyrical form, the form, wherein the artist presents his image in immediate relation to himself; the epical form, the form wherein he presents his image in mediate relation to himself and to others; the dramatic form, the form wherein he presents his image in immediate relation to others.
--That you told me a few nights ago, said Lynch, and we began the famous discussion.

St. George said...

--I have a book at home, said Stephen, in which I have written down question which are more amusing than yours were. In finding the answers to them I found the theory of esthetic which I am trying to explain. Here are some questions I set myself: Is a chair finely made tragic or comic? Is the portrait of Mona Lisa good if I desire to see it? Is the bust of Sir Philip Crampton lyrical, epical or dramatic? Can excrement or a child or a louse be a work of art? If not, why not?
--Why not, indeed? said Lynch, laughing.
--If a man hacking in fury at a block of wood, Stephen continued, make there an image of a cow, is that image a work of art? If not, why not?
--That's a lovely one, said Lynch, laughing again. That has the true scholastic stink.
--Lessing, said Stephen, should not have taken a group of statues to write of. The art, being inferior, does not present the forms I spoke of distinguished clearly one from another. Even in literature, the highest and most spiritual art, the forms are often confused. The lyrical form is in fact the simplest verbal vesture of an instant of emotion, a rhythmical cry such as ages ago cheered on the man who pulled at the oar or dragged stones up a slope. He who utters it is more conscious of the instant of emotion than of himself as feeling emotion. The simplest epical form is seen emerging out of lyrical literature when the artist prolongs and broods upon himself as the centre of an epical event and this form progresses till the centre of emotional gravity is equidistant from the artist himself and from others. The narrative is no longer purely personal. The personality of the artist passes into the narration itself, flowing round and round the persons and the action like a vital sea. This progress you will see easily in that old English ballad Turpin Hero which begins in the first person and ends in the third person. The dramatic form is reached when the vitality which has flowed and eddied around each person fills every person with such vital force that he or she assumes a proper and intangible esthetic life. The personality ofthe artist, at first a cry or a cadence or a mood and then a fluid and lambent narrative, finally refines itself out of existence, impersonalises itself, so to speak. The esthetic image in the dramatic form is life purified in and reprojected from the human imagination. The mystery of esthetic like that of material creation is accomplished. The artist, like the God of the creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails.

--James Joyce, Portrait.

I trust that this shall settle all debate on this subject.

David said...

Whoopi was good in Star Trek. A good actress generally. She saved "Ghost" from tear jerking idiocy with her humor.

sydney said...

It must be very gratifying to find out that your work touched someone so deeply. She handled that very well, too. At least, I don't think she was acting. I think her emotion was genuine.

So many actors don't seem capable of accepting people's thanks for their roles. They manage to communicate that they would rather be acknowledged for their acting talent rather than the role. The role was just job. And then, there are those who develop a real hatred for a role. I understand William Shatner once felt that way about Captain Kirk, but in his documentary The Captains, he mentioned how much it touched him to hear a pilot tell him he became a pilot because of Star Trek and Captain Kirk. Not as moving as Whoopi's autistic fan, but it did make him reconsider his attitude about the role.

Chip Ahoy said...

I'm all verklempt.

And his wife told him not to stand up so he had to overcome that too.

It's like STNG created that role just for her, and she's excellent. Best hat award.

She's great in everything and moves me deeply. Like the urban nun that sings, in English, not the Dominique-nique-nique dooby doo be dooby doo
Il ne parle que du bon dieu, not that one, and the other movie too where she has e.s.p. and the ghost makes her cash a check and then give it away. She totally rocks that dress and hat too.

Chip Ahoy said...

Setting #2

wyo sis said...

Whoopie had done wonderful things with her acting talent. I should love her talent purely for it's impact on the people she touches with it. This young man is a better more in touch person because of a part she played. Wouldn't you think that would be enough? For him it is, but it's not enough for her.

Christy said...

DS 9 was the best, by far. More fully developed characters.

Bob Ellison said...

She got fat.

Original Mike said...

"DS 9 was the best, by far. More fully developed characters."

But they never went anywhere.

Bob said...

I always found William Shatner pretty unappealing, but I adore Captain Kirk. Whoopi Goldberg is loathsome, but Guinan was a great character.

It's a testament to their respective talents in their actual profession, which is acting.

m stone said...

For the record, the Guinan character did not come off as autistic or Asperger's.

I'd be curious to know what was empathetic in the role to her fan.

FredwinaD said...

I'm with Original Mike. The Next Generation was the greatest Star Trek ever. And Whoopi was great in it, as well. I think she's a very talented actress. I know as a teacher that the greatest thing is when an old student or parent tells you what a difference you've made. There's nothing better. It appears she feels the same.

AprilApple said...

She was authentically touched by his courage to stand there and say what he said. Speaking in front of an audience is difficult for most people and he did it though his autism. A wow moment. Very touching.

AprilApple said...

All that geeky stuff brings people together. Not a bad thing.

Unknown said...

I actually liked her as host of the Academy Awards, all 3 times.

This conservative is at odds with her on many views, but Whoopi has some bonafide conservative thoughts on some issues.

I like how quick-witted she is.

Methadras said...

Her character of Guinan was awesome. I really wish Star Trek TNG explored her race more. They dropped hints here and there as to who they were and I really wanted to know how they interacted with the Q, but the show never went that way. Would have been cool though.

Pogo said...

A very real, human, touching moment. Gratitude for someone's work, whose impact could not have been known.

It seemed to her quite minor in the scheme of things, but via the butterfly effect, causing not a hurricane, but a moment of real grace.

betamax3000 said...

Seeing the still photo I assumed the caption to be along the lines of:

"Does that happen a lot?" Whoopi asks the student, feeling something press against her leg.


"Not like that," the student replies, embarrassed yet strangely aroused.

"I have placed my erection against the thigh of a real-life Star Trek character," the student thought to himself. "From now on masturbation will be a Sad Empty Lie."

betamax3000 said...

"This is SOOOO much better than that Star Trek Convention where George Takei pressed his erection against my thigh."

betamax3000 said...

"But I still haven't washed those pants."

betamax3000 said...

Betamax3000 Rule #1: No one you see on the Internet is a Real Person.

betamax3000 said...

Corollary: The Internet is full of Naked Robots.

betamax3000 said...

I could elaborate, but I will bore people in detail at a later date.

betamax3000 said...

I have been distracted by Star Trek penis jokes. I hated the way Patrick Stewart looked at me.

tim maguire said...

I want to say the first Star Trek was the best because it was the best written and had all the iconic characters, but, at least for the first few seasons, I enjoyed watching TNG more. Eventually it became too much of a soap opera. And Voyager sucked from the word go.

But on to Whoopi--I somehow missed the part where she changed hs life. He's autistic, he's a Star Trek fan, he got married. Where exactly does Whoopi come in? And, wow! she's really put on the pounds since I last saw her.

betamax3000 said...

Patrick Stewart thought that his refined accent could hide his hungry eyes.

It could not.

traditionalguy said...

That was beautiful. The power of a human connection to heal those in need of it is the purpose of Jesus' Way we call Christianity.

Admitting that we are in need is all it takes.

betamax3000 said...

"Inside my Spandex Star Trek Uniform Pants it is all me, I can assure you."

betamax3000 said...

"Sometimes I go to Star Trek Conventions and pretend that I am just a fan with an uncanny resemblance to Picard. They come back to my suite just the same."

MadisonMan said...

Original Mike is right.

All you people who think otherwise are just ugly bags of mostly water.

betamax3000 said...

"You remind me of a young Wil Wheaton, I will sometimes say."

betamax3000 said...

"Whoopi used to confide that Patrick Swayze and I had a lot in common: it made her exuberant."

MadisonMan said...

She did acquire some avoirdupois.

I like her in Glee, too.

MathMom said...

Guinan's race were mostly killed and scattered by the Borg. That's why you don't know much about them. I liked best the multiple-part episode where they wind up in San Francisco with Mark Twain, and Guinan is there, waaaay pre-Enterprise, because her race is extremely long-lived.

I just recently streamed all the seasons of TNG and was again surprised at how good the Guinan character was, and how it is so...NOT Goldie. But I'm glad it was there.

I love TNG. Loved the TOS, too, but connected more with TNG, because my son is Data. I would have expected the mildly autstic man to identify with Data, because Data is who they are.

Good for Goldie, to treat the man with such kindness and respect.

betamax3000 said...

"When I go to Star Trek Conventions and pretend that I am just a fan with an uncanny resemblance to Picard I can say anything I want. I am Free."

MathMom said...

Really, who cares if or why Guinan's character pulled him into Star Trek conventions where he learned social skills. The good part is that it did.

betamax3000 said...

"I convinced Shatner that he just recognized me from a T.J. Hooker episode we had filmed together.

He remembered it well."

betamax3000 said...

"I would get cheeky enjoyment by faux-mistakenly calling Shatner 'Lee Majors'.

Then I would hum the "Six-Million-Dollar-Man" theme.

He did not like that.

betamax3000 said...

"So you WEREN"T married to Farrah Fawcett?

What a pity."

betamax3000 said...

To rub it in I would tell him that he was at his best in "The Fall Guy."

betamax3000 said...

"and 'Vegas' -- you were so good in 'Vegas'.

J. Farmer said...

edutcher said:

"Her character was something of a token - you couldn't see Michael Dorn was black under all the makeup and she replaced the security officer (white actress) as a saloonkeeper, so they were stretching things."

What about LeVar Burton? He was obviously black behind that visor. Goldberg actually had an affinity for the Star Trek series going back to Nichelle Nichols' character in the original series.

betamax3000 said...

I had once auditioned for a part with an extended character arc on 'BJ and the Bear', but -- alas-- the part was Not Me. However, that was when I first met Robert Urich on the back lot. A fine man, with fine hot tub etiquette."

Synova said...

"DS 9 was the best, by far. More fully developed characters."

"But they never went anywhere."

I think that I probably liked DS9 the best, too, but in the end I was disappointed because I always had different expectations. I'd "see" how something could be a really awesome development in TNG or whatever and then they'd go do something else. DS9 was advertised as "darker", but it wasn't. They were going to have Voyager and I thought... oh, wouldn't it be awesome if it was Geordie's mom? She was a captain and her ship disappeared and that actress would be totally awesome as the captain in a series and we got... Jayneway. And then they were going to have the rebels on the ship and the tension lasted all of two episodes. Blah!!

But really, the show had to connect with non-sci-fi people and it *did*. That's a pretty impressive thing to do.

betamax3000 said...

"In the Eighties people in Hollywood understood the Importance of Hot Tub Etiquette. Those days, sadly, are gone, replaced by Yoga Mats."

betamax3000 said...

Robert Urich, Lee Majors, Greg Evigan and I would luxuriate in the Tub for hours at a time. This was back when men did not have to shave their chests to star in a TV Drama."

Saint Croix said...

That made me cry, that was beautiful.

betamax3000 said...

"Hot Tub Etiquette: co-stars to the left, lead actors to the right. Where the two ends of this circle would connect must be left as an empty spot."

betamax3000 said...

"Shatner would always try to sit to the right; Robert Urich would never allow that to happen."

Bender said...

DS9 was advertised as "darker", but it wasn't

Tell it to Roddenberry. DS9 was the anti-Roddenberry vision of the Star Trek universe, and not merely because of the inter-galatic war (never went anywhere??).

Moreover, much as we all love James Tiberius, Benjamin Sisko was twice the bad-ass that Kirk was.

betamax3000 said...

"If Urich wore a red Speedo on Tuesday you could bet your paycheck that Shatner would wear one on Wednesday. Clockwork."

betamax3000 said...

"The Laundry Boys at the Studio: oh, the Speedos they must've washed."

Bender said...

And Next Generation didn't get any good until they started to Kirkify Picard, again negating Roddenberry's original intent.

betamax3000 said...

"And -- the following day at the Hot Tub -- there was never a stray hair to be found: Not One."

betamax3000 said...

"When I remember the Eighties it is with the Scent of Chlorine and the girlish laughter of carefree hookers.

Those days are lost."

Bender said...

And it goes without saying that Quark was a much more interesting bartender than Guinan, Ship's Counselor Number Two.

somefeller said...

What about LeVar Burton? He was obviously black behind that visor.

Facts are stubborn things, Mr. Farmer. And they tend to confuse edutcher, even in simple matters like TV show characters.

Bender said...

Moreover, the Trouble with Tribbles episode of Deep Space Nine should have won an Emmy.

betamax3000 said...

"One could pine for the Salad Days, but I know the best still lies ahead: this summer I shall tour my one-man show 'Picard Does Shakespeare.'"

betamax3000 said...

"Alas, poor Shatner, I knew him well."

Kelly said...

I never cared for Star Trek Generations because I was a loyal original Star Trek fan. Captain James T. Kirk was my first crush. Yes, it's true. I didn't like Donny Osmond or any of the other shmultzy singers of the day. I liked shmultzy star fleet Captains in reruns.

The video clip is touching, the guy has such a hard time getting the words out. I did love Whoopi in the Color Purple. I wonder if that movie could be made today? So much of it is terrible black on black cruelty. The book is even better then the movie, I wonder if they still read it in college?

betamax3000 said...

"Will no one rid me of these meddlesome Romulans?"

betamax3000 said...

"Et tu, Tribble?"

William said...

He mistook her for the actress who played Lt. Uhuru. An understandable mistake, and Whoopie with characteristic tact and delicacy did not bring this to his attention.....I always thought Spock was kind of autisttic. Maybe autistic people are an evolutionary leap. In a thousand years we'll all be Vulcans.

betamax3000 said...

'After a performance I am emotionally spent. Oh, for the days when Wil Wheaton would rub my bare feet."

Bender said...

Meanwhile, Martha Jones was a lot hotter than Guinan too.

betamax3000 said...

"My ffet had never felt so young, and it is doubtful they ever Wil again."

Maguro said...

Moreover, much as we all love James Tiberius, Benjamin Sisko was twice the bad-ass that Kirk was.

At heart, Kirk was a lover, not a fighter.

Freeman Hunt said...

She was great on that show. She was great in a lot of things.

As for the effect of art on the individual, who cannot name some bit of art that profoundly affected him?

Art can pivot life.

Christy said...

Wasn't he saying that he discovered Star Trek, joined a community of Trekies and his life opened up? Whopper was a part of that, not that her character, itself was transformative.

One of the reasons I liked DS 9 was the strong spiritual component. How often do we see a main character of faith, who struggles with that faith, and is still treated with respect?

bagoh20 said...

The Color Purple has long been one of my favorite movies. I thought she was great in it. The retarded character she plays on The View is really unpleasant though. Maybe that's the intent of the writers. If so, she really delivers.

phx said...

As for the effect of art on the individual, who cannot name some bit of art that profoundly affected him?

Art can pivot life.


The big ones early on that did pivot my life were Bob Dylan and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

bagoh20 said...

There are a lot of geeks in here, some nerds too, and quite a few nerdy geeks.

When are you guys gonna demand equal rights, like the right to marry non-geeks or other normal humans?

Publius the Clown said...

Guinan was a great character. And I can see how a mildly autistic person could relate to her. She was an alien from a race of listeners who could perceive things that humans can't.

The episode "Yesterday's Enterprise" showcases this ability, and is also one of the best Star Trek episodes ever.

AlanKH said...

Whoopi was good in Star Trek. A good actress generally. She saved "Ghost" from tear jerking idiocy with her humor.

I have to put effort into remembering that Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze starred in the film.

pj (lowercase) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mick Havoc said...

Fuckin space opera-give me film noir.

By the way, shut up and act

rick rogers said...

Very touching. I wouldn't have been able to keep it together, if I was in her shoes. It has to feel great to know you helped someone in that way.

Mitchell the Bat said...

It was a truly beautiful moment but the truth has never been better said than by the ending of The Graduate.

Leland said...

What about LeVar Burton? He was obviously black behind that visor. Goldberg actually had an affinity for the Star Trek series going back to Nichelle Nichols' character in the original series.

My thoughts exactly to the token comment. Rather than being the token, she was playing homage to Nichols, who really was a token. Nichols admitted that she disliked being the token and thought about quitting the show. The Reverend ML King told her that she was an inspiration, and her role as just a member of the crew like all the others was inline with his dream. So Nichols stayed with the show.

prairie wind said...

It is probable that I don't understand autism and am mistaken in thinking that those who are autistic are also introverts...but I found it funny that Whoopi's first impulse was to HUG the man who just told her he is autistic.

Other than that, I was moved by his courage and by her reaction to it. She gets so much crap about her political posturing that it will be good for her to see that her acting talent has a more meaningful effect on people.

Thank you, betamax3000. I skipped the serious comments about Star Trek and read yours.

John Vaci said...

Always real somehow yet one of the greatest imitators of life, born to a welfare mom, educated on the streets, and married to her drug rehab counselor at 17...pregnant.
She had the baby--which means shes is pragmatic...and a grandmother at 34. Divorced from 3 husbands with 6 years in between and 13 years since the last one. The ST role was listener, caregiver, sage--probably closest to who she thinks she is. I'll bet she was the kid who carried the weight her parent's mistakes---entertaining, wanting attention, acting out, giving up and then angry, fighting back.
We fund the welfare state out of pure intentions but sometimes it does more harm than good. Women from that mentality see it as a safety net and do foolish things like walking on tightropes soaring high above human nature. You can't defy gravity.

Thorley Winston said...

I like TOS best of all with DS9 being a close second with the other three vying for third place.

I never cared for Guinan or Ten Forward. They were added (a) because Golberg was a Star Trek fan making her character the ultimate “Mary Sue” and (b) somehow the creators of TNG thought that what the Enterprise D was missing was another source of recreation for the cast members. Because seeing them do their jobs apparently wasn’t interesting enough for fans so we had to see them hang out in a bar drinking non-alcoholic drinks.

At least Quark’s was a lively place to hang out.


Crunchy Frog said...

@St. George

tl;dr

Baron Zemo said...

Star Trek went downhill after they fired Yeoman Rand because she was raped by a producer.

It never was the same.

Baron Zemo said...

Altough it had potential with Seven of Nine.

But she married some politican and that was the end of that.

Baron Zemo said...

Her storyline with Captain Janeway had real potential.

John Lynch said...

Autistic people like Star Trek? Who knew?

Something I noticed with all the Star Trek shows is that they would be good radio plays. You don't need to watch them to follow the action. Everything is very dialogue-heavy, the special effects are nothing special, and everything is explained verbally. If you aren't watching you won't miss anything.