Thursday, August 18, 2005

Dammit, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a computer tech support person

Is it just me or has being your own tech support person become something of a full-time job? You know, they say that browsing the Internet has been bad for television and bad for publishing, because it takes up time from those other leisure activities. Well, I want to say, it's time we take back our tv time! And our reading time, of course. You can hurt yourself carrying that television into the bathroom.

I was just reading some articles about a "bot war" between virus writers. These guys are now writing viruses that will infect your computer and remove the other guys' viruses! Our computers are becoming a virtual war zone (literally) for virus writers. Folks! Please, get a life! Or, better yet, settle down on the couch and watch some Star Trek reruns. I think the one with the sexy, green Orion slave girl is on tonight. C'mon, you know you like her. That's right. Step away from the computer and pick up the remote. Have a Twinkie, while you're at it. Fill up those arteries with some fat and goo. Maybe we can induce a heart attack in you the way you induce one in ours whenever we get a virus warning.

Hey, maybe I'm onto something here. Isn't it possible that in the midst of getting a virus on his computer, some poor slob farc'd out (that's medical lingo for you)? So, technically, that virus writer is now guilty of murder. I figure we put one virus writer to death for murder and we might see fewer viruses. What do you think?

But until they follow my advice on that one, folks, turn off the computer and turn off the tv (can the first cable virus be far away, a virus that fills your TiVo or DVR with hours of the Home Shopping Channel instead of the aforementioned Star Trek reruns?) and pick up a book. After all, no one ever had a heart attack induced by a book, plus you can easily read it in the bathtub without fear of electrocution.

Since I've mentioned Star Trek about five times here, maybe now would be a good time to recommend a book: FROM SAWDUST TO STARDUST, by Terry Lee Rioux. This is the biography of DeForest Kelley, who played Dr.McCoy on "The Original Series." You know, the guy who said, "Dammit, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a steam-cleaning vacuum," or something like that a dozen or so times. But this is actually a pretty serious book and one that any film fan should read. In fact, I'm almost sorry they put Kelley on the cover in his Star Trek uniform, because the man was so much more than just "the guy who played the doctor." For me, his life was a slice of America. He was a poor preacher's son who fell in love with a dream and moved west to pursue a life in theater and the movies and actually succeeded in having that life. He found a wife, Carolyn—who approved of the author writing this book and helped her with details and papers—and lived a life that in many ways was about his love for her more than anything else. The line between character and actor was thin indeed when it came to his personality and charm.

I think the most interesting thing about the book, for me, was how often Kelley was approached by fans who told him that they had become doctors because of his character. The man literally inspired thousands to pursue a career in the medical field! That, frankly, may be the bigger legacy than an old tv show!

You can order FROM SAWDUST TO STARDUST, by clicking
here. Then feel free to come back and post your thoughts on this great actor and character.

Z

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