Star Trek, Nevermind and the passage of time



As Star Trek debuted 50 years ago today, and tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of Nirvana’s Nevermind, I decided to spend some time this evening looking into what’s happening today that might have the same kind of long-lasting cultural impact. Sadly, I didn’t find much. No books, as far as I could tell, were released today. I couldn’t find any evidence of new songs having came out. And, from what I could see online, no new movies debuted. I did, however, find one new television show that was scheduled to air this evening, a new gay dating show hosted by NSYNC’s Lance Bass. Here, for those of you who don’t have access to VH1, are a few highlights from the show, which is called Finding Prince Charming.

For what it’s worth, I understand that it’s not terribly significant that Star Trek and Nevermind were released pretty much exactly 25 years apart. It’s not like they were the only two cultural watershed moments to have transpired over the past 50 years. There were other things that were, no doubt, more significant. Star Trek, even though it was boundary pushing, wasn’t terribly popular or influential when it first aired, and Nirvana existed well before they broke through to the boring mainstream in ’91 with Smells Like Teen Spirit. Still, though, it’s interesting to think about these two events, which we’re all so well aware of, and where they stand relative to one another, like mile markers along this pop culture highway that, like it or not, we’re all traveling on. It just doesn’t seem possible that we’re now as close to the release of Nevermind as we were to the debut of Star Trek back in 1991, when Smells Like Teen Spirit ruled the airwaves. It’s just one of those weird things that, once started, I can’t stop thinking about, like the fact that, when my son was born, I was about the same age as my grandfather was when I was born.

Oh, I also checked what happened 25 years before Star Trek debuted, on September 8, 1941, and, guess what? It’s the day that Bernie Sanders was born in Brooklyn. It’s also the day that the Siege of Leningrad began.

This entry was posted in Pop Culture, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Eel
    Posted September 9, 2016 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Time is a flat circle.

  2. Posted September 9, 2016 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Nirvana were a terrible band.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted September 9, 2016 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    “Everything we’ve ever done or will do, we’re gonna do over and over and over again.”

  4. Anonymous
    Posted September 9, 2016 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    I also thought Bleach was alright.

  5. Mr. X
    Posted September 9, 2016 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Other mile markers along the American pop culture highway these past 50 years:

    The Apollo 11 moon landing
    The Manson murders
    The Rodney King beating
    The advent of “reality” television

  6. Ted
    Posted September 9, 2016 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    In related news, tomorrow is the Half Life tipping point.

  7. Alice Flass
    Posted September 9, 2016 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Lance Bass never got to be an astronaut, did he?

  8. site admin
    Posted September 9, 2016 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    For those of you who aren’t understanding the references to time being a flat circle, here’s an explanation from True Detective.

  9. Posted September 9, 2016 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Much prefer Bleach, too. In fact, I was listening to Nevermind about a year ago and found that most of the songs just didn’t hold up for me. When I was in my early 20s, I was all I FEEL YOUR PAIN OMG THE WORLD…THE WORLD HURTS SO MUCH! My sympathy is gone now, I guess, because all I could think was, “You’re a millionaire, son. Take your goddamned psych meds and buck up.” Pardon me while I’m off to yell at a cloud now.

  10. English Teacher
    Posted September 9, 2016 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Let’s not just quote television shows.

    “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

  11. A Mighty Girl
    Posted September 9, 2016 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    In honor of today’s 50th anniversary of Star Trek, we’re celebrating the woman responsible for saving the iconic science fiction show — comedian and entrepreneur Lucille Ball! In 1964, Ball was the sole owner of Desilu Studios and the first woman to ever run a major Hollywood studio. At the time, Desilu producers were looking for ideas that could be developed into new series and they contracted two ambitious writers to develop pilots: Gene Roddenberry with “Star Trek” and Bruce Geller with “Mission: Impossible.”

    Desilu took the Star Trek pilot to CBS with whom they had a first-refusal agreement but the network rejected it and opted to pick up another new space-themed show “Lost in Space.” The studio then took the pilot, “The Cage,” to NBC which called it “too cerebral” but, rather than rejecting it outright, they took the unprecedented move of ordering a second pilot, “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” The network decided to order a season but the Desilu Board of Directors balked. Fearing that the studio was overstretching itself with three expensive new programs — Star Trek, Mission Impossible, and a western called The Long Hunt for April Savage — all but one of the board members voted to cancel Star Trek in February 1966.

    Lucille Ball, however, had high hopes for the fledgling show and was impressed by Roddenberry’s vision so she used her power as board chair to override the decision. Production of the show continued and the first episode aired in September of that year. As studio accountant Edwin Holly later conceded, “If it were not for Lucy, there would be no ‘Star Trek’ today.” So the next time that you’re watching Star Trek — or one of the many science fiction future worlds that it inspired — remember that you have one more reason to love Lucy!

  12. Scott Anderson
    Posted September 9, 2016 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Seems fitting that William Shatner do a tribute Nirvana cover, a-la Rocket Man.

  13. Bob
    Posted September 10, 2016 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    In Utero squashes both Bleach and Nevermind like bugs. Easily his masterpiece.

  14. Mike
    Posted September 13, 2016 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    The Poster Children – If You See Kay
    This immature reverse-acronym of a song always reminds me of my first apartment in 1991. Sadly, The Poster Children had the misfortune of releasing this aural delight the same week as Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, and despite my opinion that it’s actually the better track, the buying public disagreed. I can’t really say that it’s stood the test of time lyrically because it really made no sense then either… unlike a mosquito and my libido, which of course, made perfect sense (or at least shipped far more units). Recorded in 1990, apparently the album was shelved briefly due to label budget issues; can’t help but wonder if there’s an alternate timeline where these guys made it big with a more opportune release date. Or perhaps fate shone brightly on them, Rick and Rose are still happily married. Who knows if that would be the case otherwise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


BUY LOCAL... or shop at Amazon through this link Banner Initiative Mothmen