Learn more about Peltz-Steele v. UMass Faculty Federation at Court Listener (complaint) and the Liberty Justice Center. The case is now on appeal in the First Circuit as no. 22-1466 (PACER paywall). Please direct media inquiries to Kristen Williamson.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Shop Shatner and don't ask too many questions

William Shatner, 2016 (Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0)
I'm a pretty big William Shatner fan.  James T. Kirk was my favorite TV captain in the 1970s.  TJ Hooker was my favorite TV cop in the 1980s.  And Denny Crane might have been one of my favorite TV lawyers in the 20aughts, except that Alan Shore already was, and you can't have two from the same show.

The occasional troubling this or that surfaced about Shatner's personal life.  There were stories about how nobody liked him.  But I persevered.  A lot of people don't like me, either.  And I'm perfectly delightful.

It's especially disconcerting, then, to have come across the bizarre bazaar called "the William Shatner Store."  An odd array of items is on offer, from Shatner's science fiction books, naturally, to a Star Trek The Original Series Mood Rock Light, reduced to half off at $40, to "Mr. Shatner's Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame Award," only $1,899.00.  

Items are nicely cross-referenced by various variables, including show, so I eagerly looked up Boston Legal.  There are only four items there, all props from the show, wall-hanging-like awards and certificates, such as "Judge Leslie Bishop Judicial Performance Review Certificate": framed and now marked down from $169.95 to a tantalizing $99.95.

I couldn't abolish from my mind the image of Denny Crane relieving a Hollywood law-office set of its miscellaneous detritus on the last day of filming, much like my kindergarten teacher let us take home the leftover Play-Doh at the end of the school year.

It would make me more comfortable to think that Shatner has no involvement in the management of the Shatner Store.  Maybe it's run by his grandkids, to make a buck, a contemporary Hollywood equivalent of a lemonade stand.  Or maybe it's a distressed plea, in the manner of a GoFundMe page, to raise money for the eldercare of an aging legend.  

Alas, those scenarios seem not to be the case.  The odd Sky headline that led me to the Shatner Store evidenced hands-on management by none other than the main man.

You would think we would learn to separate our favorite fictional characters from the people who play them.

My first-ever favorite TV lawyer, and maybe still my overall no. 1, was Samuel T. Cogley, who represented James T. Kirk and was played by the prolific Elisha Cook Jr. (1903-1995).  If you know anything about him that I would not want to know, please keep it to yourself.

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